Real Estate Professionals---Ranked Below Mechanics in Public Confidence

By
Real Estate Agent with Village Real Estate Services, Inc.

Between March 17 and March 21 of 2006 a Harris Poll conducted online within the United States among 2,302 adults (aged 18 and over) revealed the following public levels of trust for 11 professions:

 

 

Completely

Somewhat

Not At All

Not Sure

A doctor

%

50

43

4

3

A dentist

%

47

44

4

5

A nurse

%

46

46

3

4

An accountant

%

28

58

7

7

A lawyer

%

18

62

14

6

A banker

%

16

67

12

6

A financial advisor

%

16

64

12

8

A mechanic

%

12

68

14

6

An insurance agent

%

9

63

21

7

A real estate agent

%

7

65

20

8

A stockbroker

%

6

57

25

12

One of the distinctions that was made by people analyzing the poll results was that people generally have more distrust for those professions involved in selling them something.  Interesting.  That brings me to one of my sore points.  I know that people mean it as a compliment, but I am saddened when someone says I "sold" them a house.  If I've done my job well, I've matched up someone who wants to buy a home with someone who wants to sell a home.  They both walk away feeling that they got a good deal.  If I've done my job right, no one feels they were "sold" anything.  It is my goal that my clients feel that they received excellent service and advice from someone who helped them to achieve their goal of buying or selling a home.

Sales people in my opinion are generally individuals who have mastered a set script for a product or product line and use selling techniques to get people to buy. As real estate professionals, we do so much more than master a sales pitch and learn a set of responses to a set of average objections to buy a particular product. 

As Real Estate Professionals we must have:

  • Extensive product and market knowledge
  • A wide range of resources to refer to a client ---contractors, title and escrow services, etc.
  • A general understanding of Real Estate Law
  • A general understanding of Tax Laws regarding real estate
  • A good understanding of construction requirements for the area
  • A little psychology, marriage counseling and child counseling doesn't hurt.
  • A little grief counseling is helpful when working with clients going through the loss of a spouse, marriage, or parent.
  • Ability to research zoning laws, permits and work with city officials.
  • The ability to calm the fears or identify when to advise our clients to walk away from a transaction not in their best interest.
  • Ability to negotiate on behalf of our clients.  Even though the medium we work with is a commodity, it does not have a fixed price.
  • Marketing ability - knowing how to put a home sellers best foot forward
  • Good listening skills to evaluate the needs of home buyers and home sellers.

We must be ready to field many questions and know where to get the correct answers. We must be prepared to learn something new each day because just as NO TWO HOMES ARE ALIKE...SO, NO TWO TRANSACTIONS ARE ALIKE. 

Sadly, in the Harris poll no one poll, the highest rated profession, Doctors, only 50% of those polled were completely satisfied with their doctors.  Pretty sad commentary when you come in number 1 and only make 50% of the people completely happy.

As Real Estate Professionals---we clearly have some work to do.  What are you doing in your business to deliver service to your clients that would cause them to give you high ratings in a similar survey?

Here's an example of two members of the profession that ranked two notches above Real Estate Agents in the Harris Poll: 

Another great read about a similar poll was written by Gary Nelson in January 2007 in his post REALTOR vs. Car Salesperson

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Search Homes Search Homes Search Homes Search Homes

Marlene Bridges, REALTOR®  800 777-1775

South Orange County Real Estate Website

Orange County Seniors Lifestyles Blog

SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

CRS-Certified Residential Specialist®

President - Laguna Hills/Laguna Woods Chamber of Commerce

Marlene is a highly experienced  South Orange County CA REALTOR® specializing in residential Real Estate and the sale of Homes and Condos in South Orange County, California and Saddleback Valley cities of: Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo.   

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
David - Yes!
Jul 21, 2007 03:39 PM #51
Ambassador
738,837
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Marlene....   I couldn't agree more in regards to your comment..... that our professions that we are in, real estate and mortgages, that we sell things. And the general public can be skeptics of those that sell.... I know I am sometimes. And they don't realize how much work can go into this, especially if you are very good.  Nice job here...

