The public opinion of real estate agents can vary drastically. That's not going to be any surprise to any of us. We usually only hear the negative, but that's because we hear what the media reports. And we all know the media prefers negative stories.
Have you ever noticed that when you talk to your family and friends, they don't have a negative perspective about the fact that you're in real estate? I assume that's because you share a mutual respect for each other. Because these people have taken the time to get to know you, they feel comfortable in asking you any real estate questions they have in mind, and you feel comfortable telling them the STRAIGHT truth. There's no need to water it down or try to make your friends and family feel comfortable with your answer. They can handle it. Don't you wish it could be that way with everyone?
The topic of this post is similar to the post I wrote last week titled "What Is the Public's Perception of Active Rain?" I wrote that post when I ran across a comment on Trulia, by a consumer, that stated how they felt like the public was not welcome to comment here on Active Rain. We all know that we welcome pleasant people of all varieties. And even a negative perspective of real estate can be phrased in a polite manner. That basically means that ALL polite comments, by ALL people are welcome!
However, I ran across another consumer comment, this time on City-Data. Now I will admit that City-Data has a LOT of negativity on it! I've spent quite a bit of time there in the past and I'm still not sure of the purpose of that site. It's worse than the blind leading the blind. But that doesn't change the fact that I found a comment that said "I hate Realtors. They're all arrogant. I use them. But I hate them." ... I didn't bother to respond. But as usual, my mental wheels started turning.
I wondered if this person was confusing confidence with arrogance. Or maybe they just resent needing our help. Or maybe they really have run into some arrogant REALTORS. I've certainly run into plenty of them. But there can be a fine line between confidence and arrogance. As a REALTOR, if I'm not confident in my skills and abilities, a potential client won't want to do business with me. But arrogance is a turn off.
The line between the two personality traits is so fine that it's hard to even find the words to define the two. It's more like something you observe in someone's mannerisms. Then there's the matter of how one person can define a mannerism as confident while another will see it as arrogant.
Let's face it. Real estate is a difficult profession. But when I started selling homes in 1995, I did not have a negative perspective of anyone who was in this, or any related industry. And I had previously had a less than positive experience with a real estate agent. But I'm intelligent enough to know that I can't generalize and/or stereotype an entire industry based on one experience. That's just common sense. And to be honest, I knew that I could do better than that agent, so I wanted to throw my proverbial hat into the ring.
Anyway, to finalize this post, I've decided to go on a fact-finding mission. I've created a survey for the public, that I'm embedding on my blogs and web site. If you're a real estate buyer or seller, please take the survey. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.