I have always been a fan of continuing education. I have taken many courses over the years, from Project Marketing;
to Advertising; to Computer Networks; to many real estate related courses. Of course the bulk of these courses are
1 to 3 days in duration. They are really just little tune-ups - not major overhauls.
In 1996 that changed and I decided to take a very difficult 2 year Site Planning course at UBC. I had been employed
in the real estate consultancy field for well over 20 years and decided that it would be interesting to see if I
knew what I was talking about. It turned out that I did but there where also many issues of which I was unaware.
This was my first real example that it isn't so important what your consultant knows as it is important that he
understands what he doesn't know. The knowledge of the questions that you don't know the answer to is very important
and even more important for a realtor who is continually being asked for advice. Being able to advise my clients of
potential pitfalls, even if I don't know the solution, is a very valuable service. As long as you know what the
questions are, you can always find someone with the correct answer. Not knowing the question is always the problem.
Before I finished the Site Planning course I enrolled in the four year Urban Land Economics Diploma Programme at UBC.
Taking 6 years of continuing education while working full time is a very challenging project which I am proud to say
that I completed with flying colours. The Urban Land Economics course is so broad and indepth that graduates are not
required to write an exam to get their real estate license. The Urban Land Economics course devotes a complete book
to subjects that the real estate licensing course devotes just one chapter.
Selling a house isn't like selling a used car. The house should sell itself. The realtor should be selling the price.
I will give your specific instructions on how to stage your house so it will sell. That may include some painting and
clean up. It may even include renting a storage space and taking some furniture out of the house. The idea being to
present the house at its absolute best - without spending a bunch of money doing that.
My job is to let every potential buyer know that your house is for sale and be able to show that the price is very
competitive. If the Buyer knows that the price is competitive, it is much more likely that the offers will be close
to list price. Which is obviously what you want as a Seller.
On the flip side, if I am working for you as a Buyer's Agent, my job is to see if the house that you are interested
in is over priced and use that information to try to get you the best deal possible. That is the value of continuing
education and Urban Land Economics in particular. That is why I advertise the RI after my name - to signify my
professional membership in the Real Estate Institute of BC which acknowledges my experience and education in the real
Thanks for reading.
Cliff McCool, RI