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Brian Byhower, Real Estate Pro in Hermosa Beach, CA

Why are there so many agents asking questions on this site? Don't your brokerages offer training? If not, you're working at the wrong place.

Asked by Brian Byhower, Hermosa Beach, CA Mon Apr 9, 2012

I can't imagine that agents asking several questions regarding contracts and escrows would pick up new clients. It shows that you lack experience. Try answering the questions asked by potential buyer and sellers. Don't make it appear that you don't know what you're doing. If your brokerage can't answer your questions, or they don't offer training, maybe it's time you move to a REAL realty company.

Help the community by answering this question:


Michael Smith, MBA, MPM’s answer
Kind of a jerk question! I am assuming Brian knows everything there is to know about his chosen profession and while I do admire his pedantic nature, as is the case with everything, a little class might come handy for Brian.

Peers ask questions of peers all the time. Last year Dodd-Frank passed and turned the entire mortgage and real estate market on it's head yet again. There are many factors on every transaction.

As such, I appreciate someone who has the courage to seek out answers. Brian, would you rather work with someone who just BS' his/her way through your deal (your purchase) only to find out at the end, that you don't qualify or the deal feel through? I appreciate those realtors who find a safe place in this venue to seek out answers or just brainstorm on the latest political BS coming out of Washington that seeks yet again to attack our livlihood.

In a perfect world, we are all omnipotent. However, we don't live in a perfect world Brian, we live in a fast changing environment that requires answers that we may not know sir.

Lighten up. It's going to be ok little fella!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
OK Fred, I don't think the bar needs to be raised. I think it needs to be opened and a few of us should just toss a couple back and cool our jets. Truila, the last time I checked, is an open forum. That said there is a time and a place for everything and anything on this venue.

Perhaps we should all take a look at the TAB under ADVICE. There's another prompt that says AGENT TO AGENT. It's sole purpose is for we P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L-S to seek out one another. This is one of the most creative and resourceful RE sites on the Internet. We can use it in anyway that benefits us.

Can't we all just GET ALONG?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Flag Mon Apr 16, 2012
Hey folks, a rising tide lifts all ships. Why the heck wouldn't we want to help our fellow agents? I'm fortunate to be successful and I'm even more fortunate to have benefited from the guidance of seasoned pros who took the time to teach me the ropes. I feel it's my obligation to honor those who taught me by giving back to the newer and less experienced agents. We've all been there, and we're all in this together!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
WOW..... what a great story and philosophy.
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
Hello Anthem, AZ,
Longmont, CO is a small city north of Denver. Agents know and have met most of the agents in town after a year or two. We also know many agents from neighboring communities. While we view other agents as our competitors, we're more than civilized about doing business in this town. The agents, like the people who own and rent homes here, are laid back and friendly. Yes, I am suggesting business might be more rough and tumble elsewhere.

I am happy to lend my expertise. There is a belief that you make the profession better and present a better face to the public when we help one another.

I subscribe to that belief.

Frankly, Brian's assertion that there are a lot of question asked here is well-supported. It's called a Q&A forum. People are invited to ask questions, and I don't mind if less experienced agents ask questions.

Thanks for chiming in.

Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
Real Estate Blogs and Interactive websites give new and old agents the opportunity to share and learn in an environment that is usually friendly. There are other blogs with sections for (agents only) to post questions regarding contracts, ethics, and policy. This forum is probably not the best to expose the fact that one does not know everything about contracts and escrows but who does? The fact that a person is humble enough to admit they do not know but willing to learn and or be corrected is a god thing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
I was reading down the line and saw a few comments about not slamming people for asking brokerage questions online, about why they are here anyway, and agent to agent.

I think the real issue is that people don't understand technology in general. I don't know if you realize, but when you ask a question and you have Google presence, your public information, wanted or not, is exposed. Regarding Annette - I'm not slamming anyone, I'm just saying that this is not the right forum for asking broker questions that might reveal lack of expertise. But you are right in "raising the bar" being elitist thinking. At the same time, having the bar set low or not encouraging others to raise the bar keeps us used car sales people in the consumer's eyes, not deserving of respect or what we earn in commissions, don't you think?

