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Op/Ed

Don’t discourage the next generation of real estate agents

It has become predictable that real estate agents will discourage the next generation – here’s why it happens and how we can collectively stop this ignorant behavior.

Woman and man in real estate

There is a timeless conversation that happens in the real estate industry every day of every year regarding new agents. It has become annoyingly predictable.

Someone says something along the lines of, “I’m taking my real estate exam this week, do you have any advice?” If it’s on social media (where everyone’s opinion matters), there will be a few helpful tips, but the inevitable agents who say, “keep your day job.”

That’s your advice? Keep your day job?

They say it either in humor, with a sense of superiority, or with deep cynicism, none of which are helpful to a future agent, a person who may soon be on the other side of the transaction from you, a human who may sit next to you at your brokerage.

But why does this attitude persist in the industry?

Some discourage as a joke, perhaps of imposition of their own lack of self-confidence, but yet a handful mean it in earnest. They’ve been across the table from a new agent that was poorly prepared before, and from that point on, they believe all agents are awful. How ignorant.

A friend of mine recently got his real estate license, and he asked in a Facebook Group if anyone had any tips for the exam. Most of them just said to be confident, but several told him not to bother. Again, not helpful because he’s already taken the classes and is already at the exam stage.

But even less helpful because this is someone with their MBA from Stanford. I’m pretty sure real estate will be a cakewalk for him, but thanks for the “helpful” snarky advice.

Stop being a jerk and discouraging the next generation of agents. Whether they have their MBA from Stanford or went to the school of hard knocks matters not. Everyone is equal on Day One after the exam, starting from scratch, and hoping for the best. Sure, studies indicate a high failure rate, but why carry such a terrible attitude around? And why impose it on others?

As an industry, when we see people cynically push new agents away, we must each speak up.

We must encourage others and offer to help. Do better. If they’re not in your market, offer to mentor them (it stands to be much more personal than a broker-agent relationship and they’re not your competitor if they’re in another city).

Share useful resources with them. Offer meaningful encouragement, like how you felt in your first year – your insecurities, your failures, and your wins.

No one is saying to gloss over the fact that some agents suck and really should find another profession.

But enough of the blanket discouragements, they make you look like the weak person in the equation, not the person striving to improve their career and enter a new profession.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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