Yeah, You're a Realtor®...So What!

Real Estate Agent with McGraw Realtors

I believe Aretha Franklin sang it better than anyone could say it...

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of foolin' (just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) 'spect

RespectThat catchy little tune captures the heart of what most everyone wants.  Respect.  And yet, I find that more and more respect has to be earned instead of freely given, especially in the world of Real Estate.

Recently, I actually had someone say to me, "Oh you're a Realtor®?  Well, so what?"  That kind of ticked me off.  I thought to myself, you know, "I don't go around trashing what you do.  How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T here!"  So I got to thinking about it.  Why exactly would someone care that you or I are a Realtor...or whatever we are.  And further, apart from working to earn someone's respect, what is it about being a Realtor that IS a big deal?

1. First of all, being a Realtor® is a big deal because it means I am self-employed.  Owning your own business isn't easy.  The tax burden alone will make you choke on your dinner.  And tracking expenses and being responsible means that if you aren't pretty sharp, you won't be a Realtor® for very long.  And being in business for yourself is hard work.  You have to set your schedule and keep yourself motivated.  It is your own responsibility to be successfull...or not.  So I respect Realtors® and anyone else who goes into business for themselves.  Way to go!

2. Being a Realtor® is a big deal because it gives me acccess to people in every profession I need in order to help my clients.  Need a roofer?  I know the good ones.  Same thing goes for plumber, electrician, lawyer, title company and home builders.  I don't do business with professionals who pull strings or do underhanded stuff.  And I don't refer to them either.  And I don't know any other Realtor® in Owasso who would either.  And that's because of number three.

3. Being a Realtor® is a big deal because I am bound by a Code of Ethics that is designed to protect buyers and sellers.  Think this is no big deal?  Think again!  The Real Estate Code of Ethics is nationwide.  It keeps Realtors from intentionally misleading the public about homes and real estate.  Further, it guides us in how to properly handle transactions, account for money and work successfully for our clients.  If you come across a Realtor who violates the Code of Ethics, you have a way to deal with that.  You talk with Local Board, who will then take up the matter, do an investigation and handle any discipline.  I don't know how many other professions provide this kind of oversight for their contractors and customers, but I can't think of that many - especially in the small business world.

4. Being a Realtor® is a big deal because I work in cooperation with every other Realtor® and every other licensed Real Estate company.  You want to see that house, listed by xyz company?  No problem.  I can show it to you because the Real Estate profession is a cooperative environment.  Yes we compete, but we also work together to help one another and to help our clients to buy and sell successfuly.  Does it work?  Absolutely!  Why do you think so many more homes are sold with the services of a Realtor than those who have no representation.

5. Being a Realtor® is a big deal also because I am local.  I live in my market.  I know the neighborhoods.  I know the houses too and typically what is going on with them.  When you move across country, often the Realtor is one of the first people you contact.  You will be amazed how connected to the community Realtors are.  We live where we work and we love what we do.

The next time someone trashes Realtors®, I think I'm going to start singing Aretha to them!  Okay, just kidding.  You don't want to me sing.  It ain't pretty.  But I will do this.  I'll tell them to go their Real Estate license and then jump into my shoes for a year.  After that, you can come back and trash what I do if you want.  But not until you walk a mile in my shoes. 

Respect Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons:


Originally Posted at: My Owasso Home

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Information and content in this blog is original to Bob Haywood

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Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood
Owasso, Oklahoma REALTOR®

(918) 272-7272

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Comments (72)

Carolyn Shipp
Source 1 Real Estate - Mineral Wells, TX
Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate

One of the comments I get..."if the market gets any worse, do you think you will get a real job?"  I'm just wondering when selling real estate became...what...fake?  Oh well, I usually just don't make a comment and walk away from the conversation.  It's just silly to go on at that point.

Sep 23, 2010 04:08 AM
Wendy Lynn
Keller Williams Realty - Sarasota, FL

Wow, I don't think I could have said it any better!  So sad that some people out there just have no idea what we are all about!

Sep 23, 2010 04:13 AM
Irene Green-Marshall


Great post! I agree, it's hard work be self-employed. We certainly are underappreciated by the bulk of the public, since they have the mindset that we "work for" someone. I get that question all of the time, you know the one-"Who do you work for?" In my answer I gently enlighten them by letting them know that I work for both of us.

"As a self employed Real Estate Professional, I work for you, my client; the homebuyer or seller that trusts me with their investment." 

Also, if we, as Realtors, would display a bit more respect toward our peers, it would go a long way to improving the perception that the general public has of us. I've heard agents speak of how many "lazy" real estate agents are out there, which makes people believe that we are not earning our keep. We should promote the hard work that's involved in bring a deal to the closing table, instead. Let's respect ourselves, and it will be so much easier to earn the respect of others!

I think that would make Aretha smile a little...



Sep 23, 2010 04:19 AM
Don Orason
Silicon Valley Real Estate Team -Intero Real Estate Services - San Jose, CA
"Helping You Make Good Real Estate Decisions"

Nice Post!  Respect is earned and I think that  "Jenny Durling" had it correct in the first response to your post... "Realtors get so little respect but that's most likely due to the bad apples in the barrel with the rest of us"

Sep 23, 2010 04:54 AM
Jayson Holland - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

Love the post. Great job! 

Sep 23, 2010 05:24 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Instead of singing "sock it to me" to them........ sock it to them...... for me........

