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A Challenge to the Realestistas

February 25, 2009
And so the gauntlet has been thrown!

And so the gauntlet has been thrown!

First, go read this series please.  It is a 20-part series by a practicing attorney on “What It Takes to Be a Great Trial Lawyer”.  An explanation of the series and its goals:

As I said in my first post on this subject, a great trial lawyer need not have all of the attributes set forth in this series of posts.  Admittedly, the “great trial lawyer” hurdle has been set  high.  Very high.  Indeed, if complete fulfillment of all of these attributes is required, the great trial lawyer may not exist at all.

These words and  high standards are not meant to discourage lawyers from embarking upon the path to becoming a great trial lawyer.  Every time a lawyer meets one of these super-standards clients will be better served,  professional reputation will be enhanced, and profession satisfaction will increase.    Thus, I believe that virtually every trial lawyer, even those who choose not to make the commitment to be a great trial lawyer, can benefit from the thoughts expressed in this series of posts.

These writings capture and applaud what I have observed  in lawyers whom I truly admire.  It includes observations I made while following my father around courtrooms in Central Wisconsin four decades ago,  insights I gained in  law school during an unforgettable speech by Ramsey Clark and discussions with a number of extremely competent professors, and my experiences during my  almost 27 years at the Bar.    As I mentioned at the beginning of this series of posts, the work of my mentor, John T. Conners, Jr., put me in the position to learn much of what I now know.

Second, I may write a lot of stuffzorz on industry and marketing and so on, but really, there’s no way I can offer anything on what it takes to be a great real estate agent.  But some of you can.

So I challenge you — all of you who are qualified — to put pen to paper (virtual paper even) and write “What It Takes to Be a Great Realtor”.  If you send me links, I’ll link to them.  Hell, I’ll put up a permanent page and put all the links up.  But don’t do it for me — do it for yourself, and for the others who could learn from your collected wisdom.

I would love to see smart, experienced, with-it Realtors really get down and dirty with something like this.  As a former lawyer, reading the Trial Lawyer series really resonated with me — mostly reminding me why I would never have been a good trial lawyer.  The industry needs something like this.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Marty permalink
    February 25, 2009 6:54 pm

    This should be good.

    I read your blog pretty regularly. You seem to be one of the few who understand business and the strength of brand. The problem is there is no brand discipline. I know when I buy certain products and services I can expect a high level return on my investment whether it be my time or money. The last lawyer I used, I never met face-to-face. He came from a trusted referral, articulated his competence within minutes, and charged $550.00/hour. I never blinked. I knew he was the litigator to get the job done and he did. I never had to wonder when he was going to call me back, if he knew the difference between a word document and a pdf, or if he had the infrastructure to support his business. Was he with a big firm? Yep. Did it matter? Yep. Anybody can be president of a one man law firm. Get to be a managing partner at a 500+ lawyer firm and you’ve got the chops.

    I’ve been an agent since the fall of ’07. Yes, I’m surviving. Just about every blog in the RE world is about A). Generating leads, B). Branding yourself. C). How to exploit whatever new social media outlet there is. What about actually selling property?

    Blogs, Twitter, facebook, bla bla fraking bla. I spent 20+ years in the financial markets executing institutional & retail business. Clients want to know TWO things. 1). Can I trust you? 2). Do you know what you’re doing? Period.

    I have yet to meet anyone who reads a Realtor’s blog that isn’t in the business. We’re worse than Hollywood giving each other awards.

    Social media, branding, lead generation, all have their place. I’m not a Luddite, far from it, I’m writing this on an over-clocked, liquid-cooled machine.

    What astounds me is the pervasive incompetence of Agents and Brokers alike.

    I showed a condo yesterday (a 600K Condo). I asked the listing agent:

    What do the assessments include? “I’ll have to check”.
    What are the building reserves? “I’ll have to check”.
    How many units are in the building? (This one was just for fun). “I’ll have to check”.

