The saga continues
It’s Thursday. 5:17
72 hours ago I became a lead. Today, I feel ignored. Unimportant. I feel that maybe I failed to clearly express my needs to the agent on whose website I was captured. Maybe I wrote something that rubbed her the wrong way. Maybe she’s sick. Or lying in the hospital victim to a crime. Or illness. If that were the case, I would feel horrible for even thinking that maybe she doesn’t care. Or worse, can’t do her job.
I want to believe that real estate agents are good people who wake up every morning hell bent on doing right by their customer. I know they want to sell their listings. I know they want to get their buyers into new homes. I know they want to build their new client base. I know they want to build deep seeded loyalties with past clients. I know they want to make as much money as they possibly can and live wonderful lives.
Then why aren’t they?
I think they have no idea how.
And I wonder… who’s to blame?
I believe we are all responsible for our own actions.
I believe that our success or failure rests upon our own shoulders.
I believe that if you take your life in your own hands, you can’t blame anyone for your failures.
Yet I cannot bring myself to blame this agent.
A few months back Brian and I were in a cab in NYC and saw a huge ad posted on the side of building. It was a call to action for would be agents. He blogged about it the following week and it’s worth reading. It pertains to this.
Is real estate a career for just anyone?
Has it performed a disservice by importing people into it as easily as songs into iTunes?
What happens when an agent graduates and is awarded their license?
Are they ready?
Did they learn bedside manner? Marketing? Technology?
Have then been taught how to analyze cycles? How to analyze data? How to cope with bubbles or even what bubbles are?
Have they written a thesis or given projects to work on to help broaden their awareness or skill set?
Are they briefed on many online communities, forums and destinations that can help them grow, aspire and connect?
Do they know how to discern between the hundreds of vendors that will promise the earth and deliver them soil?
Are they taught how to properly price homes?
Are they taught how to negotiate through the home inspection?
Are they taught how to respond to an email inquiry?
I don’t know how long it takes for an agent to master their craft but however long that is, today in 2008, given everything from huge commissions to complex market trends, is it fair that agents are allowed to woodshed these critical skills on the consumer?
I don’t have all the answers. But I know this — the system is corroded if what I’ve been experiencing this week happens more than once in a blue moon. And if it is… the industry must consider its responsibility. Its stake in changing it. I refuse to believe there is an epidemic of agents in that don’t care about the consumer. And if that is the case, all the more reason to mend it.
But I actually believe most agents care.
I believe they love their job.
I am convinced they just don’t know how to represent.
The industry as a whole owes something to the agents it recruits. It owes them a more comprehensive education at the onset. Better training and internship once hired. And stricter standards along the way.
The industry owes something to sellers like the owner of the home I inquired about and never heard back on. The industry owes something to buyers — the ones who get sucked up into the vortex.
And the industry owes something to the professional agents who who kill for their clients but get lumped under the big tent of stereotype.
And the industry owes it to itself to live up to its self portrait.