Tim Bray, B.S. Real Estate (UConn) (Seaport Real Estate Services)

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Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I suppose that is your opinion. I don't necessarily agree. My business for decades has been 85+% repeat and referral business... to me that says quite a few "someones" feel I've served them well and put their interests ahead of mine. For 30 years I've prioritized the my clients, behaved with dignity and professionalism and I know a lot of other agents who do the same. I don't believe in painting everyone with the same brushstroke. And I don't like denigrating other real estate professionals in such a universal manner.

Mar 18, 2023 04:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Almost all of the agents I've worked with, or met, are hard-working professionals who are definitely focused on their clients and take their responsibilities to their sellers and buyers seriously. I especially think that here, in ActiveRain, where agents and brokers spend a lot of time honing skills, learning best practices, sharing great ideas to help our clients even more, you're not going to be reaching very many real estate agents who don't prioritize their clients properly.

Mar 18, 2023 04:59 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

" the establishment of a new breed of realtor...." Are you suggesting to reinvent the wheel and turn out better agents than those who are serious about their business, have a passion for helping others, and want to succeed for the benefit of buyers and sellers? Agents I know are very professional and make humongous sacrifices to help their buyers and sellers get their needs met. When their work is done, not all agents become Kingpins. Most become friends of their clients and succeed by getting referrals and repeat business.

Mar 18, 2023 05:08 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate


I am all about service.  My clients needs come first. I would never do any harm to a client and protect them from others doing harm during a transaction.  

What is underlying this? 


Mar 18, 2023 05:38 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties


Nothing has changed.  I've been in and around this industry for 30+ years and I can tell you that, at least out here, there have always been agents who have looked out for themselves over their clients. 

There really is nothing new now.

Mar 18, 2023 08:30 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

There are and have always been professionals honoring their fiduciary duties to their clients.

There are and have always been consumers ready to throw those agents under the bus for a dollar.

Our profession is a LOT like teaching! Some come in with high ideals and get their asses kicked for them. Some fight to maintain them.

Benjamin Franklin famously said "Do well by doing good."

I'm with Ben. 

Those transactional agents who come in blowing their horns often go out with a whimper . . . relationships matter.

One last thing: it's REAL important to have multiple income streams to thrive in this business. You can always tell the agents who need this deal to make their expensive car payment. They're the ones willing to cut corners to get it.

Mar 18, 2023 06:04 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I think your perspective is more true when referring to companies like Z & T,

Mar 18, 2023 08:25 AM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

I did not want to be among the silent majority on this particular issue.  It is simply a numbers game we are playing and most folks do not know their numbers.  30% of the people who bought over the last year felt they had overspent on their purchase (buyer remorse and a NAR statistic).  They were guided in most cases by a real estate agent.  In more cases they are blaming their realtor.  Inman statistic

Considering that the average real estate agent make @45k annually, we have quite a few agents who are underperforming to say the least on a variety levels.   Top/experienced agents make a more reasonable salary.  

I have seen numerous calls on this web site over the years for raising the bar on our profession.  This is quite the same plea.   

 Considering there are over 306,000 members on AR and it is only the top 10% who actively participate, don't the numbers speak for themselves? 

I have seen numerous posts about helping inexperienced agents work their ways thru the maze of a transaction.  I am one of those.  I think Tim Bray is advocating more of the same. He was not trying to insult the top 10% of those who take this profession seriously.

Realtors being proactive, putting client ahead of commissions and not relying on caveat emptor at the end of the transaction.  So that is my vote despite possibly not being main stream in this thread.  

Mar 18, 2023 06:47 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

I think I know what you mean but I don't necessarily agree. I've been in either Real Estate or mortgage banking since the mid-80s and have seen significant changes.

Make no mistake, agents in the "good ole days" cared about money as well. There was a time they didn't have ethics courses, strict licensing or all the disclosures that have to be signed. Some of those folks are the reason we do have those things these days.

The first firm I associated with in the early 90s was owned by someone who started as an agent in Orlando during the late 50s to early 60s when people were selling swamp land to unsuspecting buyers who wanted to get into Orlando before Disney transformed it. This particular agent owner had seen and survived much. I'd say he cared about people but he was also a shrewd businessman. I've met people here in NC who also were in the business back in the day. Yes, they had relationships with people but they too were about the bottom line. There were probably many people who got into Real Estate and didn't know how to make money or how to survive. Those people may have cared about their clients but unless they had a significant other (which some did) or were good at business, they didn't last long.

