Cleaning up Real Estate

By Melissa Garcia

Recently I read an article on Inman News stating how we needed to do some housecleaning in real estate.

Basically It boils down to a few areas: under qualified agents and big data,

If you really look at things, there is not much we can do about the data part. Consumers have much power and Zillow, et al are here to stay.

We can control ourselves. Much of this is my own take on it.

First lets start at the bottom;

Licenses are fairly easy to get, Just know the state rules and take a test. No college necessary really. No customer services skills at all needed.

What I would change is that you need to be able to describe the parts of a buyer contract or seller contract and be evaluated on it. Kinda like in a college final when you take both written and a practicum test and that is just to be licensed.

Maybe clients then wont mind paying us heaps of money and we'll be judged as other professionals: lawyers, doctors, etc

Mandatory 20 hours of CE each year for everyone. I have to do this every year as a tax preparer.

Secondly you must work under another more experienced Realtor for the first 2 years as an intern and if you close less than 3 deals a year, you must always work for someone else on a team and that means a practicing person with 20 deals or more per year not just the broker who takes their cut.

Customer service - a regular program where an association would hire secret shoppers on ALL listings and evaluate the agent on the timeliness of phone call return, marketing, etc.

We need to stop fooling ourselves that only one thing sells the property :the MLS. No matter how many websites we have, all the marketing we do is self serving get more leads. We need a central MLS nationally and the ability to promote the property OUR way, not t of the association.

Make selling for family illegal...potential conflicts of interest. banks already do not allow family to list a relative's short sale.. This here will eliminate those who get the license to do the family deal.

Make brokers have a RESPA of sorts. They have to support their agents directly: their MLS membership, lockbox, color ads or flyers. ETC. Individual agents are feed to death with almost $1000 per year I have to pay even to operate between MLS fees, Association, state forms, lockbox. They will then earn their cut truly. Of course the they can hold all agents accountable for their efforts.

Finally, retire NAR. My association models their principles anyway. Ethics boils down to "DO the RIGHT THING"

So if another agent is doing a poor job with cultivating his listing, why not open it to competition? T Mobile and Sprint are always tempting you to break your contract with ATT and they'll help you do it. Doing the right thing helps the consumer. We hide behind ETHICS but more and more our business is...unethical by nature.

Eliminate double ending by the same agent. Pocket listings are borderline disadvantageous for the client.

I will admit, I am part time and I would be working under another directly but that is how I perfect my craft. As long as the lead agent took no more than 25 % of my commission and let me study their methods, I have no problem with being a secondary agent and as long as I am free to get my own listings and share it back with the agent Im fine with that and that is addition to what the broker gets.

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