Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: King For a Day Series – Real Estate Agents

King For a Day Series – Real Estate Agents

King For a DayOK, here is the one you were waiting for.  If I were King For a Day what changes would I make to the real estate industry in the area of real estate agents and realty companies to better protect the public?

I have read thousands of news articles and blog posts, sat through hundreds of hours of training classes and meetings and participated in many real estate transactions.  Through these experiences, I have formed some very strong opinions about changes I would love to see in our industry.  This blog post is the final one of a small series of articles that pick on several parts of the real estate industry.

As in the other segments I would insert more accountability into the process. 

If I Were King, These are a Few Things I Would Change:

  • Real Estate licensees must be full time professionals. (This one will get a lot of responses.  If I am King that is how it will be.)
  • The NAR Code of Ethics would be enforceable by the state regulators on even those who are not members of the NAR.  The Code will only be a starting point.  (I would add a few more.  That will be a post of its own.)
  • Errors and omissions insurance will be required for anyone with a license.  Currently it is not required in our state, only by most brokers.
  • Increase the educational requirements to get a license.
  • Increase both the hours of continuing education and quality of the classes to renew a license.
  • Not allow real estate licensees to do mortgages, home inspections, sell home owners insurance, do escrows or appraisals. (Dual services on a transaction will be illegal)
  • Real estate Companies can not own or be owned by:
  •        -  Escrow Company
  •        -  Mortgage company or lending institution
  •        -  Home owners insurance company
  •        -  Home inspection company
  •        -  Termite inspection company
  •        -  Appraisal company
  • A real estate agent can not use a spouse or any relative 1st cousin or closer for any of the above service in one of their transactions.
  • Any kick backs from service providers is a jail able offense.
  • Outlaw dual agency.  To make this a doable thing, designated agency would also be law in every state. (In Hawaii we do not have designated agency.  So every deal that two agents from the same company are involved is a dual agency)
  • Require all agents to return phone calls.
  • Not allow agents to post listings in the MLS without pictures.
  • Posting false information in the MLS will be a jail able offense (just kidding, well maybe not.  If I am King I might do that).
  • Peak-a-boo view (standing on a chair in the upstairs back bedroom) does not count as a view
  • Needs paint and carpet and the termites holding hands are holding the roof up is Not Excellent Condition!
  • The side of a cliff is not a gentle slope.
  • If you have to ask or you are not sure about it, it should be disclosed.
  • If you can not use a computer, properly fill out a contract or use the fax machine your license will be taken away. (sorry if this hits home with anyone)
  • If you charge a fee and do not provide proper service you loose your license. (If you are not sure if you are providing proper service your client will know when they do not get it, otherwise check with the King for a Day.)
  • If you are servicing a transaction you are required to follow the timeline.  Not work at your own pace.
  • Designations would be a minimum expectation.  GRI within the first two years would be mandatory to keep your license.
  • All companies will provide agent training whether done in house or hired out.
  • Create a job training program for those who should not be in this industry to teach them how to cut hair or flip burgers. (Since I will never be King, this one will never happen.)

I run into many REALTORS® and real estate agents who are non-REALTORS®, who have no idea what is legal or ethical.  Just like in the lending side there is a large number of agents running around with absolutely very little training and have no idea what they are doing. 

The one good thing is there is recourse for the public.  If they use a REALTOR® the public can go through the local Board with a grievance.  Most REALTORS® such as me carry Errors and Omissions Insurance.  In Hawaii they also have state regulatory agencies and a state recovery fund to go after if they have exhausted all other legal avenues. 

We are speaking about folks who are handling the biggest purchase in most people's lives.  They need to be held to the highest standards.  If they are not comfortable with that concept they really should find another line of work. 

I am a REALTOR® and I am good at what I do and take pride in my profession.   I have very little patience or respect for anyone in this line of work that does not conduct themselves in a professional manner.

 

Other King For a Day Posts:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 40 commentsRandy Prothero • October 30 2007 07:44PM

Comments

You have my vote!  (wait, we don't get to vote for kings, do we, you just take over?).  Can you add that all agents MUST use third party showing appointment services so we can actually  get into the inventory?
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) almost 11 years ago
Leigh - They don't have them here yet.  That is something I want to learn more about.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

I love this and I agree with each and every one.  I found myself shaking my head up and down.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Lenn - Thank you.  I know a few loan officers will be happy that I didn't just pick on them.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

My vote also.  I love the part about returning calls.  I actually wrote a contract on a house and faxed it over without ever talking to the other agent (she wouldn't call me back)  I was to the point I was telling my clients that we should be looking at other houses by the time she returned my first call. 

