I am once again upset with your publication. (August 2011 edition). The cover story (once again) features a Realtor who works at the business on a somewhat part-time basis. Now I realize in this case he is a volunteer firefighter, but I really believe that continually highlighting agents that do other things (full or part-time) does nothing to enhance the professionalism of our industry.

I agree 100 per cent that there is nothing preventing agents from having other jobs but I don’t think highlighting these other jobs as a cover story promotes professionalism. We all know the public does not necessarily hold our profession in high regard (as a general rule) and this kind of story doesn’t instil more confidence in us.

Doug Baird

Broker of Record

Century 21 Infinity Realty Inc.

Oshawa, Ont.

22 COMMENTS

  1. "but to the detriment of full time service providers who can’t compete price wise with the already well funded Firefighters"

    If you can't compete, get out of the business. Nothing more annoying than a realtor with a sense of entitlement to his very large commissions :)

    • Hi Steve:

      Perhaps I did not make my point clearly enough.

      The 'price wise' aspect of my sentence refers to Full Time Firefighters who establish themselves in businessess 'other than' real estate wherein they provide services such as renovation work, lawn care, home maintenance etc., anything whereby an hourly rate or a contract fee is charged for those services. Often that type of business venture is on a cash-without-receipt basis (for the firefighters); thus they can charge much less for their services than what others do who must rely 100% on the 'after tax' incomes that they earn. I am not in competition with those folks in the first place.

      Regarding full-time Firefighters who do so called 'moonlight' on the side as Realtors, there are not enough of them in their own profession who would even want to enter the real estate business to impact the competitive aspect in the slightest. They would simply be skimming business off the top at whatever commission percentage was in vogue at the time; they wold not be relying on that 'mad money' income, so to speak, for their very sustenance in life, unless they were drug or gambling addicts etc.

      As I said, this is a free society, more or less, and so it goes. But I understand the feelings of those Realtors of average income means, who put all of their time into this business in a very high minded manner, when they see a well funded professional from another shere add to his/her sustantial income while the full-time Realtor does not have the option of taking some Firefighting courses on their off-time (paid) to move in on the Firefighting profession on a cash-under-the-table lower than the going rate for Firefighters.

      My argument has nothing to do with trying to compete with a Firefighter/Realtor on a cost-to-do-business aspect to the client.

      However, if all Realtors were in the first place Firefighters, I suspect that the general public would have an elevated opinion of Realtors. The trustworthiness factor in the business would, I suspect, increase dramatically. But would the actual service that they could provide on an on-going basis equal that of a full-time Realtor? I suspect not, as their time available to be spent as a Realtor would always be regularly/periodically interrupted by their time spent at the hall and out fighting fires.

      I still think that they are heroes, however, no matter what else they do on their time off.

      Regards,

      Brian

  2. Brian, I submited the following posting for which I did not get a reply from you. I am resbmitting just in case you did not see the post: If you did see it and decided that a response was not necessary, that's fine:

    John M says:
    August 31, 2011 at 11:14 AM Brian & Realtor NS:
    My remark that the course is as easy as obtaining a library card was not meant to be taken seriously. However although the courses to obtain a real estate licence today is more difficult than it was many years ago, I still maintain that it’s not all that difficult nor is a lot of what is taught is really necessary. I am basing my current stance on the upgrading education required every 2 years here in Ontario in order to renew ones licence. I find it somewhat laughable. Although getting your real erstate licence today is more involved, being a real estate agent these days is A LOT easier with all the new technology available today. Believe it or not I can still draft up an AofP&S without the use of this new technology and simply on memory basis. All wording is still stored in my memory. Look guys, passing the necessary courses and being in real estate is not as difficult as many like to make it out to be, and deem it as a profession in order to boost their ego. It’s all very basic and very simple. You can draft an A of P&S simply by the click of a button on your computer, and do the same on all other paper work that is required in order to to finalize a transaction. Price information when listing a property is again so simplistic as all info that is required to arrive at a listing price is again available by the click of a button. I can go on and on by I will not. Aside from holding a RE brocker’s licence I also hold a law degree. When I compare what it took for me to obtain my law degree to my real estate licence, the latter is Mickey Mouse stuff. Think what you want to think, put me down as much as you want to, but I will not bend from my stance that getting a real estate licence is a very simplistic process and being a real estate salesman is most certainly not a “profession”. Sorry to disappoint you guys but that’s my point of view. Finally, if you Mr. realtor NS does not like my stance that’s all fine with me, but you have no right to tell that I have no right coming on this Forum and express my thoughts on this subject. (The above was typed but not read by me after typed.) Enjoy your day guys. And you Brian just keep on rockin and rolling and don’t forget to pump up that volume).

