The barrier to entry in the Real Estate Sales Professional licensing is very low.
Any non-felon can get a License to sell real estate in most states in less than a month at amazingly low cost.
Some states have better educational requirements than others, but few (if any) properly equip the “new professionals” with the knowledge and confidence they need to be successful and to be competent fiduciaries for their Home Buyer and Seller clients.
In what other career is it this easy to acquire a license to practice?
I believe there are 2 critical educational components that are often neglected, both of which are essential for the success of the agents AND for the delivery of the promised service and representation of their clients.
Some folks will argue that the current required licensure education “covers” these topics (albeit superficially) and that it is incumbent upon the Principal Broker of the firm that “hires” the new agents to complete this training.
This line of thinking largely held water in the day of the “Locally Owned and operated firms” because these Principal Brokers tended to be responsible for a population of agents that did not surpass their ability to appropriately train and supervise.
While there are still plenty of these firms in which the Principal Brokers are working day to day within their doable span of control, there are (more every day) firms with minimal supervision . . . Either due to mind bending span of control deficiencies (too many agents and transactions to have a grip) . . . or due to the fact that some new “players” in the Real Estate Firm space are “virtual” and have little (if any) direct supervision of their member agents.
Missing Component #1 – Teaching the new agent how to do this business – How to Lead Generate – How to manage the sales process – How to do this Real Estate Sales thing as a business instead of as a hobby.
Missing Component #2 – Teaching the agent their responsibilities when it comes to understanding fiduciary duties, understanding the contracts, disclosures, notifications, addenda, amendments, negotiation strategy, & etc.
Sans Component 1, the probability of the agents success in this business is what it has been for years . . . dismally LOW! A HUGE disservice to these eager, new agents.
Absent Component 1, the probability of the agent getting themselves and/or their clients into HOT water is frighteningly HIGH! A huge disservice to the EVERYONE involved.
So what’s the fix?
For sure, the state licensing authority does need to “hand-off” these new agents to their Principal Brokers and cannot be the forever stewards of every agent in the state.
I have some ideas for solution.
It’s been proven in many states that “more Continuing Education hours required” doesn’t necessarily equate to better quality agents.
I am a “wonderer,” and I wonder what impact would effect if the Authorities were to mandate Principal Brokers to do their own “State Approved Curriculum New agent Training” within their offices INCLUDING a minimum number (3-5) of Mentor Supervised transactions for every new agent in their first year. In this way in the eyes of the new agents, the Principal Brokers are established as the Leaders their position denotes.
Of course, there are many folks who read this who will scream out loud against this notion of having more governmental “meddling” in the affairs of Real Estate Firms to which I will respond: “Quit giving us so many reasons for the need for this. Stop unleashing under-prepared new agents on the market and failing to supervise them as they stumble through their first transactions being “trained” by coop agents and the school of hard knocks.
A big shout out to all of the Principal Brokers out there (and there are MANY) who are already doing all of the above.
This post is targeted at many of the low cost, high volume, low touch, mostly virtual firms.
PS: This post happened today because one of my agents consulted with me about an offer he received over the weekend. That offer was an embarrassment to our entire livelihood . . . written by an agent who clearly had NO inkling whatsoever of understanding the terms of the Purchase and Sale agreement. Even worse . . . She has been licensed 24 months and has closed one transaction.
Stop the madness!