OpinionIndustry News

What to do about real estate newbies

Perspective: Lawmakers, brokers, associations, license schools, media at fault for real estate's woe

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It's altogether too easy to blame real estate's excessive number of newbies for a variety of ills in the industry that include intense competition, downward pressure on commissions (a boon to sellers, though not brokers) and unethical behavior. But the newbies themselves, as a group, aren't at fault for these conditions. Rather, the responsibility lies at the feet of state lawmakers, real estate brokers, trade associations, licensing schools and, admittedly, the media. Here are some suggestions for how to fix this problem: State licensing authorities need to raise the bar on what it takes to obtain a license to sell real estate, and they need to issue new provisional licenses, which are not simply a holding tank that awaits the mere passage of time. Provisional licenses should have some meaningful restrictions, and conversion of such a license into a regular license should be predicated on the new licensee having achieved some measurable milestones that indicate he or she has obtained...