Real Estate Insanity: Airing the Dirty Laundry

The Whole World Is Watching…

Dirty LaundryAs Brian Boero, of 1000Watt Consulting points out, when the market was zipping along and property values were climbing, very few real estate insiders stopped to consider how consumers were being treated or served.  As the market has turned and made the sale of real estate increasingly difficult, consumers (buyers and sellers) have begun to examine more critically at how we got into this mess.  Of course, and as should be the case, a critical eye is being passed over the real estate industry as a whole.

Brian’s whole post pivots off one billboard that he saw on the way home from a vacation.

Here’s what he saw:

“Now recruiting dual-career agents”

Allow me to throw another quote out there for more context:

Only 27% of Realtors surveyed by 56 local Realtors Assocn listed RE as their primary source of income…illustrates problem we have.” ~ Stefan Swanepoel via twitter

What amazes me is that this statistic is not secret, private information. Local REALTOR® associations offered up those stats.  What is further mind blowing, as one who is rabidly concerned about professionalism in our industry, is the fact that a “respected/recognized” real estate brokerage would brazenly and openly advertise that they want agents NOT dedicated to the real estate profession to “work” in their office and represent their brand…

Why not just put a “Kick Me” sign out front and allow disgruntled consumers to throw rotten vegetables at the broker?

Further, at PRECISELY the time the industry should be “upping” its game and becoming MORE professional…in this case, at least…it’s going DEEPER into the bottom of the competency barrel.

…They Are Making a List & Snickering…

It was the shoddy, or rather non-existent, concern about the real estate consumer that helped grease the skids of our housing decline.  And now, the very model that I blame for accelerating and exacerbating this issue, still has yet to buy a clue.

In fact, it’s FAR worse than that: They are openly, shamelessly TELEGRAPHING to anyone who is paying attention, “Look at us!  We don’t care about you, your home buying experience or the property you purchase!  In fact, we care so little, we’ll allow an agent whom we KNOW isn’t a fully dedicated real estate professional to shepherd you through your quest to find or sell a home.”

The real estate industry has long suffered from a rightly earned perception that we lack professionalism.  Our current economic malaise only amplifies our industry’s hand in the creation of this housing crisis.

You know the real estate industry has a perception issue:

  • When real estate agents hold open houses without being truthful about the purpose of an open house;
  • When agents actively crow about “double-ending” a transaction (that is, representing a buyer AND a seller in the SAME TRANSACTION!); and
  • When brokerages openly proclaim to WANT to hire part time agents.

You see, not one of these thoughts, which are permanent fixtures in many real estate brokerages, is concerned with or focused on the satisfaction of the consumer.  I would go so far as to state that they take the consumer for granted.

More from Brian’s post:

Do you think today’s buyers and sellers are too confused or too caught up in the “emotional nature of the real estate transaction” to notice this stuff?

Of course not. The whole world is watching now. Blemishes – let alone fundamental weaknesses – are nearly impossible to buff away. Stuff that didn’t strike a sour note during the good times rings with contradiction in an environment where the cover of Time magazine is dedicated to “Rethinking homeownership.”

[photo credit: José Goulão]

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