While our licenses allow us to practice an extremely wide variety of services in behalf of others, it doesn't mean we have become expert in each of these areas of real estate.
For instance, you might be a Short-Sale, Bank-Owned specialist with clientèle requesting your help with leasing space for a new business venture. Do you help them or refer them?????
Maybe you are a buyer's broker specializing in residential properties in a particular area of town and you encounter a prospect looking for farm land? Should you jump on the computer to assist them???????
I submit that our industry has evolved beyond calling your sister with a license to purchase or sell real estate. As a land sales specialist of over 34 years, specializing in Arizona Land I have seen things that would blow you away as agents/brokers without specialization attempt to represent buyers and sellers of Arizona Land. I have seen licenses lost, fortunes lost and law suits launched but hundreds that should have been and didn't for some reason where the agent escaped with their license in tact to do it again.
Just as a residential agent does a disservice to his/her clientèle without an excellent knowledge of markets, structures, inspections, repairs, mortgage options, programs available, etc. anyone attempting to sell land without a distinct understanding of legal descriptions, environmental issues, water rights, ingress/egress options, easements, encroachments, soils, flood plains, adverse possession claims, etc. etc. etc. is endangering their clientèle and their own professional license by attempting to work outside of their area of expertise. The same thing applies to industrial properties, commercial projects, business sales, rental properties, property management, leasing, investment opportunities, REITs, partnerships, etc. etc. etc.
Specialization may be the defining point between hacks and professionals and I submit that we would be wiser to find our niche and refine it rather than trying to be all things to all people. Crossing the wrong line could be financially fatal for us and our clients.