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Just Because You Can Become a Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Mean You Should
The number of new homes being constructed. Average time existing homes spend on the market. Increase in average sale price. You can look at several different data points in the housing market and reach the same conclusion:
Real estate has been back for a while.
There’s an additional data point that’s less concrete, but is still another way to gauge the strength of the housing market: a sudden influx of new real estate agents.
Some of these new agents will be really good at what they do. They’ll discover that helping people buy or sell their home is about more than just money and has intrinsic rewards beyond just earning a commission.
But many of these new agents won’t be good at what they do.
They’ll view this profession as just a way to make a quick buck, and in the process, reinforce the unfortunate stereotype of the real estate agent as someone who’s just, well, out to make a quick buck. Avoid that problem and choose an agent wisely.
The National Association of Realtors Knows
In a report released last year by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the association identified the number of “marginal” agents as the number one strategic threat to all real estate agents. Specifically, when referring to agents, the report said, “The knowledge and competency gap from the most to the least is very large, due to the low barriers to entry, low continuing education requirements, and the lure of quickly making big dollars.”
Unfortunately, the damage done by marginal agents has a lasting impact on the perception of the entire industry. A client only needs to get burned once by a marginal agent, and his or her opinion of the entire real estate sector may never change. One bad agent can create the impression that the industry is filled with bad agents.
That’s unfortunate, because at Worth Clark we see the good work agents do on a daily basis, and the way they can be an invaluable resource during one of the most stressful financial transactions people ever experience. And, like any profession, the difference between a good agent isn’t how much time you’ve spent doing the job—it’s why you started doing the job in the first place.
If you’re a lawyer who became a lawyer solely for the big check, you’re going to be a bad lawyer. If you’re a doctor who studied medicine because doctors usually drive pretty nice cars, you’re going to be a bad doctor. If, however, you’re a lawyer who became a lawyer because you wanted to play a role in creating a just society, you’re going to be a good lawyer. If you became a doctor to heal people, you’re going to be a good doctor.
If you became a real estate agent because you heard housing prices were going up and you like the sound of a big commission, you may snag a few big commissions, but in the long run you’re probably going to be a pretty bad agent. If, on the other hand, you became an agent because you like the idea of helping guide clients through important, life-changing decisions, you’re probably going to be a good agent.
Worth Clark Agents are Different
Our agents are some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. They are truly focused on providing an excellent customer experience. They understand that one day the market won’t be red hot, and though money is important to everyone, building a successful career in real estate is no different than building a successful career in any other profession.
You have to be in it for the long haul, and you have to be motivated by serving your customers, not just the size of your commission.
Most people can become a real estate agent. As the NAR notes in its reports, the barriers to entry are relatively minimal, compared to other licensed professions. To help our agents overcome the inadequate training requires for licensure, Worth Clark provides an intense training course to all new agents.
But just because anyone can become a real estate agent, doesn’t mean everyone should.
If you’re thinking of becoming a Realtor®, know that long-term success has everything to do with creating value for your customers, and has nothing to with cashing big commission checks.
Steven Barks is the President & COO of Worth Clark Realty. He began his real estate career in 2009 as an agent for a small startup property management company in Minneapolis, MN. A natural self-starte....
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