by Flint Adam, Nolensville resident & Realtor®
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Ever had a bad experience with a real estate agent? It’s a critique we in the industry have heard before.
“I once worked with this Realtor who would never return my calls.”
“Oh yeah? I worked with a Realtor who just didn’t seem to know much at all.”
Granted, the bar for entry isn’t the highest in the world. In Tennessee, you can earn a real estate license by completing 60 hours of pre-licensing coursework and another 30 hour course for new affiliates. (One must also pass a lengthy state exam).
After the coursework and exam is complete, a new licensee affiliates with a broker, and if they choose to become a Realtor (there is a difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent, click here for an explanation), they must then join a local Realtor board and complete a 4 hour ethics class.
And there you have it – another Realtor has joined the industry!
Unfortunately, it’s easier to become a Realtor than it is to become a good Realtor. And while the same can be said across many professions, the National Association of Realtors has apparently become concerned enough that over the weekend they adopted a non-mandatory “Realtors Commitment to Excellence”.
The following paragraphs come from Inman.com, an online real estate news source:
“The statement, previously called the Code of Excellence, lays out 11 specific areas in which Realtors will strive for excellence, including the NAR Code of Ethics; understanding real estate laws and regulations; customer service; property rights advocacy; use of technology tools; and sharing accurate, current information to facilitate cooperation with consumers and other real estate professionals.
“The Code of Ethics … really lays out clearly what we should not do. The Code of Excellence lays out what we should do,” said NAR Immediate Past President Steven Brown last fall.
The Code of Excellence will “train the Realtor that they are not single-minded. That to be a good Realtor they must be community-involved, they must be politically aware and they must engage with the consumer in every facet of their community life.”
In a report commissioned by NAR and released last week, real estate consultant Stefan Swanepoel warned that the top danger facing the industry in the near term is that masses of “marginal” agents could destroy the industry’s reputation.”
So what constitutes a marginal agent? According to the report, “the real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.”
I couldn’t agree more. You and I both know the weekend-warrior real estate agents. These are the people who got licensed so they could make a few extra bucks during the year, or maybe because they’re bored, or perhaps it’s a fun hobby.
Often times these inexperienced and underperforming license-holders are compromising the fiduciary responsibilities due to their clients, and undermining the framework of the profession.
This… is… dangerous.
It doesn’t take long working in real estate to encounter a transaction that throws everyone a curveball. Next thing you know, deals are on the brink of falling apart, opposing parties are threatening to call attorneys, and a whole lot of money, expectations, and dreams are suddenly in peril.
What happens when you’ve hired the part-time or lackadaisical agent who doesn’t really know what they’re doing… or they’re too scared to go to bat for you? Suddenly, you are the one in peril. That’s why choosing an agent should involve more than “who do I know with a license?” In the end, real estate sales are business transactions. You owe it to yourself to work with someone who treats real estate as their profession… and strives to make a transaction just that – professional.
Folks, you will never find a lack of agents eager to work with you. That’s both a blessing and a curse. With all the selection available, the onus is on you to qualify the individual and make sure their ethics, local knowledge, and expertise are in line with your expectations. In short, you want to hire an agent who is eager to work for you.
The good news is consumers today are becoming better educated and comfortable asking agents about their experience, knowledge, and skill. I’d go one step further, though, and ask for documentation of performance and references.
I think it’s also wise to ask an agent about their most recent transaction where something went wrong… and how did the agent handle it? In real estate, we agents can always trumpet when a transaction is smooth – but what really separates the pack is when the unexpected… or the down right difficult occurs… because clients deserve excellence at all times – even when they’re rough.
For me, real estate is no hobby. I’m not moonlighting. This is my profession, my career. I take it seriously… I love my job and aim to continually hone my craft. There is great satisfaction in helping other people buy and sell real estate here in my home town, while also providing for my family. In fact, that very premise is my Mission Statement that you can find on this website:
“My mission is creating comfort, security, and balance for my family and community. Through diligent, honest, and enthusiastic work, I aim to better every life I touch and leave a legacy of service and success.”
The new Commitment to Excellence drafted by the National Association of Realtors is not a mandatory decree, but I am willfully and gladly making it mine. (Read it here).
And in conjunction with that statement, I will continue developing my expertise through education and accreditation (read more here).
Ladies and Gentlemen, you deserve excellence from your Realtor. Don’t accept anything less.
Interested in the latest Nolensville sales figures? I’ll email you a daily update on Nolensville real estate… complete with new listings, what has gone pending, and recent sales. Just shoot me an email with your name and preferred email address using the contact box to the upper right hand side of this page.
I’m a Nolensville TN resident… I’m a Nolensville TN Realtor®… and I always offer a complimentary, no commitment, no pressure Comparative Market Analysis for my neighbors. Please let me know how I may assist you in the sale or purchase of a Nolensville property.