By Dave Robison
What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe with a real estate license? Can anyone you’ve asked from the public answer that question correctly? Better yet, can all of the REALTORS® in your office answer that question? I feel like it was indoctrinated in me through continuing eduction classes. So, from what I’ve been taught, a REALTOR® is this: A REALTOR® is held to a higher standard because they’re a member of NAR and must follow the Code of Ethics.
Our MLS recently had WAVgroup.com do a survey on behalf of our members. Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group spoke at a recent meeting about the research they discovered regarding our industry. First, she said that 99.9 percent of the public doesn’t know the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe real estate licensed agent.
What does that say about our strategy for educating people about what makes REALTORS different? It says that it doesn’t work. Our Code of Ethics is what we think makes us stand apart from other real estate agents. But if the public doesn’t know… then it’s not working.
So why is it not working? She exhorted that the level of service from one REALTOR® can be drastically different from another REALTOR®. This is actually the reason why I never considered joining a big brokerage… I didn’t want to be in a group where my level of service was drastically higher than the guy/gal with the same brokerage name on his or her name-tag. There’s no minimum level of service at the big brokerages, and the service level varies between agents.
As long as there isn’t a minimum standard of service, no one is going to know what sets us as REALTORS® apart from licensees. The public doesn’t even recognize us as a club. We will continue to remain commodities.
Do we want to be recognized differently? Is it a benefit to be viewed differently? With all of the REThinking this year, it seems to me there could be a good opportunity for REALTORS® to figure out what they want to happen on this topic. I’ll admit, I’m not really sure what REThink is thinking about. Most the people I talk to are confused about it as well. But as an association, if the very reason why we are different isn’t working, maybe we need to adjust our vision on what we are trying to achieve that makes us different?
How would you adjust it?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker/owner of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Nobu Hata
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we’re living and working in a tenuously linked society right now. Hyper-political-mumbo-jumbo is being thrown around to a jaded audience, and we are more polarized and fractured than ever before.
That same thing could be said for the real estate industry.
Data, IDX, syndication, broker-centric, agent-centric, consumer-centric, lead-generation, third parties, anti-property owner legislation, technological disruption, franchises versus indies versus MLSs versus associations… What does it all mean?
As an industry, we’re changing — we all know that. What’s not so obvious is that these little industry revolutions differ from market to market; and the pace in which these revolutions are happening, the pace in which they’re setting in, is getting faster and faster every day.
But what has been a mainstay in all of this during my time on the YPN Subcommittee, and now as your chairperson, is that regardless of market, MLS, broker and association, we operate for the REALTOR® brand. Y’all said it yourselves. There is not a selfish bone in any of you, and for that I am so proud!
The results of a poll answered by your networks’ chairpersons are telling: Professional development is one of the top priorities in many networks, along with their sponsoring associations. Continue reading »
By Jared James
We live in a world where everywhere you look everyone seems to be arguing about something because everyone has their point-of-view. And, of course, they are always right. Sometimes when I flip through the channels while I am at home or on the road in my hotel room, or I read a particular blog, I am left to wonder if the person that I am listening to or reading their words actually even believes what they are saying.
For many years this couldn’t have been more true, as I have read articles and heard people make the argument that you are better off selling your house on your own and not paying a broker… especially in today’s world of the Internet. What in the world do you need a REALTOR® for, anyway? As long as you have access to the Internet, why waste 6 percent, right?
And then I came across a recent Wall Street Journal article written about Colby Sambrotto, the former CEO and founder of many REALTORS®’ most favorite website, www.forsalebyowner.com. Stick with me here because you can’t make this stuff up. Apparently, the Godfather of the “you don’t need a Realtor” movement had tried to sell his house on his own for some time and finally got tired of wasting his time and did what he knew had to be done… HE HIRED A REALTOR®! You can check out the article for yourself here: http://www.roost.com/app/index.php/public/roostbar?bid=41320&k=285bc240dd1b129a347eb05c568cb7bf.
Not only did Mr. Sambrotto hire a broker and pay them 6 percent, but he also ended up getting multiple offers on his home and eventually accepting one for a whopping $150,000 over his asking price. Yes, you did just read that right. Continue reading »
By Jessica Hickok
Our profession is one of the most mispronounced professions of all time. Those of us who know that we are REAL-TORS just roll our eyes when someone calls us a Reel-A-Tore.
