Lani Rosales at Agent Genius.com wrote an interesting article about whether there are too many REALTORS in the market at this point.
While I understand why many would suggest that the market may, in fact, be oversaturated, I would argue that NAR serves a valuable purpose as a political organization. The more members, the more influence. There’s nothing wrong with its role as THE advocate for the real estate industry.
Instead of trying to revamp NAR, I would love to see a new organization meant only for top producers and highly trained professionals new to the industry. The entry stakes would be a lot higher for this new “higher form” of real estate professional.
How about a four year degree or at least an INTENSIVE 18 month training program much like CFP (Certified Financial Planners) have to go through? After all, agents advise consumers on their most important purchase and most important asset. Why shouldn’t agents be trained and prepared in understanding not only the elements of a transaction, but the financial ramifications of a transaction as well? Why can’t members of this new organization be skilled in sharing market statistics and trends?
To support this idea, maybe there could be a new brokerage model much like UBS or Merrill Lynch use, where the organization supports the professional until they get through the equivalent of their “CFP” training?
The cost of membership of this organization would be a lot higher than the price of entry for the REALTOR badge. In exchange, this new organization would promote the RELEVANT differences between a “Certified Real Estate Professional” and regular real estate professionals. Consumers would be trained to understand that members of this group have significantly more training and performance standards. The organization’s effective“edutizing” campaign would be so successful that consumers would come to the table demanding this higher level professional.
Each member would agree to abide by a set of quality service standards and to be evaluated against a ratings program like QSC (Quality Service Certified). Each would agree to be fully transparent about feedback from their past customers AND the amount of business they have done. Instead of being driven by a political agenda, this group would be driven purely by a commitment to providing exemplary service with a deep understanding of the nuances of real estate.
If this new concept worked, maybe members could dictate higher commission rates or possibly even work within a retainer model to guarantee revenue no matter what the transaction outcome. Or how about if this group could be paid on the change in valuation of a home, just like Financial Planners? What if there was a performance bonus for appreciation over a five year time period, much like corporate executives receive? If we got creative we could make this a very lucrative idea only for those willing to take the time to go the “head of the class”.