jeff belonger

Jul 21, 2007 07:01 PM #52
Rainmaker
137,392
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
I would have seen this yesterday and said Congratulations on your gold star.. and thanks for writing a very good post.. but I was busy buying non-winning tickets on a few fillies with a friend...
Jul 21, 2007 07:46 PM #53
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Jeff - Thanks so much for the kudos.  We are unfortunately viewed as a commodity, so we need to overcome that stigma by delivering service that goes far beyond our client's expectations.  Thanks so much for stopping by for a read.
Jul 21, 2007 07:48 PM #54
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Kaye - The tickets may not have been winners, but the friends sure are!
Jul 21, 2007 07:50 PM #55
Anonymous
Anonymous
Dale Rainey - www.ulistit.com
They forgot polititions, that should move us up a notch.
Jul 23, 2007 09:01 PM #56
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Dale - That would have helped.
Jul 23, 2007 10:59 PM #57
Rainmaker
88,900
Paul Moye
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Broker, GRI, SRES
After the last 3 Professional Standard Panel Hearings I recently participated in I am beginning to fear the public might be right!!! What are some of us thinking as we drive around out there?????
Jul 24, 2007 10:37 PM #58
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Hi Paul - Kudos to you for taking the time to participate in the process to raise the standard of real estate practice.  I chair the grievance committee at our board and oh my goodness, some of the things we see are pretty surprising.  ZKeep up the great work.
Jul 24, 2007 11:05 PM #59
Rainer
11,760
Stacey Champion
Champion Indoor Environmental Services, LLC/Champion Indoors, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Interesting post.
Jul 25, 2007 03:30 AM #60
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Stacey - Thanks for stopping by for a read.
Jul 25, 2007 08:41 AM #61
Rainer
103,109
Armando Rodriguez
QUEST REALTY SERVICES - Orlando, FL
Orlando Homes 4 Sale, Real Estate Broker-GRI

From the list you can see that those on top are probably paid by the individual's insurance company. As you go down the list it would appear that the individual would be making more of the payment out of their own pocket.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the ratings?

Jul 25, 2007 01:26 PM #62
Rainer
51,727
Diane Velikis
Coldwell & Banker Busch Real Estate - Luzerne, PA
Luzerne County Real Estate
Gees right up there with the insurance companies, how sad
Jul 30, 2007 05:56 PM #63
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Diane - Yup.  Sadly, no one on list got raving reviews.
Jul 30, 2007 06:12 PM #64
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
The poll I saw had firefighters ranked #1.
Aug 07, 2007 05:33 AM #65
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Harris does lots of polls.  This was just measuring trust and only for the professions listed in this post.

Aug 07, 2007 09:14 AM #66
Anonymous
Anonymous
Kenneth Miller - Jordan Hill Home Services, LLC

Marlene, very good posts.  I wonder where those of us in the Home Inspection business would have been scored.  Public perception of the RE industry, from agents on down, is poor due to the media representing the bad apples as the norm.  I think all of us involved in the indusrty, regardless of profession, need to work to improve the publics perception of us.  Maybe get the wedia to do a story on the good professionals.

As to that video, that looked like a high auto shop, especially if you pay attention to the background noise.  Unfortunately, many people who see that will assume thats a repair shop, and that's the type of work all mechanics produce.

Aug 07, 2007 09:55 AM #67
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Kenneth - You are so right.  Wish we could get the media to do a positive report on our industry---won't happen---bad news is what sells.  And, yes you're right, the video is a terrible reflection of the auto repair industry.  If I would have used a clip from a Lexus or Beemer shop, it wouldn't have made much of a point...yet they exist, too.
Aug 07, 2007 11:01 PM #68
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mark Nahrgang, Kingdom Inspection Network Group.

The "Used Car Salesman" persona does travel across many fields.  I've even heard Real Estate Agents referred to as "Used House Salesman."  Being in the Real Estate profession myself, I know the type of battle that many of you face, and for the most part Agents are ethical, honest, and truly have the best interest of their clients in mind.   But as in any profession there are those who cause the rest of us to suffer. 

For those of you who are sometimes embarrassed about telling folks that you are a Real Estate Agent, might I suggest coming up with a statement of purpose, as opposed to a just a title.  For example, when I am asked what I do.  I don't simply reply that I'm a home inspector.  I say, "I'm a Professional Building Consultant, who helps give people peace of mind about the condition of their property."  As a Realtor, you might say something on the lines of... "I am a Professional Real Estate Consultant specializing in helping buyers and sellers of excellent homes come together." 

Come up with something that works well for you.  When I give my answer the usual response is a short pause, while they digest the comment, then the question... "Is that like a home inspector?"  My response then is, "Sort of but better because I am ......."

It gives me an opening to actually sell myself.  This person may not be in the market for a home inspection right now, but hopefully I'll be establishing myself in their mind as someone that they would want to call in the future, and build a relationship with right now.

---  Mark Nahrgang can be reached through his website at http://www.kingdominspections.com/inspection/office/6 ---

Aug 11, 2007 01:05 PM #69
Rainmaker
198,439
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Mark - Thank you for your excellent advice on demonstrating our value when we are asked what we do.
Aug 11, 2007 08:35 PM #70
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Marlene Bridges

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