In Australia, traditionally Real Estate Agents are not highly thought of (often with good reason).
Ask a number of people about their thoughts on agents and they will say we are one rung up the ladder from insurance sales people. The perception of the people in our industry is we will make a huge amount of money, for not doing very much, because it’s not hard to sell a house! To enter this industry there is no need for any tertiary qualification, apprenticeship or mandatory training. Pass a three day course on legislation and anyone can be a real estate agent.
When recruiting or hiring agents, a typical answer to the question “why will you be a great real estate agent” is usually along the lines of “I love houses and know how to enhance a home to attract people to it”. This is of course the perception for someone who has not had any experience in the industry.
As real estate agents we are definitely dealing with large dollar transactions, which can and does attract high commissions. The percentage of the commission an employed real estate agent receives from making a sale can be a fraction of the actual commission paid. An employed agent has to make a number of sales each month to earn a good income from commission. Unfortunately the number of agents who are successful, compared to those that earn little more than the average wage is very low.
When there are five agents competing for the same listing, the competition can be tough. Discounting fees is a very common practice amongst agents who don’t know what else to do. This again creates a woeful perception of the value of real estate agents. A number of agents could be classified as “order takers”. They have difficulty obtaining properties to sell, when they d, they open the property for inspection and hope someone makes an offer to buy it. Simple. Does this make them a good agent – No.
The reason great agents earn great commissions is because they are very good at what they do. Unfortunately our industry is tarnished with many who are not that good. Being regulated by the Office of Fair Trading it is easy for people to complain and have an agent investigated. Sadly, real estate agents are their own worst enemy as it is usually agents complaining to OFT about other agents.
Why would agents do this to each other? The words Sour Grapes and Jealousy come to mind! Real estate agents are damaging the real estate industry.