We are NOT Salespeople - Well at Least Some of us Aren't - Are you?

Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Prestige 01723613

There are few professions in which a person can earn six-figures without a post-graduate degree or investing tens of thousands of dollars in start up costs. This is partly why real estate can be such an attractive profession for those who are more focused on the money rather than the cause. Real estate professionals carry a great responsibility, both economically and financially, in the course of their daily work. This point is best demonstrated by simply looking at the recent economic crisis which was started by a housing bubble, a crisis from which we are still struggling to emerge. Thus, it is very important as real estate professionals we understand 3 very important points:

1. We are NOT salespeople

2. With great responsibility comes accountability

3. If you want to be a professional you must act like one

We Are NOT Salespeople

Really? But I sell homes and earn commission, so of course I am a Salesperson. If this is the thought running through your head when you read bullet point #1, then pay close attention because changing your frame of mind is the next step to an amazing change in your career. I can tell you with the utmost confidence I am not a salesperson, at least not in relation to my own clients. Earning my income is a direct result of representing the best interests of my clients. Think about it...We want to be professionals and regarded as such, yet most of us act like commission earning used car salespeople. This is the difference between a salesperson and a real estate professional: A salesperson is always focused on the end result, commission, and their actions are driven by the result. A real estate professional earns an income which is a result of representing the interests of their client. Notice the difference in lingo, commission versus income. Once you understand the difference so will your clients.

So when am i a salesperson? I am a salesperson when I am negotiating on behalf of my client or when I am convincing the listing agent to accept my client's offer. The only time I am a salesperson with my client is before they are my client, when I am giving the listing presentation or buyer representation presentation, but once those documents are signed, my clients have a certified professional in their corner.

With Great Responsibility Comes Accountability

Being a professional, and especially a highly compensated professional, is not something to be taken lightly. Firstly, we are highly paid because of the responsibility we accept to assist clients with what is typically the most financially significant purchase/sale of their lives. With this accepted responsibility we are required to be accountable for the advice and actions we take in regard to any specific transaction. Thus, it is extremely important not only that we are skilled in our profession but we hold ourselves to a much higher ethical and moral standard when conducting our duties. Why is this so important? Because the aggregate result of many individually irresponsible acts can have an astronomically negative effect. Again, this is best demonstrated by the housing bubble which was essentially the negative effect of many individually irresponsible acts over a long period of time.

It is our duty as real estate professionals to protect the industry we serve not only because we agreed to follow the N.A.R. Code of Ethics, but because we should want do it it anyway. If you understand what we do and why we do it, our clients will understand why they are hiring us and what they are paying us for.

If You Want To Be A Professional You Must Act Like One

No it's not okay to wear sandals when you meet your clients...Not even if they are your family.

One of the greatest things about real estate is we are independent contractors; we can do whatever we want and cannot get fired (unless you work at RE/MAX Prestige). This is also the most frightening part of the industry as well, the fact that many real estate professionals feel they are not accountable to anyone other than themselves. We need to raise our standards. Think about all the stereotypes real estate professionals have:

  • Always late
  • The only multiplication we can do is 3% and 6%
  • Never return phone calls
  • No communication

I won't keep listing examples, but the point is, even if you want to be accountable to only yourself then at least raise the standards. Take pride in the way you speak, act, write, dress, and conduct your business. The small things matter and usually it's the small things we don't do which upset clients the most, like not returning a phone call the same day!


In closing, it is important we understand the responsibility we hold and that our individual actions do impact the remainder of the real estate community. The more "professionals" we have in this industry, the better we will be regarded in the eyes of the people we serve. In order to make a change you have to first change yourself. Change the way you think about what you do and your clients will start to change the way they think about what you do for them.

So are you a salesperson or professional?



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  1. Jay O'Brien 02/24/2013 11:50 AM
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John & Irma Nelson
San Antonio Real Estate Broker/Agent with Get It Sold Realty - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Real Estate Agents - San Antonio Homes

The only thing I am selling is myself!  I dont sell clients that they need to buy a home nor do I sell a client that they need to sell

Feb 24, 2013 09:12 AM #1
Diane Donnelly
Keller Williams Flagship - Annapolis, MD
Anne Arundel County, MD Real Estate

Thanks for the post.  Some great remidners.  Ethics is #1 and the rest will fall into place. 


Feb 24, 2013 09:17 AM #2
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA


I am a salesperson, but as you stated, when I'm using my skills and experience on behalf of my clients to obtain their goals.  I am a salesperson when I must transition a customer to becoming a client, then I become a consultant and advocate and am no longer a salesperson to them, but on their behalf. 

I also appreciate your points on professionalism.  This is too often overlooked by many of our colleagues, but then again, that makes us stand out, doesn't it.  Very good post.

Feb 24, 2013 11:02 AM #3
Sammer Mudawar
RE/MAX Prestige - Anaheim Hills, CA
OC Real Estate Blog

Ethics are definitely #1! And I agree that we should never be convincing our clients to do or not do anything, we are there to provide them the information and guidance to make the right decisions.

Feb 24, 2013 11:04 AM #4
Sammer Mudawar
RE/MAX Prestige - Anaheim Hills, CA
OC Real Estate Blog

Hi Dan, thanks for the well written comment, and yes it's definitely easier to stand out!

Feb 24, 2013 10:53 PM #5
Todd Clark
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

Welcome to Activerain and I hope you are learning a lot and if you ever need any assistance, don't hesitate to check out my blog, email me, call me, I will be glad to help you in any way possible. Also, check out the main page of Activerain and look for the Activerain University tab, there are lots of educational webinars to help you build your business.

Feb 25, 2013 02:22 PM #6
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Hi Sammer Just wanted to let you know that I featured your post in Last Week's Favorite Newbie First Post.

Last Week's Favorite First Post

Last Week's Favorite First Post

Mar 02, 2013 08:42 PM #7
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Great article about our profession and the frame of mind to interact with clients and customers

Welcome to ActiveRain Sammar

Mar 02, 2013 11:49 PM #8
Sammer Mudawar
RE/MAX Prestige - Anaheim Hills, CA
OC Real Estate Blog

Thanks for the support and feedback Charita and Fernando! 

Mar 05, 2013 07:26 AM #9
Allison Bernard
Keller Williams Central Rhode Island - East Greenwich, RI
Real Estate & Relocation Services 401-533-6916

Well put.

May 22, 2013 02:06 AM #10
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Sammer Mudawar

OC Real Estate Blog
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