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.

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  1. hsloboda says:

    I admit that I have known one moral, ethical real estate agent (sorry Dad, not you!). I was trying to sell my first home and he had the listing. I had two little tots and every time they called to show the house, I had to bundle everybody up and leave.

    One day, the kids fell asleep 2 seconds after I got them in the car and I decided to just park across the street and wait. Two realtors from this guy’s office showed up, a very young, attractive blond and an older salesman. No customer ever did show although they delivered a very believable accounting to me later of the supposed visit, and yes, the carefully made bed was rumpled and still warm when I went back inside. I told my agent exactly what had happened.

    At closing, he forfeited his entire commission to us!! Totally a class act! I’ve given up ever hoping to see a repeat of such an ethical salesperson. It upset me that he felt he needed to make up for his associates lack of morality, but he refused to keep the money.

    I work in healthcare and we have to take yearly classes to figure out which laws impact our daily work routine. I sign a code of ethics and will lose my certification and be barred from ever working in healthcare again if I commit certain crimes. Perhaps if Realtors were serious about cleaning up their act, they’d enact such tough rules too.

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  2. hsloboda says:

    I admit that I have known one moral, ethical real estate agent (sorry Dad, not you!). I was trying to sell my first home and he had the listing. I had two little tots and every time they called to show the house, I had to bundle everybody up and leave.

    One day, the kids fell asleep 2 seconds after I got them in the car and I decided to just park across the street and wait. Two realtors from this guy’s office showed up, a very young, attractive blond and an older salesman. No customer ever did show although they delivered a very believable accounting to me later of the supposed visit, and yes, the carefully made bed was rumpled and still warm when I went back inside. I told my agent exactly what had happened.

    At closing, he forfeited his entire commission to us!! Totally a class act! I’ve given up ever hoping to see a repeat of such an ethical salesperson. It upset me that he felt he needed to make up for his associates lack of morality, but he refused to keep the money.

    I work in healthcare and we have to take yearly classes to figure out which laws impact our daily work routine. I sign a code of ethics and will lose my certification and be barred from ever working in healthcare again if I commit certain crimes. Perhaps if Realtors were serious about cleaning up their act, they’d enact such tough rules too.

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  3. Brian Brady says:

    I think that the best thing that could happen to the real estate brokerage profession is the dismantlement of the NAR. The NAR made some very dumb choices these past ten years; partnering with Bill Gates on realtor.com was one of them. Not taking a proactive stance about the hysteria that was the real estate boom in 2004 was another. NAR could have advised caution back then…Lord knows the good Realtors I know were.

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  4. Brian Brady says:

    I think that the best thing that could happen to the real estate brokerage profession is the dismantlement of the NAR. The NAR made some very dumb choices these past ten years; partnering with Bill Gates on realtor.com was one of them. Not taking a proactive stance about the hysteria that was the real estate boom in 2004 was another. NAR could have advised caution back then…Lord knows the good Realtors I know were.

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  5. Linda says:

    The word REALTOR should not be allowed in the presence of children…

    You can’t get any lower than a REALTOR:

    http://outsider222.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/bangor-maine-recap/

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  6. Linda says:

    The word REALTOR should not be allowed in the presence of children…

    You can’t get any lower than a REALTOR:

    http://outsider222.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/bangor-maine-recap/

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  7. Mary says:

    Why was this sent out by Patrick.net today? This story is 6 years old??

    I’d guesstimate that 90 percent of the non-real estate insiders don’t even know there is a difference between realtor and real estate agent and in today’s market they can all be named MUD

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  8. Jeff Spaur says:

    What they forget to tell you is that most agents are forced into membership by their local associations in order to access the local MLS. The NAR loves to take money and provides very little in the way of service to the local agent.

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