    WTF are you doing? How does that serve the client?

    The Kicker… She works in MY office! A national brand! The outrageous thing… She’s been selling Real Estate for more than 30 years.

    I wish this was not a daily occurrence. Where are the standards? I can walk into the same office ask the same questions, three days in a row and get different experience every time.

    Licensing is a joke, brand standards are non-existent, and continuing education should come with a box of crayons.

    So, given the above rant, I can’t wait to hear “What it takes to be a Great Realtor”.

    I know you’re out there. Please step up. I need you.

  2. February 26, 2009 12:57 am

    This is only one piece of the puzzle: I write about the pursuit of excellence all the time. I am delighted to have met a few practitioners who are working to push back the darkness. I am perpetually dismayed by all those who are not.

    • Marty permalink
      February 26, 2009 8:21 am

      LOL… Ahhh… The other blog I read. I subscribe to many feeds but but I only “read” a few.

  3. Marty permalink
    February 28, 2009 11:56 am

    Well, at least we have one Professional. Thanks Greg.

  4. March 1, 2009 11:13 pm

    I was going to read this post, but it started with “First, go read this series please. It is a 20-part series…” – Geez! Only a 20 part series? I’m out.

  5. March 3, 2009 1:09 pm

    I tell ya, Stacey, I have to say I’m amazed that not one Realtor has stepped up to create this — even from existing posts/articles.


  6. Marty permalink
    March 3, 2009 7:44 pm

    Are you really amazed? I’m not.

    The difficult thing for me is balancing the frustration of a business full of incompetency with the excitement about the opportunity it presents.

    • March 3, 2009 8:50 pm

      I guess I am amazed, because there are plenty of folks who can easily write a series on “What it Takes to be a Great Realtor”. And such a series would be useful, educational, and generate plenty of conversation….

      Do you want to take a crack at it?


      • Marty permalink
        March 3, 2009 11:18 pm

        Yes I will.

  7. March 5, 2009 12:02 pm

    > I guess I am amazed, because there are plenty of folks who can easily write a series on “What it Takes to be a Great Realtor”.

    Name one. Maybe it’s Marty. I don’t know who he is. I don’t think we’re there yet, and we’re pushing the limits harder than anyone else I know of. I end up knowing everyone who is really trying to do better, and I can’t think of anyone who fits this bill. Top-producers abound, but a big part of their praxis consists of inducing hasty decisions. I don’t know everyone, to be sure, but I would expect to hear from anyone who is really driving standards higher.

    FYI: There is no “The” nor any word space in BloodhoundBlog.

    • March 5, 2009 2:06 pm

      I think you can do it, Greg.

      I also think Jay Thompson and Kris Berg could do it.

      I think someone like Bill Lublin could certainly do it.

      I don’t know that the “What it Takes to be a Great Realtor” has to withstand the scrutiny of Harvard Business School profs; it’s just a set of opinions and observations by a veteran about an industry. Surely we have people who can do that?


    • Marty permalink
      March 10, 2009 12:54 pm

      “Name one. Maybe it’s Marty. I don’t know who he is.”

      Please don’t think I’m claiming to be a great Realtor. I think you make a valid argument as to who can write this and I think the numbers are shockingly small. My hope is to contribute to raising the standards.

      I got my license in less than two weeks. There is something wrong with that.

      However, I agree being a top producer does not correlate to being a great Realtor. As I said before, I subscribe to many blogs but only skim most of them. This one and bloodhound are where some of the forward thinkers are. There may be a few more.

      The answer to this question is certainly not one post. I will eventually compile a list of skills I think would make a great Realtor. It will take some time and I have to make a living too.

      This is fantastic question and should be answered. It’s really too bad the only guy even making an attempt is someone who has been in the business less than two years. What would it take to get some of the “Great Realtors” involved?

      I am truly hoping I will learn from some others with more experience.

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