We all knew it. But now it's been confirmed by data and research. Further, it's been made public in the DANGER Report, commissioned by NAR, "The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents." The report states, "The delta between great real estate service and poor real estate services has simply become too large, due to the unacceptably low entry requirements to become a real estate agent." No shit, right? It continues, "Professional, hardworking agents increasingly understand that the "not so good" agents are bringing down the entire industry." So, whether you like it or not, admit it or not, or embrace it or not - this is a battle of Good vs Evil. Ethical vs. Unethical. Competent vs. Incompetent. And NAR, you really think they're going to increase the barrier of entrance? Hell no. It would mean less money in Memberships dues. NAR is a government. Does a government ever want fewer taxpayers? And the leaders of the real estate industry, who are they? Politicians. Lobbyists. Thus, like all politicians, their focus is prioritized toward money, power and control. Meanwhile, due to the "unacceptably low entry requirements," the unethicals, incompetents and even the greedy, are multiplying - causing more and more Horror Stories for clients. Now is the time - the demand for Protectors is growing - it's up to us!
This is disturbing. Especially if you understand how reputation works. In his autobiography, Warren Buffett is quoted saying, "If you cost me money, I will forgive you. If you cost me my reputation, I will be ruthless. He did not say angry, mad, or unforgiving. He said "Ruthless." What does that mean? First, let me share with you some facts. Looking at the data, it's easy to see. Society, as a whole, hates real estate agents. According to the Harris Poll®'s respected professions list, for the 7 years straight years, real estate agents have ranked dead last. According to the Gallup Poll®'s Honesty & Ethics Survey, of those polled, 80% said they did not highly trust real estate agents. And, in a recent Reader's Digest® Survey of Trusted Professions - real estate agents ranked 42 out of 45, ahead of only politicians, telemarketers and car-salespeople - three of the least-liked, least-respected, least-trusted professions in the world. This is why Buffett said, he'd be "Ruthless." Because, by stereotype and snap judgement, because of your label, "real estate agent," you're pigeonholed into the same reputation as The Unethicals and incompetents. Said different, because of them, their antics, "You're hated BEFORE you arrive. Distrusted BEFORE you speak a word." For most, achieving success in a Negative Reputation industry, is directly correlated to their ability to overcome this odds-against-them positioning.
It's important to understand, Protectors are driven by an unbendable conviction. Social superheroes: People who protect others. Sacrifice. Serve others. That conviction that drives them, pushes them, for the greater good, it's what psychologists call 'Appropriate Hatred.' Most people will argue that hatred is a bad thing. But hatred, it can be a driving force of good. Batman hates criminals, for example, so much he feels it in his bones. But his hate is considered virtuous, is admired, and even respected by law enforcement because, it’s the only appropriate response toward someone who maliciously causes others to suffer. In other words, this Appropriate Hatred is what defines the superhero. It's that mission to defeat the enemy, to protect those he cares about, that gives him purpose. Somewhere along the lines though, The Unethicals, have lost this code of honor - now putting self-interest in front of client-interest. The point is, Hatred, can be a driving force of good. If someone doesn't appropriately hate, The Unethicals, I would wonder about that person's integrity and moral character.
Mark my words. The Great Commoditization of the real estate industry is speeding up, not slowing down. Soon there will be an App like the dating App, Tinder, for real estate agents. In essence, it'll give you a location. Buyer's will say, "I want to find all real estate agents within 1-mile of this home," and the real estate agent, he'll pay $20 to $50 bucks a month. And ultimately, for that, he'll get to put a photo of himself and a little description of who he is. And now the consumer can sit on that little App, and say, "Nope, I don't like him," swipe left. "Nope, don't like him," swipe left. And this is how they're going to choose which agent shows the property. "Nope, don't like him," swipe left. "Oh, I like him," swipe right. So now the consumer swipes right and since the agent is within 1-mile of the home, the two of you can now communicate and of course, you're going to be able to show that property. I heard a great term the other day, "Realt-whore." Because that's where this profession is heading. As The Great Commoditization continues, accelerates, worsens, more and more agents will begin to sell their soul, integrity, and value - to even the lowest bidder. Now, granted. This may not sound like an unprecedented opportunity, but I assure you it is: To understand the opportunity, though, you must intimately understand the magnitude of the problem.
Period. There is no greater calling, not on earth, than being a Protector. As humans, our highest purpose in life, is to protect those we love and care about. This means there is a Dark Knight inside of all of us - an ordinary Bruce Wayne just waiting to bust out! to impact lives and change the world. The Greek definition of the word 'superhero' is someone who 'protects and serves,' someone who willfully sacrifices for others. Being a Protector, simply, there is no greater calling. The best part? Clients need you!
The Guru Party preaches Lead Generation. But that is why agents are hated, positioned and treated as salespeople. Protectors focus on Love Generation. This leads to effortless conversion. No begging. No chasing. No demeaning oneself is ever required. Protection is a form of sacrifice. Sacrifice is a form of love. For this more human approach, Protectors are rewarded and admired. Money does not drive the Protector. What drives them? Protecting clients from The Unethicals.
