The reputation that Real Estate Agents don't like talking about

What is your impression, experience or opinion about the reputation of real estate agents? Do a simple Google search of "reputation of real estate agents" and (after scrolling down past the paid advertising for real estate agents and firms in your area) you get pages of criticisms about how shady real estate agents are and articles on issues with the industry as a whole. Why does the public have such a negative impression of real estate agents?

For the most part, the negative reputation is well deserved... Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good agents who care about their clients but it seems to  only be the "bad eggs" that we hear about. I have seen the issues first hand; unethical agents, incompetent and inexperience, brokerages and an industry that are largely resistant to any change or innovation that could be a threat to the status quo of "how things have always been done", even if the change would be what's best for the consumer.

I just want to make sure home buyers and sellers don't fall victim to one of the less-then stellar agents who earn the industry it's reputation, loose their clients thousands of dollars and only leave them with a horror story about their real estate experience.

All of this is why I started my own real estate brokerage: to help change this reputation by establishing a different model that puts the client's needs first, integrates community involvement and service, and is totally transparent in every facet of how we do business. We also pride ourselves on taking good care of the agents at our firm. We draw agents to our unconventional firm who also see the flaws in the traditional way real estate is done.. They are on board with our renegade mission of pulling back the curtain and serving our clients in a different and better way.

 

the top 4 reasons agents and brokers get a bad rap

  • The bar for entry to become an real estate agent is really low - only 90 credit hours and a test to help clients broker a sale worth hundreds of thousands of dollars! It takes over 1,000 credit hours to get a license just to cut hair (and costs between $6k - $10k).
  • Nationally, it's estimated that about half of the licensed real estate agents only do real estate part time (they do real estate on the side... how confident would you be that a part-time lawyer or doctor would be proficient and competent, when they aren't fully vested in their career and only doing it part-time?).
  • The real estate industry is generally more concerned about maintaining the status-quo and protecting the interests of the firms and agents, then the interests of the consumer (this is evident in the NAR "Danger Reports" and the conventional business model that the majority of the large franchises work under).
  • Agents have established themselves as sales people and their services as a commodity (a service or product that is largely indistinguishable from others in the marketplace). No one likes being sold to. The "prospecting" techniques I was told to do as a new agent were all the things I hated having done to me as a consumer and I couldn't bring myself to do it to others (cold-calls, door knocking, "farming" a neighborhood with mailers.

 

The point(s) listed above are why sales people in general and real estate agents in particular, are consistently ranked as one of the least respected and trusted professions. This is why ever since becoming a real estate agent, I have dreaded that moment when I meet someone new and they ask me the inevitable, "so, what do you do". Because I know as soon as I tell them, they will peg me with all the negative stereo types about real estate agents, the same stereotypes that I hate about the industry. It's not a group that I generally want to be lumped in with.

I don't want to belabor the point, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons that the traditional approach to doing real estate is broken, or to say it in a more positive way, there are better ways to serve home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.

My frustrations with the system and conventional methods of doing real estate are what pushed me to develop a different approach and systems to serve my clients and fueled my desire to open my own Indie Brokerage.

 

Our promise to our clients - what we stand for

We only take the best agents - We are very discerning with who we invite to be part of the Sea-Town Real Estate brokerage team. We draw like-minded agents who are onboard with our quality and our client's experience is everything attitude and who want to think bigger then the conventional sales mentality and transactional attitude.

All our agents are full-time - How can you expect the best service and real estate experience from real estate agents who aren't fully-vested in their real estate career and who lack a diversity of experience because they only do the occasional real estate deal, on the side?

Sea-Town Real Estate was founded to make the largest impact:
Quality in every detail and our client experience are our top priorities

We want to make the  largest impact in helping other agents to be the best they can be (and therefore provide the best service to our clients) and to make the largest impact possible in the community.

Impact for our clients - Our goal is to make our client's real estate experience as smooth and painless as possible. We take an all inclusive approach and are re-defining what it means to be a "full-service" brokerage by providing everything to our home buyers and sellers (Contact us for more details on this unique approach).

Internally, we have established high-quality training and systems that enables our agents to seamlessly serve their clients through every aspect of their home purchase or sale process, leading to a constant high-quality experience for each and every client of ours.

What we do, how we do it and WHY we do it is so much larger than just being focused on doing whatever it takes to find that next deal... that next commission check. Our litmus test for success is ultimately NOT the financial bottom line or how many sales we have done. So called "Top Producers" is not in our vocabulary here at Sea-Town Real Estate. Success to us are the individual stories about the clients we get to help and making a difference in the community that we are a part of here in West Seattle.

Impact for our community - Our agents are on-board with Sea-Town Real Estate's vision to serve our community, by committing to donate$250 of their commission on each home sale or purchase, to a local non-profit of their client's choice... and Sea-Town Real Estate matches each of these charitable donations. We also encourage the cooperating broker on the other side of the transaction to do the same and Sea-Town Real Estate will also match that agents donation.

Christian Harris, the Owner and Managing Broker of Sea-Town Real Estate also created and hosts a local weekly podcast. On the Sea-Town Podcast, Christian invites on Seattle area small business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders to share their stories. For Christian, this was a tangible way for him to get to know the people who are leading the way in shaping the climate and culture of our communities around Seattle and what better way to support them then by creating a platform in which they can get their story out there to others in our community.

 

If any of this resonates with you, there is a good chance you would be a good fit in working togetherContact us if you want the best and you want to be part of something bigger... experience the difference of working with a firm and agents who are renegades in their industry, who strives to serve and enhance the lives of everyone they meet, not just be good at doing real estate transactions. Be part of making a larger impact, with each agent donating a portion of their commission to a local non-profit of their clients choice and Sea-Town Real Estate matching each donation.

Together, we can make a larger impact.

Christian Harris - Author, Owner and Managing Broker, Podcast creator and host

 

Check out Christian's Seattle based podcast and other projects...