Real Estate Agents : The Lowest of the LowAugust 14, 2009
The Harris Poll just published its annual findings with respect to occupational prestige. This is reassuring if you’re a firefighter, scientist or doctor… not so much if you’re a stockbroker, accountant, or a real estate agent. The survey queries 1,010 U.S. people asking them what level of “prestige” they associate with different jobs. Here’s a look at the results from 2009:
From working in the industry, I can definitely see how this continues to be the public perception. I rub elbows everyday with other agents and brokers. My observation is that agents are either genuinely good people who have their clients’ best interests at heart, or they are snakes who care nothing more than themselves and who will do anything to get the deal done… even at the expense of their “valued” client. There isn’t much gray area in this business. You’re either good [ethical] or you’re not. With low barriers to entry, real estate can really be a minefield for people who need to hire an agent. Here are some tips:
- Interview agents before choosing one to work with.
- If you get a less-than-wholesome feeling from this person, even a tinge, keep searching for someone else.
- Trust your intuition. You should be able to smell a snake after just a few minutes with them.
- Make sure they know their stuff. Ask tough questions about the market. Expose a BS-er.
- Know that there are good people out there working as real estate agents. Don’t stop searching until you find one.
Times are certainly changing for the better. Pushy (not to mention, tacky) sales tactics and an opaque, secret-laden business model is fading away as a more socially aware, information-rich culture emerges. It’s Web 2.0 for real estate. In my lifetime I hope to see the profession get cleaned up and the riff-raff get cleaned out as their careless actions get exposed to an ever-growing online community… a place where information travels at the speed of light.
If any of you readers have tips for selecting agents to work with, place them in the comments below. Until then, the good agents should continue to put their heads down and work hard to push this profession in the right direction, despite the low prestige factor. There’s only one way to go from here! Cheers.