Lifelong Learning

Posted by: Wayne Long on July 14th, 2008

One of the keys to Real Estate or almost anything else, in my opinion, is lifelong learning.

I hear a lot of criticism of the various designations that REALTORS attain. Much of life is in the journey and not the destination, so when I see Realtors with “alphabet soup” past their names – I think that they must have been on a good journey!

Will the alphabet soup mean that they are good Realtors? Probably not, but it will tell you that they are willing to invest in themselves and their profession.
I will grant to you that people have different ways of investing in learning but the designations are one tangible sign that a particular Realtor is interested in becoming better at their profession. Just like a college degree does not ensure that a graduate is competent but does signify a certain level of willingness, ability, and perseverance.

All that said, my wife and I spent last week working on our CRS designation (Certified Residential Specialist) in Key Largo, Florida. (Work Hard – Play Hard :-) .

It was great! The course was on developing a referral based business. The basis for the course is in providing exceptional customer service for our clients so that they will refer more clients to us. We learned about various systems we could put in place as well as improvements to our current systems. Part of what made it so good was the exceptional instructors we had.

I learned quickly while in College that the professor teaching a particular course is the difference between a boring class and one that gives you the “light bulb illuminating” experience that we all want. I highly recommend Gee Dunsten and Mark Given as instructors.

We have found that getting out of the office and out of our daily routine in a learning environment like this gets our creative energy flowing and immediately light bulbs turn on that help us take our business further than we have gone before.
Not to mention, we had a great time in Key Largo sailing, snorkeling on the live coral reefs, and parasailing.

So…my advice to you—is get out and learn. You will be more relaxed and make more money at the same time.

What a great investment – invest in yourself!

Wayne and Donna Long, Shepherd, GMAC Real Estate, Columbus, Georgia,



5 Comments on “Lifelong Learning”

Ryan Ward


I grew up in Miami and spent many a weekend sailing, snorkeling and diving in the keys. It’s a beautiful place and a great spot to pick up a few more letter for your alphabet soup. I think you hit the nail on the head with what it says about those who are willling to invest their time and effort into education. It says that you are a dedicated professional willing to go the extra mile and stay abreast of important developments to help serve clients better and to be a better agent in a competitive market.

Ken in Elgin

If you end up with the letters as a byproduct of your desire to learn it’s one thing. If you getting the letters to impress someone then there is no value.

Deb Dahlberg Rowland

Hi Wayne I think you are right about the alphabet soup behind a name. I am looking at a bunch of desk time this year as I want to finish my GRI and take the ASR to add to my ABR and my HPS. I think it is fun attending classes with other Realtors of like minds who want the benefits of a continued education, besides it is fun to meet and network in the classes. I have made some great friends that way.

Mike Taylor

It is sooo important as a professional in any field to constantly “sharpen your saw”. Personally I have never taken any NAR courses, I just assumed they would be outdated and not worth the money. I will have to take another look at these based on your recommendation.


So many agents underestimate the importance of continuing education in their field. How many agents today are missing out because they don’t have the time or desire to learn about state-of-the-art ways to improve their market presence? I can think of plenty agents who are barely able to email, let alone create and maintain a web site or blog or myspace account. One of the many good things about Long & Foster real estate is that they encourage their agents to learn, learn, learn. They are always offering classes that have practical value to the agents. Agents just have to realize that by investing in themselves, they are investing in the future.

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