Real estate agents often complain that they aren’t regarded as professionals.
Seems as though they would like to have a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t (sorry, Aretha) ~ like physicians, CPAs, and attorneys?
hmmmmm . . . . I wonder if this might have something to do with how we in the real estate profession conduct ourselves?
Everyone and their cat now has a real estate license.
It’s way too easy to become a real estate agent.
Complete a few easy classes, memorize the answers to the test questions, take a simple exam, and presto, you too are a real estate agent!
According to recent statistics, we now have 1.4 MILLION real estate agents in the U.S.
In the Boise area, we have approximately 5,800 agents in our local MLS.
Those agents average fewer than five sales a year and most don’t even earn a living wage.
Training in the real estate profession is, well . . . shall we (charitably) say “lacking”?
In many brokerage companies, it’s more like non-existent.
Many brokers will hire anyone with a pulse, put them on a 50/50 commission split, then slap them on the back and tell them “Go get ‘em kid!”.
The predictable outcome is that the hapless new agent, if they’re lucky, will make a few sales to friends and relatives before dropping out of real estate (up to 90% of all new agents leave the business within two years).
That revolving-door business model works pretty well for the broker, but what about the profession and the unsuspecting clients of those new agents?
Then, there’s the abundance of real estate trainers who provide eager new agents their “sales secrets” that include scripted, memorized “closing techniques” designed to create artificial urgency and persuade clients to sign on the dotted line.
Speaking of goofy sales tactics, I still remember hearing Tommy Hopkins preaching, in a 1974 Sunnyvale, California seminar, that I should drive around my neighborhood at Halloween, handing out pumpkins with “List With Phil” tags rubber-banded to the stems.
(It didn’t work, and I had to go back and clean up the smashed pumpkins the neighborhood kids threw into the street ~ with my name on them).
On a more positive note, physicians, CPAs, and attorneys could learn a thing or three about marketing from real estate agents.
Those respected professionals have yet to realize that they could attract legions of new clients by distributing refrigerator magnets, calendars, and ghost-written newsletters with recipes.
I’m curious ~ have you ever listed your home with a real estate agent because they gave you a calendar?
Maybe it’s just me, but I still cling to the quaint notion that people choose their agent for logical reasons like experience, competence, diligence, and responsive service.
Not to mention the fact that I have listed many homes that had another agent’s refrigerator magnet or calendar in plain sight.
The bottom line?
Real estate agents have earned the disrespect of the public through their conduct.
When they start acting like professionals and put their clients’ interests of their own, they will be regarded as professionals.
It’s all about the client; not the agent!
P.S. Before you agents out there start getting your shorts in a knot, take a deep breath and please understand that I am not talking about ALL real estate agents; just the ones who haven’t figured out how to master their profession, provide stellar service, and put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.