More Bad News for Realtors, Part 819

I like to stop by the National Association of Realtors’ blog now and again to see what the N.A.R. is making of the many changes in real estate. A recent posting referred to a Harris Interactive poll from July in which people were asked to rate the prestige of various occupations.

Firefighters were No. 1, while nurses, teachers, and military officers also did well. None of these are very surprising, at least not to me. I was surprised, however, to see that doctors and scientists are also near the top of the list. Ministers also did pretty well, although I wonder how they would have made out if the poll were conducted after the Ted Haggard scandal.

Journalists, I am sad to say, did pretty poorly in prestige terms, ranking toward the bottom of the list. They beat out only five other occupations: union leader, actor, business executive, stockbroker, and … real estate agent/broker.

It can’t feel good to come in dead last in anything, even a public-opinion survey. That’s why the N.A.R. countered the survey’s findings with a blog post entitled Realtor? is to Real Estate Agent as Mercedes? is to Car. The gist of the post is that if Harris had surveyed the public as to their feelings about Realtors — as opposed to the more generic “real estate agents/brokers” — they would have gotten a very different result. Maybe, maybe not. But I’m not sure the N.A.R.’s headline on this blog post quite works. While I guess you’re supposed to assume that a Mercedes is more trustworthy and downright better than a plain old Car, you could just as easily assume that, in the eyes of most people, it’s simply more Expensive.

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 32

View All Comments »
  1. ceruleanbill says:

    My assumption has always been that a Realtor is a Real Estate Agent. I think of them as necessary evils — and lately, perhaps, not all that necessary. They *could* add value… but I think their pricing and services model is stuck in the 1960s.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. ceruleanbill says:

    My assumption has always been that a Realtor is a Real Estate Agent. I think of them as necessary evils — and lately, perhaps, not all that necessary. They *could* add value… but I think their pricing and services model is stuck in the 1960s.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. pkimelma says:

    If we want to be honest, the whole Real Estate industry is stuck in the past. Too many charges and services no longer are justified. From having to pay outrageous title/escrow costs when just refinancing (how many billions of dollars did that wasteful expense cost Americans in the last few years?) to high buyer/seller commission percentages when far less work is needed (with web sites for multiple-listings, more buyer self-research, more standardized laws to protect the buyer and seller, etc). The industry lobbies hard to keep things just the way they are (or the way it wants them), all at the detriment of the customers. It is not surprising that people have a low opinion of them, whether “Realtors” or just agents/brokers. I think the general view is that people may like a particular person (regardless of whether they have a specific license or not), but distrust and dislike the whole industry.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. pkimelma says:

    If we want to be honest, the whole Real Estate industry is stuck in the past. Too many charges and services no longer are justified. From having to pay outrageous title/escrow costs when just refinancing (how many billions of dollars did that wasteful expense cost Americans in the last few years?) to high buyer/seller commission percentages when far less work is needed (with web sites for multiple-listings, more buyer self-research, more standardized laws to protect the buyer and seller, etc). The industry lobbies hard to keep things just the way they are (or the way it wants them), all at the detriment of the customers. It is not surprising that people have a low opinion of them, whether “Realtors” or just agents/brokers. I think the general view is that people may like a particular person (regardless of whether they have a specific license or not), but distrust and dislike the whole industry.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. Jun Okumura says:

    I offer my humble opinion that N.A.R. would have done a much better job of getting their point across if they had used, say, Lexus, as the example. Needless to say, the fact that I am a Japanese citizen living in Tokyo has nothing to with this comment.

    Which somehow reminds me of this Tokyo realtor who, I won’t say the guys there flat-out lied to me, but…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. Jun Okumura says:

    I offer my humble opinion that N.A.R. would have done a much better job of getting their point across if they had used, say, Lexus, as the example. Needless to say, the fact that I am a Japanese citizen living in Tokyo has nothing to with this comment.

    Which somehow reminds me of this Tokyo realtor who, I won’t say the guys there flat-out lied to me, but…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. glenwood3646 says:

    As a title insurance agent, I can tell you that real estate agents are getting a bad rap. Most of my clients are as hardworking as any professional, often in spite of their clients.

    Yes, the system is antiquated, but you shouldn’t use that as a measure of the people in the system.

    FWIW, in my expierence FSBO transactions have a higher instance of problems pre and post closing then those handled by a real estate agent or real estate attorney.

    Most often asked questions in a FSBO

    -Are you required to provide a survey?
    -Who is preparing the deed?
    -Is the buyer getting financing?
    -Did you actually READ the offer to purchase?

    Most frequent response?

    -What?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. glenwood3646 says:

    As a title insurance agent, I can tell you that real estate agents are getting a bad rap. Most of my clients are as hardworking as any professional, often in spite of their clients.

    Yes, the system is antiquated, but you shouldn’t use that as a measure of the people in the system.

    FWIW, in my expierence FSBO transactions have a higher instance of problems pre and post closing then those handled by a real estate agent or real estate attorney.

    Most often asked questions in a FSBO

    -Are you required to provide a survey?
    -Who is preparing the deed?
    -Is the buyer getting financing?
    -Did you actually READ the offer to purchase?

    Most frequent response?

    -What?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0