Should selling real estate require a college degree?

The world knows the barrier to entry is low
  • The barrier to entry is low, and making it lower would be a huge mistake that hurts consumers most.
  • It's easy to do harm in this business if you aren't' properly educated or serious about what you do.
  • I think we, as an industry, should consider the possibility of making a college degree a requirement.

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This morning, I was asked to make a video for a local elementary school to use during their career week. My mission was to share what it’s like to be a real estate professional, and if I’m being honest, I was a little embarrassed to answer this question: Is a college degree necessary?

Now, I know you aren’t going to agree with me, and I know my Realtor friends are going to get their feathers ruffled, but I was embarrassed to say that no, you don’t need a degree to handle what is most consumers’ largest purchase of their lives.

As a stockbroker, I had to go through massive amounts of training and a rigorous licensing program. In real estate, we take this little licensing class on the weekends or nights.

The world knows it’s too easy to get into real estate. There’s a low barrier to entry. But when we lower that bar, the people getting hurt are the consumers.

There is no set mentorship or apprenticeship period. When somebody gets a license, the state lets he or she practice real estate, and that’s it.

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As an agent, it’s really easy to do harm if you aren’t educated and serious about what you’re doing.

I think lowering the passing score for licensing would be a huge mistake, and I think that we should consider the possibility of requiring of a college degree. Because when we make mistakes, it’s costly not only to us but also to every consumer we touch. Think about it.

Leigh Brown is a full-time residential Realtor, speaker, coach and smartass. She works in the Charlotte, North Carolina, market with Re/Max Executive Realty and can be reached @leighbrown on all networks.

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