Have you ever thought it might be too late to continue your education? Maybe you have been in business so long that you’re quite sure you have seen it all already. What could possibly be new?
In February 2012, I took a leap of faith to enter the inaugural class for Realtor® University’s Master of Real Estate degree program. This is a true Master’s degree program. I always thought having a master’s degree would be great. It had been on my bucket list for a long time. I never started because I couldn’t see any clear advantage to my life or income by continuing my education. I was already successful.
I had been a certified public account (CPA) for more than 20 years prior to obtaining a real estate license. My credentials and credibility as a CPA were solid. So why did I choose to take this leap of faith? Why now? Why this program? I found the curriculum interesting. It was the first program I had looked into that really studied topics applicable to how I make a living.
Starting something new made me nervous. Would I be the oldest person starting at age 50? I discovered there were people in my class who were older. Would the program be filled with new agents who recently graduated from college and were comfortable with online learning? Not at all! The average age of a student is 45. Most of us had many years of experience and several of us owned our own companies or managed Realtor® associations.
To my delight, I wasn’t alone. I discovered we shared similar anxieties. We were all afraid of how to balance work and school. We wondered how to write academic style papers because college was a long, long time ago. What did I find in this program? Camaraderie! Like-minded professionals striving to stay informed. Have I used what I have learned? Absolutely! I have applied new and updated knowledge to answer questions about sustainability practices.
I have become more comfortable with research and can quickly and proficiently find demographic information for target markets. I have developed specific skills in developing marketing plans, business plans and policy manuals. I feel sharper. My skills are better refined. I also have developed relationships with other brokers in the country. This is invaluable. We are a true family and we interact frequently. I have already met two people in my class in person.
Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! If you have a chance to continue your education, seize the opportunity. It’s never too late to grow and learn. Carpe diem!