I remember a story that my broker’s wife told me once when I first got into the business. Her husband (obviously a REALTOR®) took a business call while attending a birthday party. Although he was polite and went outside to handle the call, he was gone for quite some time leaving the wife alone at the party. While he was gone, another party-goer asked the wife where the broker had disappeared to. She casually mentioned that her husband was a REALTOR® and that he had an important contract he was working on, therefore stepping away from the party. The party-goer nodded his head and changed the subject. However, after 10 minutes of conversation, he turned to the broker’s wife and said to her “Your husband should be here enjoying the party not working. You are right, he is a real turd.” Although she understood her husband’s job, she couldn’t help but agree that he was being a real turd for leaving her at the party alone for so long.
I started this post off by writing about how hard it can be to spend quality time with your family, friends and loved ones when being a REALTOR® is often being on-call 24/7. So here are some things to ponder in order to avoid the “real turd” label: Continue reading »
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
I think many of us who are part of YPN would agree that one of our goals is to bridge the generational gap that seems to have been created in our industry. I get asked all the time if there is an age limit for YPN or if there ever will be. My response has always been the same: YPN is for the young and young-at-heart real estate professionals.
With that being said, this blog post is in honor of our young-at-heart colleagues and you may notice a familiar theme that Jeff Foxworthy uses with his ‘redneck’ jokes (if you don’t know who Jeff Foxworthy is, you might be too old for YPN). So here’s a test of your young-at-heartness. Hopefully, you’ll get a nostalgic chuckle or two out of this:
- If you’ve ever referred to the MLS in BOOK FORM, you might be too old for YPN.
- If your business card photo is OVER 10 YEARS OLD, you might be too old for YPN
- If you’ve ever used a CAR PHONE to sell a house, you might be too old for YPN.
- If you’ve sold a home when people were still putting wallpaper UP, you might be too old for YPN.
- If you’ve sold a home when shag carpeting or wood paneling was IN STYLE, you might be too old for YPN.
- If you’ve sold a home when they were still using LEAD BASED PAINT in NEW construction, you might be too old for YPN.
- If your membership is not DECREASING the average age of a REALTOR®, you might be too old for YPN.
All kidding aside, how about a big round of applause for our more experienced colleagues and may you continue to enlighten us on how to become better REALTORS®.
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
I was recently approached by staff of REALTOR® Magazine and asked if I could start blogging in the YPN Lounge. I remember thinking to myself “cha right, have you seen my to-do list?” Well here I am and for my first blog in the lounge, I get to write about an exciting topic: the word REALTOR®. It is over 100 years old and many members, and even more of the motoring public, are still unclear of what it means (and how it is pronounced). I’ll admit that even when I was selling real estate, I wasn’t 100% sure on what it actually meant or how it could be used.
Websites, blogs, business cards…YPN Chapter names. Many of these are guilty of the misuse of the term REALTOR® and as the future of the real estate industry, we should all be fully educated on the meaning and correct use of it. To help get us started, here are a few guidelines for use on the Internet taken directly from Realtor.org:
1. The term REALTOR®, whether used as part of a domain name or in some other fashion must refer to a member or a member’s firm.
2. The term REALTOR® may not be used with descriptive words or phrases. For example, Number1realtor.com, numberone-realtor.com, chicagorealtors.org or realtorproperties.com are all incorrect.
3. For use as a domain name or e-mail address on the Internet the term REALTOR® does not need to be separated from the member’s name or firm name with punctuation. For example, both johndoe-realtor.com and johndoerealtor.com would be correct uses of the term as a part of domain names and email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org are both correct uses of the term as part of an e-mail address.
4. The REALTOR® block R logo should not be used as hypertext links at a web site as such uses can suggest an endorsement or recommendation of the linked site by your Association. The only exception would be to establish a link to the National Association’s web site, REALTOR.org, or its official property listing site, REALTOR.com.
For a full understanding of the term REALTOR®, here’s a link to its location at Realtor.org: http://http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/internetuse. So the next time you’re in line at the grocery store or hitting up happy hour and you hear someone say ‘real-a-tor,’ you can turn to them and say “it’s pronounced REAL-TOR and this is what it means.”