We gave you what you wanted, but the power of the dark side was just too great for the wanna be Darth-Vader-Home-Seller.
It isn't a big secret that real estate agents have really low entry standards into a profession that helps people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a purchase. I swear going to toaster selling training is often more intense than the classes that real estate agents have to do to sell homes to people.
We're special that way.
Consumers know this not-so-well-hidden industry secret, and so you do what you should do. Try and figure out which agents to use and which ones to avoid. We all know that even though entry standards are inadequate, there are exceptional real estate agents in this industry. Since our industry seems reluctant to make it harder to join the club, some of us try and educate consumers. I know several agents that spend time on consumer forums trying to help consumers wade through the real estate industry. I'd like to think that we succeed in getting consumers to ask good questions and interview agents.
Buying a new toaster on Amazon? You'll know which ones burn your toast, which ones give you crisp perfection along with poached eggs, and those that will emblazon a smiley face on your toast. You have the wisdom of several others to guide you with this intensely important $20 purchase. Let's face it. Starting off your day with burnt toast is a precursor to Armageddon. Toast matters.
Stumbling through the mire of agents, consumers screamed for real estate agent ratings. Since we won't clean up our own muck, you need a way to get through it yourself. I get that. The problem is that some consumers get that too well. Real estate agents have been balking at participating in online reviews because we don't want to demean ourselves to well...being like a toaster. Which agents will burn you, which agents will pop up for you, and which ones go the extra mile for that smiley faced surprise at the end. Both you and I know that consumers can make or break someones success as a real estate agent with just a click of a star.
Enter the power grab.
I recently heard about a real estate agent, who is a really great agent by the way, who was threatened during a listing appointment with this..."If you don't cut your fee, I will write a bad review for you online."
Really? I mean really?
Online transparency is supposed to make it easier, a way for consumers to decide they like or dislike something from the ease of their comfy leather chair with, hopefully if you read your Amazon reviews, perfect toast with a nice homemade strawberry jam. It isn't supposed to be a way to force people into bending to your will with threats.
I think online reviews are good for the real estate industry because it places some power back in the hands of consumers, but dear consumers, you are welcome to love me or hate me. Don't try and extort me.
I am not a toaster.
This was originally published on the Get Real Estate Blog.