Feb 12, 2022

This Wasn’t on the Exam

I got my real estate license in 1993 –– well before online MLS, cell phones, ShowingTime, and laser printers.

I’m old.

The real estate exam (which I took on a DOS based computer without a mouse, btw) tested my ability to regurgitate the real estate facts, regulations, and definitions that were crammed in my head during the prior two weeks of study.

My suspicion is, that some 30 years later, the real estate exam tests largely the same stuff it did in 1993 (albeit on a much nicer computer.)

But what the exams of yesteryear, as well as today, do NOT teach is how to make a living with the license.

And that, now more than ever, is a huge problem.

Today Wasn’t on the Exam

Today, the questions we need to know the answers to are not about material defects, clouds on title, or Fair Housing.

No, the answers we seek today are about how to navigate 40 offer bidding wars, how to explain the impact of less than one month of inventory has on pricing, and how to break the news to a first-time buyer that their offer was, once again, not the one the seller selected.

None of that was on the exam.

I get it, knowing your way around a Closing Disclosure is important, but it is only important if you have a CD to go through. When you keep getting outbid, nothing else really matters, does it?

A Whole New Set of Questions

To survive today, an agent must be able to answer an entirely different set of questions (and I will share an answer at the end of the post, if you want to know):

  1. What do we have to bid to win?
  2. What terms do we need to write?
  3. How fast are market values rising?
  4. How long will values rise? 
  5. When does it all end?

So, not only are these incredibly difficult questions for any Realtor to answer, but even if the answers were knowable –– How in the world would you convey such insane answers in a manner that a frustrated and confused public will accept???

Maybe it isn’t as difficult as you think. 

Conveying the Important Answers

Henry Ford once said that a person with a machine is better than a person without one (or something to that effect.) And while Mr. Ford was referring to selling cars in the 1920s, the same lesson applies to using analytics today. 

To translate his comments into the present day –– ‘An individual with powerful analytical tools is better off than an individual without any.’

At One South, we have invested heavily in the analytical tools that not only help our agents answer those very questions –– but help our clients understand the answers, too.

Informed decision making is possible, even in an environment as uncertain as this one.

When you have the correct tools as your disposal, the answers become far easier to know, and to explain.

Answer to Question #3: As this post is written, we are pacing at roughly 2% to 2.2% per month appreciation in the median home price in the region, but it will vary by specific market segment and price range. There is a strong correlation between inventory and appreciation and thus you can use the current inventory level to predict appreciation.