The shift I've seen is agents are learning how to be business owners. They're learning how to survive during down times. They're learning how to invest their income into other sources of business and make it go further. They're learning how to leverage themselves so they can have a life. I view those things as good.

Of course there are agents who care more about money than the clients. We've all met them. But, I believe it's a small percentage. I know many agents here in NC as well as in other states and countries. They do care about their clients. Building relationships and taking care of their clients is number 1 for them. I've always felt if consumers really knew the stories and how agents put so much "heart" into this business that the profession would be viewed in a much better light. I've never seen bigger givers. Agents give their time, talent and resources to support their community, neighbors and fellow agents. If you're not seeing that, perhaps you're surrounding yourself with the wrong people.

What concerns me more are the companies and mega business owners who want to control Real Estate. There are those who want to be king and control all Real Estate and make a fortune from it. Many don't have experience in Real Estate and it is just a business to them.  Some have tried to push Real Estate agents out only to find Agents are the heart of the business. Up until the last few decades, Real Estate companies were owned by people who had sold Real Estate and were involved in  the day to day happenings. Now Real Estate companies are being bought or started by companies/investor groups who will be watching the bottom line very carefully. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain the "heart" we currently see in Real Estate. 

Mar 18, 2023 06:38 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Have seen this personally on and off for decades. Where there are opportunities for wealth, the vultures gather. When you "chum" the seas, the sharks appear. What can you do? Now you know why the DRE spends a lot of time emphasizing ethics and has a backlog of violators to address. Stock market has the same issues as does the drug trade. As a whole, integrity, honesty and customer service cannot be obtained. As individuals, no problem. I don't sell honesty & truth, instead I include it in all that I do plus I am not money driven as the primary motivator but instead, I treat my Real Estate duties as if I am tithing as I go about helping and making a difference while earning my living. The thought of mistreating anyone is repulsive to me if deliberate or accidental. Good of you to share standing

Mar 18, 2023 06:08 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm the president of my local MLS and I have been in the business 31 years.  Of all the agents I know I can count on my fingers the ones that I feel don't absolutely PUT THE CLIENT FIRST.  It's rare, it's not the rule, at least not in my my market.

Mar 18, 2023 10:16 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

There are always a few bad eggs.  The buyer's agent in my last transaction was as bad as an agent gets.  She virtually refused to help with the transaction when asked, she was rude, she scheduled inspections without letting the seller know.  Just yesterday, I asked her to reach out to her client to remind them to switch utilities to their name.  She said, "do it yourself," basically.  I can't remember the last time I ran into an agent like that, though.  Most are great!

The problem we have as agents, though, are those few bad eggs.  It has always been that way.  Who can forget Alec Baldwin's character in GlenGarry Glen Ross in the early 90's movie?  "The leads are weak!"  Service was not a part of the equation.  "Third place...You're fired!"

Mar 18, 2023 09:07 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi Tim Bray 


   Many agents have the best interests of Buyers and Sellers at heart*.   But many more, perhaps the majority, are only in it for the commission (there is nothing inherently wrong with that; everyone wants to get paid for the job that they perform).


  *Is there a Fiduciary relationship, in writing, with the Buyer or Seller?  Without a fiduciary, how can anyone "serve the needs" of a Buyer or Seller?   

     Without fiduciary, there is NO Confidentiality and NO Loyalty between the Broker and the Buyer or Seller (by Statute in most States).  The ancient proverb says, "No one can serve two masters".  But we want both sides of the commission, so let's not make a big deal out of Agency Disclosure.  Just push that into the pile of paperwork, and hope that the Seller or Buyer doesn't read it or ask about it. 


   Edited / Addendum about "Fiduciary":   Some Brokers do not wish to be in a Fiduciary relationship, because that Fiduciary may result in additional Liability and greater Responsibility.


Mar 18, 2023 06:30 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I suppose you may be relating your experience, but that certainly has not been mine. 

Yes, we have undergone a profound transformation in the last couple of decades with the advent of new business models and new paradigms in real estate.  But when push comes to shove (and doesn't push always come to shove?), real estate is a people business, and the people are still looking out for the best interests of their clients.

