Knowing what you know

VARbuzzers: I need your help. I need to get some ideas about how you learn this business for an article.

I need to tell Realtors where they can acquire certain types of knowledge — I need suggestions for courses, books, Web sites, even life events (e.g., “attend such-and-such a meeting”).

Here are the three things I’m looking for:

Where can they obtain product knowledge? That means learning about everything from types of roofing shingles to advantages of Energy Star appliances, to which kind of grass to plant. Everything about the products (buildings and land) they sell.

What’s the best way to obtain neighborhood knowledge? That is, what areas have POAs, how good the schools are, whether an area is dog-friendly, what good restaurants are nearby. How do you folks go about getting this?

Where can they get client knowledge? That’s things like demographics — what boomers are looking for vs. Gen Xers. What kind of trends are showing up? What are hot selling points?

Any suggestions you can throw my way would be great — the more specific the better. Thanks!

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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2 Responses to Knowing what you know

  1. I’ll be interested to see if and what responses you receive…

  2. Debbie Shickel says:

    Hi Andrew,
    For client knowledge, I find that the buyer/seller profiles on the NAR website are an excellent source of information for what clients want in that age group.It also does not hurt to have a son in that age group, too. High speed internet is one big factor for him. He also, wants energy saver appliances and a gourmet kitchen as he enjoys cooking as does his girlfriend. The other thing he wants is a community that offers amenities like a fitness center, pool, tennis courts and the ability to walk or ride his bike for excercise.
    As far as neighborhood knowledge is concerned, Realtors should know the community that they live in and should know the surrounding area. I live in, shop in and work in Augusta County and know the surrounding towns–Waynesboro and Staunton. I also have know Lexington fairly well. For finding out information on schools I use the websites and look at how well the schools score on standardized tests and what they offer as far as activities.
    Product knowledge you can get by taking your GRI, using the NAR field guides and by attending classes offered by extension offices, local stores and community colleges or even the local technical school. Another good way is to ask questions of the contractors in your area about product and to read magazines. One I particularly like is “Builder” magazine.
    Debbie Shickel, GRI

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