After attacking the real estate brokerage community’s incentive  for working in the seller’s best interest to get the highest possible price, Freakonomics has more fun with NAR  by using the NAR blog post RealtorÂ® is to Real Estate Agent as MercedesÂ® is to Car  as a resource.
Irrelevant asides: NAR loves to use the “Â®” symbol…Did you know Porsche used to make some of the best tractors in the world?
NAR cites the Harris Interactive poll: “Most Prestigious Occupations”  which places real estate brokers at the bottom of the list but says the results would have been different if the term “Realtor” had been used in the poll.
Ok, first of all, lets get Real(tor) here:
- Any job with a low barrier to entry, can’t be prestigious by definition.
- Who really cares whether their job is prestigious? I would think the primary emphasis is how fulfilling it is and what the potential compensation is (not necessarily in that order).
- There has been a rising trend of MBA’s, lawyers and other trained professionals that have been entering the profession thereby raising the bar, but their voice has been drowned out by the 30% surge in NAR membership over the past two years which likely included much of the original sterotypes that resulted in the lower prestige rating.
- Training is a good thing, and being a Realtor is probably better, in terms of professionalism overall, but it by no means guarantees it. It comes down to the individual. Some are, some aren’t just like many professions.
I would speculate that there will be a sharp drop in NAR membership over the next few years that will coincide with the drop in the number of sales that has already occured. The low barrier of entry means a quick response to market conditions.
Many of the half-serious, part time agents will be the first to drop out, leaving the brokerage profession ripe for the new generation, and thats probably something for the public to look forward to.
I suspect real estate appraisers are not that much different than real estate agents in this poll.
My personal goal is to be better than a farmer in the poll rankings.
In other words, be like a farmer out standing in my field.