I am currently sitting in my living room spitting nails and stewing in my own juices. Why you may ask? Well, I'll tell you... I have been working a short sale listing for almost 1 year (yes, you read that right... almost 1 year). I have shown the lender's enough facts and figures to choke a whole herd of elephants... I have begged, pleaded, cajoled, promised, wheedled and even threatened them to try to keep reality in the picture and this deal alive to help my client. I was even on the phone (though I was barely able to speak because of laryngitis) starting at 3 AM on Christmas eve and calling every 10 minutes until I fortunately reached my negotiator to try to postpone the foreclosure and auction of my client's property scheduled to occur at 9 AM on December 26! But today, today capped everything!
Now before I fully launch into my tirade, I want it to be known that the focus of my consternation today is not the lender's (I'll save them for another day very soon when I can do it justice.). No, unfortunately, today the focus of my wrath are the members of my very own profession. My fellow licensees. Not all of my compatriots, merely those Jack's (and Jill's)-Of-All-Trades who truly are masters of none.
Those less than even part-time dilettantes who have a license but no knowledge, training or skill to back it up. Those folks who not only don't truly understand how to write a contract they barely understand how to read one (And who, in most cases have never and I mean NEVER read so much as the full first page of the RPA let alone the full contract.).
I am sick and tired of having my client's victimized by their lack of learning. I am also getting pretty darn tired of having to teach folks who have been licensed since before Mary and Joe mortgaged the manger how to do their job.
I have come to the decision that while there are a talented few who truly can juggle the demands of all of the continuing education necessary to keep up with this ever-changing field of endeavor whilst maintaining additional jobs that run the gamut from the mundane to the mind-blowing, they truly are the exception, not the rule.
Take for example the folks who are Mortgage Broker's first and also represent buying or in some cases listing clients as Real Estate Agents. While they may indeed be legally qualified to serve both masters, I would venture to say that in most cases "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should". They may very well be God's Gift to mortgages but with the volatile nature of that industry just keeping up with the Dow's and the Jones' is a feat all unto itself. To really do it justice, they need to practically eat, sleep and breath lending. So, in order to service their present client's, stay current on the ever-changing market's in's and out's and prospect for new business they sure as heck don't have time to learn much about mine.
When the market was ascending at the break-neck pace of days past, this was still a concern, but in most cases the damage they could inflict was much more limited in scope. Predominately afflicting the folks whose interest they were ostensibly representing. Their lack of skill coupled with their lack of comprehensive training in the potential minefield that real estate sales and purchases can present would in most cases potentially harm their client's a whole lot more than mine.
Not knowing the contracts like the proverbial back of their hand, not being cognizant of the time-lines inherent in a successful transaction and not having ever bothered to clap eyes on any part of the contract beyond where their client's were being asked to sign could mean their folks at best missed something minor and at worst got royally shafted by folks who do know how the game is played and play to win.
But times have changed and the stakes that once were simply high are now stratospheric. Their lack of skill, once merely a irritation to my client has now become a potentially fatal blow and I for one am sick of it. I'll be the first one to concede that this ain't brain surgery here folks (and it's a darn good thing too because if it were their survival rate would be abysmal) but that doesn't mean that the repercussions are harmless. With a flick of their pen and a toss of their hair they can wound their client and practically kill mine.
And what makes me angry to the point sputtering and tears is that their bumbling about in an area in which their choice to fore-go pursuing and acquiring the knowledge, training and skill I know first hand to be critical in the performance of my job means that in some cases what they break, I can't fix.
Now I know times are hard and folks who were once riding high are now scrambling just to stay afloat. But spreading yourself too thin and fragging your focus does no one any good. And if you really want to dominate your field and give yourself and your clients the very best chance of success its time to take your cue from the folks who are tops in theirs. Yo Yo Ma isn't taking time away from rehearsal to work at Guitar Center. Peyton Manning doesn't try to throw the ball to himself and Barry Bonds wasn't stepping off the plate during the game to selling peanuts in the stands for a couple extra bucks. These folks are all wholly dedicated to the single minded pursuit and mastery of one area of one field, and I am quite sure that they would agree that a major reason for their continued success is that laser-like focus.
They are all totally in their game, every minute of every day and we who choose to be members of the real estate profession should be as well.
Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!