Why Are There So Many Rookie Agents? [What Your Agent Isn't Telling You]

by Osman Parvez

note:  This post is part of the series - 
What Your Agent Isn't Telling You


Take your typical real estate office.   You might find a few seasoned brokers but more often, you'll find inexperienced agents with three or less years of experience.   In other words, rookies.     

Why are there so many rookie agents?

Trust me, I'm the best.
1.   Most consumers can't tell the difference.   
People rarely buy and sell real estate, so they don't really know what to look for in a good agent.  They aren't in possession of the measurement tools to evaluate agent quality.  
Agents are also salesy by nature.  They're full of confidence and bravado.  It's hard to tell a good agent from a bad one when you first meet them.  Most people just go with a friend.  

2.  Low licensing standards and strong incentives to keep it that way.   

The large brokerages want to keep low licensing standards.    These shops - you know the names - Coldwell Max, Re/Bankers and Keller Fins of the world make money by selling services to agents - especially rookies.   As a buyer or seller, you are not their customer.   Their customers are real estate agents and the typical agent is out of the business within 3 years.  During this time they will pay somewhere between 25% and 50% of their income to these franchise owners.    Why do you think Dave Liniger and Gary Keller are billionaires? 

Zillow has the same model by the way.    As a consumer, you get their services for free.   Agents pay to advertise and obtain leads. It's not cheap. 

What's the Colorado Real Estate Commission's position on competency?  Frankly, they're part of the problem.   Rather than require higher educational standards and training, they leave it up to the agent themselves to decide.   

See Commission Position Statement CP-41.

Prior to performing any acts that require a real estate broker’s license, a broker should determine whether he or she possesses the knowledge, experience, and/or training necessary to perform the terms of the transaction and maintain compliance with the applicable federal, state or local laws, rules, regulations, or ordinances.  If the broker does not have the requisite knowledge, experience and/or training necessary to consummate the terms of the agreement, the broker should either decline to provide brokerage services or seek the assistance of another real estate broker who does have the necessary experience, training, and/or knowledge. 

Give me a break.    Can you actually see a real estate agent declining to help a buyer or seller because they feel they are not competent?   The opposite is usually the case, chest puffery and feigned competence.   The phrase "fake it till you make it" comes to mind.  

Remember, Don't be Fooled by the White Jacket.

My intention isn't to bash my fellow real estate agents.   I'm calling it like it is.    Where there is a problem, I also see an opportunity.  This blog was born with the mission to better educate buyers and sellers, especially those here in Boulder. 

Additional Reading
Think I'm wrong about competency? Please visit Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos for a refresher. 

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image: Ben Peregrinari

Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.