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Real Estate Brokers Face New Reality

The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and/or incompetent agents.

”You might think that the statement above comes from a fanatical consumer group or homeowners with an array of ugly experiences. That isn’t the case; instead the remark is part of a new report funded by the National Association of Realtors, a report which may set some sort of record for brutal association honesty.

Prepared by consultant Stefan Swanepoel, The Danger Report, is a hard and harsh look at the brokerage industry and the challenges it faces. The report is not especially original in the sense that the “dangers” it mentions have been unknown, but it brings to the table in one place issues which the real estate community can no longer ignore.

The great oddity of the real estate industry is that it has not been “Amazoned,” “Pricelined” or “Ubered.” It’s an inefficient multi-billion dollar business that has somehow adopted to the Internet era with a skill that can only leave travel agents, cab drivers and booksellers looking on in awe. How do brokers do it — and can they keep doing it?

The Danger Report presents a grim view of the present — and perhaps a grimmer view of the future.

Let’s start with those “part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents.” For a thousand different reasons it might be nice to dump them, say through the imposition of stricter educational requirements. The report notes that on average it takes only 70 hours of training to get a sales license as opposed to, say, 372 hours for a barber.

Higher standards sound enticing but there are financial reasons which explain why hordes of barely-able licensees are unleashed on the public despite the report’s observation that “professional, hardworking agents increasingly understand that the ‘not so good’ agents are bringing the entire industry down.”

Read more: Danger, Danger: Real Estate Brokers Face New Reality | Newsroom and Media Center


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