The Prevailing Attitude Real Estate Agents Must Combat
Real Estate Agents are Idiots
The wide spread public opinion regarding real estate agents is far from favorable. Today I stumbled across an article that attempts to rationally explain why “your local estate agent is most likely an idiot.”(http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Estate-agents-are-idiots-20130812)
Qualifications: There’s no real science or mystical theory to why the majority of Estate Agents are spineless, mentally challenged turds. In fact, it’s quite simple- you don’t need a license or go through a training programme to become an Estate Agent, so any old fool off the street without qualifications or experience can set up shop as an Estate Agent (which is often the case). That explains a lot already, doesn’t it? In fact, I’m convinced the only prerequisite an Estate Agent is required to have is the means to access a polyester suit.
A 60 hour required course along with annual ongoing education is the minimum requirement for becoming an agent in Montana. Applicants must pass both the national and state portions of the exam through test vendor Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). This is a time intensive and financially demanding compounded process. Once you pass, you must be affiliated with a broker, someone who has additional training on top of the standard on-going education.
This broker vouches for your credit and character, as well as takes a vow to additionally train you. For all salespersons with an “interim license”, separate education is due in lieu of the standard regular continuing education. All new salespeople will receive an interim license that will expire October 31. As required by ARM, 24.210.611, you must complete the New License Mandatory Continuing Education class (commonly referred to as the Rookie Course) and renew your license prior to October 31, or your license will expire and you will be required to reapply for a license and meet current licensing requirements.
Point is there are rigorous qualifications needed prior to entering the real estate market. Even once you meet the minimum qualifications, this does not guarantee you will do well or succeed as an agent. The largest qualification is based upon your performance after you enter the market. If you cannot make sales, you will not be out of a job.
Consumer Protection: Estate Agents are generally protected from their own stupidity, because as mentioned, there is currently no mandatory regulation. It’s extremely difficult to claim anything against Estate Agents, unless they do something blatantly illegal.
Any contract an agent enters with a client can be terminated at any point with a written request. That is the standard and the highest protection a consumer can have. Agents can be ‘fired’ at any point without notice and without compensation. Within every contract our office engages in we have an Agency Policy on Relationships form that reads:
“The duties of the real estate licensees in a real estate transaction do not relieve a party to a transaction from the responsibility to protect the party’s own interests. Person should carefully read all documents to ensure that they adequately express their understanding of the transaction. If legal or tax advice is desired, consult a competent professional in that field.”
Scripted Lines: “This property is extremely popular” “That house is perfect for you, sir”!
At the end of the day, agents are salesmen. They have to have the ‘ask’ at the end of showing a house or they are less likely to get the sale. There is a line between pushy and passive and each agent treads that line. For some reason, this is not acceptable behavior. An agent is finding a home to assist you in purchasing or helping you sell a home. Either way, they are sales associates representing the client. The tactics they use will determine their professional success as well as the long-term reservoir of return clientele.
Time-Wasters:Estate Agents love taking it upon themselves to show prospective buyers properties that are completely out of scope from their initial requirements. Why do they do that? It’s usually when they don’t have enough properties in their books that match the brief, so instead of fessing up and saying, “Sorry, we don’t have any properties that match your criteria”, they take their prospects on a wild goose chase. Here’s an all-time classic clip from Gavin and Stacy of a stereotypical Estate Agent that’s a total time-waster. It’s funny as hell because it’s so in touch with reality.
When an agent wastes a client’s time, they are wasting their own time too. It is in the agent’s rational self-interest and professional interest to find the best fitting homes to show a buyer. It is another misconception that agents have all the time in the world for each and every client. That is how the agent wants each client to feel, but the reality is that an agent must be juggling a few dozen actively looking clients consistently in order to turn a profit. Scheduling and showing homes is a time consuming refined process of showing buyer’s homes they will hopefully write a contract on. Doing anything outside of the scope of the client’s requirements degrades from the process as a whole from both the agent and client side.
Hate Their Own Kind: ‘Black on Black’ crime was actually inspired by ‘Estate Agent on Estate Agent’ crime. What chance do we as consumers have if they hate their own kind? I’m not just talking about feuds between rival companies; I’m also talking about in-house war. They backstab each other by taking each others leads. Other peoples misery is generally their gain.
A motto we have here in our office is “Fellow agents are your longest-term clients.” In each transaction, an agent is more likely than not working with a different agent on the other side (buyer/seller or seller/buyer). Because of this, you will be working with your direct competition daily. In order for transactions to go smoothly, a mutually symbiotic relationship is another requirement for productive work. Agents strive to treat one another with respect, professionalism, and understanding because that relationship is vital for future transactions.
Turbulent Work Ethic:If the property market is ‘hot’ and there is plenty of demand, Estate Agents are generally performing at their worst. Their level of communication will be at an all time low and they’ll be working by their own schedule. However, if the market is dead, you may get the best out of them. They’ll probably pop round and drop off some sugar; build some common ground and try to ‘relate’ to you and your problems. It’s pitiful.
Ah, the roller coaster of real estate. I cannot speak for offices outside of our own but we have taken active measures to combat the roller coaster merely for consistency in profit and workload. For each transaction, Bozeman Montana Real Estate.net offers a transaction manager, marketing specialist, relations manager, and the support and constant contact which allows each client to receive unparalleled attentiveness throughout the buying or selling process. This comes in addition to the agent-client contact that each client receives. At least three people are at the client’s finger-tips for when they have questions/concerns/or just want updates on the transaction
Many of these misconceptions stem from forgetting that real estate in a rationally functioning business. It is in the best interest of the real estate firm to boast and maintain their qualifications, protect their client, make the ‘ask’ to get the sale, be highly efficient with time management by not wasting time, establish positive relationships with fellow agents, and uphold consistency in the quality of work no matter the rises or falls of the real estate market.