The coursework, in most instances, helps real estate professionals stay on top of trends, discover new techniques, keep abreast of financial changes, and enhance their marketing knowledge. So...while many real estate professionals would say that continuing education can be a hassle at times, others would agree the information is extremely valuable and gives them a leg up on the competition.
In New South Wales, the Office of Fair Trading requires that all swimming pool builders and builders earn 12 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points; builders must earn these 12 points in a 12 month period. If you're a builder and you don't keep your points current, you can lose your license.
It's tempting to view getting building CPD points as a monumental pain - one more thing to worry about during the long hours you put in at the job site. However, taking a slightly different approach to builders CPD can help you and your business. First, it's reasonable to expect builders to improve their skills and knowledge - so they help themselves and help the people and businesses that rely on builders. Also - there's a weeding out process: the CPD requirement can keep unscrupulous and/or lazy builders from trading.
Being a builder can be extremely hard work. You must develop specific knowledge and skills. You have to produce consistently excellent results. And then you have to run a business and take care of finding and hiring subcontractors plus tackle marketing, insurance, accounting...it all piles up quickly and what's supposed to be an 8 hour day Monday to Friday becomes weeks and weeks of 12 hour days.
To their credit, the NSW Office of Fair Trading has organised the building CPD courses based on recommendations from its 'Consultative Reference Group' and this group includes industry members. The group recommends topics to the Director General who makes a final decision about the topics. The goal is to provide ongoing CPD education that will help, not hurt, builders.
Let's take a look at a few of the modules that can be taken.
Meeting Management. We all know that meetings can take forever and achieve nothing - wasting valuable time. This module provides a framework to make meetings shorter and massively more productive.
Business Structures. Successful business owners know how to structure their business - often to minimise tax (legally, of course). There are several other benefits to the different business structures.
Effective Quoting. Quoting a project can be extremely difficult. You have to be accurate so you make money on the project AND supply a competitive price. This module takes the guesswork out of quoting.
There are three options when it comes to builders CPD points in New South Wales.
- You can ignore the points altogether and take the risk of losing your license.
- You can get the points but not really pay any attention to the learning materials.
- You can get your points and benefit significantly from the materials so that you improve your business.
Needless to say, the most successful builders in New South Wales pursue option #3