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                      iSucceed Press Release
Fact - People Don't Trust Realtors - Now What


Aliso Viejo, CA July 5, 2008 - Nobody trusts every professional completely – that’s the good news.  But unfortunately while 50% of people in a Harris Poll completely trusted their doctor, only 7% completely trusted their real estate agent.  At the other end of the spectrum only 4% didn’t trust their doctor “at all” but 20% didn’t trust their real estate agent “at all.”


I guess we’ve seen and heard references to polls like this forever and after awhile we become numb to the whole thing.  We’ll take heart.  That same poll also said that 65% of the respondents “somewhat trusted” their real estate agent.  Oh, and stockbrokers came in last.


But the real question is not why the perception exists but rather what can be done to change it.  Unfortunately we often default to NAR and expect them to change our image for us … as if with all their money they just need to throw some of it in the right direction.  Well, they are but it isn’t the answer.  Point in fact – most folks don’t pay any attention to the ads that NAR puts out and, I suspect, a very significant portion of them don’t even know what NAR is or that it even exists.  So, are we just victims of bad press and word of mouth?


No, in my opinion we are the victims of our failure to take responsibility for the reason we are perceived as untrustworthy and unprofessional.  For many years we have failed in informing our customers just what a valuable service we provide for them.  As a general rule we allow them to view us as just a 6% part of the process.  Are there exceptions?  Of course!  But as an industry we are guilty as charged.  Let’s look at the exceptions.


The true real estate professionals are the ones that have made a concentrated effort to take their career seriously.  They have continued their education beyond just licensing and the bare minimum CE standards set by the state.  Enhancing their career doesn’t just involve taking more specialized courses to gain additional skill sets.  It involves making a mental shift from being a commission oriented, independent agent to a customer-centric consultant; often in a specialized market niche.


Report after report, from NAR and other 3rd parties, continually tell us that the customer wants us to listen and respond, not talk and tell them what we think they need or want.  Harsh criticism?  Yes. But it begs the point – we have failed and continue to fail to relate to and meld with our customers on their level.  So what’s the answer?


You’re absolutely right – there is no one, complete answer.  However, one of the parts of the answer is specialization.  Have you ever thought why the medical profession continues to push for specialized medicine?  It’s simply too hard to be all things to all people would be their answer; and they wouldn’t be wrong.  On the other hand I would add to that – the more specialized you are the better chance you have against the competition.  Here’s some old news … many in our industry have long since figured that out and are reaping the benefits in the midst of this tough market.


NAR’s own studies have repeatedly shown that Realtors® with advanced designations and specialized skill sets make more money than those who don’t – in fact it’s roughly double.  Many organizations like NAR have invested heavily in developing advance study courses in a wide range of subjects to assist realtors® in enhancing their knowledge and capacity to generate higher incomes.


RealtyU®, the largest career development company in the real estate industry, has dedicated over 13 years as the leader in improving the level of professionalism in the industry.  As recently as 3 years ago they released their very robust online education platform through which they make available a number of their advanced designation courses.  In support NAR and other providers of higher education reach real estate professionals this year RealtyU is offering a special program during the month of July involving some significant cost savings on 5 of their advanced designations: ASR, ALHS, AHS, CSP and CNS.  To learn more about this special opportunity click on the

lead story above … SOS For Agents.


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