By Victoria Reviel • 2018 President

Professionalism comes in many different forms. By definition, professionalism marks the difference between an amateur and a pro (pro being short for professional). Anyone can call themselves a professional, but what does it really take to be able to call yourself a professional?

Own it! The use of the word REALTOR should immediately inspire confidence in your clients. By being a REALTOR, you’re more than just a licensed real estate agent. You are a proud member of the National Association of REALTORS. The term REALTOR has one meaning only. It is a membership mark used to identify a member of NAR. Members of the National Association of REALTORS subscribe to a Code of Ethics. NAR updated your code of ethics for 2018. If you haven’t read them in a while, I suggest a review of them and make sure you’re adhering to the Code! Failure to uphold the Code of Ethics can land you in a Professional Standards hearing! Stay out of trouble and be a professional by visiting nar.realtor/com.

Know it! Your clients expect you to be the expert, that is why they hired you and why they’re paying you! Being a professional for your client is more than knowing about the property. Anyone can read off an MLS tear sheet. It is knowing about the community (or communities) which you sell. What is the tax rate? How are the schools rated? Is it located in a MUD? What is the crime rate?  What is the lifestyle like in this area? What future developments are coming? These are important things to know.

Professionals attend more than the required number of course hours each year. A true professional sees education as an investment in themselves and not just an expense of being a REALTOR. By belonging to WCREALTORS, you get discounts on education classes. Why not get your dues worth and stay educated! The Association also hosts training opportunities on “hot topics” throughout the year. Attend trainings and learn what is going on in your community as well as your industry! It will make you a better real estate agent, and a professional that your clients and your peers trust and respect!

REALTOR Magazine has an amazing selection of toolkits for every agent. Use these to your advantage, learn from them and then apply the suggestions in your own business. Check them out at realtormag.realtor.org/tool-kit/

Share it! Professionals don’t keep their knowledge bottled up inside them, they share it with the world. Marketing experts still say that having a blog updated at least once a week is one of the smartest marketing opportunities for a REALTOR. Take the knowledge you learn and share it with your sphere of influence – you never know who you might impress – real estate is a referral business after all.

Join a committee at the local, state or national Association; get involved, network, get to know the movers and shakers in the industry. Find a leader you respect in the industry, see if they would be willing to help mentor you. These are all things professionals do. You’ll be amazed at how little changes within your business and your professionalism can pay off big in your business.  RL