As far as the agent to agent - So funny! I post stuff there all the time and from reading the answers I can see that the agents think I'm a consumer and give me advice from that perspective "call your Realtor." Realtors suffer from RDR - Realtors Don't Read.

Agents should consider finding a private group on or offline to discuss brokerage questions that have to do with experience or lack thereof to protect their own reputation. We all need help from time to time, just don't post it publicly to protect you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 17, 2012
When a question such as "Do I need the sellers signature to change the purchase offer to match the appraisal?" I do cringe. Other questions such as 'When is the Lead Based Paint Disclosure required?" suggest a rogue agent may be in operation....somewhere. What would we see if we could roll the video back to our beginning? Sometimes we forget what we did not know back then.

However, it must be noted that every agent participating on Trulia has the ability to select regarding what questions they will receive notification. When you select 'All Activity' you should be prepared to take the good with the bad.

From time to time, an agent may have a 'public service announcement' frame of mind and simply wants to propose a question to demonstrate how complex this business is. One question, 45 different responses, half of which say, consult an attorney, tax advisor or chaplain. A consumer may come to the realization an effective professional is a solutions provider, not a crisis maker.

You can not know the purpose intended for the question submitted. You only know what your reaction is. One's reaction is always a reflection of what is inside them, and has little to do with the questioner or the content. Quite often that reaction is the vision of the 'blue haired real estate diva' everyone wants to avoid.

Yes, I agree, aggregate websites are for entertainment purposes. Buyers and sellers are not well served here. Real estate professionals should not expect a higher level. Don't take any of this stuff on aggregate web sites too seriously. But have intention to get those wanting to make a real estate decision to resources that can really help.

In my opinion, it is not the simplistic question that is grievous, but the misguided response offered with no attempt to gather more critical information.

Somewhere it is recorded that wisdom exists in the counsel of many. Why don't we just walk forward in that light.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
Well said.
Flag Mon Apr 16, 2012
I think its great!
It shows the difference between agents that know what they are doing and agents that don't. So many buyers think its about picking a house or putting a sign up. They over look experience in contracts, time frames, and marketing with local knowledge.
When agents ask ridiculous questions and experienced agents answer them, it shows consumers the difference of knowledge between agents.
The 90 / 10 rule is out there for a reason.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Brian and Lance;
One of the benefits of being a highly trained, experienced agents is that we can give back to our chosen profession by helping those with less experience or training. I consider it a gift that broadens the reach of our industry and improves our standing as professionals.
In addition, every transaction is different, and even with the best training, and after 36 years as a residential Realtor, I continue to encounter new and intriguing problems and issues. Thank goodness Trulia gives a forum to reach out to other agents for advice and real world experience.
Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) (310) 800-2954
Accredited Buyer Representative|Certified Distressed Property Expert |Pre-Foreclosure Specialist Certified
I want you to know that I appreciate any referrals from friends and associates who may be in the market to buy or sell real estate. You can count on me giving them the same high-quality service I provide to all of my clients.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
I would agree. I find it shocking how much many agents here don't seem to know.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
LOL, right? I often think why they bothered to ask what they ask. Are they lacking creativity or don't like their Broker? Personally, I'd never ask a brokerage question online.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
The best way to gain experience is "ask an old grizzly." Every day there are new twists and turns in this business. I'm proud that my office has a culture of sharing. Every single day there are people that come in with new experiences to share and learn from, good, bad, and ugly too. I probably take a training class every month and I share my training experiences in my listing presentation and encourage seller's interviewing multiple agents to check the public records on agent training. Is the agent they are considering doing the minimum CE or are they striving to get better every day.

I'd be scared of the agent who is not asking questions, getting better, seeking to understand and clarify.

