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REALTOR most despised – an open letter to the industry

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img-credit-fairportweb.jpgOriginally published October 20, 2007: First of all, not all Realtors fall into a category of “disliked,” in fact, I would imagine that the reason Realtors rank so highly with consumers in polls is because the one-on-one relationships overlook shortcomings. Maybe you are self-important, always on your cell phone in public, pacing up and down the outdoor patio of the Starbucks, speaking loudly about how you’re not going to put up with a builder who lags behind lending in a quick closing process (I observed this yesterday).

I would imagine that your client can look beyond your need to wear make-up as if you were about to appear on broadway. I am sure your clients really don’t mind the pounds of hairspray it takes to prop up your 1980s hairdo in the wind and high humidity.

Never mind that you roll up in a brand new Lexus next to your first time buyer’s 1987 honda civic hatchback, and are dressed to the hilt- I’m sure they’ll let that go easily when they look to you for advice on how to manage 10% down when they only have 5%. I’m sure the ease in which they can sit around the bare living room of a vacant home and confess their credit ills is like butter for them- you’re so approachable.

I am sure the buyer & seller looking to you for moral support believes you when you say “I’m here for you,” even though you answer every cell call in a five minute period while they’re trying to open up to you about their buying & selling anxieties (not to mention your inability to answer or return their calls for days following their contract signing).

I’m sure the tenant whose lease home is being sold by the owner appreciates your calls during dinner to inform them the house they’ve rented for 3 years is for sale (duh) and asks you “why in the world would you be a renter?” I know consumers understand you’re a busy agent and you’re simply calling with this newsflash at your convenience- at least you thought enough of them, right?

Sometimes, I’m just embarrassed at the behavior of those agents I would normally make excuses for. Sitting in that Starbucks watching Miss Dallas 1972 pace back and forth beside me yelling at people on her cell phone in complete disregard for the consumers that were looking on (go ahead, take another drag of that capri menthol 120 light cigarette as you make yet one more call) at you in utter disgust. Thank you for reminding each caller that you’re a Realtor who works only on referrals (it’s obvious that’s the only business you could attract- maybe).

Thank you for humiliating me and my chosen profession. As you were so important to no one but yourself, I watched people laugh at you behind your back. I sank in my chair for you- should I jump up and stop you? Should I embarrass you the way you embarrassed all of us for the better part of an hour- the consumer looking in? How about you check your look just one more time in the reflection of the Starbucks window- you’re so important.

Maybe I am being mean…

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 20, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Absolutely brilliant – Definitely on the same page as I am. Thank you.

  2. Reuben Moore

    October 20, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    IMO, if we had real standards in this business we would see less of this. Either at the licensing level or at the er, REALTOR® level. The big-haired irony is that, as it stands today, it’s far easier to get a real estate license than it is to get a license to cut hair. I mean really, what else could these guys do for a living???

    So for now, this has to be addressed at the firm level. Just don’t hire them….

  3. Chris Lengquist

    October 20, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Benn, how do you know when a woman in Texas has “big hair”? Sorry – that was a cheap shot.

    But so was your posting. And I liked it. I once heard a guy say the reason he got into real estate was to piss off the town’s top agent who he described as a chain-smoking-cadillac-driving-nonstop-talking-100 year old lady. It was hilarious.

    And your point about the car is hilarious as well. I’ve seen agents get so uptight about their car thinking they have to have that status car to make people think they are successful. And I’m thinking “BUT YOUR CLIENTS ARE IN THE $150$200 CATEGORY…THEY AIN’T DRIVING THOSE EITHER!!!”

    Anyway, I have to go. My double mocha with a squirt of carmel, goat-milk with paprika, extra tall latte is almost finished? I hope I have $10 for this beverage.

  4. Chris Lengquist

    October 20, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    And by the way. I love the G-Love tab. But don’t you also need & Special Sauce?

  5. Cindy

    October 20, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    A few months ago while standing in a check out line I heard a rather loud man discussing in unpleasant &^%* words a client of his. I turned around and there for everyone to see was the name of the real estate brokerage he worked for. Oh please. I wonder how much business he lost for his company that day?

  6. Benn Rosales

    October 20, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Cindy, I know exactly who this agent is, she yelled her name several times, and also her company. That was the only good thing to come of it- folks knew what brokerage recruited from the trailor park. Unfortunately, for the profession, the damage is done.

  7. Benn Rosales

    October 21, 2007 at 1:17 am

    Benn, how do you know when a woman in Texas has “big hair”? Dallas, Houston = land of the big hair, any big hair you see here is a transplant or in real estate or both.

