The Times They Are A Changin’

By Beverly Hobbs Shea

As with everything, change comes whether invited or not.  About the only thing we can do is adapt and make it work for us while hoping to integrate it slowly into our often rigid routines. And so it is with real estate.  And I speak not only to the buying, selling, leasing, and management of property, but also to the industry and to its practitioners, customers, and clients.
When I first got into the business, there was no MLS book, no internet, and no slick campaigns designed to take ordinary people into presumptive superstars.  In a business where it’s often the default profession post-retirement, post-college, and post-child rearing, very few practitioners can earn a healthy living by simply being both experienced and expert in their field, able to engender confidence in their abilities to counsel and perform.
Expectations are changing, as well.  For Sellers, equity is equity and a broker’s fee is payment for services rendered.  It is not an add-on; it is a value-added service for which a fee is earned just as any other professional, from attorneys to physicians, accountants, and tradespeople. For Buyers, compensation is provided therein;  although there are provisions when a broker may be engaged under separate agreement.  What I’ve witnessed in the past many years is a growing resentment in the area of commissions, but I blame this mostly for a misunderstanding of how a good real estate professional works and is compensated.  After 42 years of practice (starting early in life, yes) I can appreciate that there are shining examples of ability and professionalism as well as those examples that are vastly disappointing at best.
This is why I’ve now chosen an alternative path in my practice. I want the freedom to represent client interests in a manner that recognizes and rewards all parties, and one in which expectations are met and delivered.  It’s a new world for me in 2017.