I do share your view that there are way too many brokers out there not supporting their agents, not providing training, not providing mentors. This is not only sad, but a poor reflection on our industry. I almost wish there was an apprenticeship program for new agents, that would not allow them to get their license until they have partnered on several listings or sales.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Bottom line....the bar needs to be raised....very far!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Thank you, I was thinking the same thing. I thought this was for agents to help prospective buyers and sellers. I thought Trulia was putting the questions on to keep the site looking active. My goal was to help educate the public. I think any question from an agent should be directed to their broker as the broker is the one liable for the agent's actions. Policies and procedures vary depending upon location, so again , direction is the role of the broker. We have many "agent only" sites to share ideas and marketing techniques. I look forward to providing my expertise and ideas to buyers and seller via this site.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Michael, where is your picture? There is no need to attack Brian. Why do Realtors need to ask simple questions here is beyond me. Like, What to do when I have an accepted offer? No one said that Realtors should not post questions here, but they should ask more complex questions related to their real estate transaction. Also, I don't think Brian never said that we live in a perfect world.


1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
What are you drinking SFREG? Wine, shots, Jack? I can't stop laughing either. We all need to go get a drink together. Good times. Off the record you guys do make a nice couple.
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
Michael. I can't stop laughing!
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
San Fernando Real Estate Guy, where is your name? There is no need to attack me Brian and SFREG (what a terrible acronym)! Unsmart realtors like you and Brian ask questions here so they can get a feel for the market. You guys are a piece of work! When is your wedding date by the way! You are perfect for each other!
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
I had a typo, so I reposted.
Flag Sat Apr 14, 2012
@ Deborah,

I agree, there is nothing wrong with helping out others who have less experience. My response doesn't come from being elitist or snobby. At my company we have one of the most extensive and ongoing training programs available. Every agent is brought along slowly, coop-ing deals with me or more experience agents and gaining more experience each deal until they barely need help anymore.

This is why I'm surprised - no one at my company would ever think to come here for professional advice because they have access to such great resources in house. And I'm also surprised that agents don't understand that clients often ask questions or search here for representation - doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that if a potential buyer comes across a profile of someone who apparently doesn't have a lot of experience they're not likely to get that client.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 11, 2012
You are soooooo right about this! At Prudential California Realty, there is ongoing training and experienced managers who if you have questions will help you out! The Prudential Company and Agents ROCK!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
The spell-check thing reminds me of one of the funniest resumes I ever got. Everything looked great right up to the end when she listed under additional qualities that would make her a great candidate, and I quote, "I'm extremely profetional."
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
On another point raised here: There are consumers who read these forums. Comments are on display for all to see. If consumers don't return to ask their questions, maybe it's because they didn't like the answers - or the treatment they received.

Just my opinion, but we should be approachable and helpful. We're building a community here. Let's be helpful. A better educated public is what we want, isn't it?

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
While we're on the subject of looking stupid, how about a little more "spell-check", people?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012

You have a very good point....for issues of regulations, policy, protocol, and procedure, the first avenue for information should be via one's broker or manager.

Unfortunately, real estate is like the rest of the world.....there are those that do and do well.....those that don'r do well.....and those that would have everyone believe they have all of the answers but "only talk a good game...."

From my perspective, there is always a reason why people choose the means they do to obtain information.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
Don't get me wrong, I like helping others, but when I see some of these questions that agents ask, it makes me go Hmmmm? I don't want to use any examples and embarrass anyone, but some questions just shouldn't be asked. When an agent says that he got his offer accepted, now what does he do? How do you answer that? Agents like that should not be doing business. Not yet, at least. They need more training and where do you get the training? Usually from the larger, more reputable firms. Companies that offer frequent training, have in-house legal, etc. That's what I consider a REAL, real estate company. It just seems to me that most of the silly questions come from the 'mom and pop' type agents that don't have access to training centers, mastermind meetings, legal, etc. How would you feel if you went in for an operation and the surgeon asked the nurse which tools and medications should I use on this patient? Would you let this doctor operate on you? The same holds true for agents without training. Maybe they should get properly trained prior to selling a home and dealing with contracts. That's just my opinion. Sorry if I annoyed anyone, like Emily. (Not really)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Hello Brian,
There is a theory that we're all smarter for having Google to help us search for information. There is another theory that groups can be an excellent resource.

I don't mind if someone has a question.

If you're suggesting that some firms are not spending enough on training, it wouldn't be be the first time.

I would rather the newbies ask questions than blunder forward creating problems. If someone is new to the business and doesn't know something, they shouldn't be too proud to ask. It's a better policy than pretending you know what you're doing. Another thing, it doesn't happen frequently but I've come across a grizzled veteran or two who have surprised me with their lack of knowledge.

