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?
Well, 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.