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.