That's not important. I confess sometimes I feel weary from going back over someone's work and having to get them on the phone. It happens. If we help one another, the profession benefits - and the client benefits.

I agree with Deborah Bremner, real estate is incredibly complex. None of us can possibly know it all. Yes, thank goodness for Trulia and its forum.

Best regards,
Susan Alvarez
PML of Longmont, CO
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
I think there are a few agents out there just trying to navigate and see what others are doing to stay afloat. Not all offices have frequent meetings or round table and this is a safe place to get a peers opinion of general business practices. Even "real" companies have limited space and often agents are working from home. It is a digital world and easy to go online, ask a questions and get an answer, to basically anything. If you dont want to help, you dont have to answer.
Richard "RJ" Kas (SFR, SRES)
"Representing the finest properties from Los Angeles worldwide"
KAS Properties - Coldwell Banker Previews International - Beverly Hills South
166 N. Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.859-5334 office - 310.488.9826 mobile - 310-273-0690 fax ATT: RJ - - DRE: 01352771
Sellers Buyers Investors Leasing Consulting
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
I have to say, since each of us works in different areas of the city, state and/or country... there is great value in being able to get opinions from others in a like profession. There are times that even the Broker does not have or know the answer(s) and sometimes there can be more than one right answer. In our area we also rely on the Legal Hotline to get answers to many questions .. but ultimately we must have the ability to rely on the accuracy of information provided and then make a decision accordingly. I consider it an honor to respond to questions of any kind and it also offers me an opportunity to keep an open mind and I love to read the responses from others as it helps broaden my horizon. Wishing you well and much success in 2012!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Hey Briant,
Good question. You get some points from Trulia when you ask question. I have not thought of a question yet, but will one of this day.

Have a blessed day!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Yes, agreed, we do get a lot of dumb questions from agents on this site. OR agents like to ask questions as if buyers & sellers are cruising this site looking to ANSWER questions instead of Ask, and those agents usually get this response from me

"Home buyers & sellers ask questions TO Realtors to get answers. They're not really the ones browsing around for questions like this, your question is not reaching the right audience. This type of question is probably better for a blog site. After you've given over 1300 well though out answers to consumers here on Trulia, you'll understand why my receiving an email alert for this type of 'question', is annoying"

My receiving your question in my inbox today is a little annoying too, but I understand you just want to vent. I find screaming into a pillow works or grabbing a 1/2 gallon of double chocolate chip ice cream......nom nom nom
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Emily, why are you bothering to even read my question, yet alone answer it? Are you some 'high and mighty' Realtor that I disturbed? Get a life. It appears I did target the right audience, you answered my question.
Flag Mon Apr 9, 2012
I work at Keller Williams. If it's training, classes, and mentorship that you need, you will get it all there!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Hi Brian,

Thanks for posting this question. I was wondering the same thing. It does hurt us as professional organization. Agents, you are working for your BROKER. He or she is your employer. Don't be afraid to ask your BROKER or office manager questions regarding a real estate transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Reverse marketing. Turlia rewards ppl for asking questions too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 17, 2012
Ok you got me. I feel the original question was obnoxious and offensive. I also agree with
the notion that licencee's are responsible to learn the protocol and process. I have not seen an unknowing agent on this site ask a silly question but if I did I would not look fondly on it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 17, 2012
@John Arendsen, Broker, Encinitas, CA, wish I could give you more than one TU!

It never fails that the elitist and exclusionist chant the 'Raise the Bar' mantra. Too many assume to know the purpose intended by the submitter for the question they posted.

As you so clearly stated, Truila can be utilized for the purpose of the participant. We do not all share the same purpose. To follow the practices of Trulia, one should understand this is a good platform to collect marketing research......and not the best resource to dispense advise when all the facts of the situation can not be known.

If you are marketing to agents, 'What type and structure of question gets the most attention?"
If you are marketing to buyers or sellers, how do you present your links to get the clicks.

Unfortunately, some believe this is a real estate web site and work feverishly to try to make ti so. The reality is, feverish real estate agent participation will not turn an entertainment site into a real estate site. John's understanding and willingness to share the same will serve more agents and citzens better than the knee-jerk 'raise the bar' babble.

