Expert, Specialist or Professional; How do you self-proclaim?

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with for real estate results in the Tri-Cities.
https://activerain.com/droplet/4tgD

At the most recent "Buyer Beware" seminar I was facilitating in Coquitlam, someone referred to me as an "expert"; they told me this because they thought I'm someone others look to when they want more information on homeowner issues.

Do I really possess superior knowledge when this is not a topic I studied at school? 

Today I serve on the advisory council of Canadians for Properly Built Homes, and it's been 11 years since I co-founded the Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners (with Dr. James Balderson and others) but I'm still called almost weekly by someone wanting to find out something about the topic. 

Last year I served as the President of Consumer Advocacy and Support for Homeowners Society, and was the "go-to" person for the various media on many housing related issues affecting homeowners. Again I continue to receive public calls and emails on every topic from the various Acts, to warranty providers, to building codes, to home inspections, to other REALTORS® (scary stuff). Why this happens is a whole other matter.

Without having any formal credentials to back it up I'm still uncomfortable assuming the "expert" moniker.

I believe the reason I'm chosen as a real estate representative and get referred often is from providing clients specialized professional advice with a high degree of integrity and discretion.

Gary Keller, the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty is reported to have said, "A professional is someone who knows what they know, knows what they don't know, and knows the difference between the two. When I know I'll tell you. When I don't know, I'll go find out. My top priority is that you always get the right answer...I'm A professional.

In addition to our obligations as REALTORS® I strive for an expanded professionalism through:

  • challenging the status quo by questioning everything, looking for new ways and sources,
  • continuously learning, way beyond the industry requirements, to increase my knowledge base,
  • walking the walk, and being involved, to gain practical experience,
  • applying my knowledge, to problem solve and especially for others,
  • developing relationships, to establish a powerful support and referral network, and,

all in the hope of continually improving; these are pursued in perpetuity as a way of life.

If in the future I'm referred to as an expert by others as a result of this modus operandi I've decided to respectfully accept this; although I'm unlikely to ever refer to myself as an expert.

How about you?

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Terry Chenier 12/20/2009 09:42 PM
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
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Tags:
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homeowner issues
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Rainmaker
273,670
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I would have to go with Professional. Calling myself an expert is to pretentious.

Dec 20, 2009 01:07 PM #14
Rainer
63,430
James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

How about agent, a little less flashy but until I become an expert it is what it is.

Dec 20, 2009 01:12 PM #15
Rainer
123,350
Marian Pierre-Louis
Fieldstone Historic Research - Medway, MA
Metrowest Boston

I think I would be uncomfortable with expert.  Expert is sort of relational.  I mean expert compared to what - someone who has been doing real estate for 5 years or 25 years?  What if you fall in between?  I think that specialist and professional are much better terms.

Dec 20, 2009 01:24 PM #16
Rainmaker
421,509
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease

John,  I hadn't thought to give myself any of those tiles.  I do have a professional background from my previous career with IBM, so I feel as if I bring a level of professionalism to real estate.  I want to make sure I do the best job possible for my clients and continue to build for the long term, referrals and good relationships.  Interesting, something to ponder.  All the best, Michelle

Dec 20, 2009 01:32 PM #17
Rainmaker
232,207
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

I don't really claim to be an expert either.  I love the quote by Gary Keller.  That really wraps it all up.  When you are a "professional", you feel comfortable sharing the knowledge that you do have (when it's a good idea) and finding out the knowledge when you don't already possess it.  In our business, knowledge is always changing and we need to keep that in mind.

Dec 20, 2009 01:43 PM #18
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Russ: It sounds like we have similar sentiments so I'd invite you to check out this previous post: What is a Real Estate Expert?

Thanks for sharing.

Dec 20, 2009 06:25 PM #19
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Haris:

The phone response is always a good signal. Here is a link to my latest post on this very topic:

Reading between the phone lines...

Take care

Dec 20, 2009 06:27 PM #20
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Gregory: All joking aside I'm sure you can back it up.

Jason: "...continuing to learn and grow" are key to whatever we are.

