The No. 1 threat to real estate professionals is other agents, according to the National Association of Realtors' newly released “Danger Report”. The threat falls ahead of other pressing issues such as declining commissions, dwindling relevance, or a repeat housing crisis.
“Masses of marginal agents” are threatening the industry—that is, unskilled salespeople who lack the experience to coach buyers and sellers.
"The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and/or incompetent agents," according to NAR’s report. "This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry."
The NAR report acknowledges that only modest education is needed to earn a real estate license.
"Becoming a cosmetologist requires an average of a 372 hours," the report says. "But to become a licensed real estate agent requires an average of only 70 hours, with the lowest state requirement being 13 hours."
However, Michael Pappas, head of Keyes Co. Realtors in Miami, isn't convinced that just upping the classroom training would necessarily weed the industry of poor performers. Getting a degree from a top university doesn’t mean an agent will have the persistence, resilience, and empathy necessary to succeed in real estate, he says.