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Changing Places

Education & Training with The Melanie Group

It's the New Year (actually January is coming to a close) and we see the usual changes in real estate this time of year. Across the country, if dues are assessed on an annual basis, many agents are hanging it up. It was fun while it lasted (2000 through 2005), but lately, it's been too much like work.  My take: I'm the airline attendant to these folks: "Bye-Bye". I've always said our business is no place for sissies. Yes, we had some easy times in the early part of the century, but it's more like real estate as I've known it for 30 plus years now-it's a great business, but the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.


Along with the agents leaving the industry, we have musical chairs within the industry. This one is opening his own office; this one has left to manage a branch office, that one is changing brokers (again!). Some of this movement is healthy. Some of it is overdue.  I just observed an agent make a move that will, in my opinion, better her career-wise and reputation-wise, and all I could think was: "What took you so long?"  The former broker this agent worked for did not enjoy a great reputation with everyone, and she had gone as far as she could go in that company.

Another agent I know struck out on his own. I admire that, even though my experience tells me a good agent can make more money when he doesn't have to be bogged down by the day to day obligations of running a company. On the other hand, this agent was at a family-owned business, and he wasn't family. They don't say blood is thicker than water just because it's a catchy expression.


Then, there's an agent I know who has now moved to the seventh office in ten years. No matter what, no matter where, it doesn't work out for her. Personality conflicts; the broker is unfair; the advertising policies aren't right; the other agents steal her customers, etc. etc. etc. Her belief that a new office will solve all her problems is as silly as the seventh broker hiring her....or the fourth, fifth or sixth. Maybe even the third. She's the Liz Taylor of real estate offices, and she's being enabled by brokers who don't stop to ask themselves: "What do I do here at my company that is that different from the last nine companies, and will keep her happy?" Anyone can see that a new agent can make a mistake, and pick the wrong company. But to pick the wrong company six times?

The merry-go-round just keeps spinning, though. By spring, we will have more agents who have left the business, plus a fresh crop of newly licensed agents certain that being in the million dollar club means you are a millionaire.  The agents that you don't always notice in this business are the consistent ones. They are the ones who list and sell, and list and sell, and keep plugging away at it. They try new things. Sometimes their brokers really annoy them, and most of the time, they roll with it. They are the backbone of many real estate offices because they aren't divas and they aren't flashes in the pan. If you are new to our business, here's my advice: find one of these agents-and emulate them! And if you are a broker, appreciate them. They don't throw tantrums, like the divas; they don't suck you dry and then leave you for your competition, like some; and they don't take an inordinate amount of time learning the business, only to decide it is way too much like work and they are going back to a ‘real job'. Cherish those agents-they are your treasure!

Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake
Isn't it funny how this scenario repeats itself in every market? I think you could move into an office 1000 miles away and meet carbon copies of the agents from the office you just left.

I'll say this, though. There are some really wonderful people in this industry. It is what keeps me going through the good and hard times.

Jan 25, 2009 11:21 AM