Hail to our new KING

RANDY

Posted by Vincent McKamy, Realtor Fredericksburg Virginia (Long & Foster ) almost 11 years ago
Lenn already said it....but if you were King we would probably have a much more respected Profession, and the public would indeed have better recourse.  I vote for you to be KING :) :)  Very good points Randy.....
Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 11 years ago
Vincent - I have written posts just on the topic on returning phone calls.  it is such a huge problem.  I have been trying to reach another agent in another state since last week.  He nor is broker has returned a single call or e-mail.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Kathy - Thank you for the kind words
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Can I be your Queen??? Bold post. My dream as Queen for a Day is we go back to 750,000 members. I am not one to live in the past, or looking for the 'good old days' (as evidenced by my desire to be your Queen), the wheels have come off the wagon as it is overloaded. Even with 750,000 members the changes in your edict will be necessary. Hail King (for a day) Randy

Posted by Dan Gobis (Re/Max Newport Realty Corp.) almost 11 years ago

Dan - If we make all the changes I suggest a lot of bad agents and dead wood would leave the industry. 

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Who do we have to de-throne?  When's the coup-de-tat rally?

And while you are real estate king, could you please make a few client behavior laws?

"OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!"

Posted by Prudential Preferred Realty Butler PA (Prudential Preferred Realty) almost 11 years ago

Great job, Randy.

Gosh, for what I pay, I get a great value in my subscription here...

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) almost 11 years ago
Randy - If you were electable you'd get my vote for sure! Amen to every one of your points! I think we've all thought this at one time or another! I'll sign off Your Highness!
Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) almost 11 years ago
Bad agents and dead wood, let's wait until Nov. 30th to behead them, I'm involved with a couple of them in transactions closing in November. Hail The King!
Posted by Dan Gobis (Re/Max Newport Realty Corp.) almost 11 years ago

Jayne - Great idea!  I should have added that one in the series.  I will go back and add the client post in the series.

Mike - I am glad you didn't ask for your money back.

Linda - Thank you.  That is the beauty of Active Rain.  We can not only think it we can publish it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Dan - Don't worry even if they are gone there will be others to keep it exciting.  All the more reason your clients need you.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
great list - good for queen for a day too!
Posted by Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional, AHWD (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 11 years ago
Bill & Barbara - Thank you
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy~ 

Once again you prove why I subscribe to your BLOG. Thanks for the time and energy you put into this post...and for your "kingly" ways!

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 11 years ago
Full time - YES!  That should go for Loan Officers too!
Posted by Pete C, Hawaii Mortgage Loan and Refinance (TBA) almost 11 years ago
Bring back the monarchy!
Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) almost 11 years ago
Randy, I'm with you on the ALL those changes. Best of luck and keep doing what you do.
Posted by Vicente A. Martinez, Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes (Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson) almost 11 years ago
Randy, love your list!!!  I especially love the one about listings without pictures should not be allowed in the MLS.  How easy is that to change the behaviour of the lazy agents out there?  I nominate you a KING... ta ta!
Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Good one. another

If you keep your license active, but do not belong to any MLS, you can not make a full commission from a sale to friend or a relative...

Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) almost 11 years ago

janeAnne - Thank you

Pete - I agree completely

Carol - :-)

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Vincent - Thank you

Irina - I think that should be added to the COE.

