Seek to learn continuously wherever you are, whatever you’re doing.


– Gary W. Eldred, Ph D.


 

By Ernesto C. Perez II


 

SDJ has been a licensed real estate broker when I was still in high school. He’ll be celebrating his silver anniversary as a licensed real estate broker in 2013. When I became a licensed real estate broker in 2009 and joined the Muntinlupa Realtors Board (MUNREB), SDJ was one of the Trustees who welcomed us as colleagues, not competitors.

Since that time, SDJ has been an inspiration to me. He always offer pieces of advice and is never shy to share his insights and experience when it comes to brokerage practice and the ethics of brokering.

Through all the conversations I have had with SDJ, he manages to always stress one of the most important tenets every licensed real estate broker should remember: Real estate brokers should be life-long learners.

Never stop discovering and gathering new information and knowledge. It’s not about changing with the times but it is more of keeping up with the times – the information age, the internet and a host of other technologies. It’s about staying ahead of the curve, so to speak.

But this tenet is not merely confined to real estate service professionals. It applies to all other professions. For lawyers, we know this as the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) imposed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Under Republic Act No. 9646, popularly known as the “Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines” or simply RESA, this tenet is enshrined in the mandatory requirement for “Continuing Professional Education” (CPE) for license renewal.

The profession of a real estate broker is an amalgamation of different disciplines and fields of study. A real estate broker should have a working knowledge of basic principles of law, ecology, finance and economics, urban and rural planning and marketing, among others.

RESA forces us to be up to date with the latest developments that concern the real estate industry and our profession, in general. But this should not be the case.

On our own we should strive to improve and upgrade our knowledge base so that we can “level up” to a degree that distinguishes and separates us from other licensed real estate brokers.

However, let’s face it, there are numerous real estate brokers who treat the CPE as an obligation, an imposition and a money making venture. But, there are others who relish it and consider it as an opportunity to better themselves and their level of service to their clients.

I have fully embraced this tenet ever since my sophomore year in UP Diliman. Looking back, here are the things I did to foster and become a life-long learner:

Read the newspaper daily. UP engendered my awareness in politics. The broadsheets kept me abreast with current events especially when I was working for several politicians.

However, when I left my job at the Senate, I started to read only the business section of the newspaper. But there are days when I breeze through the main pages as well as the opinion pages if it impacts the business environment and our economy.

Politics in this country is so depressing and does not aid me to become financially independent. I watch the evening news and listen to the AM station in the morning. That is enough news for me.

Attend lectures, seminars, or symposia. I have attended more than a hundred lectures, seminars and symposia beginning the 1990s. Those important ones, I have reflected in my curriculum vitae.

I am not kidding you can check out my latest CV and see that more than half of it are a list of the lectures, seminars, conferences and short courses I invested in. I always treated the fees as investment on myself and not an expense.

And a number of seminars I have attended are not even connected with my being a lawyer or a real estate broker. Whatever interested me and would give me additional insight I attended.

Develop the habit of reading. My father is a voracious reader. I grew up surrounded by all types of books – literary, fictional, non-fiction, inspirational, biographical, historical, religious and legal, to name a few. However, it was only several years ago that I started to pick up on this habit to read a whole range of book types.

Just the other day, I started reading “An Economic History of the Philippines” by Prof. O.D. Corpuz just to get a better insight on how commerce progressed in the early days of our country under the Spanish and American Era.

To develop this habit of reading, I have set a goal to finish reading a minimum of one real estate book a month. It is exciting to anticipate what new things I will learn from the books authored by known real estate investors and professionals – Jorge Perez, Donald Trump, Sherry Schindler Price, etc. I encourage you to set the same goal as me.

The knowledge that is accumulated will best serve the real estate broker in terms of the service that he provides for his clients, how he treats his colleagues and fellow professionals, his community and ultimately our country.

Learning should be a life-long endeavor, not just for our profession, but for everything we do in life as well.

Move forward” is what Sumo wrestlers always say when interviewed after every match – even when they are defeated or win their match. Those words remind each wrestler that they have to continuously improve their skill, techniques and concentration.

This is so true. Think about it, you are only good as your last sale. You are only good as your last successful transaction.

The world is dynamic, not static. Dr. Eldred said “Everyone you know or meet has at one time or another bought, sold, rented, financed, remodeled, or invested in property. Learn from their experiences. Use that knowledge to generate ideas and improve your own performance.”

Being a life-long learner is not merely a must but is a necessity in this age and for other ages to come. I look to SDJ as my role model in this respect. He epitomizes what is to be a life-long learner. I salute him.

Are you a life-long learner as well? What’s preventing you from being one?