Is That Agent a Part Time Hack? Did you GOOGLE Them?

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 17 February 2015 15:24

Many in this profession consider the issue of unqualified and ineffective agents “taboo”, not to be talked about on any level. Thankfully, that is changing as the lights of transparency come on - despite the best efforts of many real estate organizations. Real estate cultivates "dabblers", parttime agentspart time agents that consider real estate just another part time sales business. They are the bane of the professional agent’s existence. Just as ambulance chasing lawyers, back alley doctors and Ponzi scheme stock brokers stain their industries, these hacks in real estate result in a consumer opinion of this industry rivaled only by the greasiest used car salesmen. The industry lives on their monthly fees, the public is often hoodwinked by the double talk and fails to properly research them or the public is more concerned with "discounts" and "rebates". Whatever the reason, until and unless the public demands better, nothing will change.

Am I bitter? Am I dramatic or obsessed with this lack of housekeeping by the industry that I’ve worked in since 1989? No – I’m disappointed; with the industry for a bar low enough for a snail to clear, with the brokers that seem most concerned about collecting monthly agent fees, with the public for not properly qualifying them and for the agents themselves as they seem either oblivious or indifferent to the impact they may have on a person’s financial life.

I love AGBeat – an industry pub that is a great asset to pros. I especially love a recent post by Lani Rosales, the COO.  “What’s wrong with the real estate industry? Part-timer queens”  hits the nail on the head and is worth a read:

Part timing isn’t a sin…A while back, April Groves wrote about diversification and I actually applauded her. Today, she writes about her job description as doing “whatever [she] wants to do” and I applaud her still today. Sounds hypocritical, right?

Wrong – the key is that if you hold several jobs, make sure they are all tied together or you look like a pathetic hack. With a common theme, they are all under the same umbrella which is perfectly acceptable, just make sure you’re not telling yourself they are all under the same umbrella. Selling hand cream, real estate, boats and copiers part time don’t all qualify as sharing an umbrella because they are all “sales,” sorry.

Even in Texas where we all have Southern common courtesy, we will laugh at your hairsprayed ‘do as you leave if you’re the part timer queen.

The standards will only be raised if the public demands it. Would you hire your buddy Tommy to defend you in a manslaughter case? He’s the one that works full time as an accountant but he does have his law degree. How about Eddie; he is an exec at a large retailer but likes to play around investing on line – do you hand him 500K to invest? Or Susie, she sells medical equipment full time but got her RE license “in case a friend wants to sell”. Do you use her because she’s your friend and will kick back some of the fees….?

Demand more of any agent that you consider. Check and verify everything – real estate is one of the most difficult industries to effectively do that – unless you know how. Here’s how to select a real estate agent and here is a list of posts that will also prove to be beneficial.

How long does it take to "Google" a real estate agent - you don't have that little time to ensure you're working with a pro?

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Hank Miller, SRA

Hank Miller is an Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser in the north metro Atlanta area. Since 1989, real estate has been his full time profession. Hank´s clients benefit from his appraisal and sales experience; they act upon data, not baseless opinions. He is an outspoken critic of the lax standards in the agent community.

Hank remains an active certified appraiser and completes specialty work for FNMA, lenders and attorneys. He is a well-known blogger and continues to guest write for multiple industry publications as well as national outlets like the WSJ, NYT, RE Magazine, USA Today and others. He is a regular on public Q&A sites on Zillow, Trulia and many others.

Hank consistently ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the metro Atlanta area. He runs the Hank Miller Team and is known as much for his ability as he is for his opinions. He is especially outspoken about the lack of professional standards and expectations in the real estate industry.

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