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Texas broker takes issue with real estate licensing standards

Minimum licensing requirements

For years, real estate professionals have battled issues of perception by media and consumers and are equated with used car sales people. Although the perception has improved in recent years with the rise of social networking which has helped real estate professionals to be humanized, it is still a challenge.

Texas Broker David Winans and Associates of Better Homes and Gardens took issue with this very topic and created the video below (watch now, you won’t regret it):

Mark McDonough, VP of Marketing and Business Development said, “The minimum hiring requirements we have are less like rigid rules and more of guidelines and questions we ask ourselves before making a decision on a Realtor. We’re tired of the “breathe on a mirror, and you’re in” approach to hiring that way too many real estate companies practice.”

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We asked what their own hiring practices were and how they were tacking the issue. McDonough said, “Two of the top things we look for are a professional background and a personality match to our company culture. A professional background can be proven in a few ways, it can be shown by a track record of success in corporate America, or proven production in the real estate industry. A history of success isn’t enough all by itself though, we need to believe they will represent our company in a positive light to BOTH consumers and other members of the real estate community.”

How do they uphold quality?

McDonough told us, “How agents work with other members of the real estate industry is incredibly important to both our hiring standards and firing standards. To monitor this, we send out a survey to every single coop agent that we close a transaction with asking questions like: Did our associate return phone calls in a timely manor? Accuracy of contracts and paperwork? Did our associate have a professional demeanor? etc. Also, in order to monitor how our agents work with clients, we are members of QSC which is an independent 3rd party that surveys each client our associates close a transaction with.”

What about you and your broker?

What is your broker doing to exceed the minimum licensing requirements in your state and how is your broker enforcing professionalism and quality and pushing for excellence?

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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.



  1. herman chan

    May 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

    hey david! great job. say hi to your family for me!

  2. Terri y

    May 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I think each independent office is responsible for their company's reputation. Realtors are salesmen and women in the housing market, they are not lawyers or doctors. I never heard of anyone looking down on the real estate agent, look how far it got Donald Trump. We sell houses, we don't design them. Though I applaud his passion for his profession, he really should use that energy on doing his job instead of telling others how to do theirs.

  3. Michael McClure

    May 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm


    Provocative post.

    Raising the bar is definitely the answer.

    That's why we did all this:

    And here are the standards we have for our company, which we believe to be the highest in the industry in America, if not the world:


  4. Rocky

    May 27, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Terriy if all you do is "sell houses" I would hate to have you as my agent.

    In Ohio even appraiser have to go through 3000 hours of apprentice ship.

  5. Anand

    May 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

    It is definitely time to raise the bar in real estate, for the sake of the profession. It is sad, in Florida there are talks of making the state broker exam EASIER.

  6. Cara

    May 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The requirements for licensed realtors are far too lenient and it’s nice to see someone addressing this. When I am making the biggest purchase of my life I want someone on my side who is educated in the business and will ensure that I am making a good decision for my lifestyle and also financially. I appreciate that David Winans holds his company to a higher standard then the rest of the industry.

  7. Rick Young

    May 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    The is absolutely dead on. We need to raise the standards for agents in this profession.

  8. Elizabeth

    May 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    David's company hires great people and holds them accountable to high standards of conduct. This is not true of everyone in the profession, even though Realtors are assisting a client in what may be the biggest and most important purchase or sale of their life. Realtors also deal with people who are under a great deal of emotional and financial stress, and they need good education to be the best kind of trusted advisor to their clients. I was surprised to see how low the hours required are for the profession, and I applaud David for his thought leadership regarding Realtor education.

  9. Ryan

    May 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Great video and I completely agree! I definitely think the reputation of real estate agents as a whole needs to be improved.

    @Terri – There are a lot of great realtors our there but there are also so many bad ones which do give the reputation as an annoying used car salesmen reputation. I've been so turned off by many agents that I wont even go to open houses anymore. As a broker, not an agent, it seems like this guy is doing his job!

    I certainly don't think this video is actually suggesting realtors go to school for 11 years. I think they are just pointing out the reason there are so many bad ones is because anybody can become one. I think they are just looking improve the standards not the actual education requirements.

    Great job!

  10. Sue Chin

    May 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    All you have to do is be in a transaction with an agent who has no clue what they're doing to realize what David is suggesting is way past due.

  11. Chase Pinkston

    May 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Wow! I thought it was easy to become a loan officer. This is good to know. Manicurist is no longer my back up plan.
    They should definitely make it harder to become a realtor (and loan officer for that matter). It takes a college degree to complete most appraisals.

  12. Linda

    May 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    While there are many reasons to be proud to be a real estate professional, there are often times I am embarrassed by the behavior or business practices of another agent. I can't help but feel that higher standards industry-wide would be a good thing. We seem to battle every day against a negative public perception of our profession. More education and stricter hiring practices would let the world know that we care about providing excellent service, and most importantly- we take very seriously the trust they have placed in us when they hire us.

  13. Rita Willingham

    May 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    More education is needed in this line of work.
    We are helping people make one of their biggest decisions. Those agents who have their CRS know
    how really important more education is when considering the why and how we do this business.

  14. nic

    May 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    reminds me of the friend of mine who once said "well if i can't get a real job, i'll just become a realtor."

    i've never worked in real estate, and i honestly had no idea it took so little training. i guess i figured if they're dealing with 10s if not 100s of thousands of my dollars, they would actually have to take time learning how to do that properly.

    interesting video, for sure! keep 'em coming!

  15. Terri y

    May 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    @Rocky – First of all, it requires More education to be an appraiser, as it is a certification beyond sales. I was not hostile in my response to the video, yet your response to my comments, may prove Dave's point, as maybe people skills 101 should be added…..

    @ Ryan- Understood. I know the kinds of Realtors you are talking about. I am selling a house ( my house) with an Agent my husband chose, but her methods to get me to sign with her, I found to be un ethical. I believe that there should be continued education that covers a wide range of courses to include people skills, and thinking outside the box. But to change licensing requirements isn't going to change the perception of Realtors, there's always going to be one bad apple in a bunch .. it's not the plaque on the wall that defines the Realtor, it's our results and referrals. It's continued education and experience that refines and sculpts a student into a professional.

  16. David Winans

    May 31, 2011 at 9:15 am

    …and with Terri Y's last comments I rest my case. It will be up to the professional REALTORS currently in our industry that can come together to make this happen..let's do it!

  17. Lainie Ramsey

    May 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I think David Winans is spot on with this information! A real estate transaction is quite possibly the largest purchase most people will ever make… and assisting you is someone that has less education than a hair stylist?? Standards should be raised to weed out those that are not dedicated and educated enough to represent clients in such an important business transaction.

  18. Chris Johnson

    August 24, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Of course. Of course entrenched agents (most of whom are terrible) want to create licensing requirmeents to keep others out.

    Deprive others of freedom.

    The only reasons:

    1. Personal cowardice. Afraid of innovation. UBER changed the taxi industry. Nothing has changed real estate – yet.
    2. Sloth: Don’t want to fight the new breed or work to show leadership.
    3. Bad Salesmanship: If agents educated the public on why experience matters, this would be a 100% non issue.

    Any agent who bellieves this way is harming the public. Their license should be immediately revoked because they have demonstrated – factually – that they do not know how to do their job.

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