I doubt if a day goes by that I don’t read about how the real estate industry needs reform, how it needs to change, and how real estate agents are incompetent, or dishonest, or both. I am tired of reading it, and bored with it, too. I am open to specific criticisms and suggestions for improvement, but I am not finding any.
People who write about industry reform write in vague generalities, and they seem to miss the fact that our industry is highly regulated on the state level. Legislation is the only answer. It is state law that determines who is eligible for a real estate license and what type of training is required. The bar will be raised when laws are changed.
As an agent, I rarely encounter another agent who is dishonest or incompetent. I have met agents who I did not like, and agents who made the transaction more difficult than it had to be, but that doesn’t make them incompetent or dishonest.
We like to blame each other and point fingers when a transaction gets messed up or when the sale doesn’t go our way.
I have met many agents over the years who I have nothing but respect for. They do an amazing job every day but they never make the evening news or the local paper the way the incompetent and dishonest agents do.
When I go to a closing I often thank the other agent — in front of their clients and mine — for doing a great job. I keep thinking that maybe word will get out that real estate agents are amazing people, not to mention hardworking and honest. Does anyone ever mention hardworking and honest?
Those of us who are in the field every day are feeling a backlash because of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, but both had far more to do with government deregulation than with dishonest or incompetent agents. I am tired of it and bored with it all at the same time.
There are people who call themselves industry thought leaders who are out of touch with consumers and with agents. They want reform but their ideas are based on one personal experience with a real estate transaction that was less than satisfying.
Sometimes a seller who insists on overpricing a home blames the agent when it doesn’t sell. If it takes six months to sell a home, the seller may blame the agent for that, too.
Each transaction is different, as are each consumer’s expectations. I have found that there is a wide range of what my clients expect from me and what they want in a real estate agent, and it is my job to figure out what they want and provide it for them.
I read about how things should be, and I know from experience that not all consumers will share the same vision for the home-sale transaction. Usually the consumer’s vision is based on one experience with one real estate transaction.
There are parts of the real estate industry that are messed up, and real estate professionals continue to endure turmoil and change because of the housing crash. In my humble opinion, we need to disintermediate the third parties that come between consumers and real estate agents if we want reform.
Some third parties seem to confuse consumers into thinking they are the ones on consumers’ side, and are in some way protecting them from us — the industry professionals.
I recently read an article about how the real estate industry needs to be scrapped and rebuilt. I had a good laugh because no specific suggestions were made on how to improve anything.
People like to read about real estate reform as long as it is hypothetical, theoretical, is written with drama, and is entertaining. Some of the industry thought leaders offer more entertainment than practical advice.
Trashing real estate salespeople and the industry in general is fashionable, but anyone who wants to make a difference is going to have to start talking specifics and probably start talking to their state legislators.
Real estate salespeople are market-driven. If we make a profit we stay the course. If something stops working for us we stop doing it.
From my world view I think we are doing a fine job. It is the rest of the economy and the housing market that are messed up, and experts need someone to blame. Salespeople are always an easy target: Who likes salespeople, anyhow?