By Richard Robbins

Richard Robbins talks about the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area and outlines what you have to do to maintain your share of sales.


  1. All the previous commentors had valid points to make as part of the overall, complex issues such as: quality of realtors’ services, too many realtors in the business, too much money going to the oversee-er organizations, low status of realtors in eyes of the public, broad freedom to enter the business . I have been in the business for 33 years and this is my overview of the business. It is not perfect–nothing is. I remember saying to my friends after a couple of years in the business how impressed I was with the integrity of everyone I worked with (not what the buzz had been among the public). Also, everyone was very diligent, committed, idealistic, and willing to do whatever the brokers or personal motivators suggested to be successful and make enough money to stay in the business. There was always a high turnover among the agents but the successful ones were not always the most intellectual ones, those who would do better on more advanced entrance exams. The ones who lasted were, in my opinion, the ‘best rounded’ individuals. Sure, you need a good level of intelligence to do real estate but you need to have a good personality also, a genuine interest in other people and an innate level of ethics. To be physically attractive/handsome certainly doesn’t hurt either. People like to have a ‘good image’ associated with their property, especially at open house time. These qualities are not ones that can be easily assessed at licence granting time. And they are subjective so who would do the evaluating? Having more difficult ‘university level’ entry examinations would not, in my opinion, necessarily produce better real estate salespeople. I think most of the types of decisions are common sense decisions, ones that can be made by people of average intelligence along with high personal standards. (I happen to have a post grad degree). And as far as the ‘numbers of sales’ go in determining how competent a realtor is I would say ‘When did quantity ever equal quality? In my observations over the years it was the very top sellers who gave some of the poorest service because they were always interested in getting things done quickly, making their stats and getting on to the next deal. I would say that those in the ‘middle of the pack’ seemed to be the best realtors all round. And as one of the other commentors said who knows why a realtor has only a few sales, especially in the beginning. They might not have ready-made connections, there could be family issues beyond their control. It doesn’t mean the deals they do are of inferior quality. They might have more time to help with extra issues such as staging. When people spend their money to train to be a realtor, it doesn’t work out and the money is enjoyed by various institutions the freedom to try is everyone’s right. We need to have entry requirements that are sufficient to protect the public but until we can evaluate ethics we are going to have some registrants that let down our industry. We need to help educate the public on what to expect and then not underestimate the public in their ability to make good choices.

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