Today’s episode is the second part of a three-part series that highlights some of the major NAR programs being offered. The Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) program explores professionalism and its application to professional life. Monica and Hagan talk about some key points of professionalism, as well as breaking down the way the assessments work. All of this is so we can improve excellence in our own lives as well as in the industry!

The Commitment to Excellence program came from a strategic planning aim to look at what the REALTORS® of the future would look like. Professionalism needed to increase across the association across the country, to continue to keep the industry strong. C2EX is the initiative that gives members a voluntary pathway to the highest level of professionalism in ten key areas of the business. There have been 19,000 members that have signed up so far.

The program was designed for REALTORS® at any skill level to come in and learn key points from the ten areas. When you first take an assessment, the program puts together a personalized learning path based on the knowledge you already have and the knowledge you need to gain from the ten areas to be endorsed. Monica and Hagan talk about some of the specifics of the quiz, and why it’s important to have an open mindset while working through it.

Whenever they present the C2EX program, there is an influx of people who sign up for the program. A key part of the story is marketing and letting people know about it. People seem to enjoy the assessment to figure out strengths and weaknesses, and these assessments could also be done in a large group, focusing on each person’s result. It can be an important tool for team building.

One of the goals of the C2EX program is raising the bar and raising the goals for REALTORS® around the country. Professionalism is all thinking about the end user and being prepared in each action to make sure the transaction goes smoothly. Some of the traits that C2EX covers are: trust & integrity, client service, and professional reputation. It is meant to help improve everyone in the profession, not just those who are new.

Client service includes making sure the client has a copy of all the documents they should’ve signed and going over the contract with them. Communication is another aspect of professionalism. Getting to know which communication medium your client prefers will go a long way. Take the time to understand how your client best communicates and use that throughout the process. It is also helpful to have one day a week, or something set in stone, to catch the client up on what happened that week.

Reputation is another facet of professionalism. We don’t often get a chance to redeem ourselves when it comes to our reputation, but you have to keep it in mind so that you keep it untarnished. We have our experience, time, and reputation to offer for our clients. Having a good reputation in your market positively impacts the experience of your client. To manage your reputation online, be careful about what you post. You represent your clients in addition to just yourself. You want to make sure your reputation paints you as someone who is considerate, someone who understands our code of ethics.

The Commitment to Excellence program is split into smaller sections, so you can tackle them one at a time. It becomes a lifelong learning tool. You may receive a notification to retake a certification if something in that realm has changed.

Trust and integrity are incredibly important for professionalism. Our clients trust us with one of the largest financial transactions they will have in their lives. As agents, we need to look for ways to build trust by staying on top of communication, being prepared, and sharing all options with your client. Put building trust at the forefront of your decision-making when it comes to your client. You also want to develop a sense of trust with your clients, so they feel like you’ve also listened to them.

Hagan and Monica discuss some final thoughts on professionalism. Some of the things Hagan does are to connect with the REALTOR® when an offer is coming through, and also make sure that your voicemail reflects you as a professional. When it comes down to it, be respectful of your other colleagues in the business. We’re all working toward the same end goal for our clients.

Log into to take the C2EX assessment: login to www.C2EX.realtor. Choose to be the best you can be in the business. This program will help you sustain your business in a professional manner!

About Hagan Stone

Hagan Stone, REALTOR®, ABR, CRS, affiliate broker of Parks in Brentwood, is 2019 President-Elect for Tennessee REALTORS®.

A veteran of 19 years in real estate, Hagan has previously served as Secretary-Treasurer (2018) and Division 2 Vice President (2015–16) for Tennessee REALTORS®, and President of Greater Nashville REALTORS® (2014). He is a recipient of the Nashville Emerging Leader Award for RE Services (2014) and a graduate of NAR Leadership Academy (2010).

Locally, Hagan also has chaired multiple committees including Professional Development, RPAC/Legislative, and Nominating, and he was named REALTOR® of the Year in 2010. On the state level, Hagan’s leadership positions have included RPAC Trustees Vice Chair (2014). Nationally, he has chaired NAR’s RPAC Fundraising Trustees (2017) and its Leadership Academy (2015), among other roles.

When it comes to his approach to real estate, Hagan credits his father’s influence. “He has been a small-business owner and entrepreneur for more than fifty years. The greatest lessons he has taught me have been accepting hard work, taking leaps of faith and never settling for the status quo.”

Born in Nashville, reared in Clarksville — which he considers home — and a 24-year Nashville resident, Hagan is a proud Tennessean who also loves to travel and experience different cultures and customs.

He is a 1996 graduate of Belmont University with a bachelor’s in Communications Studies and a minor in History. He and his wife, Laura (a nurse practitioner at St. Thomas West), are the parents of Catherine, 14, and Dawson, 13.