Is real estate a trade or a profession?

  • Real estate and journalism struggle with a similar trade vs. profession debate.
  • If journalism's professional body were more willing to enforce its ethical code, the industry as a whole would be better off.
  • Real estate can learn from journalism by cultivating skills that can't be replaced by technology and by enhancing transparency.

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When my Journalism 101 professor first raised the “trade vs. profession” question, I was surprised by the very existence of the debate. He explained that trades and professions used to be defined according to whether one was manual labor and the other required a college degree — blue-collar vs. white-collar, essentially — but in recent years, the lines have blurred. So he asked us whether we thought we were training for a trade or a for a profession.