I have never heard anyone say that the bar is set too high and that it is too hard to become a Realtor. Take a few classes, pass a test, get a license, pay your dues to the National Association of Realtors and you are a Realtor. It all takes two to six weeks, depending upon which state issues the real estate license.
Getting a real estate license and becoming a Realtor are easy. A person who just got a real estate license probably is not qualified to write a purchase agreement, and many would not even know how (I know I didn’t).
Then there is the whole NAR thing. Yes, we are held to a higher standard. I don’t think I even read up on what that was all about until I had been in the business for a couple of years. There is no initiation into the NAR, and anyone who has a license and can pay the dues is a member. I am not even sure I understood what I was a member of, or even that I was a member.
Now that the housing market has become so challenging, I have heard industry veterans claim that the "bad agents" will be weeded out because there isn’t enough business, and now that things have gotten so much tougher those "bad agents" will crash and burn.
Sadly, I don’t think the economy or the housing market will weed out any more bad agents than it does good agents. The bar to entry into the business remains very low, and success or failure is based on sales ability, the ability to find clients, and money management skills — not on ethics or professionalism.
It is a self-eliminating profession. People who don’t make enough money at it quit — few ever get thrown out unless they do something illegal.
I like to think that the agents who don’t do a very good job won’t get any repeat business, but doing a good or a bad job is in the eye of the beholder. I have met some agents who have made my life a living hell, but in the eyes of their clients they are still the best.
We all have buyers or sellers who don’t like us, but life goes on and so does our business. It isn’t like other businesses, where it costs less to keep clients than it does to find new ones. In fact, it is actually cheaper to find new clients than it is to keep old ones.
The bar is being lowered in our industry every day, as agents scramble to make a buck. There are more agents than ever who refuse to return a phone call. …CONTINUED