From “real estate specialist” to “transaction quarterback” and now “client concierge,” new names for real estate agents come and go, Brad Inman writes. But seriously, do Realtors need a refresh?

After rocketing down the grapevine on a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles last month, I stopped for a beer at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood. A joint frequented by wanna-be actors, screenwriters and a variety of entertainment types. Being a dreamer myself, it’s my kind of crowd. 

After greeting some pals, I checked my iPhone and read an email on a new listing. What caught my attention was the title beneath the Realtor’s name: “Client Concierge.”

Renaming the moniker for real estate professionals is not an original idea. The thought behind it goes something like this: lift up the hard-working sales agent by giving them a loftier title.

Over the years, I have heard so many terms, including your real estate partner, your representative, your counselor, your real estate specialist, home quality director, transaction quarterback, consultant, president (no joke) and now client concierge.

Poppycock or do Realtors need a refresh?

I decided to ask some chums at Barney’s for their take on giving real estate agents a new title, like client concierge. Because of celebrity agent TV shows, real estate chatter spinner them up. 

They’ve binge-watched Mauricio Umansky’s new “Buying Beverly Hills” series on Netflix. Big fans.

One had a real estate license, so we had domain expertise. Although, everyone is a Realtor in LA.

Lit up with cocktails, they were like an amateur team of comedy sketch writers brainstorming a TV segment. 

Here is a taste of what I got.

“That will be as big a hit as “Bros,” a movie that bombed this fall.

“Dumb as George Costanza fibbing that he was an architect.”

“What do you call an aspiring actor or struggling Realtor in LA? An Uber driver.”

Not nice.

“Sell my house at the right price, you are Julia Roberts, if you don’t, Matthew Perry”.

“Call them hustlers, remember pool hustler Fast Eddie’s line: ‘I’m the best you have ever seen, Fats. I’m the best there is. And even if you beat me, I’m still the best.’”

The last word before the conversation turned to Halloween costumes was: “Inman, is that all you got for us tonight, go back to San Francisco.”

Real estate agents don’t need a new name to motivate them. Their commission and closings do that.

A new title doesn’t command credibility. Their reputation accomplishes that. 

Why add to consumer confusion, agents are busy enough explaining the home buying process.

Realtors don’t need a new word to describe what they do. They are sales agents who will scale the Hollywood sign for you, if it helps close the deal.

Tip: If you ever drop by Barney’s Beanery, order their nachos or a Reuben with your beer. Then, tune into the scene.


Email Brad Inman

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