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Point & Purpose

There’s Grumbling in the Class

Perfect Timing

Lani and Benn’s invitation to contribute to Agent Genius coincided with the deadline for completing my semi-annual CE and quadrennial Code of Ethics classes. It was appropriate timing! While we all have to take the mandatory classes for continuing education, I have noticed a distinct difference between agents who continue to educate themselves and those who have to. It is evidenced in communities like this one. This is the ultimate classroom where everyone can learn.

I’m an avid fan of continuing education, but I can’t seem to remember to take only the classes which give me credit. That’s why I am taking classes at the last minute! I still wouldn’t calculate my education, based on credits, even if I did remember. I choose classes I like, where I can increase my knowledge about many different topics and those which will benefit my clients.

What Does it Hurt?

One year, I forgot my GRI classes covered most of my CE requirements and ended up taking additional classes. A few extra classes never hurt anyone…..Right?

Only if you sit through a class and learn nothing!

I have been licensed in three states; believe me, there is a lot of boring, repetitive information included in each state’s pre-licensing course. I’ll admit it, if I never sit through another class about the Rectangular Survey System, I will be a happy camper. Other than that, I try to bring an open mind to every class and learn something new.

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I often hear grumbles about having to take CE and Code of Ethics classes. They fit into the “I already know this” category for many agents. Consequently, they don’t learn much. Not because of the quality of the information or the instructor, but because of their attitude going into the class. If you grumble going in, chances are, you won’t learn anything new.

Those Who Grumble the Most…

It’s funny; those who grumble the most are the ones who have not opened their mind to what is going on around them and in the industry. You probably won’t meet them online. They are the agents who sit in the office waiting for the phone to ring, while complaining about business. The rest of us will learn something new, even if it’s in the hallway during breaks.

To the grumblers, I say, “lighten up, enjoy the experience and challenge yourself to learn something new”! Otherwise, you won’t have to worry about CE in two years. The industry will have evolved without you.

To everyone else – I’ll see you in the hallway! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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Written By

Paula is team leader for The "Home to Indy" Team in Indianapolis . She is passionate about education and client care and believes an empowered client is better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. You'll find her online at Agent Genius,Twitter and sharing her insights about her local real estate market at Home To Indy.



  1. Ines

    June 11, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Welcome aboard Paula!! I have to agree with you that those grumblers are the same ones that could actually benefit from actually learning something! Here in Miami we have to refresh our COE every so often and of course the grumblers again are the ones that have the most issues sticking to the ETHICS part of the business.

    (then there are the ones that take every class just for the designation….that’s another post ). CRS, CSI, OMG, LOL…… 😉

  2. Kelley Koehler

    June 11, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    (quickly deletes bitchy comments re broker school from twitter stream)
    Hi Paula! Welcome to AG!

  3. Cyndee Haydon

    June 12, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Congrats on joining the AG team Paula – looking forward to reading more from you here!!

  4. Bill Lublin

    June 12, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Paula; You’re so right about the challenges created by a bad attitudes in the classroom. When I teach Ethics or the Code, I have a secret sauce to get people started. All I have to do is mention “procuring cause” and the room looks like a bee hive stirred up by a kid with a stick (guess who the kid is?) because everyone has a story they want to tell.
    First Rule in classes I teach ,i>”I can’t sleep while we’re in class, therefore no one else is allowed to!”

  5. Jennifer in Louisville

    June 12, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Every day is another opportunity to learn something new. Theres ALWAYS room for improvement. Anyone that thinks that everything is perfect & they know everything – is setting themselves up to become complacent. The decline of their business has started, despite what their actual sales volume may actually be.

  6. Eric Blackwell

    June 12, 2008 at 6:44 am


    @ Paula- Just printed a copy of this off and will post it on my wall…so that I can see it when needed (probably later today-grin). I do not think it is just limited to CE, but that is a GREAT example.


  7. Eric Blackwell

    June 12, 2008 at 6:46 am

    @Ines– Thanks for returning the favor and making ME laugh this time!!

    CRS, CSI, OMG, LOL…… 😉

    too funny!

  8. Paula Henry

    June 12, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Ines – Haha – you are too funny – hiding my designations!

    Kelly – Oooops! nothing personal~I’m betting you did learn something!

    Cyndee – Thank you!

