April 1, 2015 by Jeff Lowen
From time to time, I see articles written, seminars given or YouTube videos published on the magic of selling. Yes, we’re all in sales – whether selling our wares or selling ourselves, I get it. Yet, the movie, Glengarry Glen Ross has Alec Baldwin depicted as a less than caring salesman proclaiming the time tested sales rule of “Always be closing.” That’s the rule of A-B-C, to you seasoned types.
Now, I thought the movie was great, but I often wonder how we’re really treating our clientele and teaching the public about our vocation as professional salespeople. In a business where – no matter the industry – doesn’t take a lot of experience to get hired, car sales, vacuum cleaners, knives, aluminum siding and yes, even real estate; what’s the message that we as an industry, are sending to general populous?
Is it any wonder that the responses, “I’m just looking,” “I’m not signing anything,” or “I’ll do it myself” are the norm among people that really need our help? We’re in a position to help someone solve a problem and they could really benefit from our expertise, yet I’m reading a study where nearly 70% of consumers don’t trust real estate agents http://bit.ly/1DcRAKk. …Things that make you say, “Hmmm…”
I’m not necessarily out to change the world – or perhaps I am, but what’s up with that? I talk to many agents that give excuses about this in terms of it being as a result of the volatility in the market, customers don’t understand, or some other BS reason, rather than taking responsibility for it and admitting that WE as an industry have failed consumers. Period! We have no one to blame for this except ourselves.
Being licensed in Virginia, it takes a whopping 60 hours to get a real estate license and help you with your million dollar asset. Hell, if I were to legally cut your hair, I’d have to get 600 hours of school and training beforehand. Are you kidding?? I wish! Is this a bureaucratic thing? Have we voted officials in positions to this end? I’m sure this has something to do with it, however the question remains, how can we build confidence in an industry that has historically failed the very people we claim to help?
I belong to the National Association of Expert Advisors, a group of professionals that desire to counter this issue. Is it the answer? I don’t know, but it’s definitely a start. Do you have an agent you’re working with that’s professional and serious about their career and your best interests? Fantastic! Keep them close! If not, contact me and I’ll find you someone you can feel comfortable and confident in whatever real estate need you have. Yes, I run a real estate business, but I would rather you are pleased with the experience.
In a world where as I’m having dinner at a nice restaurant, and a passing conversation with the waitress finds her telling me that she waitresses here, she sells Pampered Chef and, by the way, has her real estate license, too. Albeit perfectly legal and acceptable by today’s standards, could it be that our standards are too low? What if your doctor couldn’t provide focus on your illness because he was concerned about his shift tonight delivering pizzas, or his handyman business commands much of his time? Oh, he didn’t have time to read those precautions on those meds he prescribed. Darn it!
If you ask me, it’s time to wake up! I read another study from the NAR (Nat, Assoc, of Realtors) – To be called a Realtor you MUST be a part of it and your checkbook is really all that’s required for membership. A huge 30% of all Realtors didn’t even do a deal last year! “Gee Doc… I need a hernia operation, but you haven’t done one in a year+?? You know where to start cutting, right?”
The system isn’t perfect, but if we don’t see the challenges and try to make it better, it becomes just like the national debt. Headed in the wrong direction. And I don’t know about you, but to me – that’s unacceptable!
Note: Jeff’s Jabb is a personal opinion and not intended to discount the fact that there are countless professionals that hold a much higher standard than what the government requires. As we all know, once the government gets their hands on things, all our troubles are solved, right?