National Association of REALTORS

How To Stay Relevant in 2017

By Joe Lins
January 4, 2017

The real estate industry continues to evolve and to remain successful REALTORS® we need to stay relevant to our clients. Real estate agents at the top of their game have already developed their strategy for 2017. Here are some additional points agents should pay attention to in the new year:

Consumer Behaviors

Pay attention to the consumers’ behavior by understanding your clients’ needs and how you can satisfy their needs. Listen to them and then give them sound, unbiased information so they can make a decision based on what’s right for them. Doing this will allow you to achieve your goals helping others achieve theirs. Also, remember that the old adage “The consumer is always right” is still applicable today. Buyers and Sellers don’t behave any differently than we do when we buy or sell anything as an individual. Keep that in mind as you work for your clients’ best interests.


New Real Estate Laws and Revised Forms

Pay attention to what’s going on within the industry. There are new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2017. Learn what those laws are and how they affect your business. As a REALTOR®, you should be reading the information provided from your local association. Your broker or management staff should also alert you to these changes. Some of the forms that we use in every transaction in California have been revised. Real estate agents need to have a clear understanding of these new forms. Again, your association or office management should be making you aware of these changes.

Local Real Estate Market

Pay attention to what’s going on in the real estate market. This seems like a no-brainer. REALTORS® need to be aware of the current market in regards to inventory, average days on market, local initiatives that can affect the market as well as interest rates. You need to have market knowledge backed up by true facts rather than just repeat what you hear from people who aren’t selling homes in the business. This knowledge of what’s truly going on in the market place backed up by data makes you invaluable to your clients.

Bottom line is we need to consistently pay attention to what’s going on in our industry. If we don’t we become irrelevant.



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 or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

The Disruptor

By Joe Lins
January 13, 2016

A hot topic of discussion in real estate circles is what will be the next big disruptor in the industry. Will it be some new technology we can’t even imagine yet or a new company we’ve never heard of before?

I believe the disruptor needs to come from within the industry. The disruptor should be something that the industry has failed to do. It needs to be the self-regulation of ourselves to create higher standards that will make us relevant to the client.

What I mean by that is the industry needs to step it up. We all know the licensing requirements to become an agent are minimal and don’t provide the additional skills sets needed to do the best job for the client.

This topic came to the forefront of the conversation when the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report back in May 2015. One of my earlier blog posts discussed this topic and how the #1 threat to real estate professionals comes from within the industry.

As REALTORS®, we have to do a better job of taking care of problems within the industry. That means REALTOR® association grievance committees and pro-standards committees have to do a better job. It also means individual REALTORS® have to do a much better job of reporting violations and not letting the violators get by. If we don’t do this then they will continue to be violators and they won’t be motivated to get any better. Not good for the industry and not good for the client. If we don’t do this, we run the risk of the government stepping in and attempting to regulate us. Check out the interview with PWR Director Al Ricci and real estate blogger and analyst Rob Hahn on this topic.

My goal is that CENTURY 21 Discovery will be the big disruptor in the industry in Orange County by providing the additional training and coaching agents need to succeed in this competitive industry. I’m not talking about the latest technology or tool. Everyone should have that by now. I’m talking about the skill sets needed to work in the client’s best interest.  What does that mean? It means communication and negotiating skills, knowledge of industry requirements and most important, adherence to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

Only then will professional REALTORS® have the knowledge, skills, morals and ethics needed to give the customer the right information they need to make the decisions that are right for them. The disruption needs to come from within.

Joe Lins photo


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.

The #1 Threat to Real Estate Industry

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.

Joe Lins photo


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.