Welcome to our ACRE Group

By
Real Estate Agent with Executive Realty Group 471-000119

For many years I've lamented about some of the outside influences impacting our Real Estate industry and have long believed that, if we don't do something as an industry to better fill the needs of the consumer, someone else will!  And we may not particularly like what those things are.  What's worse, many/most won't even be a good thing for the consumer!

We're all traveling at lightning speed on the 'information superhighway'...but I learned a long time ago that "information" isn't the same thing as "knowledge".  Much of the "information" is simply wrong...and even more often it's out of context for what we need!  So how do we know what is the best information for our own needs?

ACRE logoWell, a bit over a year ago, I decided to do something about it.  One of my favorite sayings is "if you're not part of the solution, you ARE part of the problem" ... To paraphrase a famous saying by Sir Edmond Burke, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of [chaos] is for good [people] to do nothing".  What I decided to do is to become (and become involved with) ACRE (Accredited Consultant in Real Estate).  ACRE(r)s motto is "Transforming the Real Estate landscape ... one ACRE(r) at a time!"   This benefits the consumer because it recognizes that consumers have a variety of real estate related needs (not all of which even involve a buying or selling transaction) and our industry has not seen fit to recognize that fact.  Besides that, many of the consumers who DO have transaction-related needs have a whole host of different circumstances.  As an industry, we've taken the "one size fits all" approach basically saying "if you plan to move, fine...this is the commission we charge".  With that mindset, we have basically disenfranchised tens of thousands of people who we could have served, basically sending them to the "wolves", simply because those consumers wanted "options".  Particularly when facing one of the largest financial decisions of their lives, they want to be "consulted with"...and not "sold to"!

On the other hand, as real estate professionals, we have skills, training, understanding, and responsibilities to offer the consumer (whether they be client or customer), and we have every right to be compensated for those things.  The Financial Planning industry went through much the same process some years back, and we should, as an industry, learned from what they found.  At one time, Financial Planners were basically "sales people" who got paid based on what financial package the consumer purchased.  Now, the "true" Financial Planners are Consultants who are paid for their time and expertise, regardless of "if" or "which" the consumer purchases.

If you're an Agent, chime in with comments and questions, challenges & solutions...you're likely to find kindred spirits here.  If you're a consumer, we'd love to hear from you.  Our approach is centered on "Choice" and "transparency".  It's your money ... empower yourself to make your very best choices.

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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Judi, What a wonderful idea to start an ACRE group. Look forward to all the ACRE members joining and posting here. And I do have a post for this group.

fark

Mar 18, 2008 01:45 PM #1
Rainer
45,309
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Hi Margaret....

Thanks for jumping in.  I've not used Active Rain Groups before, but had heard that there was someone "thinking about" starting an ACRE group...so I waited for that to happen for several weeks.  When it didn't happen, I just figured I might as well do it for the "good of the cause" myself!  So, WELCOME!  Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

By the way....WE'VE MISSED YOU ON "THE GAME"!  I hope at least you're listening to the recordings!  We only have 4 more calls..would love to have you there!!

JudiB

Mar 18, 2008 01:46 PM #2
Rainer
30,905
Kathi Frank
Kate Writes Right - Houston Heights, TX
The Woodlands TX

I have never heard of the ACRE group.  Since I have taken the training for many a designation, I have begun ignoring new ones.  It seems that the annual "payola" to the organizations is often hard to justify.

However, you are speaking a language that makes sense to me.  Our focus should be on client options.  Otherwise, our industry giants will homogenize the service we give our clients in such a way that the clients are not served and the agents are not fairly compensated - everyone loses.

I will watch what you have to say and see if this is something that will be valuable to my business.  Thanks for the "heads up"

Mar 18, 2008 01:56 PM #3
Rainer
45,309
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Oh, Kathi...

Do you have KINDRED SPIRITS!!!!  I've been in this business for 25 years as well, and particularly over the last 7 or 8 years I've been telling everyone who would listen "if we don't start listening to the consumer and giving them what they want and need in their real estate decisions, SOMEONE ELSE WILL.  Either we change our industry, or someone else will change it for us.  And we're NOT GOING TO LIKE THE CHANGES THEY MAKE!"

I don't know if you are at all familiar with Mollie Wasserman (if you've ever seen someone's website that had a "Real Estate Internet Warning" on it reminding the consumer what an internet site CANNOT do to help them with their real estate needs....that's Mollie's warning.  She's the heart of this program, and has been an active agent with Keller Williams designing her own Consulting practice for years.  She launched the ACRE program (Accredited Consultant in Real Estate) About 15 months ago, after publishing her book "Ripping the Roof off Real Estate" (which sounds provocative, I know, but I must say I think should be recommended reading for every agent as well as for anyone considering buying or selling a home)  It's a TRUTHFUL examination of our industry...AND THE PUBLIC MISCONCEPTIONS about it).  I know Amazon carries it.  I read it and was amazed!  Finally someone was telling the consumer how things really work in this business; telling them what they risk when they get those 3-5 FREE CMA's, particularly since the onset of Buyer Agency.  She puts things into perspective in a way that makes sense!

