I don't know if you've read any of what has been written here on AR recently about Jennifer Allans appearance on the internet radio show, "Real Estate Radio USA", but Jennifer has written about it as has Broker Bryant (of course his got featured! ;-) and after reading a comment by Brett Wilson on Jennifer's original post, "Why Our Commissions Are So High" I felt like I had to jump in and call a spade a spade.
While I'll admit that I'm not familiar with Mr. Wilson's radio show, having worked in radio before and having some close friends who are involved with television production, I am familiar with how radio and tv shows work. I'm familiar with some of the tricks that are used to make it appear that the host always has the upper hand, such as turning the guest's microphone down or simply talking over them.
I've never listened to Mr. Wilson's show, so I don't know that he does this or not, but I did notice in his comment (that was in response to a comment that I had made) that he attempted to do something similar to me. That is, he attempted to dismiss me and what I was saying by adopting a smug, know it all attitude.
Well, one advantage that a forum such as AR has over going on an obscure internet radio show is that I have the ability to stand up to the challenge without having my microphone turned down!
The funny thing about this whole episode is that I agree with a lot of what Mr. Wilson has to say. If I didn't, I wouldn't have started my DISCOUNT real estate company back in 1995. I do think that MOST real estate agents aren't truly professional. I also think that real estate commissions have gotten out of hand.
As I've written about before, I've never been able to have someone justify why it costs three times as much to sell a $300,000 home as it does a $100,000 home. Is there 3 times as much work involved? I don't think so.
But even with that said, I think that Mr. Wilson's position that all Realtors are pretty much idiots who are stealing from the public is simply not founded (my words not his - at least not that I could find). I personally know a great number of Realtors who do an excellent job of justifying their commissions and whom their clients hold in high regard.
As I pointed out on Jennifer's post, I personally have been involved in transactions where I had to stand toe to toe with attorneys representing numerous parties and utilize my skills to keep the entire transaction moving forward. I did so as an equal to the attorneys involved.
Simply because being a real estate agent doesn't require the education that being an Attorney or a Doctor does, doesn't mean that we are any less professional as a matter of course. While I would love to have the educational requirements to be a real estate agent raised and to make it harder for an agent to keep a real estate license, I don't think that this precludes an agent from being able to obtain the status of being considered a true professional.
So, Mr. Wilson, while I don't mean to attack you personally, I do wish to attack your message. Please consider what I'm saying here and please don't attempt to dismiss me by being smug.
R.B. "Bob" Mitchell
Bob Mitchell is president of ValueList Real Estate Services, St. Louis' largest discount/full-service real estate and mortgage company. If you would like to find out more about Bob, ValueList or our flat-fee listing program, please feel free to visit our web site at valuelistre.com