Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Levels of being an agent

A while back I wrote a blog about "How I wish Real Estate was more like brain surgery". I know that may sound a bit drastic but the point I was trying to make was that there were so many people out there that have their Real Estate license. There is always a potential client that says something to the effect of "My uncle has his license and I am going to use him to sell my house". Generally this same friend or family member works full time doing something else. You add all these people up and they are only making a couple transactions a year but as a whole they are taking away 1,000's of potential clients from those of us that have made a career out of it.

Going back to my previous blog, it's not like you would say "My uncle is going to do surgery on me this time" "He took some medical classes in college". Again... a bit drastic but there are so many people out there that have someone that they know either representing them as a buyer or trying to sell their home. The sad thing is that most of these people don't really know the difference between the guy who took a few classes in college and the guy who has spent the past 15 years of his life studying and practicing medicine.

This is so frustrating to watch but I see it often. In fact, I currently have a "referral" from someone who was a friend of a friend. Long story short...I am now their Realtor. My lender tried to pass on a lead to me a while back. I called her but she decided to go with a family friend. Long story short, my lender told me that this was the worst transaction he has EVER had to deal with. Everything inside of him wants to make the "I told you so" phone call.

Back to the "LEVELS". This would allow the general public to know what level of knowledge and level professionalism they are dealing with, even if it IS a family member. I am not sure exactly how I would break things down but those of us that have full time jobs and happen to have taken the state exam should be on level one (at the bottom). I also think there should be a "rookie" year where the agent is working under a higher level agent for that time period. Higher levels should be based on the knowledge of contracts and state laws. I even think Realtors should be ranked on how a listing is done. Knowledge of the surrounding area which includes pricing is crucial. Your shiny new sign doesn't cut it.

I will be the first to admit that I am inferior to others... especially within my office! Our office is full of seasoned agents who have been in the business for 15 + years. These are the people that I go to for answers and advice. The point I am trying to make is that there are those of us that LOVE Real Estate and have given it their 60hrs a week ( which includes constant and continual education, extensive knowledge of the market and city, and TIME ) and then there are those that hold a license. Beware of the "Level 1" agents!!


Stephen Strickhausen




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