Professional Development As Revolution

Revolution is the result of a desire for change. At its core, revolution is transformational.  From social to popular movements, revolution reshapes societies and their citizenry. Revolutions are fueled by transformational visions of the future. History is witness to revolutionary ideas championed by leaders determined to realize their vision of the future for cause or country.

Over the past 2 years, the residential real estate industry has experienced a revolution; a revolution characterized by its marketplace unpredictability and career devastation. Unpredictable in its random displays of crushing market movements, devastating measured by the legions of sales agents who’ve left the industry, confused clients, and crippled financial systems.

Emergent from this revolution is the remaking sales agent professional development. While not a revolutionary idea, this revolution has caused it to be considered a cornerstone in recreating the industry. So, let’s begin by creating the future today.

Creating the Future Today

Today’s unprecedented market conditions are revolutionary mandating a new order of sales agent professional development.  These revolutionary conditions have caused company owners and sales professionals to reevaluate the viability of the real estate industry. Evaluating and redesigning professional development with new strategies for business building and client engagement is a core consideration. In previous articles we’ve asserted that 20th century transactional selling practices are waning. No longer will superficial client contact, disparate market knowledge, or ignorance of technology be tolerated by the industry or clients. Instead, contemporary agents are adopting new and transformative 21st century advisory-based strategies for business building and client engagement.  These sales agents are building partnerships with clients empowering transaction decisions by providing succinct market analyzes, demystifying financing data, and harnessing the power inherent in computer and internet technologies.   Richard Ferrari, Senior VP at Brown Harris Stevens states “The future is today! Change and its management are key considerations in every decision I make. Therefore, I’ve chosen to be a lifelong learner. I invest in myself to enhance my performance and achieve competitive advantage.

Professional Development As Revolution

In his 1996 seminal article “Strategy as Revolution,” strategic futurist Gary Hamel wrote “Never has the world been more hospitable to industry revolutionaries and more hostile to industry incumbents.” Today’s market conditions have obliterated accepted modes client engagement. Coupled with increased client self education, resulting in clients becoming their own agents, sales agents are forced to radically alter their approach to business building and client engagement. They must become real estate revolutionaries; activists leading the new movement of professional competency. Patriots loyal to the cause of establishing a new order of professionalism committed to abandoning archaic sales and business practices and picking up the standard of the emergent professional development manifesto. As author Hamel shares “activists are not anarchists;” they are leaders.

Revolution is a challenging proposition. Revolutions, like other social movements, assert guiding principles to guide activist’s action. Strategist Hamel presents us with principals for guiding an industry revolution. Consider the following principles when creating your revolutionary professional development strategy.

1.      Questing: Become a “free thinker of insurrection.” Explore and experiment with innovative strategies for branding, marketing, and selling. Break the bonds of established thinking and practice. Dream the impossible; then make it probable. Be daring and determined.
2.      Modeling: Model your professional development agenda after others’ who’ve mastered the “joy of use.” Joy in using innovative business building and client engagement strategies incorporating the “whimsical, tactile, and informative” into a meaningful and purposeful sales experience.
3.      Jettisoning: Discard useless professional behaviors. Exit unproductive modes of thinking and excuses for underperformance. “Examine and abandon fundamental conventions” preventing you from becoming a top producer.
4.      Clustering: Find others who think like you passionate in pursing professional development through lifelong learning. “Make no mistake; there are revolutionaries in your company.” Leverage the collective intelligence and momentum generated by like thinkers to realize your professional development plan.
5.      Reflecting: Informed action results from reflective thinking and self dialogue. “Without enlightenment there can be not revolution. To discover opportunities for revolution, look at the world in a new way; through a new lens.” Learn and use the tools of reflective practice and self inquiry. Reflect to succeed and achieve.

The New Order

Typically, revolutions are viewed as movements; caused, conducted, and completed.  However, this is not the formula for the residential real estate revolution. Today’s revolutionary market conditions have instigated a perpetual stream of causality; action and reaction between agents, clients, and markets. In order for sales agents to succeed and thrive in the 21st market, their professional development; in turn performance must be reconceived. A new doctrine of professional standards recognized for its rigor and scope is at hand.

The residential real estate revolution beckons sales agents industry-wide to join the cause of shaping and embracing a new professionalism. The beckoning is the drumbeat of the revolution heralding new industry, regulatory, and client mandates for business building and client engagement. March towards its future being created today. Listen…do you hear it?

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