Lisa Hicks from Monmouth, ME worked very hard on this blog about the reputation of us and our profession. If you'd like to leave a comment please click forward to Lisa's original as I have disabled comments here.
How Did Real Estate Agents Get Such a Bad Reputation?
I received a very nice comment on my post I’m Serving Gratitude for my Thanksgiving from Russell Lewis that really got me thinking. I had made this post a Members Only, simply because sharing some personal medical issues with over 196,000 people seemed more tolerable to my mind than sharing them with the WHOLE WORLD, but Russell commented that I “should make this a public post(s) because it shows our profession to be much more caring and giving than the general public realizes!”
Here is where I started thinking.
Why do Real Estate Agents have such a bad reputation?
Of course, I Googled it.
I found a blog matrix from 2009 by Jonathan Miller of a Harris Interactive poll on prestigious occupations, and yep, there we are…the very last on the list. (On this list Firefighters are #1 with 62% Very Great Prestige and Real EstateAgent/Broker on the bottom with only 5% Very Great Prestige.)
More research led to: You Mean Real Estate Agents Have an Image Problem?, Nine Ways a Bad Real Estate Agent Can Cost You Money, Really Great News For Us…Not For Agents With Bad Reputations, On Bad Real Estate Agents, How to Spot a Bad Real Estate Agent, and Top Five Signs of A Bad Real Estate Agent to name just a few sites that I found.
Where I stopped looking was when I came across this gem: How to Chose a Good Real Estate Agent, by Jeff Ostroff. This is my personal favorite, I think, because Jeff Ostroff, in an effort to instill credibility to his ‘bad agent” claims, points to “a movie that accurately portrays a large number of people in the Real Estate Agent industry, “ Glengarry Glen Ross. This movie, to my knowledge, is a work of fiction…and as I have always pointed out to my children movies are just movies…things made for our entertainment and not always true to life.
Many of the articles I came across were written by people in the Real Estate industry. Hmmm. (Do we really need to gain a competitive edge by dissing each other?)
Every article I came across either implied or stated outright that we (Real Estate Professionals – sorry, Charita) are bad! BAD, BAD, BAD! We work for commissison! (Gasp!) We only get paid when a house sells! (Double gasp!) We’re SALESPEOPLE! (OMG!!!)
And you know, some of these statements are correct. As real estate agents, we do work for commission. AND we do only get paid when a sale is finalized. And, yes, by definition we are salespeople, because we SELL houses. I will acknowledge that there are even unethical and/or unknowledgable people in the real estate industry, but can anyone name one industry that does not have some bad apples? Do we state that ALL medical professionals are bad because someone has had a negative experience with one doctor? How about ALL attorneys? Are they all bad? The answer is a resounding NO! One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch.
The same is true for the Real Estate industry.
In my experience most Real Estate Professionals (sorry again, Charita!!!) are human like everyone else…just trying to do the best they can to do a good job and make a living. We have children in college or younger, mortgages, bills, medical issues, and the vast majority of us are not millionaires. We take out loans for cars, we carry credit card debt, we suffer divorces and deaths in our families. We are JUST LIKE YOU. We have chosen Real Estate as a profession not to get rich quick, but because we love it and we love HELPING PEOPLE. We are ethical, honest, trustworthy, fair, knowledgable, and hardworking. And we strive to do the very best we can for each and every one of our clients.
So, my message is this: please don’t judge us so quickly. Everyone, everywhere has had a bad experience with something or someone…and it is human nature to share these negative experiences with the world. I truly believe that the vast majority of people in my industry will always give the very best they can every single time, for every single client.
One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch.
LET ME HELP YOU FIND YOUR MAINE OASIS!
Information and content in this blog is original to Lisa Hicks.
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Serving the Maine counties of Kennebec and Androscoggin, including Auburn, Augusta, Belgrade, Chelsea, China, Dresden, Durham, Farmingdale, Fayette, Gardiner, Greene, Hallowell, Jay, Leeds, Lewiston, Lisbon, Litchfield, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Manchester, Monmouth, Mount Vernon, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, Richmond, Rome, Sabattus, Sidney, Turner, Vassalboro, Vienna, Wales, Wayne, West Gardiner, Windsor, Winthrop, Whitefield
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