    Bill – Procuring cause will awaken any Realtor 🙂

    Jennifer – Exactly – I try to take something away from every day, every transaction.

    Eric – You’re right, every day presnts an opportunity to learn something. You can either grumble or figure it out.

  9. Candy Lynn

    June 12, 2008 at 9:16 am

    One of the saddest statements a REALTOR said to me recently
    “I know enough – I don’t want to learn anything new”.

    I love to learn, love to teach & learn by teaching.

  10. Ken Smith

    June 12, 2008 at 10:17 am

    “To the grumblers, I say, “lighten up, enjoy the experience and challenge yourself to learn something new”! Otherwise, you won’t have to worry about CE in two years. The industry will have evolved without you.”

    I love to learn and go to classes around the country to do so, but CE and COE classes are just the same material year after year. There is no evolving with the static content of these classes, they keep you legal and you need to go far beyond them to evolve with the industry.

  11. Ken Smith

    June 12, 2008 at 10:19 am

    @Candy – If I ever heard an agent say “I know enough – I don’t want to learn anything new” it would be time to walk away as my instinct would be to smack upside the head.

  12. Christopher Zabka

    June 12, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Thanks, Paula. Class is in session!

  13. Candy Lynn

    June 12, 2008 at 10:44 am

    @Ken – good response – I think I’ll try that next time ;~)

    Seriously, no wonder our profession has troubles with agents that think the minimum amount of education is too much.

  14. Ken Smith

    June 12, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    @ Candy – I kind of picture the V8 commercials.

  15. Paula Henry

    June 12, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Candy – When an agent is done learning – they should just hang up their license.

    Christopher – Thanks for attending 🙂

    Ken – While I agree much of the CE content is static, I also believe anyone CAN learn something. I use these examples since they always cause the most grumbles, from the agents who does NOT want to learn. That is the agent who won’t have to worry about it.

    In Indiana, half of our CE is the same; the rest is fairly interesting. Maybe it’s just this particular school. They use recent case law for Antitrust and the “Lawsuits” class. Since Indiana ranks second for Antitrust lawsuits, many did not pay attention, which is exactly my point.

    Our additional electives include generational marketing, a technology class, and a mortgage crisis class. While they may not be long enough to really provide in-depth information about each topic – most agents can learn something. Ideally, it would pique their interest to continue to learn.

    Those who are only there to remain legal will probably not learn anything.

  16. Jay Thompson

    June 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Nice first post (here) Paula…

    Learning takes a lifetime. No one can EVER “know enough”.

    I took a three hour class once. The Arizona Association of Realtors head lawyer was talking about mitigating risk. I was fresh out of 90 hours of broker’s classes (bitching is allowed on that Housechick, some of it is awful). I had absolutely zero need for “credit” or CE hours. I took the class because I wanted to.

    I was in the middle of a deal that was spinning out of control. So I really needed to be able to access email during the class. I asked one of the organizers if I could sit in the back of the room and tap into the network.

    They said, “Well you could, but we wouldn’t be able to give you the CE credit for the course”

    I said, “That’s fine, I’m not here for the hours.”

    She looked at me like I had three heads. And repeated, “But you don’t understand. You won’t get a certificate certifying your hours.”

    “That’s fine. I just want to be able to listen, learn, and do a little work.”

    I plugged in and about 10 minutes later, a different person came up. “Cindy said she told you that you won’t get credit for this course. We’re afraid you don’t understand, so I just want to make SURE you do…..”

    I honestly think I may have been the first person they’d ever seen take a class to learn, not for the piece of paper.

  17. Eric- New Orleans Condos and Lofts

    June 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    They are rather boring but I sit quietly in a comfortable seat. Not many people actually complain while they are at the class. The guys teaching the course try to make it appealing. Its all in a years work. Several agents love to hear themselves talk which speeds things along and away from the course material. We all have Katrina stories to tell so it speeds time along.

    Every year we get to watch clips of Andy Griffin when the deputy took up real estate. Its still funny. In New Orleans we have 2 snack breaks in 4 hours. As long as the a/c is working, it ain’t that bad. I heard very few grips, maybe we all needed a rest.

  18. Paula Henry

    June 14, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Jay –

    Thanks! You probably were the first! I have taken many classes for no credit, because I wanted to.

    Learning is a never ending process, especially in this business.

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