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 Anand Patel
Regardless of your preference in music it’s hard to turn on the radio today and not hear a song featuring the musician known as Pitbull. The Miami-born 31 year old artist is also a successful businessman who endorses (and in some cases holds equity ownership) Kodak, Bud Light, Voli Vodka, Sheets energy strips, Dr. Pepper and Zumba Fitness. It’s probably safe to assume today that Pitbull is on the top of his game. But how did he get there?
Listening to any of Pitbull’s songs, one underlying theme you will notice quickly are his many references to himself as “Mr. 305” and “Mr. Worldwide”. The interesting thing to note is that he has always referenced himself this way, even before becoming an international hit. Pitbull visualized himself becoming what he is today and now he is living it out. The lyrics of some of his early music spell out his intentions to “take it to the world.” Yes, it took a lot of hard work mixed with luck, but a key ingredient for his success, in my opinion, was knowing (and believing) early on what it is he was setting out to achieve. As one of the world’s foremost leadership authorities, Stephen Covey (who sadly just passed away the other day) stated in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin With the End in Mind.”
As half of 2012 is almost behind us, we all find ourselves reassessing our goals to date and formulating our plans for the next six months. But how do we see ourselves three, five and 10 years down the road? Sometimes we get caught up in our monthly goals that we forget the big picture—or we don’t have a big picture in mind at all. I’m personally in the midst of launching a new independent brokerage in Tampa, Fla., and am finding myself having to adapt this mindset to the plans for the new company as well:
What kind of market share am I looking to attain long term?
How many and what type of agents do I want to bring into the company?
Where do I see the company to be in five to ten years?
What are our long-term core values? Continue reading »
By Jason O’Neil
March. In like a lion out like a lamb…it is one of my favorite months. Yes, my birthday is in March, but so is St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of Spring, and let us not forget about the Ides. More popular than all of those combined is the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament, simply known as March Madness or The Tournament.
Amidst the excitement this past weekend it dawned on me that much what happens all season long doesn’t mean anything once the first whistle blows. I was drawn toward the parallels of pricing and selling a home. You see, the price of a home is a very academic thought out process that involves averages, standard deviations, seasonal adjustments and countless other adjustments. As an agent, I spend countless hours with my sellers developing a pricing strategy.
The time spent developing a pricing schedule is similar to ranking, or seeding, teams in The Tournament: strength of schedule, margin of victory, conference wins, play ins and automatic bids.
But then the game starts, the sign goes up and first whistle blows. And none of it matters.
It really doesn’t.
All the academic work to develop the pricing strategy or to see who is an 8 seed versus who is a 6 seed or if the home should be listed for $275,000 or $250,000 is out the window. Now it’s up to who, in basketball has more points when the clock runs out, or who in the neighborhood is going to get an offer on their home first. Butler is still an 8 seed, even though they beat a 1 seed. Statistically speaking, that is not supposed to happen. But the funny thing about about things that aren’t supposed to happen is that sometimes they do.
Once the sign goes up all that matters is what the buyers who are active in the market think, and more importantly how they act. At that point agents and their sellers need to pay close attention and react to the initial pricing strategy…once a home is listed the “comps” no longer matter, the only thing that matters is buyers making offer. In basketball, the only thing that matters is winning.
Jason O’Neil is a broker and an owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his Web site: www.McKenzieListings.com