Hating the Tree
This week I was delivering a lecture on Agency Law. For those who have read my posts before, you know that to say I’m not a fan of Dual Agency, is to put it mildly. My warnings against this type of practice are founded in the overwhelming evidence that it’s an open door to litigious pursuits, as well as personal convictions that it is rarely in the client’s best interest. At the end of this lecture several agents thanked me for the risk reduction ideas and the evaluations were great – however, there was one (there always is) agent who was very offended. She has been practicing real estate for nearly as long as I’ve been alive and was very clear that many steps are taken to insure that could represent both sides. She advised me that it was agents, such as I, that were ruining this business and were making it too complicated.
At the end of the conversation, I could feel my frustration with the industry start to swell. I began to write a ranting post about the simple-mindedness of some agents and how I can’t wait till they… Well, you can imagine what I was going to write.
Then I remembered this quote from Malcolm X from 1965: “You can’t hate the roots of a tree, and not hate the tree.” Oh how often I’ve hated the tree’s root. However, the real estate industry has given much to me and my family. Our clients often become friends and repeat clients. We love most of the people we work with both as clients and other practitioners.
The Vocal Minority, Is Still a Minority
It seems to me that many of us who blog about Real Estate take aim at the agents who think differently than us. We often talk about agents in the collective, as if we weren’t part of the industry. However, my experience has been that most agents try hard and work for their client’s best interest. It’s those who do not put their client’s interests first or refuse to change with the industry that happen to stand out. They are the agents who refuse to learn technology, current trends or embrace change. They will always be there but, their voice and influence is diminishing.
Other agents may rant against the more progressive agents, as they play solitaire on floor duty, spend their day gossiping with other agents and wondering why they no longer have the market influence they once had. So why then, do we spend so much time worrying about this group? Because, they can make us look bad, they can be a barrier to us serving our clients well and they can be annoying.
Continue To Be Industry Changers
In the 90’s there was a great commercial from Apple about “Think Different”. I know that many of us have had Brokers or other agents, maybe leaders; who looked down upon us for our thoughts about the industry. I’m not thinking just of the technology or Social Media. Maybe it’s your own thought of how to market, agency issues or brokerage model. Maybe it’s your stance on single agency, presenting your own offers to the sellers of that new al la cart ting you’ve just started. Whatever it is, stick with it until YOU’RE satisfied that it’s not effective. The greatest changes in society and world have come from those who didn’t think as the rest.