I will start by saying that this post will certainly not apply to the majority of Realtors®.
I am inspired to write a blog post once I witness a certain troubling situation more than three times out in the Real Estate field. The post you are about to read chronicles (briefly) a situation I have run into now for the fourth time.
I am a Certified Staging Professional. I have taken extensive training, received accreditation from two different institutions, have over 10 years of experience Staging homes for clients, and own and run a full-time business that specializes in Home Staging. I pay association dues, membership fees, and many types of Real Estate industry fees. I closely abide by a lengthy Code of Ethics in my industry as well.
Realtors®, does the above sound familiar?
Of course it does.
Realtors® simply cannot sell and list houses unless they comply with a plethora of regulations and rules. Not only that, but Realtors® also have to ensure that all of their association dues and membership fees are paid at all times.
Let me know if you, personally, have seen this:
I am seeing, more and more, Realtors® claiming that they can "even offer free Home Staging services to their clients as part of their listing package".
I have immediately contacted these Realtors®, told them exactly who I am, and asked, "I see you are offering free Home Staging services to your clients. Would you be able to share with me where you obtained your accreditation?"
Now, to be completely fair, one Realtor® was able to answer this with enthusiasm. And, I had a long, great chat with her, during which I told her how much I respect her for going that extra mile, enduring the additional education and training, and told her how excited I was for her. I told her that she will certainly succeed in the industry as this is an incredible value-added service she can offer to her clients. Great competitive edge!
BUT, all the other ones I contacted thought they would school ME, and tell me that accreditation is not necessary in order to claim to be a Stager. They all told me that they "feel" that they have a "good eye", and that this is all that is necessary. I was even told by one of them that Home Staging is not a "real" profession, and that all we Stagers really do is fluff pillows.
In reflection, my question is this:
I feel that I would be great at selling houses for people. So, I guess it shouldn't be frowned upon for me to simply pick up and start selling houses, right? Oh, I haven't done any of the Real Estate courses. I haven't ever been tested on my Real Estate knowledge. I have never paid a penny to a Realtor's® Association. But, heck, I might as well give it a go, hey?
Professional Home Stagers would never dream of stepping on a Realtor's® toes like this, nor are we interested in infringing on the line between the two professions.
I would never claim to be a Realtor®. That is just silliness.
But, we do live in a world where Realtors® are claiming to also be Home Stagers.
This double-standard needs to stop.
Home Staging is an emerging and fairly fresh industry which is not yet regulated.
But, simply put, any ethical, honest, and respectful human being should not view this fact as a green-light to walk all over the Home Stagers who have gone above and beyond to ensure they are a qualified professional.
Realtor® and Home Stager are titles of two completely different and separate professions.
Both sets of professionals have their unique experience, education, expertise, and certification under their related umbrella.
HOWEVER, these two separate professions are designed to support and complement one another. Simply put, Home Stagers would never succeed if the Realtor® didn't. And, Realtors® would not succeed if the Home Stager was not successful.
See how this works?
Now, can we all agree to work together rather than continually encroaching over the boundaries of our professions?
Heck, we all share a common passion....Real Estate! We all share a common goal....to sell client's properties as quick as possible, and for top dollar!!