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 Veronica Barragan
Some REALTORS® conceived 2012 as “The Year of Volume Transactions” because lower home prices created the need to increase transactions to keep up with personal career goals while maintaining life styles and income. In actuality, 2012 has quickly become “The Year of the Professional.”
We’re in an environment where REALTORS® celebrate authentic, professional standards, and embrace all markets as a visionaries. They can stand back and understand the big picture, while in turn, offering excellent client service with integrity.
For example, in states such as Arizona where I currently practice, many REALTORS® have shifted their business dramatically and quickly from the dwindling REO niche back to buyers and sellers. REALTORS® are going back to basics, which should have never been ignored if they planned on making real estate a long term career. “The basics” encompass key fundamental characteristics that never ever disappear and easily transcend time. The basics include the utmost professional attention to each and every client’s needs, appreciating every phone call as the gateway to referrals because of the agent’s attention to detail, and, more importantly, having the ability to be fully present and aware of the intentions, desires, and needs of every individual who comes to you, as an agent, for your real estate expertise.
Today’s market is diverse and includes first-time home buyers, the tech-savvy newest generation, the growing and underserved Hispanic community, investors, second home buyers, and sellers in a hardship situation. To be able to serve this new and diverse clientele effectively as a professional, you must be able to adapt the basics into your business plan and into your soul.
There is no more sitting back and waiting for the bank to assign you that distressed property, because you will not survive — Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
Recently, I have noticed how often you see a character on TV playing a real estate agent or the several hundred reality shows about real estate. It brings home the point that real estate has the interest of pretty much everyone. You can’t turn on the news and not hear some sort of real estate-related story. Let’s face it, real estate is sexy.
The fact that so many consumers have interest in real estate makes me happy. However, I sometimes wonder if I fall into some sort of stereotype that consumers have about agents. Some examples I have heard in the past are:
1. Everyone is a real estate agent - For those of us who are still active in real estate, we know this is no longer true. The days of people getting licensed just to make a quick buck are over.
2. Our job is easy – Not true. We make it look easy to spare our clients some stress.
3. We all make a bunch of money – I read somewhere that the average agent last year closed one transaction. I don’t need to say anything further.
4. We all drive big expensive vehicles and plaster our faces on them – False.
5. We are simply about making money – To me, it’s more important to have a happy client than to make a quick buck. If my clients are happy, they will refer people to me. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
It was a quiet Monday night until the cell phone rang. My mother-in-law was on the other end, and five hours later my wife and I arrived in Cleveland – via Bellevue – and the Cleveland Clinic as my father-in-law was admitted.
It would go without saying that we were scared, nervous, and extremely worried as we were settling in for what would be a four-day stay in a hotel that we were barely prepared to stay for a single day. We were not prepared for this situation – but the Cleveland Clinic was. They have dealt with this on a daily basis for hundreds – if not thousands – of patients that arrive on a daily basis to the premier health facility.
They were prepared for us to ask questions we didn’t even know we had. We knew the clinic’s reputation – that’s why we were there – for health care, but its total commitment to the patient and family care is where the correlation to real estate begins in this post.
The first night we were there, I was wondering around looking for some food. It was going on 11 p.m. and none of us had eaten since lunch. I was half-awake, half-aware, and totally-hungry as I stepped off the elevator at the first floor. I looked left, then to the right, and stopped. A gentleman pushing a broom stopped and smiled asking, “Can I help you?” He directed me to the all-night diner where I picked up food for the mother-in-law and headed back to the room.
But that was the beginning of my amazement. “How can I help you?” Five words, none more than two syllables and they changed the entire way I looked at the clinic experience. Continue reading »