CAUTION: Becoming a real estate professional has proven to cause deranging behavior, pedantic obsessions, unmertied optimism, and uncontrolable cravings to chant affirmations in adults. Use only under the guidance of a professional. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
Do you know what "finger, finger, finger" means? Unless you've spent time on a pistol range with an NRA certified instructor you probably think it means "obscenity at you, dude." It doesn't. It means "take your finger off the trigger until I've given you the command to fire."
Do you know what "days after contract" means? I'm sure you do, but I know from personal experience that 80% of people who work outside the real estate profession don't. Neither do about 10% of those who do work in the the real estate profession (the bozos...).
My point is this - the difference between professionals isn't their education, years of experience, certifications, number of hours they work, or model of Bentley they drive. It's how they conduct business and serve their clients. Part of conducting business in a professional manner is using the proper terminology so that other professionals know what you're saying. A mentor once described it as "communicating with precision."
I agree that paying annual dues to an organization doesn't necessarily make you any better or worse from the guy down the street selling the same services but who doesn't pay dues. But it does grant the dues-paying fellow certain rights, one of which is to identify themselves as a member of the organization. Conversely, for a non-dues paying person to use language that might make anyone think they are a member is FRAUD. That's why NAR trademarked REALTOR(R) and Trulia spells PRO in all caps.
Yes, the public may have hijacked "realtor" - but as a NAR member I will continue to "educate" those willing to listen on the difference between a real REALTOR(R) and a fraud.
Just like a lot of words in our language, Realtor has come to mean something different to a lot of people. It is an aspiration.
It is a standard, it is a profession, which we feel is closely equal to a few other professions. Most Realtors do not have a college degree; but we have more education and continuing education that lifts us up. We are expected to traverse a maze of problems and tests, helping our clients and ourselves. We are like jungle guides who know the terrain and the dangers.
We are expected to stand on our own two feet, know what's next and not have a boss looking over our shoulder. We are required to be an independent businessman and set an example.
We prioritize our Clients time and needs, and try, at least try to listen and make their dreams come true.
We are vested with the job of making our Client's lives a little bit better; it is part of our Mission Statement: How many professions can say that.
Not all of us live up to these standards, and not all of the time either; but the majority of us try.
My parents were Realtors in the 60's, so I grew up with weedends dedicated to spending time with stangers, instead of family. I saw evenings at the kitchen table, spent on paperwork and solving problems. I saw my father try to rise above a high school education and my mother hitting her head on glass ceilings.
These are the things that make Realtors more than Agents. Not an annual fee.
Trulia requires a fee for us to call ourselves "PRO": Is that the same thing.
NAR and CAR lost control of the word realtor years ago.
The public has decided what a realtor should be; what they expect of us, and the standards we should be held to. We just constantly try to be worthy of that appelation.
The real estate industry, like most professions, has its own jargon with terms that have very specific meaning among those who work in the field. You can differentiate yourself from the bozos in our industry by learning and using the correct terminology as you embark on your career.
Best of luck!
Pass the test
Pay the fees
YOU"RE A REALTOR(r)
Did you know 95% of all newly minted agents fail to reach their second year?
You can find out the truth of what Bill stated, "All that glitters is not gold" through personal expereince or, as others have suggested, buy a cup of coffee and cheese danish at Panera Bread for a few agents in your area. You unlikely have a clue regarding what you would even chat about with these agents. Those who receive compensation for recruting will encourage you to sign up. Those who receive nothing will advise you must commit or others can not commit to you.
Questions you should consider asking
1. What activitiy(s) do you spend most of your time on?
2. How did you define your business?
3. How did you establish your business goals?
4. What is your most significant costs?
5. What has proven to be the most difficult part of being a Realtor(r)?
The responses to these questions should compel you to act responsibly. A real estate professional is a small business owner. A business owner does not open a shop without know exactly what the shope provides. What is the cost of what is provided. What will be charged for what is provided. Where the customer is located. What the customer can afford to spend. What is the profit margin. When is the break even date anticipated. Planned expansion options. COSTS of store front, employees, insurance, advertising and all those afiliated costs.
Now that you have defined your business, the next task is having a probing, intelligent disucssion with a variety of brokers. You will be asking the 'What broker should I choose? question later.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Before beginning your journey be certain that you are grounded and have an accurate appreciation for what is involved. As with most choices, there much more than meets the eye.
Consider meeting with and possibly shadowing a successful agent for a few days. This should help with your decision.
Jen and Mark Bowman
Keller Williams Realty