To those of you who commented.. thank you! Now if I can figure out how to respond clearly in this forum I'll be golden!.
It's the consumer that drives the economy. The cyclical round house kick in the teeth, knock you down and you get backup fighting economy. The consumer who when you talk real estate gives you the look like you are trying to sell them ice cubes in the N. Pole! Or tell them to go 15 miles BELOW the speed limit on an open highway. The consumer thinks that we, as an industry, are not only dying, but dead! No buyers, HIGH inventory, LOW desire... and the Internet will save them Billions in commissions.
Whoops that I say that out loud? YES, I did. The Real Estate industry is getting kicked in the teeth, but we will get back up.
Geez Luise. WE as Realtors (r) are professionals and need to be better trained at doing what we are supposed to be doing. Educating the consumer. Not just using that fateful line in the old Real Estate Commercial "I can sell your home". WE are now back in the position of teachers, friends, confidants (whoops, can't say that with the "Who do you represent" guidelines in each state), and knowledge base. During the last 10 years we had hundreds of thousands of new members that never bothered to take a real estate course or to push themselves past the Code of Ethics and New Agent training that many boards offer (Yes, I am a trainer for the www.MeadowlandsBoard.com). Realtors believed that the consumer would look up the home on the internet and call them, the consumer would know all the answers and all we had to do was show them the home (in some cases YOU sent them to my open houses and expected them to go back to YOU.. HA HA). Boy oh Boy that's just the opposite of the old Realtor model where WE, the Realtor, was the gatekeeper of the information. NO ONE would get our information without paying us our due (nice word for commission).
NOW is the time for REALTORS(where is that pesky little trademark R) to take stock in themselves and get more training, and more education to better serve themselves and the consumer. Go out and get yourselves a GRI designation, a CRS designation (hey, the www.MeadowlandsBoard.com still has space available for one of their CRS sponsored classes), the ABR, the E-PRO, the SRES or any of the other alphabet soup letters that appear on business cards now a days. Education is so very important to maintain a freshness in this business and to maintain an edge against your competition.
The economy will turn around, and when it does, many Realtors and Real estate agents will be out of the business or just hanging their licenses on the wall. No problem. The economy will still be there, rolling along... but the trained and educated Realtor will be the FIRST to jump on the wheel and show the consumer that WE are a valuable asset to the economy and to the practice of buying and selling homes. (If you don't believe it, how will the consumer believe you?)
And, just as importantly, to show the consumer that YOU, as a Member of a Honorable and 100 year old association, are truely worth your merit and fee for the services you perform, YOU should be better educated and willing to invest in your own future and industry (wow, run on sentence?). I hope to see some of you in Washington DC this week, or in Florida in November (go check out the NAR website to see what is happening those months).