I’m a huge fan of continuing education in real estate and I think every agent should be taking advantage of the opportunities that exist. Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designations seem almost mandatory, and Real Estate BarCamps, Inman News’ Agent Reboot, and ActiveRain’s RainCamp offer great tools for learning about real estate technology.

However, sometimes it helps to step away from the real estate field when it comes to expanding your horizons.

Editor’s note: Geordie Romer is a real estate broker in the mountain town of Leavenworth, Wash. where he specializes in selling vacation homes to folks in the Seattle tech scene. Romer has been blogging about Leavenworth real estate since 2005.

I’m a huge fan of continuing education in real estate and I think every agent should be taking advantage of the opportunities that exist. Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designations seem almost mandatory, and Real Estate BarCamps, Inman News’ Agent Reboot, and ActiveRain’s RainCamp offer great tools for learning about real estate technology.

However, sometimes it helps to step away from the real estate field when it comes to expanding your horizons.

Here is a pair of FREE opportunities that every business owner (and agent) should take advantage of:

1. Inbound Marketing University: This course includes 16 one-hour online classes taught by "professors" ranging from Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuck to Rand Fishkin. There is a test at the end for those who want to have the professional certification.

2. The Personal MBA: Josh Kaufman’s manifesto is that you don’t need to pay $150,000 for a master’s degree in business administration — you just need to read the best books about business. You can sign up for discussions and extras or you can just work your way through the 99-book reading list.

As for business websites I think every business owner should know about? Check out this handful:

  • Unbounce: Everything you need to know about landing pages. I wish I had this resource when I first got started. If you aren’t reading Unbounce, you have no business trying to market on the Internet.
  • "It Starts with a Lead" B2B Lead Generation Blog: Real estate marketing is a lot like marketing in the business-to-business environment. It’s less about selling a product than it is about selling your experience, knowledge and service. That’s why Brian Carroll calls it "marketing for the complex sale."
  • Small Business Search Engine Marketing: Search engine optimization (SEO) for the little guy. Since Matt McGee’s wife is an agent, there’s always plenty here for the real estate crowd.
  • Marketing Sherpa: These folks study what works with online marketing and then report on it. From pay-per-click (PPC) to social media marketing (SMM) and e-mail, Marketing Sherpa is bound to help your return on investment (ROI).

How about you? Where have you found great education opportunities that weren’t from the school of hard knocks?

View the original blog post.

Future of Real Estate Marketing is a part of Inman News.

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