What’s wrong with the real estate agent mindset in Franklin, TN and really all around the United States?
This is a loaded question. It implies that something is wrong in the real estate business in the United States. Is there really something wrong? The truth is not in all cases is something wrong but there is a perception of many that yes agents are lazy and they want to extract as much money from their clients and perform as little work. Take for example a marketing flier by a local mortgage lender that I just received in my email this morning offering free training to real estate agents at his office. The flier has large graphics and snappy buzz words about how this trainer is going to show real estate agents how to “double their referrals in 90 days” and “grow their business without cold calling” and (this is the best part) show agents “how to make more money in less time with less work”. Wow this training sounds like a magic purple pill that you can take that helps you spend your days on the golf course and yet make more income.
Let’s dissect a few things that I feel are tarnishing the real estate industry.
1. The barrier to entry into the real estate profession is too fast, easy, and cheap: The typical agent can be licensed with a background check, a high school diploma, two to three weeks of course work that teaches the exam, a passing grade on the state exam, and about $1000 investment. This has allowed many to enter this profession without the right motivation and training. There is no apprenticeship, the efforts to educate on ethics is weak, and the overall education on things that an agent will face daily on the job is lacking. To support the education conclusion I made above the state of Tennessee just passed a law that increased the time between Ethics Continuing Education classes from 2 years to 3 years. The brokers are then left to train the agents and most of them are focused on training them on means of attracting and earning business instead of focusing on education on the art of negotiating for a client, or transactional details that they will face daily.
2. The thought that real estate commission is easy money: Real estate agents can earn a lot of money and commissions can have an agent in our local area making over $30,000 on a single transaction. If there is this much potential for earnings shouldn’t there be an apprenticeship or something that an agent has to prove that they know about the process and the daily obstacles. I am talking about how to understand square footage calculations and analysis of market value for properties and title basics. Instead most of the trainings like the one I mentioned earlier are focused on fast cash and easy money. I can attest as an agent for over 17 years that this job isn’t easy money and if I spent most of my day only focused on attracting new clients that my current clients experience would suffer. I do have systems in place to make sure that my clients best interests are being looked out for in the transaction and thinking about the what if scenarios that could impact my clients and how I can protect them from happening. The clients are buying or selling their largest investment and they have placed that trust in me and I need to make sure that I am doing my best to protect that. The distaste for REALTORS as a group I think stems from this thought that it is easy money and so many agents act and work on this theory in their daily functions. Just this week I was talking to my local banker and he told me that his Dad has had his home for sale for a few months and no success and he was becoming frustrated. I looked and the home was no longer for sale, so I asked the banker friend of mine if his Dad was going to stay put or what he planned to do as we would like to see if we could offer help. The text response I got confirms the theory I just brought up. The Dad was fed up with dealing with REALTORS. Not that he was fed up with the results of one person, but he had grouped them all together and they were like the enemy. The efforts of one reflected on the entire profession. Would you do this in another profession? For example let’s say that one NFL quarterback had a bad weekend and threw a few Interceptions would you then say that all NFL quarterbacks were bad passers. I think not, and I think one of the reasons why is that you know that it takes a lot of time, practice, experience, and skill to become an NFL quarterback. So you can conclude that some practice and train more than others. But in real estate there is no requirement for apprenticeship and so experience and skill cannot be compared.
3. The commission structure that they offer has no thought behind it: most agents do not know what their costs are for selling and marketing a home so they simply gravitate their fee structure to what ever there broker has told them to request or whatever they feel they can get the seller to agree to pay. REALTORS are not supposed to have a fixed pricing and there is not suppose to be a collaboration amongst agents to set commissions. So why is it that the average real estate commission if you polled home owners would be very consistent. That is why at Gray Fox Realty we actually analyzed the costs involved in selling a home and the marketing components involved. Then we came up with the Gray Fox Realty business model. If you want to know more about how Gray Fox Realty works in Franklin TN then visit our website at GrayFoxRealty.com
4. The list it and let someone else sell it attitude: When a home is listed on the local MLS then the other 15,000 or so other agents now have opportunity to sell that home and earn a compensation for doing that. Many times the listing agent just moves on to the next listing instead of focussing on finding buyers for that home. The theory behind this is that some one else will sell it and at that point a listing side commission will be earned. The current commission structure used by many allows this to take place. That is why the new concept of a flat fee listing with full service that we offer at Gray Fox Realty is so well received in the market as we do focus on selling these properties and we get to work right after the home is listed to do just that. This is shown as we are not unbalanced in our transactions to just taking listings. There are some flat fee brokers that only take listings, so they are not concerned with the sale of the home to drive income. Then there are traditional brokerages or teams at brokerages that just focus on only listings which indicates that they are concerned with the sale to drive income but the are relying on the MLS and cooperating agents to bring the buyer traffic. You can see from the listing inventory on our website that we take pride in representing the homes in the best light with professional photography and quality descriptions and utilize the lates websites and tools to showcase our homes for sale.
5. Agents will work anywhere and don’t focus: Because agents have FOMO just as it is human nature to behave that way outside of work, they will operate with the Fear Of Missing Out in their careers as well. This means that they will accept clients outside of their normal scope of work or their normal area. They take on these clients because they want to earn the commission even if it means the client will suffer as this is not in their normal field of work or normal geographic location. I was in an agent focus group several years ago and one agent when asked where they worked said ” anywhere with in 150 miles”. That is absolutely crazy. The basis of Gray Fox Realty is to behave strategically and in the best interest of our client. We live, eat, sleep, and work in Williamson county and thus the cities in this county are the basis of our business. We don’t have a firm line on the county lines as several cities actually cross county lines but where it makes sense we do cross those lines to continue to serve the cities. These are cities like Nolensville, Brentwood, and Spring Hill.
If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Williamson County area including Franklin, Brentwood, Thompsons Station, Spring Hill, or Nolensville and want to talk with an agent that understands the problems in the industry and has created a unique company with a mission of removing those problems for you then give Gray Fox Realty a call at 615-656-8181. The agents at Gray Fox Realty at this time are the owners of Gray Fox Realty and they both live in Franklin and we work at our Franklin downtown office location. We each have over 10 years of local real estate experience and we both are college graduates and have a passion for helping people. Gray Fox Realty has a 5 star rating and strives to keep this with every transaction being our most important.