Learn to Earn

From the NAR President: This year many of the NAR conference education sessions and committee meetings will focus on how you can reinvent yourself to take advantage of new opportunities and how to help your customers navigate today’s market.

October 1, 2007

This year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, coming up Nov. 12–16, in Las Vegas,finds us at an interesting crossroads: NAR is rolling toward its centennial at a time when we’re seeing change in the marketplace.

For 100 years, our annual convention has been the place where real estate people come to learn, to discuss the issues of the day, and to debate the best course for our association and our industry in the years ahead. This year, I’m sure many of the conference education sessions and committee meetings will focus on how we reinvent ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that exist and how we help our customers navigate today’s market.

One of the ways our organization continues to grow and gain strength is in the education arena. The founders of NAR recognized that an educated membership was important to maintaining high standards and serving consumers well. They understood that professional development was often the best way to overcome challenges. They commissioned some of the earliest texts for our business and organized the divisions that today are the association’s specialty institutes, societies, and councils.

Well, NAR is still bullish on professional development, and we’re “connecting the dots” for you in a number of ways. The annual conference with its 200-plus education sessions is just the start.

If you’re ready to further your real estate education but can’t travel to Las Vegas, I urge you to visit the NAR Education Matrix at REALTOR.org. There, we’ve compiled information about hundreds of courses offered by NAR and its affiliated institutes, societies, and councils. You can search the matrix by topic, title, organization, designation, or certification. The matrix also specifies which courses are available online.

And speaking of online education, have you dug into the treasure trove at REALTOR® University. Set up in partnership with Learning Library, REALTOR® University lets you choose from an impressive array of online offerings and learn at your own pace. When you’re taking an NAR-developed course, you can use the “Instructor Mailbag” to send questions via e-mail. Instructors will respond within one business day.

Many of the courses count toward designations and many qualify for continuing education credits from accreditation bodies all over the United States and Canada.

And with REALTOR® University, you can’t lose: The system allows you to try the first module of any course to determine its relevance to your needs.

REALTOR® University may harness Internet technology to bring courses to your desktop, but it was developed with the same goal as more conventional course offerings of the past—to help you thrive in real estate.

In May 2008, NAR officially turns 100 (leaf through this month’s magazine to see all 100 convention programs) but you know the old saying: You’re only as old as you feel. And this organization feels anything but old. We’re strong, dynamic, and ready to help you face whatever challenges are standing in your path to success.

Pat Vredevoogd Combs

Pat V. Combs was 2007 president of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.