    This isn’t just about the ladies either. There is actually a top producer here who male, and has had enough plastic surgery to – well, I don’t know, just keep the ac on low. His mail order brider, mixed with his southern preacher style of selling is a powerful turnoff combination.

  8. Norm Fisher

    October 21, 2007 at 1:55 am

    You’re not being mean. You’d be doing her a huge favour if you found a way to get this post to her.

    While every profession has its share of idiots, agents are the worst for loudmouthing on a mobile phone.

    Don’t get me starting on taking calls during client meetings. They may say they don’t mind, but 95% of the time they think you’re a real jackass. The rest of the world can get by without you for a flippin’ hour folks!

  9. Jeff Brown

    October 21, 2007 at 3:02 am

    What’s big hair?

  10. Benn Rosales

    October 21, 2007 at 3:13 am

    Jeff, the exact opposite of what’s on your head, baldone!

  11. Benn Rosales

    October 21, 2007 at 3:13 am

    Norm- no, in fact, I aim to get you started!

  12. ines

    October 21, 2007 at 4:27 am

    flipping hilarious!! Thanks for the good laugh and for reminding us what to look forward to every day in this business. I love Real Estate!

  13. Laurie Manny

    October 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    Hilarious! Every town has it’s share of these. I want to know how to get them to stop admiring themselves in the mirror or window glass while they are screaming into their cell phones.

  14. Norm Fisher

    October 22, 2007 at 1:17 am

    Thank you Benn. I will be in touch.

  15. monika

    October 22, 2007 at 2:57 am

    I recognize some of them here in NH too. Thanks for laugh!

  16. Thomas Johnson

    October 22, 2007 at 3:15 am

    Benn: Now I know why my cell phone has that little video camera in it. Snap, Click-off to youtube, (and my listing presentation?)!

  17. Benn Rosales

    October 22, 2007 at 3:17 am

    Thomas, you know what, I was tempted, but there’s that whole legal thing.

  18. Sue

    July 10, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    From Mariana’s penguin post to here, so funny. I guess every town has Realtors like this. Actually I’ve seen them surface over night after one sale!

  19. Downtown Vancouver Realtor

    November 13, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    In every game there are players that suck and players that are good.

    The question you have to ask is why are people hiring realtors like this?

  20. Bill Lublin

    July 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Nothing to say but 😉

  21. Jim Gilbert

    July 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    There are those who have an inflated sense of self-importance. I delight in finding those who actually do their jobs and put their clients first.

  22. Ian Greenleigh

    July 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Thank God they have WiFi in my tanning booth, because this was hilarious. I have my face on every urinal cake in every Bennigan’s from here to El Paso, and I won’t stop now.

  23. Bill Cobb

    July 27, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Here’s the Kicker Here! Do you actually think that Agent that shows up dressed to kill, with their 6% entitlement mentality, is going to smear that makeup with perspiration by actually measure the home they want to “professionally” represent to a buyer? A buyer that’s going to pay $140/sf, where a 200sf error means the buyer could be overpaying by $28,000?

    Let me ask this question: When is the proper time period in a home sale transaction to get the physical information about the home’s size correct, during the listing appointment or after the purchase agreement has been written and the appraiser shows up to tell all parties that the home wasn’t measured and the subject is actually 200sf smaller than represented by the listing agent? The Listing Agent is Duty Bound to get it right during their initial appointment – that’s part of what they get paid 6% to do, accurately represent the home. 6% of An Average $225,000 sale is a whopping $13,500. The seller has their bags packed, is moving, has a purchase agreement on a another home that hinges on their current home closing at the selling price. Then the P.A. has to be renegotiated all because the home wasn’t measured by the agent. Or, the agent simply chose to copy the previous MLS listings and not even updating the new listing. How did the current Real Estate Industry ever become so sloppy? What I see happening is these new rookie agents are being trained to skip several important steps along with way and think you’re nuts when you remind them of how it’s supposed to be done. Actually measure a home?…..that’s beneath some. Of course, I’m not describing the entire NAR here. In my market, about 25% of them are truly professionals, care about their clients and accurately represent a home. Thank God for these few!

  24. Free Real Estate Agent Training Videos

    July 27, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Wow, what an interesting blog post. It should give some real estate agents some pause. Luckily, there are a lot of quality realtors out there. Kudos!

  25. hermanchan.com

    November 7, 2010 at 2:43 am

    exCUSE you benn! those were not capri menthol lites. i was puffing on benson & hedges lites! Get it right, will ya! 😉

  26. Paul Francis

    November 7, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Living in Vegas… it’s not just the occasional Realtor that acts like this..

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Opinion Editorials

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