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 Cory Brewer
In the past year or so I have run across several examples of REALTORS® (myself included) being tempted to be a “jack of all trades” when it comes to serving their clients. Let’s face it, we don’t want to give up control and we are also worried about potentially giving up a paycheck.
However, is it really in your best interest to step outside your area of expertise? More importantly, is it in your clients’ best interests? Sometimes the answer to these questions is no, and that’s when you have to step back and think about giving up a little bit of that control.
I had an eye-opening conversation with a local colleague of mine recently who focuses his entire business on short sales. I have closed my fair share of them, but that is virtually ALL he does. The point of the conversation came down to a key statistic: Success Rate. This REALTOR® closes about 90 percent of all short sale listings that he puts on the market, whereas the national average is somewhere around 25 percent.
Here is the food for thought: Are you better off busting your hump to have a 25 percent chance at a 100 percent commission (which could very well be reduced by the lien holders, especially if you’re not a seasoned short sale negotiator) or are you better off referring it out and having a 90 percent chance at a 25 percent referral commission? Think about all the time, effort, and marketing dollars that go into a listing. Now think about how much longer (and how much more work) it takes to see a short sale through to closing successfully. And finally, think about who is truly doing a better job for the client…you, or the specialist that you trust to take care of them? Continue reading »
By Laura Rubinchuk
Millions of people tuned in last night to watch football, commercials, eat junk food and drink beer, or maybe you were just waiting to see when it would be over to catch the new episode of Glee. Regardless of your motivations, the Superbowl is the largest television audience all year, giving advertisers the ability to spread their brand awareness tremendously! Here’s what I learned from the game, and how I applied it to my real estate career:
The Green Bay Packers
Losing Woodson and Driver early, the Packers went up against more odds and yet somehow pulled together to pull off a great down-to-the-last-minute win. In real estate, we often encounter bumps from contract to close, so it’s imperative you work with a group of people who know how to get their jobs done.
The Pittsburgh Steelers
Favored to win, the Steelers had too many interceptions and not enough defense to win this game. Feeling entitled and like you’ve got this “in the bag” won’t actually get you anywhere – in football or in real estate. Keep working, everyday, to get better.
If you’re hired to do a job, it’s best you come prepared to actually perform. Forgetting lyrics and screeching musical notes don’t qualify as a good performance or doing your job. Much like in real estate, if you come unprepared, you’ll get ripped apart as well. She also taught me that it’s not about me – it’s about you (the client). She butchered the National Anthem to try to show off her musical talents, but failed to actually do the song justice or properly honor the history of the Anthem. Don’t look out for only your own benefits, look out for theirs. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
I recently had a lively discussion with one of my Baby Boomer, dearest real estate friends on the phone. Of course, it was on the phone, that’s what Baby Boomers do. They want to meet and talk on the phone all the time. I had asked her if we could just e-mail, but she insisted on a phone call.
This phone call went into a long talk about what young, professional REALTORS® and our organization are in motion to do. I can always best sum this up in one word…availability.
Availability tears down walls of confusion. Availability creates strong bonds and ties across generational lines. Availability facilitates amazing, reciprocal relationships. In fact, in November alone, I had two association executives come to me and say virtually the same statement.
“Thank goodness for YPN. Had we not had our YPN committee, we would’ve never known that <insert name here> was even part of our organization. We put her in this association membership position and she was the shining star. We now have a new leader thanks to YPN!”
As Mickey Mouse-cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. Your availability as a young professional is truly making our real estate industry stronger, more diverse and salient to those who have us on their radar. Continue reading »