    • To John M:

      I doubt very much that you have your brokers license. and If you do perhaps you would like to share with us who you are practicing real estate with. If in fact you do have a brokers license I am ashamed that we have people like you in our profession.

    • Realtor NS,

      John M is a REALTOR who hates evrything REALTORS do as he always is in opposition to whatever commentary, opinon peace and news article is placed in here.

      Now we find out he's a lawyer too which is surprising because he hates lawyers – calls them crooks pretty much and everything they do.

      Perhaps next we''l be told he's also a doctor.

      He must have been badly wounded in every job he's ever had because it's sad really to see the amount of anger and animosity he portrays toward others.

    • Hi John: Yes, I did read your original comment, but I have been on the go lately, and I don't like to respond to folks on the fly if I can help it. I like to at least appear to have put some thought into my responses. Also, I'm in the midst of writing a book (not about real estate…yet), and once I get into it I lose track of time.

      There is no doubt that the hurdles required to earn a law degree are significant when compared to the time and efforet required to obtain a real estate sales person license here in Ontario. I can't speak for elsewhere in Canada.

      The problem with the education of potential Realtors is this: It is one thing to teach the theories, the responsibilities and the legalities inherent in this business of marketing and assisting in the selling and purchasing of real estate on behalf of clients in a classroon setting. It is quite another to facilitate hands-on experiential learning in the field. In-field learning will trump in-class learning every time. When I finally earned my Steamfitter's licence back in 1973, I had spent five years of a combination of in-class education and on-site experience as an indentured apprentice. Not untill I had passed the final exam and had been recommended by my employer did I recieve my licence. Only then did I finally earn 100% of a typical journeyman's wage. Year one as an apprentice paid me 40%; year two 50%; year three 60%; year four 70%; year five 85%. This all for a licence to participate on-site with other skilled tradesmen working from drawings telling us where and what to do regarding the installation of commercial projects.

      The responsibilty placed upon a new Realtor in the field is enourmously greater, in my opinion, that that which was placed upon me when I finally was able to operate autonamously as a licenced tradesman, for an hourly wage at that.

      My point is this: If it is deemed reasonable to require a person to invest five years of his/her life, albeit on a limited income paid basis, pursuing a tradesperson's licence, why is it not deemed reasonable to require aspiring Realtors to engage in an education process that matches and reflects the responsibility that must be undertaken by successful graduates.

      Answer: Because it would take too long, and therefore there would not be the traditional over abundance of sales people active in the business that seems to be the perpetual norm.

      We all know that this is an in-and-out trial-by-fire potential vocation for many, but it is a long-term endeavour only for the minority of wanna-be's who are lured into the up-front education aspect (which is quite interesting if there is a good teacher available) by visions of sugar plums in-the-sky by some (many?) managers who have one dominating thought on their minds: recruitment to replace the low producers or the soon-to-be non producers. That's the name of the game. It is not an easy game, 'else there would not be a full-time offering of real estate courses all over the country on a perpetually ongoing basis.

      It's a numbers game after all.

      Regards,

      Brian

    • PED based on your posts, you are a low level individual unworthy of my response. Show me one single post that I've made wherein I refer to lawyers as: " crooks pretty much and everything they do."

    • Attention "Realtor NS". Firstly, I am indeed a Real Estate Broker and secondly why are you "ashamed" of me for supporting the CB's position? Do I not have a right to take a stance in the matter?

