I know it’s the information age, but we’re standing around naked. We’ve given the public access to everything we’ve got. Realtors used to be the keepers of the information. Now we’ve given it all away. The data that I pay for, the memberships, the classes, the ongoing education, all of that information is available across the www. Consuming and understanding all of it is another thing; buyers and sellers – and of course, those thousands who got their licenses to become the next Trump – try to absorb that galaxy of data. But it’s all there for the taking. How many clients have you worked with that have confidently told you how to write an offer?
In my client interview I ask what experiences they’ve had, if any, with a real estate agent. Has a friend told them of any experience they’ve had? This past weekend is one of the few times I’ve heard a consumer say, “I really like the agent that sold my house. We became good friends and talk every week or so.” Most often, their eyes light up with delight to tell me their uncle’s cousin’s brother bought a lemon and is still in litigation.
My lawyer client and I had a discussion today about who’s lower on the food chain: Realtors or attorneys.
We decided it’s used car salesmen.
By allowing under-qualified, unprofessional agents into the community we’ve allowed them to make us appear to be bottom suckers. There are no real requirements to take the exam. When I took it, the exam hadn’t been updated in years. There was a formula: If the question is X, the answer is C. If the question has Mary Jones in it, the answer is B.
Once the exam is passed, there’s no on-the-job training or apprenticeship. When I was green, I went to my broker, scared to death. “What do I do? How do I do it?” He said, “Go find a client. We’ll tell you what to do.” “WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding me.” At least I had the brains to know that I didn’t know squat and I needed to find out before I took someone’s savings and advised them to buy 3-Mile Island.
The NAR is so proud to tout that there’s 1 billion sold. Quantity doesn’t equate to quality. How about half that number of educated, qualified, professional, knowledgeable, caring, trustworthy, honest individuals.
Every time I see a Realtor advertising as caring, trustworthy, and honest, I have to laugh. If your client can’t figure that out on their own, your telling them isn’t going to make them believe it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the next marketing blow-out from NAR – especially after “Real estate is our life.” I can see it now: One billion Realtors. We care. We’re trustworthy and honest too!