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Education, Experience, or Both?

Today, we are again honored to have Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D. — Florida International University (FIU) and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research as our guest blogger. To view other research from FIU, visit http://realestate.fiu.edu/. – The KCM Crew

The Research

What role does education play in producing a successful real estate agent?  This question has been debated for years.  However, there has been very little scientific investigation to this point into the role of education and its influence on success in the industry.  Anderson, Johnson and Jordan[1] are presently investigating this link, and though the results are preliminary, their findings strongly suggest that having an undergraduate college degree increases the likelihood of an agent being successful between 40% and 160%.

In its most basic form, the research’s statistical model defines success as an agent that produces more closed volume than 50% of all other brokers.  The role of a college degree increases even more dramatically, when success is defined as an agent that produces more closed volume than all but 5% of all other brokers.

Implications for Practice

The result from Anderson, Johnson and Jordan clearly indicates that having an undergraduate college degree goes a long way towards creating a successful agent.  The role of education, however, does not rule out or substitute for experience.  From a personal perspective, experience wins out over education when the two are pitted against one another.  On the other hand, combining experience with education produces the most capable agent — an agent who brings both their wealth of experience and the analytical ability to deal with new issues as they arise in the selling process.

Today, agents no longer have to choose between experience and education.  There are now a number of alternatives ranging from local colleges and universities that offer real estate programs and degrees to Realtor® University, which is presently developing a real estate curriculum, among other alternatives.  As a testimonial, I most strongly recommend higher education.  While still in full-time practice, I obtained an M.B.A. (concentrating in Finance).  After I graduated, my business volume jumped dramatically and a world of additional opportunities opened up for me.

Endnotes


[1] R.I. Anderson, K.H. Johnson, and R. Jordan.  Working Paper.  The Drivers of Success in the Real Estate Industry: What Part does a College Education Play.


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2 replies
  1. Chris Head
    Chris Head says:

    Great article! A similar article that specifically addresses Real Estate education and designations, not college, would be really interesting. There’s no doubt an MBA makes you better in the business world, but does it make you a better agent than someone with a CRS, GRI or other such designation? The providers of these designations have their statistics to sell their programs, but an outside unbiased study would be compelling. At what point does extra real estate education (beyond what’s required for CEs) equal or trump time in the business? We’ve all done business with someone who has been licensed for a long time, but is not up to date or knowledgeable on current affairs and practices.

    Reply

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