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Traditional Real Estate agents or Full Service Real Estate Consultants?

Real Estate Agent with JR Group-Los Angeles/Beverly Hills

There is a new trend sparking in many U.S. States. I am trying to see what your view and experience is with the topic of: A traditional real estate sales agent or the newer advanced agents who are to be noted as consultants.. Consultants have many hidden meaning and I have noticed a politically correct title for agents named real estate 'Consultant".   I am looking for feedback regarding the new and growing breed of licensed agents or brokers who have built into their business financing, insurance, and management as part of their real estate sales business. I have seen this trend grow into a new industry in California which grows among the young agents and a group diverse in multi areas including residential and commercial representation as part of their everyday business. This new breed of agent or "Consultant" is an extention of a financial service type of facilitator focusing more towards real estate business and our transactions.....This group of professionals go through more training and have to hold extra licenses and certifications relevent to the SEC due to the fact they are involved in direct financing..IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO HEAR FROM THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEIR BUSINESS IN THIS FASHION and HAVE changed their business from traditional sales or farming to this new version of future industry, and how it has changed their traditional practice as a real estate agent in their state.
Darcy Rockwell
eMortgage LLC - Latham, NY
Mortgage Consultant
It would be interesting to know if this type of business is picking up in NY state. Interesting.  Changes in the Real Estate form of business will cause me to rethink how I approach realtors and what I do that makes my service a benefit to them. 
Apr 16, 2007 06:30 AM
. .
San Diego, CA

Call them whatever you want. The problem lies not with the title or job description, but with the near non-existent qualifications and barriers to entry, followed by the lack of any real training after the fact.

Floyd Wickman pegged it when he said that "the problem with real estate is that it is to easy to get into and to easy to get out of".  

I had to complete my every 4 years of 45 hours of continuing education to renew my license. It was offered online by CAR (California Association of Realtors). I did it all during the 2nd quarter and halftime of the Bears playoff game. Anyone see a problem with that picture?

Apr 16, 2007 06:36 AM
Jim Crawford
Long & Foster - Fredericksburg, VA
Jim Crawford Broker Associate Fredericksburg VA

Great post!  The problem with many that call themselves consultants, many have absolutely no experience.  It is the same are real estate salesperson that has never sold a home. Labels are nice, but success will be measured by performance delivered.  We could place prefixes on  terms in real estate but no one would like that.  want-to-be-salesperson, soon-to-be-salesperson  or almost-a-consultant etc.  

Consumers will judge us on our performance, not the desire to perform.  We cannot forget, it it their money we are working with.

Apr 16, 2007 06:38 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Real estate consulting is a different business model.  One that I use.  I have experience as a professional consultant and managing consultants in the technology industy so the model makes clear sense to me.  Should every agent randomly decide to add this to their practice.  I don't think so.  Also you need to make sure that your broker will work with this model.  Some companies won't even consider it.  Not all clients will care but I can tell you that the ones that get it are great to work with and eliminates not getting paid for the work you do when a listing doesn't sell. 
Apr 16, 2007 07:17 AM
Jessica Russell
JR Group-Los Angeles/Beverly Hills - Beverly Hills, CA
Consultants -Real Estate Consultants I mean........On the rise? I personally like the word real estate consultant. To me however, the name sounds so professional and educated. A RE Consultant to me would be highly educated beyond your required continuing education courses. I totally agree with you BOB I find it amazing in the California direction, many 20-30 somethings are now consultants.....In my areas unlike many mid west and southern states, we have so many agents including myself who did not get certification for specialty or specialized real estate practices.....I personally plan to implement more extended in deph training to my career beginning in the next 2 months.....I would love to hear from others on how the extended certifications have truely benefited the agents career in knowledge and attracting clients-mainly buyers resulting in closed escrows......
Apr 20, 2007 04:17 PM
Jessica Russell
JR Group-Los Angeles/Beverly Hills - Beverly Hills, CA

Market Intelligence

It's the REALTOR®'s Business
Highlights from the 2007 NAR Member Profile

by Paul Bishop, Anna Barlett and Jessica Lautz
NAR Research

Every two years, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® conducts a survey of its members. The survey asks questions about REALTOR® business characteristics, demographics, income, expenses, and use of technology. The new 2007 NAR Member Profile will soon be released, and below we present some highlights from that report.*

REALTORS® play a variety of roles in the real estate industry depending on their function within the firm and business specialty. Most REALTORS® report that they act as sales agents and a majority consider residential brokerage their primary business specialty. Still, a sizable number of REALTORS®work in commercial brokerage, property management and appraisal areas.

The range of experience and functions within their firm help REALTORS®satisfy the needs of customers and clients.