    • Brian, this is in response to your September 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM post to me. I am a firm believer that NO MATTER WHICH FIELD OF STUDY, the practical method of teaching should account for 80% of the learning process and practical 20%.. I know next to nothing about your past PROFESSION, but it sounds to me that getting your "Steamfitter’s licence" is a long and difficult process and not the piece of cake process ( a lot of which is unnecessary window dressing) that is involved in getting a real estate licence. I would imagine that a good Steamfitter makes substantial earnings.

  3. The average number of sales in Calgary per Realtor is 6.3. That's below the poverty line after licensing and expenses. I happen to know about a dozen Firefighters who work as Realtors and mortgage brokers. NONE of them work for discount brokerages, and they are in the top 15% of Realtors in the city.

    The Realtor we want to get rid of is the one who spends no time improving their value to clients, knowing the market, and 80% of their time as a landlord, or other pastime.
    Pick on the ones who don't take the industry seriously, not the ones that have more than one talent.

  4. Hi PED,
    You said, "My feeling is if you’ve lost a potential client to any other REALTOR, the victor, including the part-timer firefighter, out negotiated you at what you supposedly do 24/7 while presuming to be better at this job than they."
    I think a lot of agents, both full and part time, would take issue with the phrase 'out negotiated you'. Many – not all – of the part timers, as well as full timers, are desparate agents who take overpriced listings at discount fees. That is hardly 'out negotiating'.
    The question is not part time v. full time, but which agent has the best stragegy to help their sellers reach their goals — the most money and the fastest sale.

    • Appreciate your response Jerry particularly since you did not exclude full time REALTORS taking overpriced listings however I can point to a number of full time, top fee, well known REALTORS wwho habitually take overpriced listings and then attach a 6 mnth listing to boot. My non-scientific survey tells me that they get these listings from their sign prominence but yet are less frequently seen as the buyer rep.

      It is unfair for our industry to point to part-timers as though they are the sole purveyors of over-priced listings when we all know this is not true and it does nothing to our overall integrity in the eyes of the public when they see us openly denegrate them as though they are pariahs.

      Are those who lose these listings not out-negotiated? Our job is to negotiate – we push this as a strength. How many times have you read or heard the phrase: "if a REALTOR can't negotiate their own fees, how can they be expected to negotiate for the client?"

      So in return I say to you, when a REALTOR can't negotiate a proper price with a seller and/or a non-discounted fee and convince the seller why they should be hired , they've either not made a convincing case to the seller or have been out-negotiated by the other REALTOR. The alternative option is that they've acted only in their own best interests to get the listing and if this is the case then how can they be expected to negotiate for the client rather than their own?

      We really can't have it all ways – call ourselves skilled negotiators when selling properties yet readily blame others for not skillfully negotiating the sale of our own services.

      Granted there are many sellers whose only concern is paying the lowest fee possible or who see REALTORS as useless and only a means to list on MLS in which case not even the part-time rep with a modest fee will attract their attention. So why not leave those to the REALTORS who target that market?

      And to your last point: "the most money and fastest sale" I'd like to see that improvable line disappear from REALTOR ads for neither is it measureable nor does it always garner the best results for the client regardless of the fee.

    • First, we must develop rapport; before ALL ELSE. Failing which, NOTHING happens. No matter what commission structure is the topic of the day, or what promises are made, the starting point of any transaction is if there is a meeting of the minds of the members of the public with the representative about to be hired. Some common denominator must surface. Can be any one, or more, of dozens of things.

      Rapport can be built many ways. It can happen on the telephone, if you are a really good communicator; it can even happen using email if you are a super good communicator, setting about to build trust (because trust is the only thing that matters in the end).

      Of course the best method is a face to face "opportunity." But in today's super busy world sometimes we, in this industry, are not immediately afforded that opportunity, so we must work the best with what we have.

      People, consciously or unconsciously, (each and every one of us) have a "comfort zone." For some it is getting up close and personal; for others it is arm's length body language.

      Some people are greatly offended by other people who are "in their face." Others find it heartwarming. How are we to know? We all have antennae at work, that's how. Sort of like testing a baby's bath water with your elbow.