Mar 18, 2023 05:24 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Sure there are agents in the industry, scheming to get rich and always put themselves first. I know several of them, unfortunately ethical agents must be watchful when working with them. One even changed the commission amount on the MLS on listings to his favor after going under contract.

He got caught, finally!

The majority of successful agents practice The Golden Rule and are focused on achieving their clients goals through practiced means. From the moment of receiving my real estate license, I knew doing what is right for the people who trust me, that the rest would follow. And it has.

Mar 18, 2023 09:15 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I have been client focused my entire career.  90% of our business has been by referral from our A list and SOI.  I also know many awesome client focused agents locally and around the country. Here on ActiveRain there are many of us who feel the same way as you & I.  You've come to the right place!  Welcome Tim!

Mar 18, 2023 09:10 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

i am the same yesterday, today and into the future!  I love what I do and do what I love!  If my motivation was to ever change I would change my profession.  It's all about being the best I can be for my clients!  And I have always felt the client comes first. Proof is in the pudding (as they say) ... and today i can honestly say I am at 95%+ in repeat and referral business from my SOI -- that speaks for the type of agent I am.  Every client I've ever had knows I want to be their REALTOR for life! Tim Bray thank you for this thought provoking question.  For those who do not have a heart for the client/customer -- they should be mentored or gain additional education in real estate, or rethink if real estate is what they really want to do and leave the rest to those of us who are ready, willing and able servants! 😇 Thank you!

Mar 18, 2023 08:10 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I will continue to serve my clients in the best way possible, whether there is a push to do so or not, haha.

Mar 18, 2023 05:38 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I do not believe that basic goals of agents have changed.

Mar 18, 2023 05:28 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

where are you getting stats?  I can't find anything that shows in my state the turnover rate is 87% every 4 years or anything CLOSE to that.  And new agents are what they are molded to be by their environment.  Granted I see more not in the office brokers than in years past, but in my market new agents aren't just out to make a buck and screw over home buyers and sellers.  Not what I see AT ALL.

Mar 18, 2023 11:21 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Agree with Kat Palmiotti . Disappointment in an industry starts and ends with the agent/broker/REALTORS approach to customer service. How can I help you, whatever it takes is still the end all. What worked at Caveman Realty is a little more streamlined and real estate runs on a business chassis fueled by listing sales and watching your overhead, working long... L-O-N-G hours.

Mar 18, 2023 06:07 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I love your passion, Tim but, this may be a case of 'one bad apple' - okay, or a handful! 

As for me, I wouldn't be 100% repeat/referral business if professionalism, dignity and white glove customer service weren't the mainstays of my real estate business here in Charlotte! MOST of the agents with whom I work can say the same.

Mar 18, 2023 08:09 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I do not share your opinion of today's REALTOR.

Mar 18, 2023 05:07 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

For 26 years I have worked for my clients, in their best interest, and don't think those focusing on another business model will last long!

Mar 18, 2023 06:10 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

I don't like your opinion & let's leave it at that.

Why don't you leave the business if you are surrounded by a bunch of cut throats?


Mar 18, 2023 01:15 PM
Tim Bray
Seaport Real Estate Services - Mystic, CT
B.S. Real Estate (UConn)

Thank you for your comments, Diana. Referrals from past clients, without a doubt, speak volumes regarding being a client-centric agent.  My fear is that that a newer breed of agent is being taught that this industry is just a business venture and that the needs of the client are secondary. Knowing that it is not always a good time to buy and sell real estate is very powerful and provides a level of service that goes beyond tradition. I hope that this helps. 

Mar 18, 2023 08:14 AM
Karen Climer
Demetree School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Teaching people to pass the real estate exam

I find that often whenever someone says, "Oh, it's not like it was in the good old days..." they don't completely remember what it was like in the good old days.  It sounds like you are saying that back in the good old days all the Realtors were above average.  Today, only 50% of them are above average. 

Mar 19, 2023 04:11 PM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

The consumer in California is better served today than ever before.  Licensed Realtors are ethical, have a code of honor and know their Fiduciary Duties.

Mar 18, 2023 06:00 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Anyone who is not consumer centric will not last long in any industry.

Mar 20, 2023 07:01 AM