The real estate teachers …

What a driven, energized group they are! A few minutes on Facebook reminds me immediately that absolutely no one adds more value to the lives of agents than those among them who’ve chosen the teaching path. Looking in on Facebook, I can feel their passion for what they do.

If you don’t spend your life inside a real estate business, then you may have a reaction to the word “‘teacher” that comes from a whole different place. In my business, I’ve learned that great teachers exist at many levels–from the “uber wizards” who fly around North America sharing their wisdom and teaching our curriculum to hundreds of agents at a time, to the practicing agents who take time out from their daily business to step into a local classroom with a dozen compatriots, to share what happened yesterday that could help someone else today.

In the “everyone’s an expert” world we live in, teaching inside a business is a high risk, high reward deal. Why? It takes commitment to spend time in a classroom (or other teaching venue) when you could be somewhere else making your own business happen. That’s true for both the student and the teacher. Time well spent? If it is–bingo! No regrets. You gained something to help you move forward–maybe even win a listing or a buyer this week. If the teaching and sharing is poorly done, it’s precious time lost that can’t be recaptured. And lost time is the enemy of business-building.

Great teachers in real estate–are they born, not made? It’s tempting to say yes, but I’m not so sure. There are naturals, no doubt. However there are also people who found their way to teaching simply out of a passion to make something in our business work better.

I’m thinking particularly about some of the short sale teachers I know. These people are the “fire brigade” in a burning town. They’re advocates for homeowners, corridor-makers for buyers who want a good deal, and supreme negotiators in a never-ending battle with lenders and asset managers to get reasonable offers accepted and sales closed. Many of the institutions they face across the electronic bargaining table are only now catching a glimpse of the economics and realities of foreclosing and foreclosed properties–and the people who live in them. Amazing, but true.

The short sale (and REO or bank owned foreclosure) agents who teach their peers are on a mission. Get more defaulting and foreclosed property into the hands of people who can actually afford to own it.Making that happen in volume is America’s best counter-attack against the failures of a decade of mismanagement and considerable greed that fed an insidious myth–that every American can and should own a home.

End of speech–for now. This moment is just a peek under the tent at some of the teaching heroes, and issues, I plan to chat about with you. I get to see them in action, learn from them, and talk with the people who benefit from what they do–on a daily basis. It’s a privilege. It never gets old.

More about the teachers soon, and the seeds they sow.

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