The Best Agents Are The Ones No One Hears About!
How many real estate agents are simply “yes people”?
Simply agreeing with their buyer because they either just want to close them or simply lack the required skill, knowledge and candor to be effective counselors?
How about a dose of professionalism?
How about looking at present or potential issues, functional or external obsolescence, deferred maintenance, known problems like synthetic stucco or defective siding?
How about treating that buyer like something other than a kid looking for a new bike; “isn’t that a neat seat, Timmy, won’t you be cool riding it?”
They’re buying a home, which will likely eat up a significant portion of their monthly income, and that’s under the best of circumstances. What happens when something breaks or their economic situation changes?
Agents must make buyers think and make them understand the ramifications both present and into the future.
Arguably the biggest problem the industry has is the agent that will do anything or say anything to secure a listing. That seller is looking to sell the home for as much as possible, as fast as possible and with as little headache as possible.
Along comes a “yes agent” who agrees with everything the seller says, throws out the compliments like chicken feed and simply ignores anything that might cause the seller angst — like data that conflicts with the seller’s opinion of price.
Of course a month later, the “market changes” and the price cutting begins. Professional agents have been bypassed, and the seller now has a listing that develops a history.
This manipulation is the text book example of “sales,” and it’s not unique to real estate. But isn’t the role of the agent to honestly evaluate the home, be candid and present the applicable data as it applies?
Our industry leaders push sales first; they are selling the dream, the sizzle. Everything is predicated upon agent fees, that anyone can be a successful agent and about how to “sell, sell, sell” everyone you know and meet.
At every level, businesses exist to “serve” agents, including national-regional-local membership organizations, MLSs, marketing, training — all there to “help” agents, at a price.
But the comedic irony is obvious; the very ones told to “sell” are being sold themselves. The “get rich in real estate” pitch is being swallowed hook, line and sinker by agents themselves.
The work, dedication and time required to be an effective and successful agent isn’t considered or discussed.
While there has been plenty of chatter about “raising the bar” — it’s just that, chatter. Nothing has changed and nothing will change.
The best agents are the ones no one hears about!
They make problems go away before their client gets wind of them. They’re working or thinking about work, anticipating problems and have solutions waiting. They are candid, attentive and completely focused on their clients.
They make transactions smooth and look easy. They smile hearing “man, I should go into real estate; you hardly worked and made all of that.”
Their objective for every transaction is to make it look boring.
Am I cynical? Perhaps, but I prefer pragmatic and realistic. I’m an advocate for this industry, someone who wants it to be recognized as the profession it is. Someone who is annoyed by the public perception that we are simply a walking, talking, commission-chasing clown show.
I’m annoyed by the so-called leadership that yaps about raising standards like an ankle biting dog on the porch. Either bite or go lay down; it’s well past the time that the entry and retention bar be raised to cull the massive amount of bloat in the agent ranks.
Mandatory apprenticeships and tiered licensing levels are overdue; it’s time to legitimately address the issues.
Hank Miller has been an active certified appraiser and associate broker since 1989.