What makes a real estate agent a professional?

So asks Wayne S. Bell, the bureaucrat charged with keeping California’s real estate agents professional.  Wayne is Commissioner of the Bureau of Real Estate.  So he should know.  And he does.


The only reason I know Wayne asked is that I subscribe to the Bureau’s official publication, the Real Estate Bulletin.  I don’t want to subscribe, but back in the day all of us licensees got the Bulletin mailed to us, and the first and only thing we did upon receiving it was turn to the section reporting disciplinary actions to see which of us had had his or her license suspended or revoked.  When the Bureau stopped publishing disciplinary actions it also stopped the reason for most agents to read it.  Then the Bureau in a cost-cutting move made receiving the Bulletin optional, and I’m guessing I was one of the very few who opted to continue to receive it.  But after a few issues of bureaucratic prose unrelieved by agent suspensions–and a memorable scolding of the state’s agent community by a commissioner (not the current one) to stop making him look so bad–I tried to cancel my subscription, and found out you can’t:  the Bureau doesn’t know how.

I hope this inspires confidence in the real estate profession and in the government agency that keeps us on our toes.

But the Commissioner asks a good question, and his answers are illuminating.

  1. Appearance, attitude, and excellent client service.  Anyone up for wearing a tie?  Really, it doesn’t hurt that much.
  2. Understanding the fiduciary relationship:  the agent must always act in his or her client’s best interests.
  3. Being organized, disciplined, prepared, trustworthy, honest, credible, reliable, civil, kind, ethical and responsive.  Sounds a bit like the Boy Scout Oath.
  4. Doing first-rate work, delivering first-rate results.
  5. Following the lawful instructions of clients.
  6. Having sufficient education, knowledge and experience to achieve the results a client wants.
  7. And here’s my contribution to the checklist:  never take the easy way out.
  8. And here’s another contribution:  do items 1-7 while under the kind of pressure that would make most people wilt.

It’s all good stuff, and despite the gratuitous insults I’ve heaped on the Bureau and real estate practitioners, it’s the extremely high standard most of us strive for.  Not all of us achieve perfection all the time, but I hear that’s a failing common to the human race.

copyright © John Fyten 2015



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