      So we have to make a judgement call, usually attributable to the very first, YES! first, eye-contact or body contact, or sound of a voice, if in a personal sphere. That's likely where the expression comes from: you only get one chance to make that first impression. (That first impression can and often is: your web site, your business card, your command of the language).

      Doesn't mean you need to drive an expensive car, or wear Armani suits and neither would matter if you hadn't had a shower recently (don't need a designer haircut, either).

      But the total "picture" you present will control what happens next, either in your favour or not. These small things can cause you to be judged as being smart, lol, even if you aren't. Mind over matter?

      You will often find that it is how YOU present (not your paperwork or your presentation) that saves the day. People evaluate the smallest minutiae: how you stand (or slouch), how you walk (straight and tall with head held high), your handshake (did anyone teach you the proper way to shake hands?) – Children should be taught this: I was – by a pastor no less, leaving a church, about the age of ten and told how important it was; I never forgot it and practice it to this day, even so I would rather not shake hands at all. (In today's world – perhaps we should rub noses like the Eskimo's do it? I don't know – said in jest).

      All of the above contributes to the "picture" you make in the eye of the public. How THEY see you matters most. You speak VOLUMES, loud and clear, even if you never say a single word.

      Just my thoughts, Jerry.

      Cordially,
      Carolyne http://www.Carolyne.com

  5. Doug Baird really needs to get over himself. Every other profession I can think of permits a part time practice. What matters is an agent's skill, not his volume. True real estate professionals don't give a damn about part time practitioners and are not intimidated because they know they can succeed with or without them in the business.

    Doug's comment to the effect that showing how realtor's do other things outside of real estate "does nothing" to enhance professionalism in the industry is baseless and unsubstantiated. Saying it doesn't make it so, buddy. It also doesn't conform to what industry publications for other professions engage in.

    Essentially, those that have a problem with part timers and want them, for instance, arbitrarily banned, want to engage in anti-competitive practices. The culture of anti-competitiveness that runs through the real estate industry is amazing…

    • Hi Steve:

      I don't think that there is a culture of anti-competitiveness that runs through the real estate industry as far as individual real estate salespeople are concerned. This business is actually a hyper-competitive rat-race at the grass roots level of the front liners. I think that too many people are jumping on the anti-Realtor bandwagon and are slinging stones indescriminantly at all Realtors. But that is human nature, after all.

      Regards,

      Brian

    • Hi Brian, hope you are well.

      You know, there is something anti-competitive about those who call for either a moratorium on the number of REALTORS or the disallowing of part-timers. What irks me about such calls is that those who do so are trying to deny others a human right and probably also a charter right to choose whatever legal occupation they wish. Can you imagine doctors, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, roofers, saying we will not accept any more practitioners than X number?

      My feeling is if you've lost a potential client to any other REALTOR, the victor, including the part-timer firefighter, out negotiated you at what you supposedly do 24/7 while presuming to be better at this job than they.

      I've hired firefighters who moonlight as landscapers, driveway pavers, eavestrough cleaners at the blink of an eye. Why? Because they tell me they are firefighters and I have never been disappointed with their work ethic or job performance.

      And when you think about it, they are probably far better at finding issues with a property than we are.

  6. Hi Doug:

    I would completely agree with your stand if the Firefighter of note was a full-time salaried employee of the municipality. Many such folks develop secondary money making ventures that undercut full-timers within their sheres of expertise by providing services at cut-rate fees on a catch-as -catch-can basis. This system works for the benefit of the Firefighters involved and their patient customers, but to the detriment of full time service providers who can't compete price wise with the already well funded Firefighters. But this is a free society, and so it goes. However, whatever a volunteer Firefighter does for a living IS a full-time venture. The Firefighting aspect is a public service offered and rendered for free monetarily on his or her part.
    Volunteer Firefighters are admired personalities wherever they live and they usually work elsewhere full-time unless they are independently wealthy. When a call comes in they drop everything and devote the next potentially very dangerous few hours or more to the benefit of others' concerns on their own time, and in the case of a commissioned Realtor, to the detriment of his or her own bottom line economically at that point in time. Therefore, I think that a volunteer Firefighter is already displaying a commitment to the community by his or her civic minded actions and spirit. If I was an average member of the public sans real estate saavy, I would be inclined to trust someone like the hero in the noted article with my fiduciary concerns owing to his or her already displayed concern for others' safety, all of which is offered on their own time for free.

