Vail Daily column: How important is Realtor education? |

Vail Daily column: How important is Realtor education?

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan,

How important is it that my Realtor keep going to real estate classes all of the time? It seems that lately when I try to locate him, he texts me back that he is in a real estate class, or about to go into one. Now that I think about it, he has often told me that for the last 10 months I have been working with him. Is there that much to keep learning? There can’t be that many real estate laws changing every year, is there? Is he just using education as an excuse for skiing, golfing and playing? I am beginning to think that he thinks that is his best excuse for not being available. Please give me your thoughts. Thanks.

Dear Suspicious, ​

You have made some​ very interesting comments. Let’s talk about ​education, ​staying on the cutting edge, planning​ and trust. ​I am answering your question late at night, because I was in the annual Colorado Association of Realtor’s 4 hour mandatory update class today, and it jammed up all my other work I had scheduled. ​So, yes, we do have continuing education, but no, it does not have to take up more than 12 hours per year. That being said, many of us go to many seminars, conventions and special classes for the ever changing environment we live and work in. And yes, the listing contracts are changed and updated every two years and during the odd years the purchase contract is modified. We have to keep up to speed on lending laws and practices, as well as changed real estate laws. The last several years we have had to be educated on everything from wildfire mitigation to the possible dangers of drywall damage and mold from humid, illegal marijuana grows in homes, not to mention the ever changing internet and social media marketing techniques. Many of us Realtors sell residential, commercial, ranch land and luxury properties. Therefore, we also go to separate classes and conferences to network and learn the latest marketing tips and tricks to help expedite the sale of our clients’ various types of properties. We also study to stay up on possible tax law changes, such as the proposed change that might abolish the 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange law, that could affect a lot of large purchases and sales. If Realtors are not planning their time to always incorporate continuing education with their full work schedule, then they are doing a disservice to their clients, both Buyers and Sellers. It is a different issue, however, if you simply suspect or know your agent is telling you stories to avoid assisting you. Trust is paramount in any successful working relationship. Therefore, it might be time for a frank discussion with him and/or time for a new Realtor to represent you. Best of luck.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or