Quote du Jour

Funny quote from a CS Monitor piece on the rapid rate at which boom-era real estate agents are dropping out of the once-burgeoning business:

One problem for out-of-work agents is that their skills may not transfer easily to other careers.

No kidding.


  1. I don’t get it. Good real estate agents, before anything else, are sales and marketing people. Those skills are most definitely transferable.
    The actual details of buying and selling of real estate, sure, no one’s going to care. But the bit where you’re constantly selling yourself? There’s usually a demand for good salespeople.
    Real estate is weird because there are large numbers of people who do no useful work. There are many people who have licenses hanging with a broker somewhere who don’t do any transactions. Those people don’t really have a new problem; if they weren’t doing any transactions during the craziest bubble anyone has ever seen, they’re sure not going to start doing transactions now.

  2. You’re less cynical than I am. Sure, good salespeople are always nice to have around. But most real estate agents during the bubble were order-takers, not salespeople. Business fell out of trees, and hiring these people is like hiring a top Siebel sales rep circa 1998: Dice toss.

  3. my favorite quote on the topic, “a real estate agent is an entrepreneur without a business plan.”

  4. You don’t say!
    Just in the spring of 2007, when I was buying a house in London, I could not get real estate agents to return my calls, or to turn up on time for appointments to see properties. When they did turn up, they did not greet me nor did they take time to show me around the house properly, choosing instead to talk on their mobiles with other prospects. They did not answer questions nor did they get back with any additional information.
    Needless to say, I hired a competent and professional home-buyer to cut this crap out. No more real estate agents’ rubbish. She found me a house and managed the whole process from offer to move in 8 weeks (no mean feat that).
    Now the stupid real estate guys, who did not keep track of my progress in buying, are calling me and leaving me long messages about properties I have no interest in. Some have even left messages recently about how they have launched exciting new careers being entrepreneurs with high service standards (shorthand for ‘my employer sacked me’).
    It sounds like I am dancing on their graves, but can you blame me?
    I am glad their stinky service standards and unprofessionalism makes them unemployable elsewhere.

  5. Mark - NYC says:

    Sorry for late comment just catching up. Real estate agents are as far downwind as possible, that’s the problem. I am sure Stanley O’Neal is qualified to be a real estate agent, not sure many real estate agents could be the CEO of a major corporation.
    Paul Graham (http://paulgraham.com/hs.html) explains this better than I could. Btw, I came across this link after becoming a broker.