Before you shoot me, let me explain! This is a comment that I heard from a real estate attorney this week. He went on to explain that he meant the large number of Realtors who are leaving the business.
Quite frankly, I've been surprised that the number isn't higher. Career professionals, don't you wish it was? Rob Hahn makes a great point in his response to me on Posterous. He basically points out that in spite of the housing market woes, even referral agents are still able to make enough money to justify keeping their license. Just what does this mean for the career Realtor, those agents who make a living as professional Realtors, rely on this income to support their families, and treat their profession seriously?
Is Our Industry Suffering From a Lack of Respect?
Ask the next FSBO that you talk to. Do they consider you a professional? Realtors often compare themselves as professionals to doctors, attorneys, and accountants, right? How many doctors do you know who see 1 or 2 patients a year? Ok, obviously finances don't allow this option for them, but do you think they would have the same reputation? Would you trust them with your health? How serious do you think they would be about helping you?
Is Classroom Education the Answer?
I doubt it. If you've been in the business for a few years (or more), compare how prepared you are now to your level of preparation when you finished your pre-license and post-license courses. How many times have you heard "that class had nothing to do with real life experience"?
Is Experience the Answer?
Absolutely. Ever heard of John Maxwell's book "Failing Forward"? Ever heard of learning from your mistakes? People learn by doing. If you look to the 80/20 rule, and say that 20% of the agents are doing 80% of the work, what kind of experience is the other 80% getting?
So How do We Raise the Bar?
First of all, does anyone dispute that we need to? Has anyone NOT been on the opposite side of a transaction with a less than proficient agent that was doing a poor job of representing their client's best interest? How many ex-clients are out there right now who don't respect our industry perhaps as much as they once did? Should newly licensed agents be required to participate in some sort of shadowing program. Other professions have internships - should we?
Look, I don't claim to have the answers. At the very least, I'm trying to raise awareness because I care about our profession. I think this is going to have to be a grass roots effort. It starts with you and me, striving to be the best we can be. It probably ends (not begins) with NAR. They've lost a lot of respect, too. (from Realtors)
Please comment, re-blog, or pass this on to your fellow agents. I'm anxious to hear your ideas. This should matter to all of us!
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