Ginger and Roger - I totally disagree with an agent who does not join MLS.  How can they properly service a client?  I do not know of any who do it full time.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy, Nice serious of posts. Although to be honest I was not to crazy about the mortgage one. (maybe I am to sensative) But I really agree with you on this

  • Real estate Companies can not own or be owned by:
  •        -  Escrow Company
  •        -  Mortgage company or lending institution
  •        -  Home owners insurance company
  •        -  Home inspection company
  •        -  Termite inspection company
  •        -  Appraisal company
  • I really think you are so right on this point

    Posted by Matthew J Blum - (retired from the business) almost 11 years ago

    Randy,

    Isn't it interesting who left comments and who didnt on this one? It seems to be a one sided thought to some...get my drift? But hey...the blog is still early:)

    Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
    Randy that is some list.  I do have a question on I believe number #8 "A real estate agent can not use a spouse or any relative 1st cousin or closer for any of the above service in one of their transactions."  I was under the impression that all transaction already had to be Arms Length.  I say this because I have a Realtor that I do business with and her husband is an Appraiser.  I have used him a couple of times, but never on a transaction that she is involved in because our Company wants to make sure that all transactions are Arms Length. So this one surprised me because I thought that everyone followed that.
    Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 11 years ago

    Matthew - I have dealing with service companies that are tied to real estate companies.  I have had bad experiences and I think it is criminal that agents and real estate companies push their services on their clients.

    Neal - It is early.

    George - I have had a couple of them.  In both cases they failed to disclose.  The last was a really ugly one that fell out of escrow the day of signing.  The loan officer was the agent's cousin and they did not disclose that.  I found out well into the transaction.

    Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

    Hey Your Highness,

     How about elimination of the marketing services agreement?

     

    Posted by Tom Cunningham (Agent Support 360) almost 11 years ago
    Tom - I am not too familiar with them.  What experience have you had with them?
    Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

    Only seen one or two that ever worked out. Not worth the trouble most of the time. Problem is, a lot of folks on your side and mine don't really understand what they are. A green LO will think he can use it to buy his foot in the door of a high production office, and high maintenance (notice the use of the word "maintenance" in liew of the of the word "producing") Realtor will use it to try and sqeeze an LO for a monthly stipend. Sometimes you can actually see the eyes start shifting when you tell them that any MSA you enter in to has to be reviewed and approved by your corporate complaince dept and that Respa Section 8 is very clear about what constitutes compliance. Too much negative energy down that road and no way to begin a relationship in my opinion...

    Don't get me wrong, I love to co-market with my Realtor partners. Joint promotion is a fabulous and fun way to make your business grow. But I don't go there until a history of transactions that establish a track record of competence, integrity, trust and professional chemistry has been established. When you know you enjoy doing business with someone, you don't worry about whether or not they'll respect you in the morning if you co-sponsor an event.

    That doesn't comes from mutual trust, respect and partnership, not from an MSA.

    Posted by Tom Cunningham (Agent Support 360) almost 11 years ago
    I do not have any and will not have any pre agreed upon relationships with vendors.  I have to earn their trust everyday and they have to do the same with me.  I feel that keeps things fair for our clients.
    Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
    Exactly.. That's why I'd like to see them go away all together.
    Posted by Tom Cunningham (Agent Support 360) almost 11 years ago
    I understand what you were referring to better now.  That is a business practice that seems to spit in the face of the fiduciary relationship with your client.
    Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

    Thank you. I realized later that I didn't really explain how they are supposed to work and I apologise for that. If you'd like, I can email you an example of a RESPA compliant agreement. The basic canon is, that a mortgage company can pay a Realtor (usually a broker) a fixed amount of money for "a thing of value". You can see how ambiguous that is.. It could be office space/desk rental, or marketing, commercials or whatever, in exchange for agreeing to promote the mortgage company as a preferred lendor. I have some very strong opinions on them...

    I once had a Realtor who kept putting the squeeze on me for an MSA, saying "There's a lender on every corner and every one of them wants my business." I said "I've closed loans in 48 hours for you, never left you guessing and never missed a closing date.  When you've asked me to participate in co-marketing events, I've never said no. When is my hard work and performance going to be enough?" She looked my straight in the face and said "Never". 

    That was all I needed to hear. I mean.. You've probably seen my picture.. Do I look like Lady Marmolade? Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of that going around and it's a cancer in my opinion.

    Posted by Tom Cunningham (Agent Support 360) almost 11 years ago
    Tom - I choose to avoid doing business with people with attitudes like hers.  Life is too short, I would rather spend my time finding quality clients and quality vendors.
    Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

    I have a question.  Is it ethical for a real estate agent to give his/her client a lock box key to the property when he/she is not going to be there with the client for the viewing?

    Posted by Ellen M. almost 9 years ago

    Ellen - Absolutely not!

    Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago

    This blog does not allow anonymous comments