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                      iSucceed Press Release
Can A Realtors DNA Be Altered?

Scientists around the world have been tinkering with and trying to alter DNA ever since its discovery was credited to James Watson and Francis Crick.  As far as we non-scientific folks are concerned, we’ve simply been led to believe that it is the final answer to most every mystery.  If so then what’s the answer to the question at hand … “can DNA of a typical real estate agent be altered?” 

We’ll, probably not.  But as a group that serves, works and lives in the real estate industry, we need to change and will have to continue to do so in the future.  Why?  Well the fact is that the majority of the public considers real estate agents as members of one of the least trusted professions … right along side stockbrokers, insurance agents and car salesmen.  As an industry we must alter that perception … it’s a matter of survival.

While the issue may seem large is scope, in actuality it’s very narrow in its cause and affect.  Consider that it takes approximately 1,200 hours of instruction to become a cosmetologist and it only takes 30 to 120 hours to obtain a real estate license.  Something is out of line when it takes 5% to 10% of the time to become licensed to handle one of the largest financial transactions in a client’s life as opposed to cutting their hair.  Are we, as an industry, going to address the issue or just continue to look the other way?  The public isn’t looking the other way.

We have a market in which the number of transactions is decreasing, the number of sides per agent is decreasing and yet the number of licensees is still holding to the highest levels in history.  Translate that as … there is a huge number of licensees chasing a fewer number of transactions; increased competition..  So how does one stand out from all the rest?

Take a recent quote from Dave Liniger, Co-founder and CEO of RE/MAX, “Quality education is the key to RE/MAX’s growth and success.”  It is becoming more and more evident every day that brokerage companies that are serious about not only being around next week but want to be at the top are focusing on both better recruiting and higher retention.  To that end the subject of career development comes to the forefront.

Real estate has always been and will continue to be a self-imposed adult learning environment.  It’s staggering when you consider the fact that NAR’s 2006 survey revealed that 85% of all agents coming into the industry had no sales experience at all.  Perhaps that’s where our “DNA Helix” comes into play?


It would be great if we could just check into the hospital and have our DNA altered and walk out the next day with a totally different disposition where education and professional development are concerned.  But, aside from this radical DNA altering what’s one to do?  The possibilities seem endless.

Well, from the brokers’ perspective it’s going to take a refocusing on creating an environment that will develop a more knowledgeable, more technology savvy and more Internet capable real estate professional.  From the agents’ perspective the shift has to be made in our thinking from that of an independent contractor, sales driven, commission based, one-time client approach to that of a consultative, fee-based, for-life relationship professional.  And as an industry we need to take a long hard look at the requirements to enter into and remain in the industry.  It’s a big shift for the individual agent as well as the entire industry … but not making it may very well give life to that word we all try and ignore … disintermediation.  It’s up to us, individually and collectively, to alter our DNA and change the consumers’ perspective.


This discussion is an extract from the 2008 Swanepoel Trends Report.

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