Prior to becoming a Realtor, I had run into some agents who gave me a negative impressions. :( I was never hostile, as I have seen in some nasty anti-Realtor rants, such as you mentioned. As a consumer, I had found it challenging and difficult to locate what I believed to be a competent agent. :( I hear several stories of Realtors who tell tales of becoming a Realtor due to a bad experience as a consumer. That somewhat influenced my decisions. I had a corporate sales and marketing career in international before becoming a Realtor. I wanted to sell something that I was passionate about.
Fast forward to today..........I know many Realtors who are top notch that I hold in extreme high regard for their knowledge, commitment, judgement and results. I also know, as you all do, a good handful that should not have RE licenses.
Because there are so many agents, and the barrier to entry so low, the odds of stumbling across a licensee who gives off less than a favorable impression is there. Sheer volume and numbers. Some newbies are very good, new isnâ€™t always a negative. There are seasoned veterans who are not committed to work hard or have not kept pace with the changes in our industry, so years of experience alone is guarantee that you have found the ace.
I am disappointed by the negative rants that I hear. I have seen good agents leave this industry. It wasnâ€™t because they weren't good or couldn't cut it. They chose to make a living in another line of work that did not infringe on their nights and weekends. They were sensitive to being the subject of belittlement and treatment as second class citizens. I know former Realtors who work in jobs today and claim they made the right decision by exiting because they work far less hours and have much greater respect. Rants that simply bash all Realtors do nothing to make the process of buying and selling property better. Those type of rants only validate the person behind them is an angry person, probably at the world. Constructive approaches to licensing requirements and continuing education is probably a step in the right direction of elevating the profession. A NAR focus on quality over quantity would also be a positive step.
There are probably a lot more satisfied customers out there who value Realtors than many of us realize. Those that are angry, justified or not, are likely to be far more vocal. To the public members who read this, please know that all hard working Realtors value and cherish your positive words about your personal experiences. Please do share! You really have no idea of how we treasure your stories.
I have met clients who became and remain my friends today. I have met some wonderful people as a result of being a Realtor. This includes other Realtors and clients. I have added to my circle of friends and attended more weddings, backyard BBQs, holiday parties and late night conversations about nothing and everything.. Despite the bad wraps, the inconsistencies, and the unpredictable hours, I find the rewards of being a Realtor worth it.
I do think that open lines of communication and better educated consumers are a step in the right direction for the public to find a path to competent Realtors. Trulia Voices is a step in that direction. Trulia is a terrific example of one way the pubic can see that we honor our profession and their needs. The public can determine the direction of conversations by simply posting the question of their interest. This is a great oppty for the public and Realtors. Other way that we try to make this evident is in our community contributions and our every day interactions with the public, clients or not. Unfortunately, that is not enough....otherwise the loom of negativity would not cast a shadow. So, better vehicles for consumer education gets my vote.