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Why I Hate Realtors

I am sure at this point you are wondering why would somebody write about hating Realtors when they are an agent themselves. It is true I am a Realtor, and am proud of being one. However, there is a big difference between what I do for my clients and what others do for theirs.

Before I get into that, I will set the stage for why I feel this way. I have been investing in Real Estate for a little over 13 years now, actively buying, selling, and helping people find their dream home. I can still remember the first house I bought. It was in Hawaii and a couple of years before the recession. I was in Honolulu serving in the military, so it made sense to buy a place if I was going to be there for a while.

My First Realtor Experience

This is where my passion for real estate began to be realized. While most of my friends were out partying, I was looking at real estate. My first Realtor was okay; the problem was that I had no idea what I was doing. There was not much information given about buying a home, or what I should expect. The Realtor and I drove around to multiple locations over the course of a couple days looking for a home. We eventually found a townhouse I liked and I put in an offer. I was clueless about HOA’s, city fees, etc. When I put in the offer, my agent never informed me of the extra fees associated with home ownership. He was just happy an offer was accepted, and his job was almost done. I continued the transaction without full understanding. In addition to my lack of comprehension, my realtor did not show up for closing. It seemed like once it was under contract, I rarely heard from him again. I was shuffled off to other people I didn’t know. Not knowing better, I thought this was how it was; very impersonal. But it didn’t feel right, and the experience was awful. The Realtor didn’t carry out their work by explaining HOA fees, city membership fees, gas, water, power, etc., and he ultimately seemed unnecessary to me. He could have been a trusted advisor instead of handing me a list of mortgage loan officers and saying good luck, for example.

Why Some Realtors Are Seen as Scumbags

When I went to sell this house many years later, I had earned my real estate license myself. I still contacted an agent to handle the sale because I was not living there anymore. We worked out the price and the referral agreement, and it went on the market. Almost immediately we got offers on the property. I was completely satisfied until the agent contacted me to deny the referral agreement (that was in writing). Her position was that because it is selling for above the listed price, she did not have to pay the referral agreement. To say the least, I was astonished she would even ask such a thing, and I proceeded to remind her that it was in writing, and contracts are between the brokers. I let her know I did not agree with what she was asking. Unfortunately, her broker backed her up, actually back-dating the agreements and putting a line through the referral agreement, rejecting it. Unbelievable. This experience took my level of hatred to another level, and the funny thing was she sent me an email asking for referrals after this event! How oblivious and greedy she was, taking advantage of them and then asking for people that I protect to be handed off to her. I realized that if she did it to me so easily she would do it again to someone who is not as involved in Real Estate – someone even more vulnerable. She defined why real estate agents can be seen as so self-serving, and why some are seen as scumbags.

I Love Being a Realtor

Another experience came out of California when I was buying a home. My wife and I found a house we loved, and signed an offer to be submitted that night. We thought our “trusted” agent had put in our offer and we went to sleep awaiting good news. I called the agent the next morning and found out she had not put the offer in at all and proceeded to tell me “there should be no problem sending the offer this morning.” She submitted the offer and about a half hour later her assistant called us and said another offer was excepted the night before. I fired her right then and there, so we were agentless again. I hate complacent agents, those who lack of attention to detail, and those who don’t follow through as promised. This is an important fact about being a Realtor when you say something, you had better do it or have an excellent truthful explanation ready. People are counting on you. I have an expectation of following through with your word, complete information, honesty, and answering all necessary questions. I expect this because I do this for anyone working with me, and it’s what we are licensed to do as agents. If someone falters on these things, trust is broken and will be hard to recover if at all. Every real estate agent should treat their clients with true respect, because clients are placing trust and expectations with you. It is important you do everything you can to inform, guide, and follow through.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Discouraged yet again, I called my cousin Cody Emery who is a Realtor in Utah (excellent agent by the way), and he connected me to an agent where I was searching, Nancy Maranan who is amazing and is still active today. She had an answer for every question, laid out plan of execution, and was very methodical in every movement. With her by our side, we had a house within a week. She was there every step of the way, always where she needed to be, often going a couple steps further in finding answers to questions we didn’t even have yet. I had learned what a good agent should be, and what kind of an agent I wanted to become.

In Conclusion

Working as an active Realtor and as a coach/trainer of agents, I unfortunately still find that most agents do not get close to addressing these pain points, let alone offering world-class service. It is truly disappointing. The fact is, it does not take much to become a Realtor - just 120 hours of classes and pass a written exam. Oh, and you have to fulfill a minimal amount of continuing education every 2 years. Anyone can become a real estate agent just by devoting some time, a small amount of effort, and a few hundred bucks. But there is more to being a Realtor that is rarely told. It is about consistent education, doing the right thing, helping people, giving them value, and protecting them. Notice I did not say anything about making money.

I came from a career of extreme excellence and a lack of drive to strive for excellence could mean death. I noticed these things in real estate and am working to change the face of real estate because the impact it has on families. As a Navy SEAL, I did my job because I wanted to protect my family and those I hold close. I take from my foundational drive and experience to protect and apply this to Real Estate. The Real Estate industry lacks excellence at every facet. The industry has taken on the image of getting rich quick without caring for the client. To this day I have agents I work with say they will do something and never come through, try to nickel and dime me, or just never call me back.

Being a Realtor is hard work, and it takes commitment; if you are not willing to take a family’s biggest purchase seriously then please do not bother. Trust, honesty and vigilance should be the most important parts of a Realtors relationship with a client. Forget the money. The money will come with a constant drive to do the right thing. Remember without trust and the right people around you supporting you; there will be no business. You have to ask yourself, “Do you want to Thrive or just be?”

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