Being a Protector is not easy. Not everyone is cut out to be a Protector, just as not everyone is cut out to be a fireman or police officer, to run into a burning building, to take a bullet, or to serve on the front lines of our military - not everyone is cut out to be a Protector to their clients. It takes courage. Let's face it, the truth about this industry - about The Unethicals, about the Incompetence - is not a truth that your peers, broker or the associations, likes to have published. But this is why Protectors are respected. They aren't intimidated.
This isn't hard to understand. When clients know that "you have their back," they refer and recommend you to others, because they trust you in the deepest, most committed way - as a friend, as a brother - not as a salesperson. For clients to have this perception about you, though, 1) you must de-link and disconnect, so you're not stereotyped as other agents are stereotyped, 2) you must learn to speak the Language of The Protector, fluently, so your message is not confused with theirs.
The Unethicals aren't trusted. And, they soil the reputation of the honest agent, because they have an inferior moral compass. In the Batman movies, they are the Joker. What separates the villain from the superhero, is a superior moral code. Batman is not trusted because he has superpowers. In fact, he has none. He is trusted, because the people of Gotham always know he will do the right thing. Even at great detriment to himself and those he loves!
Novelists know this, because they understand how to craft Characters. You can't be a truth-teller by simply stating that you're a truth-teller. This is what most agents do, though. They think by saying, "I'm different, I'm not like them," that people will care. Society doesn't care. Talk is cheap. And talk from a "real estate agent" is worthless. To be a truth-teller, that perception must be earned by your actions. This is why Protectors publish the truth, to demonstrate their character.
Listen close. The reason agents fail, the biggest reason, hands down: It's a function of negative public stereotype. Said different, "You are hated before you arrive. Distrusted, before you speak a word." Do you know how hard it is to earn trust, or to be respected, when society has already judged and labeled you, negatively? Of course you do. Rejection. Rejection. More rejection. Protectors though escape that painful reality, because they've
successfully de-linked & disconnected from the "real estate agent" stereotype - a negative reputation that limits you.
Here is the thing about reputation. It precedes you. Donald Trump has an Empowering Reputation. Legend has it is, Trump is a ruthless, calculated, dominating and authoritative businessman. Is it true? Doesn't matter. That is his reputation. So, in his presence, others behave accordingly. Just watch an episode of The Apprentice. Contestants cower in Trump's presence. Even celebrities. They instantly become subordinate, as if Trump is Zeus himself. Protectors have an Empowering Reputation too. Because of it, they're not treated like "real estate agents."
I can't stress this point enough. Martin Luther King is remembered and revered for his courage, because he fought, and sacrificed for a stronger future. A better tomorrow. "I have a dream that one day..." MLK was a Protector. A truth-teller. A man who was driven by purpose - the superheroes mission. He was trusted and respected. And by those he fought to protect, he was rewarded with admiration, and loyalty, and they trumpeted his message as their own. And drove hundreds, or even thousands of miles to hear him speak. Why? Sacrifice is love. Will you sacrifice for clients?
"I'm not like them." I hear agents say that all the time. "I'm different." But that doesn't work. Every agent tries that and yet, their struggle continues. More rejection. More disrespect. They're ignored. The worst part, these agents have a Protector's heart, but to society, they're just "real estate agents." So the perception of low-status continues. The only solution: Delink & Disconnect. This means you must de-link and disconnect yourself, your business, from every symbol that identifies you as a "real estate agent." This comes down to a function of reputation, intimately understanding how reputation works and the engrained human response. There are two kinds of reputations: Negative Reputations and Empowering Reputations. You can’t have both. It's either/or, and since the reputation of the real estate agent is a Negative Reputation. Not a reputation that serves you. Not a reputation that empowers you, IT must be “shed.” Discarded and disposed of, permanently! Or, your fate? By stereotype, you'll continue to be judged "as one of them." More rejection. More disrespect.
Trump for President. You can learn a lot by studying Donald Trump. From a marketing and message-creation standpoint, he is a genius. Don't you see it? Real estate = America. "The sky is falling." The industry is broken. America is losing status on the world stage. Real estate suffers a Negative Reputation. America is a cesspool of problems. Both have a low-barrier of entrance. Illegal immigrants are flooding-in, bringing their problems with them. Meanwhile, in real estate, The Unethicals & The Incompetents are multiplying at an ever-increasing rate. So, let me point out: Real Estate = America, both are broken. And since great problems breeds demand for great solutions, the Danger Report is an Unprecedented Opportunity: A great leader is required. To fix America, Trump is arriving as the knight-on-white-horse. He is a Protector. He has vowed to make America great again. His message could be your message. The Low-Information agent, of course, will never understand what I am talking about here, but you do. You must. The opportunity to de-link and disconnect, and to engage in the battle of Good vs. Evil. Ethical vs. Unethical and, Competent vs. Incompetent, to protect clients, to prevent horror stories, and to differentiate from the commoditized "Realt-whores," is an opportunity that would be shameful to waste.