When the tide again changes, and the market put on a new suit, and fresh agents make as much as the old salts, we willl still here the chanting in the background........raise the bar. So what's new?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
Thank you for pointing out the "agent2agent" . That solves everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
As a mentor myself, I'm on both sides of this fence. While there are questions I show my boss and we get a little chuckle out of, there are many more questions that are good questions, some requiring more expertise than others to get an accurate answer.

It's always good to create an atmosphere for learning and advancement in your office (that's how it is in my office currently, it wasn't like that at one of my previous companies) or community (or online community in this case) but when we as professionals ask questions here, it's probably a good idea to ask yourself if you should be posting your question publically for your future clients to see at some later date and there will be ones who google you and find every question you ever asked/answered.

Perception is reality in our business, if you're asking a question that makes you look new, your future clients may weed you out by that same criteria; it works both ways.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 16, 2012
Umm, you paid nothing. The seller did. I would think buyers and seller would benefit greatly from following the Q & A and exchange of ideas between agents in the business. I savvy buyer or seller would likely see value in an experienced agent who takes the time to educate others in their field. We already fight a public perception of real estate agents not working for their money and putting commissions ahead of the interest of the client. I'd like to think that seeing us working with each other, rather than cutting the newbies down, would not only provide them with knowledge but also help our collective image.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
I was the seller and you get a very different perspective when you are paying someone $17,250 for a service. Next time you write a check for that amount let me know what you expect in return. It's an eye opener!
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
It isn't a matter of helping or not, it's a matter of the appropriate place. As a recent seller/listing agent and just paid out a commission to the selling agent of over $17,000 it would disturb me to think that I was paying that fee to the agents who have asked the questions that I have seen here. I think internal training should be just that and my understanding was this was a site for the public to get information from professional and experienced agents. Perhaps I misunderstood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Brian and the other fella having a crazy time up on this message board. Have a good night and good luck with all your closings (or lack thereof). Have a great day tomorrow sitting at home wishing for a deal!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 15, 2012
Wow Michael, I think you're on the wrong message board. Questions regarding recalls of psychotropic meds is somewhere else. This is a real estate message board. If you look like your picture, that explains everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
Wow! Brian, based on your comments, that explains a lot. You came on here and asked a dumb question. I gave you my thoughts on your question! I am not sure about the meds and all that. Are you taking some? You seem to know a little about that. & yes I look like a QR code Brian. Very astute of you!
Flag Sat Apr 14, 2012
Johnny, if I could award you the best answer I would. Love your answer. I even love the typo you made. Very subliminal overtone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 14, 2012
LOL! I'm getting a HOOT out of all of this!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
It's pretty obvious. Its marketing. I see agents ask rhetorical questions. It is to demonstrate dialogue. No harm done in fact information shared for free with no obligation. Pretty good deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
LOL! Lance, dat's putty funie. Wut wud we do wifout spel sheck?

Kathleen, so good to see someone so passionate about their broker.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
Yo, Prickett group......bravo. Let's also try to break up the flow of our comments and questions by shortening our paragraphs a little. Sure makes it much easier to read and follow. Blogging 101?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
Live and let live,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
I agree with Laura, agents asking foolish questions benifit the rest of us. I will admit that i too am often surprised at the questions other agnets/brokers ask on Trulia. When I can I'll anser them, but I always include the line,"In the future you should check with your Broker in Charge before posting your question on Trulia"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 10, 2012
BTW...................Just what "REAL realty company" are you pitching? Sorry for such a dumb question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
LOL! I think it's kinda fun sometimes. I often ask a question just to get bounce back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012…

is a thread that asks and has many answers to the question: "Why are there no stupid questions?"


"there is no such thing as a stupid question, but generally they are the easiest to answer."


"If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?"

-Scott Adams

"There are no stupid questions, only malformed and/or annoying ones."

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
I guess it depends on the question. I certainly wouldn't bet my license on the advice I might receive from a message board. On the other hand, I've worked at some brokerages where the broker was either too busy, or too out of touch to get a prompt and relevant answer. Sometimes there's value in bouncing ideas or situations off of your peers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 9, 2012
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