Realtors are to blame

Realtors are to blame - they are paid too much! 

I admit, I watch Million Dollar Listing, HGTV and more and I see agents on TV making big sales in half an hour. Show three houses, buyer picks one, agent gets paid. Simple, right? Or is it the magic of TV. 

In Top Gun we see Tom Cruise flying a jet strategically through the mountains to get to the destination. I read an article that said that they had a camera on the dash to actually capture the shots with Tom Cruise. Tom made it look easy. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of hearing Nicole _____ speak at a conference. She was the first female to become a United State Airforce ______. She shared the story of her challenges to get to that point, which started with her first having to learn to fly a plane, then loads of practice in service, and eventually landing a coveted spot as a _________.. Flying a plane barely 6 inches from another jet for a show... was it movie magic? Nope, it was years of practice. 

Okay, being a Realtor and Tom Cruise or Nicole are pretty different, and there's one main reason- the barrier to entry is insanely low. I remember sitting in real estate school with others in 2007 in New York City. I questioned about half the room and whether they could even spell their name let alone fill out a contract. Yet they somehow passed the test and the Board took their money and gave them the title of Licensed Salesperson. It is known that only 10% of agents actually make it past the first year in real estate. Only 10%! Why? Well, because of all the things they don't teach in real estate school. Advertising, marketing, networking, learning the contracts, learning negotiation skills, investing in coaching, attending events, following industry news, staying on top of trends, learning to work with... PEOPLE! Yup, all of that is not included in the classes. 

But yes, show 3 houses and get a paycheck. That's what the public thinks. And as a Realtor many of us don't actually formalize a relationship. Imagine going to the doctor to get treated and not being told what they will do or how they'll get paid. Imagine going to an attorney and they start working with you without having a contract signed. They wouldn't. So shouldn't the same apply to a Realtor? Often times Realtors enter into informal relationships, yet owe the highest of fiduciary responsibilities. But the public really has no idea what the Realtor does behind the scenes. 

Here is the list below. Raise your hand if you knew that this is what went into representing a buyer. Raise them higher! 

Next, we have services like Zillow and Redfin which marketing the listings we work so hard to get. A random agent pays for the lead, they meet the buyer at the house without knowing anything about it, all the while the buyer is expecting to meet the listing agent. The buyer likes the house, the random agent drafts the offer, and they get paid. Once again, simple, right?? I fully admit that paying for this kind of lead has never been my cup of tea. I tried it once in New York City for 3 months, per the contract with Zillow, and I hated every minute. I felt like I was doing a disservice to the customer, as I wouldn't know anything about the apartment or the building upon receiving the call. Asking for time to do the research wasn't really what the buyers wanted to hear. They demanded answers, as they should. But it became a pay-to-play game, and Zillow isn't stopping. 

Anyway, I digress. The NAR settlement has been anything but clear. Even the Brokers and owners don't know what they can say or do. But the reality is that the public deserves to know the truth They deserve transparency. And those agents who can't be transparent, who can't express their value, and who fail to provide value will hopefully be working anothe rjob within a matter of time. 

So on behalf of the brokerage community, I apologize. 

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