Realtors Rule.....via the Golden rule....thank you

Sep 23, 2010 06:21 AM
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Bob you have hit the nail right on the head!  Who's to blame?  WE ARE.  If we don't get better at explaining what we do how can we expect the public to know...  Congrats on a well thought out and well written featured post!!!

P.S. - I actually have had 2 clients get into the business because they said I made it look too easy...  neither made it. :)


Sep 23, 2010 06:46 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I agree with everything you say, except #3... The Code of Ethics.

I think one of the primary reasons you don't get the respect you deserve is because too many agents don't follow that code - and other agents don't step up and call them on it.

Not that I blame you. You're busy, and filing an ethics complaint can take hours and even days from your productive time. But the result is that those unethical agents are allowed to continue, and their actions reflect on everyone else in the real estate profession.

I remember when I opened my office and joined the Board of Realtors. The only other member in town at that time stopped by to check out my office and said he was glad there'd be someone else in town who was bound by the code of ethics.

I just stood there and looked dumb because I didn't know what to say - that man was one of the most unethical agents I'd ever encountered.

Sep 23, 2010 07:28 AM
Allan VanInwegen
Your Castle Real Estate Services - Littleton, CO

I would like to see a year-long, TV campaign, produced by the NAR, that pounds 1 single point home- We don't get a minimum wage or a salary.  We only get paid if we find the right homes for our Buyers or sell in the right amount of time, for our Sellers.  Period!

When gas was $4.30/gallon I wanted to pull out my hair and punch something, preferably the Buyer who wants me to show them 50 homes and assumes we get base pay for what we do.

Sep 23, 2010 07:41 AM
Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

As I'm humming along here with that tune stuck in my head...As Realtors we get a bad wrap as our entry threshold is way to low.  There should be more education that is required before someone is put in a position to represent a consumer biggest lifetime purchase.

Sep 23, 2010 08:03 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Bob,  I'm sitting ere trying to imagine you singing anything !  LOL  Total agreement with the premise to your post but also fully aware that too many of our fellows are the cause of the disrespect !

Sep 23, 2010 08:18 AM
Robert Amato
Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc - East Meadow, NY

You should get respect because you are dealing with the biggest purchase a person will make in their lifetime!

Sep 23, 2010 10:22 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

3) No one in any other industry that I am aware of has a code of ethics.

4) No other industry cooperates with competitors to help sell each others inventory in a shared way. You won't see a furnace in the MLS with cooperative selling!  Refrigerators aren't sold by everyone thru an MLS!

Just thought I'd mention it.

Sep 23, 2010 10:37 AM
Lynn Cromer
ReMax Advance Realty - Miami, FL

Such good thoughts and so well put! We do often get a bad rap and I'm glad you've pointed out to us how to talk ourselves up!

Sep 23, 2010 11:52 AM
Lynn Cromer
ReMax Advance Realty - Miami, FL

Such good thoughts and so well put! We do often get a bad rap and I'm glad you've pointed out to us how to talk ourselves up!

Sep 23, 2010 11:52 AM
Stevie K. Bear
Four Directins Realty- Managing Partner - Austin, Tx - Austin, TX

RESPECT Indeed!!I get it from my friends & most of my SOI - YOU just got even more of it from me , and now, I hope to get more from others by sharing your post with them! Great job Bob & Congrats for the Feature!!

Sep 23, 2010 01:53 PM
Verne Wheeler
Keller Williams Emerald Coast Realty - Fort Walton Beach, FL

Hi Bob,    I hope you don't mind, but I printed your comments on respect for my future reference.  There are days when people have been rude and negative and in those times I have had the same temptation to respond in an unprofessional manner, as you implied that you have been similarly tempted.  I'll keep your nicely written coments, as a reminder that I'm not the only REALTOR(r) who runs into this type of person occasionally.

Sep 23, 2010 04:00 PM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

Verne - no problem!

Sep 24, 2010 02:10 AM
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!



There's always at least one fly in the ointment.  I guess I'll be that fly. 

Instead of commiserating, I'll offer a bit of encouragement.

In your second paragraph, you equated someone not being impressed that you're a REALTOR with disrespect.  I wouldn't take it as such.  More of "and what does that mean to me?"  They could have better handled the interchange by responding with "Great, and I work in _________(profession)"   A nice, polite exchange of common courtesy.  But you took offense.  OK, we're allowed, we all get our toes stepped on.

Then you respond with your 5 reasons of why someone should respect you.

Go back and look at your 5 points.  Each of your points is focused on you.  "Because . . . . I . . . " 


5 times.


You didn't tell us how the rest of that encounter went.  Did you walk away or continue in conversation?  Depending on the person's demeanor and tone, I may have viewed the response "Oh you're a Realtor®?  Well, so what?"   as an invitation to answer that person's question.  Not focused on me, but on them.  Tried to change their ambivolence to interest.  You know, make a deposit in the bank of future business.

Common courtesy is not as common as it used to be.  But every encounter we have, someone is being sold something.  That we're valuable/useless, interesting/boring, engaging/iritating.  It's up to us as to which we're doing, buying or selling.  You bought their "disrespect".  Next time, maybe sell your value?

Sep 24, 2010 04:08 AM
Melissa Katzenberger
Crist Collins Realty - Fayetteville, NC

What a great post!  Being a new licensee, I've already gotten asked why on earth I'd want to be a Realtor.  It's a little like being asked why I wanted to join the Marine Corps back in the early 90's.  I had 100% conviction in my responses then AND now, and your post gave me some great verbage to back it up.  I'm going to bookmark it for handy reference!

Sep 29, 2010 08:57 AM