Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Monday, February 27, 2006

Credible Realtor, Oxymoron or Not? Talk Among Yourselves...

Who's hands are in your pocket & should they be?

Ask some questions, think really hard and read the post from:

Patrick's place

(snippet reposted from Patrick's place0-please head over there to discuss)

(Randy H's observations about "Realtor Pete" who appeared recently in an article by the Contra Costa Times handing out advice that appears less than solid...)

"Now, here’s a guy with a Liberal Arts 2-year “business” degree who’s managed to get a real estate broker’s license. However, he’s handing out public (and likely private) personal financial advice. He repeatedly equates owning a home to investing. As such, he’s putting himself in the role of a personal wealth manager, only without all the rigorous certifications, licenses, and education one expects of such professionals."

"More broadly, Realtors(tm) are often responsible for providing advice to people which will ultimately affect the single largest factor of their wealth. When Realtors(tm) make statements like it only goes up, it’s always a good time to buy, hurry up and beat the rush or be forever left out are they ethically executing the implied obligations the public has bestowed upon them? "

"When they work with hand-selected mortgage brokers to squeeze every last penny of leverage out of a homebuyer are they crossing the line? "

Some Additional Questions Randy H. would like you to think about...

* "Are Realtor(tm)/Broker credentials worthy of any respect in the world of rigorous/tightening certifications in most other fields?"

* "Is it just me, or does there appear to be a pretty strong inverse correlation between quality of education (the Junior College Liberal Arts “business” type versus various BS, MS, MBA, MFE types found in the rigorous certification population) and Realtors(tm)?"

It is not just you Randy...


At 2/27/2006 02:39:00 PM , Blogger Marinite said...

That really is a cantankerous grenade athena; I'm running for cover.

But before I do, I recently found this comment left on the Housing Panic blog ( I thought it was appropriate. Reprinted without permission:

"Adopt a Realtor Day" entry is still your post of the year. For those who missed it:

If Hallmark can create a holiday, so can I...

So next Tuesday, it's adopt a realtor day. Here's ten things you can do. Feel free to add to the list:

1) Show them you care, and that losing their job/profession isn't the end of the world. Life goes on...

2) Help them with job retraining. Work with them to understand if they have any marketable skills (besides bartending). Some skill that is needed by society, that won't be disintermediated by the internet. That involves working for a living, vs. hoping for "the big kill"

3) Help them go back to school. A high school GED is not too hard to get, and will set them on a new path. They can do it!

4) Work with them on their appearance. Let them know that their 5 color dye job from Rolf's is actually a bit out of style (beyond their realtor clique). Show them some sensible hair cuts and realistic colors. Work with them on limiting their makeup application to something in a non-bordello shade.

5) Show them how to list their leased Lexus RX300 on ebay.

6) Give them a copy of "Manias, Panics and Crashes". Let them know what happened wasn't their fault - it was capitalism's fault.

7) Get them into counseling if they think this bust is just "a short term blip"

8) Let them know that prozac, valium and whisky are not going to bring the bubble back

9) Work with them on that key phrase - the big close: "Do you want fries with that?". Over and over until they've got it just right

10) Give 'em a big hug. They really really need one.

At 2/27/2006 02:56:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

eek... I'll be sure to set the flame filters to high. ;-D

Seriously, I don't think we should avoid talking about the elephant in the living room.

Every profession has people who are attracted to it for the wrong reason, and behave in such a way that causes people who ARE professional and well educated in their careers to feel embarrassed for their own profession.

I know in my career there are plenty that give it a bad name. Many people who lead with personality and think they are getting paid to shmooze people and manipulate them hoping for a quick payoff... they are the types that want the payoff like they worked real hard, but don't want to pay their dues and be really good at what they do. They think the quick buck and manipulating people is the best testament to how good they are.

Fortunately, they don't last past the speed bumps in my profession.

But I think the realty market sees a lot of the same sort of people and there is a reason that people associate realtors and used car salesmen together as one genus.

So... lets talk about why. Lets talk about what we do expect from them. Lets talk about the influence they have over one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make. What does credible realtor mean?

I have some ideas, but I haven't been starring in the financial follies that is the housing bubble...and I am curious, is the difference between people who have a regular starring role and those who turned down that role that we ask questions like this, or that we have simply come up with a different set of answers?

At 2/27/2006 02:58:00 PM , Blogger Athena said...

note per my profession (in the tech industry)... I am not in any way shape or form associated with the real estate, mortgage or building industry.


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