Whoah.. I think I just ruffled some feathers. The emails will start pouring in as soon as I hit the “publish button.”
It is a fair question, however. Minnesota REALTORS are everywhere. Everyone knows several, and have several in the family. I once had a “For Sale by Owner” tell me “Yeah, you reeliters are a dime-a-dozen.” That was during a hot market, too! During this market, the agents outnumber the potential buyers. When times are tough and there are layoffs in local industries, it seems like the number of new REALTORS goes up. The glut of real estate agents doesn’t add value to the way that the public perceives them. If everyone can be an agent, it must not take much to become one.
Why are there so many Minnesota REALTORS?
It’s simple. It really is very easy to become one. All you need to do is take a few weeks of classes, pass a simple exam, and pay the local board some money. Anyone who is neither a convicted felon nor brain-dead can do it. Many real estate companies will sign you up if you can fog-up a mirror. I know IBR is selective about taking on recruits; we want our clients to have the best agents. Unfortunately, for many companies, it’s just a numbers game. More agents means greater odds of scoring some sales for the office.
Our board doesn’t seem to care much about the surplus of agents, either. They have not done anything to stem the influx of new agents. More new members means more dues. It’s a numbers game for them, too! To their credit, they did send out a scary letter to the current membership stating that times are tough, and that we might want to consider getting out of the business!
The Good News
Real estate operates on the 10/90% principle; 10% of the people do 90% of the production. If you are working with a real estate agent who has survived the ups and downs of the market over a few years, he/she has some professional savvy. This is especially true in this market. The agents who are out there doing business right now are the best of the best. “Survival of the Fittest” is the rule in any market situation, and the “natural selection” forces are at peak levels.
Almost all successful agents out there right now have brought quality education and special skill sets with them from previous, successful careers. Our own company boasts some prime examples of this. Imran Khan is a Minneapolis real estate agent who has a distinguished educational career in Health Care Administration. However, Imran is too ambitious to be sitting in a board room or an office. He sees real estate as the perfect venue for utilizing his analytical skills. Sales and real estate investment portfolios offer more far more income possibilities for him as well. Loretta Holscher, a Lake Minnetonka real estate agent, was an engineer and project manager for US West for 20 years, and even had a foreign project assignment in Malaysia before she climbed aboard IBR. Tom Hakala is a Lakeville real estate agent who served the local police force as a crime scene analyst and SWAT Team negotiator. All of these people bring special skills to their real estate career and the service of their clients.
Are there huge numbers of Minneapolis REALTORS out there right now? You bet. But if your REALTOR has survived the normal ups and downs of previous markets, and is producing business right now, the odds have it that your interests are being served by a knowledgeable individual with some very special skill sets.
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