There They Go

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the May 1975 issue of the Real Estate News Observer.

Frank Weaver, Editor of the Real Estate News Observer, included in my February issue a large card on which were printed these words: “There they go! I must hasten after them, for I am their Leader!”

What a wealth of irony lies hidden in those simple words! How descriptive they are of the average broker’s concept of himself! For he envisions himself the leader — and his clients the “followers.” But always, he must hasten after them.

No “leader” hastens after his “followers.” “Followers” follow. They do not depart without their leader.

In these ironic words lies the basic conception of our real estate image, for the average client of the average broker does not recognize the broker as his “leader” — and he departs from his “leader’s” counsel whenever it suits his whim.

Why is this? Why does the public not look with respect upon the real estate practitioner? Why does he not recognize his broker as his “leader?” Because one of the common complaints of the average investor is his major problem in locating a broker who knows as much as he, the investor, knows.

Why is this? Why should he not regard us as a leader when the great majority of us have labored and perspired over the simple information we have studied in order to pass the State examination? Doesn’t that make us an expert? What more do we need?

Why should the investor expect us to secure an adequate education when it is much more fun and much less work to hasten after him in the hope we can sell him something before
“someone else” does.

What more should he expect for the commissions we hope for? Why should we spend good money and time securing competency when, with a little luck in hastening after him, we might just stumble across a sale?

The time has come — indeed! Has long since arrived — when the study of how to pass the real estate examination is insufficient knowledge to hold your own in the field. This is really not a “”tough” business. It is not, really, a “jungle” in which we must prowl the trails in search of a “kill.” It really isn’t.

It’s just that we are attempting to gain riches in a gold mine using tablespoons with which to sink the shaft. Tablespoons of knowledge! How descriptive of the sum total of competency of the average broker and salesman! No wonder we lose 30% to 50% of our licensees each year! Think of it: 30% to 50% loss yearly on a national basis. Seems
incredible, doesn’t it?

And yet, if attorney’s or doctors or veterinarians attempted to operate their businesses with the pro-rata amount of knowledge the average real estate practitioners possess about real estate and helping people, would we not lose the same proportions in those fields, also?

The handful of us who are really dedicated to real estate as a career — as a total way of life — are willing to gain knowledge and education to assure ourselves of a professional practice which contains self-respect, expertise, time control, and the rewards of a professional practice. I am acquainted with practitioners all over the United States, and I know many who have enjoyed their most successful year in 1974, and whose 1975 thus far is almost beyond belief. And all this on approximately 40 hours per week of actual practice!

It is time those of us who are dedicated raise ourselves to the level of professionalism through education, dedication and determination. It can be done — it is being done — and we can do it.

It is time we hasten after, alright, but not after our so-called “followers” — who really aren’t followed at all. It is time we hasten after education, expertise, knowledge, competence, professional image, assurance, and a life-long success. Only in this manner may we justify our existence in real estate.

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