I’m a Licensed Real Estate Agent (LREA) and can use the post nominal LREA here in the State of Queensland. My Licence Number is 3016070 and can be searched and checked HERE
What I’m about to discuss applies to many jurisdictions. Terminology may differ but the basics are the same.
Almost everyone in the industry calls themselves a Real Estate Agent, however most are not. They are Registered Salespeople working under a Licensed Real Estate Agent’s supervision or they are Letting Agents, managing a property, rent roll or complex.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!
When you phone or call into a Real Estate Agent’s Office it’s not often you’ll get to deal with the Principal or LREA in charge of the Office.
More likely a salesperson will be your first contact.
There are many salespeople in the business who’ve been selling for many, many years and have never bothered to study for a full licence (LREA) or, in the USA for example, a Broker’s Licence. They may be very good at what they do, but their “professional” knowledge is often lacking or out of date. These people are Dinosaurs and Lazy. They almost never attend Continuing Professional Development and often do things that are a little “out there”. “Ethics” often is a word that has no meaning or impact.
Contracts and Forms change often. The Dinosaurs often fail to register these changes. I’ve seen Contracts fall over and have overheard some very angry phone calls from lawyers over the state of some Contracts prepared by Tyrannosaurus Rex. Here in Queensland, even brand new salespeople can fill in the standard Contract and use it as a negotiation instrument, ferrying the document back n forth until a deal is struck.
A lot of experienced registered salespeople are unethical and dangerous. I can make and will stand by that statement as I’ve dealt with these sharks first hand and they are not to be trusted, even with your Grandma’s false teeth. What then, about the newly minted registered salesperson or Letting Agent? You are about to place the care and custody of (often) your most valuable asset in their hands.
No offence to Concreter’s labourers (my many house slabs, driveways and other concreting would not have been possible without their hard work) but why is he now in charge of marketing and selling your home when last weekend he was pushing a wheelbarrow? A 5 day course with lightweight and not overly difficult multiple choice format exams was the only barrier between a laboring job and the really quite sophisticated assignment ahead.
Some will tell you that he will be “closely supervised” and mentored by the Licensee.
In practice it rarely happens and these poorly trained sods will bang around, wasting your time, dragging all sorts of unqualified folk through your home and failing completely in their professional duty of care because, quite frankly, they don’t have a clue.
There are only TWO reasons why people end up in real estate.
1. Because they want to.
2. Because they have to.
You are going to pay an Agency a fair amount of money to market and sell your home.
For a $500,000.00 home, some $15,000.00 including GST, a big sign and other expenses.
A salesperson will receive between 30% and 50% or more of that figure depending on the Agency. How can someone do a 5 day course and be paid (worth) that much?
Sorry, but they just don’t have the skills and experience to do the job.
Choose someone with a full LREA. Choose someone with experience, a track record and plenty of written references from happy Clients and customers. Clients and customers who are REAL, live people and are happy to be contacted and spoken to by you.
A competent agent will (should – must!) have their own professional website in addition to appearing on their Office website. They must write an informative, REGULAR e-Newsletter and have a large following. If their newsletter is full of cut n paste (read – plagiarised) material from others, and has advertisements for dubious products, recipes for scones, and pictures of kittens and puppies all over for padding, throw it out. He or she is not to be trusted.
I had >2,500 people eagerly await my e-Newsletters every two weeks. No padding, puppies or Quiche. I enjoyed the experience of having salespeople and Agents all over town (who should’ve known better but didn’t care or know about Copyright) cut n paste my ORIGINAL material, and put their name to it.
What they didn’t realise was that my loyal followers, Clients, Customers and Investors often had multiple properties in many suburbs and would forward me scanned copies of the plagiarised material. Every time I spoke with the salesperson or LREA in charge of the offending office, the response was less than one would’ve expected.
You get my drift?
Many LREA’s today have Degrees in Marketing or Commerce. Some have MBA’s. This is a good thing.
One day, long after I’ve “popped my clogs” Real Estate Agents will have to study as hard as Accountants and Lawyers. They’ll have similar professional bodies and be able to charge by the hour for their “professional” services rather than lie and cheat in the rough and tumble of a commission based system which breeds and encourages the sort of behaviours we read about in the Press.