Regarding the course, etc....when you enroll in the course, that enrollment INCLUDES one full year of coaching through the Coaching Exchange (which is a very robust & interactive forum), teleseminars on topics of interest to the members, etc.  After that year is up, you pay nothing to maintain your accreditation.  If you DO want to continue with the coaching, there is a modest renewal fee...(so far, the majority of ACREs whose renewal has come up HAVE opted to continue...but it has nothing to do with the designation.  Once you earn it, it's yours!) 

We're constantly adding new content and new tools...for example, on the Coaching Exchange we have a "document library" that members can upload to and download from at will, including training pieces, marketing pieces, sample agreements, etc.  It's very robust now...and it keeps growing

It sounds to me that you already have the MINDSET of offering Options to the Consumer, and Transparency (which I think has always been our problem....consumer's don't really understand WHAT it is they are paying for when they pay by commission!).  This is NOT a "discount" model or a way to splinter out services.  Our focus is on providing OPTIONS to the CONSUMER....AS WELL AS TO THE AGENT.  Quite often, when the consumer understands their options, they still choose to work with the agent on a "traditional" basis...commission paid at the close of escrow.  They do it because they've seen the options, what those options CAN AND CANNOT do for them, and have made their choice as to what works best for their needs and their budgets.

It also means that the agent has the ability and the necessary tools to GET PAID FOR THEIR EXPERTISE AND THEIR COUNSEL, regardless of whether they sell a home or not.  If there is one thing we, as an industry, certainly better have learned from the onslaught in recent years of limited service "alternatives" is that THE CONSUMER IS WILLING TO PAY, OUT OF POCKET, FOR A VARIETY OF SERVICES that may or may not result in a successful sale or purchase.  Why not have the very people who are BEST EQUIPPED to provide them with a higher standard of excellence offer those services to them!

One of the things that Mollie said in a recent commentary is that consumers have been hungry for CHOICE, and instead, have had to settle for CHEAP!  Unfortunately, they've also learned in the process that the low amount they may have paid some of these outfits didn't turn out to be the REAL COST of having done business with them.

The time is ripe for taking back our business and giving the consumer the BEST we have to offer.  We happen to believe that a transparent platform from which they can choose the services they need and how they want to pay for them provides a Win/Win.  Check us out at The Consulting Times. You'll find links there for Consumers as well as Professionals.  You may want to explore both.

JudiB
 

 

Mar 18, 2008 02:44 PM #4
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Judi, What a beautiful response to Kathi's comment!

My suggestion: please make  it a separate blog post so you can educate so many others including buyers, sellers, agents and the general public.

The industy is so fortunate to have agents like you and Mollie wiho are willing to move outside the box and share your inovative ideas. You are appreciated!

Mar 19, 2008 01:46 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Mollie Wasserman
Your Move Made Simple - Framingham, MA

Judi, thanks so much for starting the ACRE Group on AR. I have a feeling that there are many "kindred spirits" in our industry. However, as agents, we've heard so much hype that it's hard to separate it all.

Great entries explaining ACRE - I couldn't have said it better!

Mollie

Mar 22, 2008 10:51 PM #6
Rainer
45,309
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Hi Mollie...

And Welcome!  I agree with you...there are no doubt LOTS of kindred spirits out there.  I have a feeling that most are like me...they KNOW we, as an industry, have to make some serious changes, but are unsure as to how to begin making that happen.  Thank YOU for giving us the program and resources to help us do what we know has to be done!  As we say, we're here to TRANSFORM THE REAL ESTATE LANDSCAPE ... ONE ACRE AT A TIME (love that!!!) ;-)

JudiB 

Mar 22, 2008 11:04 PM #7
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Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Judi,

I saw you were "in the Rain," and stopped by to say WELCOME!  Congrats on the ACRE group.

Mike in Tucson

Oct 01, 2008 10:21 PM #8
Ambassador
1,023,738
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I just visited the ACRE website you linked to and I have to agree that it all sounds good.  I've always thought that consulting was a natural for real estate professionals.  I'll have to follow up on it when I have time.

Nov 29, 2008 12:57 PM #9
Rainer
45,309
Judi Bryan
Executive Realty Group - Bloomingdale, IL
Your Chicagoland Connection

Thanks, Margaret!  Do check us out!  The program is great and the concept's day has arrived, imo.  The consumer wants options, and our industry, if it is to survive, must offer them.  Outsiders have been much quicker to respond to the changes in the marketplace than we have....and it's taking it's toll.  I've been saying for years..."if we don't evolve to respond to the consumers needs, someone else will do it for us.  And we surely won't like the outcome!"  It's time we take our industry back...for the consumer's sake, and for our own!

Nov 29, 2008 01:15 PM #10
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