When the market is hot, Real Estate looks easy.
Maybe real estate is easy and it's people that are hard?
The number of agents goes up too!
(50% of the licenses out there are not Realtors ie. not NAR members. So not all sales agents are Realtors).
Here's the stats:
- 2013- 1.04 M. NAR agents and 2.08 million total sales people with a license.
- 2014- 1.10 M. NAR agents and 2,20 million total sales people with a license.
- 2015- 1.23 M. NAR agents and 2.46 million total sales people with a license.
- 2016- 1.70 M. NAR agents and 3.40 million total sales people with a license.
- "at the end of the 20th Century we had only 750,000 NAR members and in 2006 at the heighth of the real estate industry fraud and era of low hanging fruit we had 1.374 million. We will see the tipping point this year." Joe Pryor contributed this fact for my post, thanks Joe, so true!
Some sellers think, "The agent put a sign in the yard, did nothing and it sold = no skills."
Well sure that happens, but even in a hot market, you have to price well, negotiate well, manage-sort and qualify multiple offers well, problem solve well, etc.
The public thinks getting the home sold is the hard part, that's 1/3 of the work at best, the real work begins at the opening of escrow.
For those of us who were in this business back in 2007, we know what reveals our skills; going through the Great Depreciation of 2007-2011, our competence and character were revealed. You either quit in fear, went out of business-but went down fighting, or re-tooled-learned short sales and survived.
We earned 57% less annually 2007-2011, we were expected to do all the same work and a hell of lot more, but we who were in, survived, some of us even thrived.
But, since 2012 especially, from the outside looking in, real estate looks easy to buyers, sellers and licensee hopefuls.
"Why am I paying these high fees?" sellers think.
"We just look at three homes and pick the best one " buyers think (thanks HGTV).
"I love people and I love houses" the licensees think. (You only love people because you have not worked with them yet in a transaction; wait until your best friend lists with the discount broker).
But this perception is our fault. Yes, it is, because it's our job to communicate the truth. We need to communicate our value and update them on our 200+ tasks we do from start to finish through weekly updates. By updating our clients weekly for example, (I do update my sellers for example each Mon & Fri) so they get frequent, reliable updates; They never wonder "what you are doing to earn your fee Thomas?". They don't call me so much, because they trust my communication and dedication to their transaction. You go from commodity to USP (unique sales person).
In the absence of experience and skills, agents discount their fees as a solution to competing; competing with other agents or competing with their own lack of confidence. How amazing would it be to get the listing or the buyer because OF your skills, not because OF your discount.
It's on us to communicate our value, our unique selling proposition and our experience. Those of us that survived the last Recession, the worst in our lifetime, we have a unique opportunity with that experience to stand out, we have third party stories that show real world problems we solved, victories we celebrated and challenges we overcame that demonstrate our worth, more so than any "#1 this" or "trophy for that". Use it. Otherwise real estate looks easy, from the outside looking in.
Oh by the way, the number of For Sale By Owners is actually down 4% as of 2016? More technology to sell your own home, less people doing it; I'd say some recognize our value, let's get the rest on board shall we?!
The fiery furnace of experience strips away the dross; only the gold remains.
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net