Monique: in addition to achieving our clients goal, "...great service" is what they want throughout the entire transaction. This is flaunting your professionalism.

Thanks for all of your comments.

Dec 20, 2009 06:39 PM #21
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Chris: first let me acknowledge your comment about volunteering "a Lot!". As a life-long volunteer myself I know how much it takes, but I also know how much it gives back; keep it up.

To your point about "...agents from out of the area": a REALTOR® will be taken less seriously when claiming to be an expert covering an area with a diameter beyond say 6 or 7 miles; that would be more than 30 square miles!

A well used saying describing a person whose knowledge and skills covers multiple areas, but is superficial in all of them and thereby lacking real expert proficiency in any, is,  "Jack of all trades - master of none".

Dec 20, 2009 07:05 PM #22
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Ena: being well networked and established in your community sure helps.

Susan: Carl Sagan said it best, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".  In other words, if it's true then demonstrate it.

Cheryl: thanks for your insights and generous comments.

Thank you all for taking time to stop by and leave such good comments.

Dec 20, 2009 07:15 PM #23
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Nathan: first congrats on the name; my son and daughter also changed their surname (to mine).

I've been unable to find the exact source for the quote attributed to Gary, not that it matters; it's a beauty. A pre-requisite for all REALTORS® must be, "...a thirst for knowledge"; thanks.

Take care.

Dec 20, 2009 07:24 PM #24
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Tigard, James and Marian: I feel your humility in your comments; very sincere. Thank you.

Dec 20, 2009 07:31 PM #25
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Michelle: I meet many great REALTORS® who come from different professional backgrounds. No doubt yours will definitely serve you well in real estate.

Emily: Your comments confirm I'm blogging to the converted.

I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with everyone; thanks.

Take care.

Dec 20, 2009 07:43 PM #26
Rainer
437,789
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

John,

These posts of yours have struck a nerve with a lot of readers here. Well done.

Dec 20, 2009 09:41 PM #27
Rainmaker
461,317
Stephen Arnold
HomeSmart Elite Group - Scottsdale, AZ
CRS, GRI, SFR

Hey John~  I'm with the majority of the members here on the 'expert' role!  I usually prefer professional or consultant!  All the best this holiday season!

Dec 20, 2009 10:27 PM #28
Ambassador
2,088,474
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

If someone does not want to be called an expert. .it is probably because they know they are not!

If I want something done right. .I'll go to an expert.

 

Dec 20, 2009 10:30 PM #29
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

As an expert Terry, you'll understand why the post has struck a nerve.

Thanks for sharing.

Dec 21, 2009 05:21 AM #30
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Stephen and Fernando:

I appreciate your comments which echo what others have said here.

Thanks for taking the time.

Dec 21, 2009 05:24 AM #31
Anonymous
ena russ

I just wanted to say that there is no point to be shy to call yourself an expert. "Professional" is a neutral word. Sounds like an agent that will do everything right. Period. If you look at the word "specialist", it can mean very good specialist or not so good specialist. It is up to me to decide. Plus it means the person knows well something, but the expert knows or can "find out" everything related. Expert is a really positive word, that demotrates the reputation right away. It shows  you believe in your own abilities, have experience, knowledge and comunicate it. An expert will work really hard to prove again and again he is among the most knowledgeble. Some experts are shy to call themselves experts, and some self-called experts are not experts at all. This subject looked very interesting to me, and not for networking, but for looking at all different aspects and angles. Also maybe you would like to consider what these words (sound similar) mean in different languages. A real estate agent deals with immigrants from all over the world very often. I know from my own experience how important it is to understand linguistic associations in different cultures. Particularly when the word sounds similar but may have slightly different meanings.

So there is nothing wrong to call yourself an expert if it is true. Can you think about a doctor that says he is a doctor, but would not tell anyone that he has PHD in... and is an expert?

Happy holidays!

Ena Russ

Dec 22, 2009 12:39 AM #32
Rainmaker
179,718
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Great points Ena.

I'd never considered the subtle language differences and implications you speak of; thanks for sharing that.

Happy holidays to you also.

Dec 22, 2009 05:05 AM #33
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