Would you like a life of luxury? Driving around in your new BMW looking at expensive homes and having all the free time and money you could ever want? Just get a real estate license and you’ll be living the high-life making way too much for doing way too little.
That’s the promise and dream of many who get into the real estate industry.
And that’s what many are told by attending “career nights” that are held all over the country by brokers wanting to hire new agents and schools that want the tuitions. And the state’s don’t mind because they make tens of thousands of dollars every month from real estate licensing fees.
The barrier to entry is so low that most people jump into real estate thiking they’ll just give it a try, and why not- it only takes a month of schooling and a few hundred bucks to get the license. They don’t know the whole truth about a career in the business, and it’s so easy to get in that they figure it’s worth a shot. They’ll try it part-time until they can go full time or they jump in full time confidant they’ll be wealthy by next year.
This hurts the real estate industry, the people getting into the business, and mostly it hurts the general public who hire these new agents and have horrible experiences with them before they eventually leave the business.
Many say that the responsibility lies with the brokers who hire and train the new agents. These brokers need to take responsibilty for their training and the agents need to take the business and their responsibilities seriously enough that they will go through the training and have mentors and will prepare for the financial and emotional stress that getting into the business can bring. Well to those people I say Bravo for an ideallistic and ridiculous view of how we can fix the industry and improve it’s standing among professions and the perception is has (earned). The reality is that the brokers make money from these new agents getting into business and will not, and have not, fixed the problem. In fact the brokers (in general and as a whole) have been one of the main reasons so many unprepared people get into the industry in the first place.
Consider for a moment the responsibility placed on a professional real estate agent. Representing someone with their greatest financial asset, coordinating and enabling people to relocate their families, coordinating and following up with people as they walk strangers through their homes. These are things that individually merit enormous responsibilty and care, yet state-given licenses are handed out like candy to anyone 18 years old with a month to go through school and few hundred bucks.
Licensing should be much different than it currently is. It should prepare agents for what being a real estate professional is supposed to be about and educate them to how to perform the work and train them on the responsibilities, not just a brief history of the business and memorizing a hundred terms they’ll never use again.
So what should real estate licensing look like? Since I’m complaining about it, what is my answer for it and my great idea that would supposedly fix the problem? Stay tuned…