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Tackling the Question of Professionalism Goes Beyond Compliance Issues

Should newly-minted real estate licensees be required to go through an apprenticeship period?


This is the question being discussed among real estate professionals across the county.

The topic in question is whether or not an initial license alone is sufficient for a person to practice the business of real estate. The solution suggested by professionalism advocates is to adopt legislation requiring an apprenticeship phase. Providing structured supervision and training to new licensees in an effort to elevate the character and professionalism throughout the industry.

In spite of the ongoing apprenticeship debate, most do agree that our industry is due for a "new development of professional consciousness and  a higher standard of professional service",  towards both consumers and practitioners alike.


How many of you think our industry lacks professionalism amongst its peers?


In a recent article written by Realty Times—California Real Estate Commissioner discusses "what makes a real estate practitioner a professional". 

Read it here and honestly ask yourself how many of the 7 professional attributes  you possess.


So, how many of the 7 did you claim?


Michael Humphries, designated broker for Compass Roads Realty, Inc. and writer for iOn real estate covers local and national real estate news, industry trends and market analytics. Read more of his work here.

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Comment by CECILIA D FOX on December 19, 2014 at 7:38pm

Michael - I think that part of the response problem is that very few look at the blogs.  They my not even realize there is something else here other than the discussions.  I am not even sure what the difference is supposed to be.

Anyway - I've pretty much lost all of my professionalism due to the dumbaxxes in this business.  And I've become a real jerk because of it.  My patience has worn extremely thin and I no longer tolerate the ignorance I encounter. Every time someone sends me an offer and they call it a contract, I express my dismay and ask how they got the seller's signature without going through me!  Very few even get it.

I haven't read the article, but I agree that new agents need more and shouldn't be let out on their own right away unless they have certain types of other business acumen or maturity. 

Comment by Marvin Von Renchler on December 12, 2014 at 12:12pm

I started real estate in 1980 so I feel I can talk about this . At the risk of making it look like brokers want to keep new agents captured, and thus get part of their commissions, I dont think that agents should be able to just go full out into this industry without supervision. I started as an agent and was quickly top producer and had no problems but Im anal about keeping out of trouble and had been studying contract law on the side just for a hobby. However, I would have made some honest and costly mistakes had there not been an experienced broker watching over.


Oregon is, I believe, unique in that its  made all agents brokers. They did it to avoid the dreaded gestapo---I mean IRS---turning agents into W-2 employees. Agent/brokers still must hang under a 'principal broker' but they are a lot more on their own than traditional agents. The things I see going on out there make me shudder. Contracts written that look like a 5th grader scribbled them up. Clauses that dont make sense or in many cases are not enforceable due to improper wording, or omission of items needed for consumer protection, etc etc. This is not rocket science but it sure aint a cake walk! Sadly, all most schools do is teach you how to get the license. To re up your license in this state, you DONT EVEN HAVE TO PASS the required continued ed classes! No score is required!!! They just want you to prove you were 'exposed to the material'. Jesus save us all.

Comment by Michael Humphries on December 9, 2014 at 4:45pm

I agree, surprised we haven't heard from others on this topic yet.

I know they have something to say.

Comment by Michael Humphries on December 9, 2014 at 12:37pm

You're right Frank, unfortunately "we all have our stories" and I believe it's all due to a lack of training. The business of real estate is extremely complicated and to think a newly licensed person can go out and start a practice "and succeed long term" without some type of apprenticeship phase is being unrealistic to say the least. I'm very fortunate, I had a few experienced agents that took me under their wing 28 years ago and taught me the basics. Otherwise I'm not so sure I would have been successful. 

I think this topic is worthy of investigating a fair and equitable solution to provide a more structured and professional environment.  We owe it to our industry and to all of the new people that would like to call the business of real estate their profession.

Comment by Frank Popeleski on December 8, 2014 at 8:27am

Thanks Michael. The link has some issues, I was not able to open it. I am surprised I am the first one to post to it. That said, this is a problem that I see throughout the industry and more importantly here in Tampa Bay. I recall a few years back now getting a call from a Keller Williams agent. Here they are noted for a high degree of training, always most professional. Well I encountered the bad apple. He was raking me over the coals insisting that I get with my asset manager and have the commission offer increased! I told him we do not discuss commissions amongst ourselves, the commission is what is stated in the MLS. This discussion now ended. I called him broker and she took care of this problem. Seems he was new and came out of business background and was one of those go getters. Oh my. I recall myself as a young agent nearly getting in trouble when considering a referral where the person sending it was not licensed! We all have our stories, but most of us get through the initial period and move along well. I did see that early on I tended to ask lots of questions when I could and found a distinct lack of basic support out there. This is an issue for sure. I remember being in a GRI class and we had a Prudential trainer in there - he used to tell us that Real Estate Classes teach you how to PASS the Real Estate Exam, NOT how to sell real estate. He was so right. Thanks Michael.

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