By Joe Lins
June 29, 2015
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report which stands for Definitive Analysis of Negative Game Changers in Real Estate. You can download a copy of the report HERE. NAR commissioned Swanepoel | T3 Group, an outside management consulting firm, to conduct an analysis of the threats, opportunities and trends in the real estate industry.
While there were many threats to the industry and our profession from outside the industry, there was one huge threat mentioned in the 160+ page report that comes from within the industry. According to the DANGER Report, the #1 threat to real estate professionals and the industry as a whole are other agents who are unqualified and/or incompetent. The Report says, “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.”
The Report cites the low state requirements to become a licensed real estate agent. The national average to get a license requires a measly 70 hours of training. Having the bar set so low to enter the profession or even remain in this profession is a recipe for trouble. Agents are allowed into the business with a very basic knowledge. That’s okay, you have to start somewhere. The problem is the brokers who hire these agents without providing any additional training or oversight and just letting them loose on the streets.
I see it firsthand every day. In California we have many forms and requirements that are constantly changing. What happens when the broker does not provide the ongoing supervision or training or insist the agent get it from through their local association? I can tell you from experience with agents from other firms, at times it isn’t pretty.
We recently had a new Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) roll out in California. Our Executive Leadership team knew it was coming and prepared our agents over the course of several months by providing training on the new RPA. About a week after it went into effect, I got a phone call from one of our agents who was in a transaction with an agent from another firm. That agent knew nothing about the new RPA and didn’t know how to complete it. Our agent asked if we would be willing to train the other agent on the new RPA. I said “Absolutely!” A well-trained agent is good for everyone involved including the industry.
I’m not looking forward to the roll out of the new TRID requirements later this year. Not because it’s a new requirement. We’ve been talking to our agents about this for weeks and they will be receiving training so they are ready for the change. I’m dreading it because I know that most agents on the other side of the transaction will not have a clue. When that happens the person who will be the most vulnerable and frustrated will be the client. Their dissatisfaction is a negative impact on our profession and industry.
Yes, the training to become a license real estate agent is minimal. That is why it’s up to each broker and real estate association to have higher requirements to be affiliated with them. Every market and state is different but there needs to be a consensus from the leaders in this industry to raise the bar and hold the Brokers who don’t, accountable.
For those of us who believe this is a true profession and one that we consciously chose, this should be a no-brainer.
About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.