It’s been 14 years since I became a licensed REALTOR®. Being a new REALTOR® is scary. You don’t realize how little you know until you get out in the real world. You’ve got the best of intentions, but also zero experience and very little knowledge. As soon as reality sets in, it becomes apparent that you never learned a thing in Real Estate School.
Imagine that tiny volume of knowledge accumulated after all of six weeks of “training”, and a painfully simple exam. I guess that’s why there’s 5,500+ of us, in Calgary alone.
I’ve advocated for this system to change for years. We need more extensive training, stricter passing grades, a graduated licensing system, a mandatory apprenticeship program, yearly real-world competency testing, etc. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that none of this is likely to happen in my lifetime.
I remember feeling like an idiot even after five years in the business and wondering if I was really cut out for Real Estate. In retrospect, I think this is common, and if you don’t feel like an idiot after five years, perhaps you are one!
It’s rare that I run into a brand new REALTOR® on the other side of a transaction, but it certainly does happen occasionally. Of course, I can tell right away. It’s obvious, for numerous reasons.
Sometimes, they “pretend” NOT to be new. These ones are super annoying, and I know they won’t last for long in the business. They’ll never get better, because they’re too dumb to know how dumb they are. These ones, I’m quite happy to manipulate to my clients benefit, even though they have no idea that I’m doing it. But even so, they are dangerous and far more likely to blow up a perfectly good deal, just because of their own prideful incompetence.
For the mutual benefit of both of our clients, I’ll make it very clear that I’m happy to help them through the transaction, but if they’re unwilling to accept my offer of help, there’s nothing much I can do.
Others are honest with me and will admit, after I’ve gently and respectfully enquired, that they’re a newbie. Okay then! No problem. I’ll help you.
I actually enjoy working with new agents and helping them along. Even when the newbie is on the other side of a transaction from me, there’s no need to be mean. I’ve seen so many agents that will rake a newbie across the coals, seemingly for the thrill of proving their superiority, but actually just proving that they are an asshole.
When I’ve got a newbie on the other side of a negotiation, I’m always conscious of my primary responsibility, which is to get the best possible deal in place for my client. But that doesn’t mean I need to be a jerk to the other agent. On the contrary, being professional and facilitating a smooth transaction generally always results in less stress for the agents and happier clients all around.
Do I use the newbie’s inexperience to the benefit of my client? Sure! But, so long as everyone is happy, who cares? I’ve even given tips to newbies after the transaction has concluded, to help them along with their next deal. The smart ones are grateful to hear any tips from the old geezer.
Life is much more pleasant when you try to be a nice person.
Until next month.