Type of License and Business Specialties
The majority of REALTORS® (63 percent) hold a sales agent license, and many have a broker’s or broker-associate’s license as well. REALTORS® who have been in real estate for more than five years are more likely to have a broker or broker-associate license. Those who are just starting their career are most likely to only have a sales agent license.

Overall, 75 percent of REALTORS® specialize in residential real estate brokerage. A similar percentage of REALTORS® holding a sales agent or broker’s license – and an even larger share of broker-associate licensees – specialize in residential real estate.
Eighty-seven percent of REALTORS® licensed as appraisers specialize in residential appraisal.

Among broker/broker-associate licensees, the share specializing in residential brokerage has varied between 75 percent and 84 percent in recent years with few apparent trends in the share of brokers specializing in other areas. Among sales agent licensees, residential brokerage is the most frequently cited primary business specialty. The most significant increase was among those sales agents whose primary business specialty is relocation.

Many REALTORS® work in other areas of real estate in addition to their primary specialty area. More than one-quarter of REALTORS® cite relocation as a secondary business specialty – an increase from the 20 percent reported in the previous survey. Eighteen percent of REALTORS® reported commercial brokerage and 18 percent reported land development as secondary business specialties. Counseling has also increased as a secondary business specialty since the last member profile survey conducted in 2005 – from 12 percent to 16 percent.

Technology Use
REALTORS® use many types of communication and technology tools. In 2006, they spent a median of $820 on technology products and services. Thirty-six percent of REALTORS® spent less than $500, while 5 percent spent more than $5,000.

Certain technology and communication products, such as cell phones and e-mail, are used by nearly all REALTORS®. Digital cameras are also used by nearly all REALTORS® but less frequently than cell phones. Approximately one-third of REALTORS® use instant messaging, wireless e-mail, and GPS. A small percentage of REALTORS® use blogs, podcasts, and RSS feeds.

REALTORS® have a growing assortment of technologies available to them to communicate with clients. Fifty percent of REALTORS® report that they communicate with their clients by e-mail more than 50 percent of the time, up from 44 percent in 2005. Among REALTORS® with five years or less experience, 55 percent communicate at least half the time via e-mail compared with 41 percent of REALTORS® with 16 or more years experience. The use of instant messaging has remained steady since the 2005 report. Over one-quarter of all REALTORS® use instant messaging, however few do so frequently.

Nearly 90 percent of REALTORS® reported that their firm has a web site for business use – this percentage has increased from 87 to 89 percent since 2005. In addition, a significant majority of REALTORS® have a web site of their own that they use for business. Sixty-one percent of REALTORS® have a web site for business use, with an additional 12 percent noting that they plan to have a web site in the future. This is a substantial increase from 2005, when 44 percent of REALTORS® reported that they had a web site. Thirty-five percent of REALTORS® developed their own web site and maintain it on their own, while 27 percent use a web site that their firm provides.

Nearly all REALTORS® show their own property listings on their web site. Over three-quarters of them also include information about the home buying and selling process. More than two-thirds include mortgage or other financial calculators and a link to their firm’s web site. Commercial specialists also provide the same type of information on their web site.

Looking Ahead
Most REALTORS® intend to continue their real estate career in the future. Among all REALTORS®, 80 percent report that they are "very certain" they will remain active in the real estate profession during the next two years. Fifteen percent are only somewhat certain with a slightly higher percentage among sales agent licensees and REALTORS® who have been in the field for less than two years.

A significant share of REALTOR® business is "repeat business" from a previous client or from a past client's referral. That is good news for real estate professionals. For all REALTORS®, a median 25 percent of their business is from a previous client. And the more experience REALTORS® have, the higher percentage of "repeat business" they are likely to capture.

For more information
Next month in this column, we’ll take a look at the demographic characteristics of REALTORS® including age, gender, years of experience in the real estate industry and income.

ondary Business Specialty of REALTORS®
(Percent of Respondents)
*In January 2007, NAR mailed an 87-question survey to a random sample of 70,000 REALTORS®. An identical questionnaire was also distributed to another group of 70,000 members via a Web-based survey. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 7.9 percent. Survey responses were weighted according to each state’s NAR membership. Information about compensation, earnings, sales volume and number of transactions is characteristics of calendar year 2006, while all other data are representative of member characteristics in early 2007. The National Association of REALTORS® is committed to equal opportunity in the real estate industry. In accordance with this commitment, racial and ethnic information was collected and is included in this report.

Apr 20, 2007 04:32 PM
Monique Rice
Global Realty - Beverly Hills, CA
This is the first time i've heard of this, but I hope this is our future.  The problem with real estate agents is the reputation most of them have for not performing.  I think it's essential that they are informed about everything that pertains to real estate.  

This is great, I'd like to hear more.
Jul 31, 2007 07:39 AM