'Marginal Agents' Biggest Threat to Industry

June 3, 2015

The No. 1 threat to real estate professionals is other agents, according to the newly released “Danger Report.” The threat falls ahead of other pressing issues such as declining commissions, dwindling relevance, or a repeat housing crisis. 

“Masses of marginal agents” are threatening the industry—that is, unskilled salespeople who lack the experience to coach buyers and sellers. 

"The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and/or incompetent agents," according to NAR’s report. "This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry."

The report, commissioned by the National Association of REALTORS® and produced by the Swanepoel T3 group, acknowledges that only modest education is needed to earn a real estate license. 

"Becoming a cosmetologist requires an average of a 372 hours," the report says. "But to become a licensed real estate agent requires an average of only 70 hours, with the lowest state requirement being 13 hours."

However, Michael Pappas, head of Keyes Co., REALTORS®, in Miami, isn't convinced that just upping the classroom training would necessarily weed the industry of poor performers. Getting a degree from a top university doesn’t mean an agent will have the persistence, resilience, and empathy necessary to succeed in real estate, he says. 

Source: “REALTORS(R) See ‘Marginal Agents’ As Major Threat to Industry,” McClatchy-Tribune (June 1, 2015)