Raising The Bar....Y-A-W-N

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Real Estate RS301772

There is a lot of talk online among real estate agents about “raising the bar” in real estate.  While the discussions often involve some inspiration on how to improve the customer experience,  it also involves agents complaining about “lowbrow” agents.  Someone pointed out that it wasn’t very nice to be so critical of others in our industry, and I winced, because she was right.

Personally, I will admit to taking part in some conversations making fun of horrible photos on the MLS.  I can’t help myself. Some of these groups set up to make fun of my industry are like crack cocaine…once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.  It is as irresistible as looking at an accident scene as you drive by.

But how is that “raising the bar?”

I get annoyed when I see typos on MLS listings – doesn’t anyone proofread anymore?  How can you be an intelligent adult and not know that it’s a “Koi pond,” not “coy pond?” (That is, unless the pond winks slyly at you as you walk by.)

But again..how is that “raising the bar?”

It’s not.  I guess in some sort of twisted way, some real estate agents want to look good by joining in with those who make fun of the bad apples…essentially saying “Don’t lump me in with those characters – I’m with you! They are losers and that’s why I’m making fun of them! Ha ha ha! Do you see how much more professional I am?”  

I can’t raise anyone else’s bar – I can only raise my own bar. I have my own set of faults and shortcomings to fix. Some of my bar-raising activities involve:

  • Putting systems in place to improve efficiency with client communication
  • Removing items from my agenda that are time-sucks rather than real benefits to my clients
  • Creating a more user-friendly website and blog
  • Improving marketing techniques for my clients’ homes
  • Creating an online resume for sharing with those I can’t meet in person

Collectively, we can try to raise the bar as an organized body of fellow professionals in certain ways. We can seek to improve our MLS system by reporting errors rather than just rolling our eyes at them. We can ask for enhancements to features that we need; we can send feedback to our association on things we like about our system, things we’d like to improve, and things we’d like to change or eliminate.

But that involves involvement, not cackling on the sidelines about how things need to change.

For me, right now – I’m working on my own yard.  I’ll be happy to let everyone else worry about theirs.

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Homes For Sale & Local Info for Pike County, Wayne County, & Lake Wallenpaupack in Northeast PA.


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Karen Rice (that's me!) lists & sells in Tanglwood, Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Hideout, Indian Rocks, Masthope, Fawn Lake, Tink Wig, Woodland Hills, Walker Lake, Hemlock Farms, & more in Pike & Wayne County.

Comments (7)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

Very good, Karen.  You have some valid points. Yes, raising the bar should pertain to OUR own goal setting and commitments to achieve those goals.  Changing the way we conduct our business and on and on.  You are so correct, we cannot always "raise the bar" for others... but we can share what we do, and hope that some of those ideas get captured by those that could use some assistance in raising their bar.

Feb 10, 2012 02:19 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I look for those bar raising activities to be at work within people when we interact. That says it all

Feb 10, 2012 02:24 AM
Michael Wright
Axia Home Loans - North Metro Branch | NMLS# 1455428 - Vadnais Heights, MN
Equal Housing Opportunity

I agree with you Karen in the respect that you cannot control others.  On my end of things all I can do is be as pre-emptive as possible is trying to avoid the pitfalls of the mortgage process, however, if what you try and do goes upon deaf ears there is nothing you can do.  For example, I am doing a FHA 203K deal and I brought up right from the get go "Is there any chipping or peeling paint"?  No we are good there per the Realtor so we do not include it in the bid.  Now 2 weeks prior to close we get back the appraisal and much to my frustration there is chipping and peeling paint.

We in both industries, not only have to start meeting expections but exceeding them, in order for both professions to start regaining credibility with the general public

Feb 10, 2012 02:25 AM
Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Thanks for the comments. :)

I think BROKERAGES can do more to raise the bar than we individual agents to.  Brokers should be more selective of who they hire to represent them, and they should take a hands on approach to training their team.  I am very blessed to be in a brokerage that takes the business seriously.  Every agent has the opportunity for intense personal training one-on-one - not just a DVD library or an online "school" provided by the franchise...but personal attention from the broker and his partner to equip us to be successful in our business but most importantly with our clients.

That said...brokers can lead agnets to water...lol.  Agents have to want to raise their own bars.

Feb 10, 2012 02:32 AM
Ron Fowler
Fowler Copywriting - Vancouver, WA

Great blog, Karen, and very true. Thank you for making me look in the mirror again. If we all spent more time improving how we do things instead of worrying about what someone else is doing, I think the industry itself would benefit greatly. My father always told me when I was younger to remember that when you point a finger at someone, that leaves three other fingers pointing back at you :)

Feb 16, 2012 04:36 AM
Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Ron - thank you! And your father was a very wise man! I like that saying!

Feb 18, 2012 10:33 PM
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt

I am not in the group - and I really don't care to be - too many egos in our business.

Feb 19, 2012 05:39 AM