    With all of the turbulence that is occurring within this business regarding part-timers and their skimming effect on the incomes of many truly dedicated real estate practitioners, it is no wonder that yours and many others' like minded attitudes reign supreme amongst us; I think that you and the others are right. But in this case, I am sure that upon reflection you will agree that volunteer Firefighters who are known to be Realtors likely bring a well-deserved aura of respect to their full-time vocation because of their inherent public spirited, unselfish personalities.

    I've probably rocked the boat again, but what else is new.

    Regards,

    Brian

    • Brian, everytime you "rock the boat", I feel like letting my hair down and dance madly (at high volume) to the Elvis tune, Jailhouse Rock. That aside, part-time real estate agents have been around forever, which proves my point that getting a real estate licince is as easy as getting a library card and as such it is not a profession as many like to think it is. Part timers may be a little less common these days however due to the costs involved.

    • Aw c'mon John, it's not as easy as getting a library card to get a real estate salesperson's licence. The courses were much easier years ago that they are these days, at least here in Ontario. Having said that, I think that they should be still tougher than they currently are. I also think that post secondary education either in a relevant field or in the humanities at the University level etc. should be a pre requisite for entry to the real estate courses. Being an excellent Realtor IS an important function of our consumer driven materialistic economy. There just isn't enough excellence in the field, in my less than humble opinion.

      Regards,

      Brian

    • John I am a Real Estate agent in Nova Scotia. I don't know where you are getting the idea that getting a license here is as easy as you say.
      Let me start off by saying that I do have a Business Degree from a Nationally known university here, Saint Mary's.
      Having said this the licensing course here is now 1 month long and is equivalent to one of the hardest business courses you can take at university level with a 60% failure rate. I have witnessed it. The final exam consists of multiple choice, short answer, Essay, math calculations and problem solving.
      Feel free to take the course and let me know what you think, otherwise please do not make statements on here unless you are INFORMED about what is actually involved in the process.

    • Brian & Realtor NS:
      My remark that the course is as easy as obtaining a library card was not meant to be taken seriously. However although the courses to obtain a real estate licence today is more difficult than it was many years ago, I still maintain that it's not all that difficult nor is a lot of what is taught is really necessary. I am basing my current stance on the upgrading education required every 2 years here in Ontario in order to renew ones licence. I find it somewhat laughable. Although getting your real erstate licence today is more involved, being a real estate agent these days is A LOT easier with all the new technology available today. Believe it or not I can still draft up an AofP&S without the use of this new technology and simply on memory basis. All wording is still stored in my memory. Look guys, passing the necessary courses and being in real estate is not as difficult as many like to make it out to be, and deem it as a profession in order to boost their ego. It's all very basic and very simple. You can draft an A of P&S simply by the click of a button on your computer, and do the same on all other paper work that is required in order to to finalize a transaction. Price information when listing a property is again so simplistic as all info that is required to arrive at a listing price is again available by the click of a button. I can go on and on by I will not. Aside from holding a RE brocker's licence I also hold a law degree. When I compare what it took for me to obtain my law degree to my real estate licence, the latter is Mickey Mouse stuff. Think what you want to think, put me down as much as you want to, but I will not bend from my stance that getting a real estate licence is a very simplistic process and being a real estate salesman is most certainly not a "profession". Sorry to disappoint you guys but that's my point of view. Finally, if you Mr. realtor NS does not like my stance that's all fine with me, but you have no right to tell that I have no right coming on this Forum and express my thoughts on this subject. (The above was typed but not read by me after typed.) Enjoy your day guys. And you Brian just keep on rockin and rolling and don't forget to pump up that volume).

Leave a Reply