When the country’s largest real estate trade group bares some of its innermost worries, should owners, sellers and buyers of homes pay attention?
That is the question columnist Kenneth Harney asked, in his article published in the Washington Post. He went on to say, “Absolutely, if you want valuable insights into current issues and problems with the housing marketplace. You might even save some money or avoid a bad experience with an agent or broker.”
It’s that last statement, though, that I think deserves the most attention. Let’s face it, most consumers don’t care much about the housing market from a business perspective. Agents, and the National Association of Realtors®, who commissioned the D.A.N.G.E.R Report, care about the housing market from a business perspective. The consumer, though, he cares about real estate from the retail and investment perspective, which means, working with the wrong agent, like choosing the wrong plastic surgeon, can have negative and lasting consequences.
And see, here’s the telling thing about the National Association of Realtors®, and the industry as a whole. I don’t know how much it cost to commission this Report. Maybe $100,000 or $500,000, or maybe a million or more. But, while the Report looked at the dangers impacting agents and brokers, and the dangers impacting NAR, and the state and local associations, and the dangers impacting the MLS, it did nothing to identify the dangers [of all of this] to/on the consumer—you, the people who hire agents.
I’ve long said, “Real estate is a dog eat dog industry” and, from the top down, “Not enough eyes are focused on serving the consumer.”
Instead of worrying about the value delivered to the consumer, the Reports cites “A variety of powerful forces exert significant downward pressure on real estate commissions,” as one of the greatest dangers. Yeah, but what about you? Is that a concern of yours, paying lower commissions? Obviously, consumers want to pay less to real estate agents. And I get, I know why consumers [as a whole] want to pay less. It’s due to a truth that NAR [and the industry] refuses to confront.
Below are quotes straight from the findings of the Report. These are not my opinions. I did not make these up. These are based on the facts and data:
- “The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.”
- “Most professions (doctors, lawyers, accountants, and engineers) require thousands of hours of study, beginning with a bachelors degree. Even becoming an earth driller requires an average of 704 hours of instruction, and becoming a cosmetologist requires an average of 372 hours. But to become a licensed real estate agent requires an average of only 70 hours with the lowest state requirement being 13 hours. The delta between great real estate service and poor real estate service has simply become too large, due to the unacceptably low entry requirements to become a real estate agent.”
So why doesn’t NAR just lobby to just raise the bar of entry? Because it’s about money. The National Association of Realtors®—the nation’s largest lobbying group—is, in essence, a government. Just like the federal and state government’s, NAR makes its money through membership dues. In a way, members are like taxpayers. The more members, the more money. So, to raise the bar for entry, to make it harder to be a real estate agent—would decrease the total number of members nationwide. Thus, decreasing the revenues paid [by members] to the national, state and local associations.
Does the government ever want fewer taxpayers?
Neither does NAR!
And the saddest part is, the leaders of the real estate industry preach to no end, “serve the consumer.” But then, by their actions, demonstrate their true intention [to line their pockets] by not making licensing requirements more stringent. And see, personally, I think it’s common sense. If you allow a cockroach infestation to exist, by doing nothing to eradicate the bugs, then by inaction you’re condoning the cockroaches, their filth and behavior, by allowing more to take root and multiply.
This is why, for publishing articles like this, someone the other day called me, “The Voice against a broken industry.” Because unlike those who just talk about better-serving clients, I actually do. The book I authored, The Warren Buffett Approach To Sell Real Estate. A practical guide to protect yourself from REAL ESTATE GREED & bank an extra $30,000 in profit by taking a VALUE-DRIVEN APPROACH, is a testament to that. In fact, much of what is exposed in the D.A.N.G.E.R Report, I talk about in Chapter 1. But more important, unlike the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report, I also provide the solutions. I, frankly, couldn’t care less how brokers, NAR, the state and local associations, and the MLS is being [negatively] impacted, by their own doing, due to the inferior foundation they built when they chose to build on low morals, ethics, and insatiable greed.
You, the consumer—my readers—are my focus. Not them, nor their problems.
If the real estate industry is truly “dog eat dog,” then I choose to be in the bunker with you. Leaving those in the ‘good ole’ boys club’ to fight amongst themselves. They deserve each other. They can lie and stab each other in the back. They can cheat and steal from one another. I want no part of it.
As the report states, and I quote, “Professional, hardworking agents increasingly understand that the “not so good” agents are bringing the entire industry down.” There is much truth in that statement. The problem remains, though, there may still be more of them—the “not so good” ones—than there are of us. So, despite articles like this, publishing the truth and fighting the status quo to protect clients, consumers must still do their due diligence. If you’d like a complete copy of the 160-page D.A.N.G.E.R Report, just holler. I’ll provide you one, along with, if you’d like, a complimentary copy of my book, as a blueprint to a greater return on your investment.