Are real estate brokers protecting you when you hire them to either represent you as your buyer’s agent or listing agent? Who is watching out for you? Do you assume that any person you hire is really putting you at the center of the Universe and seeking your best interests and laying everything else aside to do what is right and good for you? Would your agent walk away from a commission if it was in your best interests? I’ve been working with real estate brokers going back 37 years, and as a real estate attorney of 20 years and now the broker of my own company, I think consumers want the truth, and they want and insist on working with real estate brokers who actually put them at the center of everything and work loyally for them. But it doesn’t always happen, and I’ll share a rarely seen inside view of the world you are entering.
Real Estate Brokers Evolve
In over three decades in the real estate business I’ve noticed something very important for consumers, but consumers (that would be you) don’t have time like I do to spend an entire life studying an industry and every aspect of the real estate profession and how it affects consumers and their best interests.
Here’s a shocking conclusion I came to about a decade ago. Industry associations that are membership driven usually are founded with good intentions, such as to help the members better serve their clients and to do so ethically and professionally. The founders are often very consumer oriented and genuinely seeking to do what is right and good for you the consumer. But as the years pass, large associations collect millions and millions in membership fees, and they bring in very large sums from advertising and by serving special interests and large companies. The large companies stack the deck in their favor by filling the association boardrooms with their own people. After two decades, many national associations become slaves to the special interests they originally sought to protect consumers from.
Remember when Google first got off the ground? Their motto was, “Don’t be evil,” and that was built on their argument that companies like Microsoft had become so big with their own self interests that it left consumers’ best interests behind and now was driven by power and money. So Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the motto, “Don’t be evil” for Google. But now Google is so monstrous, some argue it has become the evil it sought to protect you from.
Real Estate Brokers – The Trap
The big real estate associations and the big real estate corporations and franchises may have all started with your best interests at the center, but they have lost their way. They have their own business models now, and their own profit centers and vital affiliate relationships. Almost everything they decide to do is connected with one of their other vital interests, and there are hundreds. Your best interests have gotten pushed way out from the center to the periphery of their business models. The national associations I am a member of are constantly trying to sell me something, and the articles and educational material are always about how I can make more money from you–the consumer. Very little of their magazines, their websites, their articles, or their seminars focus on how to put you–the consumer–at the center of the Universe. While it is good for associations to help their members make more money, far too often the consumer is just used. You get the point, and your life experience tells you I may be right about this. Real estate brokers and their companies are right in the thick of this issue, but you would never know it. They don’t want you to think about this. They just want your business, or should I say money?
I don’t recommend the large real estate brokers, the massive real estate corporations and the huge franchises. Why? Because they have lost their way, and you are no longer at the center. Why would I as the number one selling broker in the Sequim and Port Angeles market (Clallam County) not work for a franchise if they were so good? Why would I found an independent brokerage instead of joining a national real estate brokerage? The answer is simple. I believe with all my heart that you as the consumer should be at the center of the Universe, and those organizations no longer do that. I’ve said it before, not all real estate brokers are the same. When you hire one, remember you do not hire a corporation, a franchise or a big bricks and mortar building. You hire one individual to represent you. Make sure that when you are looking at real estate brokers, you hire one that honestly puts your best interests at the center without conflicting interests.
Last Updated on September 23, 2019 by Chuck Marunde