Friday, May 27, 2011

Practitioner, or Professional?

Well, before we get into that, let's just put this reminder on the table:  You can vote - NOW.  School on Wheels, Stride and Genesis Shelter are asking you to decide which of them will receive the Responsible Referrals donation of $1,000.  As dedicated as these organizations are, they each offer a unique approach when assisting homeless kids and families.  Do you have a favorite?  Vote for them!  Register here!  The poll is open until June 8.

_____     _____     _____

Let's say you are looking to sell your home. There can be a great deal of emotion attached to this transaction because, well, it's YOUR HOME.  However, you are now in a position that requires a change.  You engage the services of a real estate agent to assist.  What do you expect from this agent?

The results published in most surveys asking sellers to rate agents indicate that communication is something all sellers require.  Sellers can experience a great deal of anxiety.  There are things that they want to 'know' and they expect their agent to tell them - being timely in doing so!  What are the results of the newspaper ad?  Where is the property being seen online?   What happened with the last showing?  What steps can we take to help this house sell faster?

Sellers also expect their real estate agent to be informed about the market conditions, the recent sale prices of comparable homes and the existing competition in order to price the home correctly.  This is a difficult procedure for all involved because many times, there is a difference between the pricing opinion being offered by the agent and the pricing position of the seller.  It takes cold hard facts and the patience of a caring professional to come to an agreement. 

Of course, the "usual" is also expected.  The home should be exposed to the market in every way possible;  Internet, Multiple Listing, Newsprint, Open house, and in-office promotion.  Most of this isn't very enlightening, of course. Any real estate practitioner should be doing this.  The mechanics are important - but there's more.

A 'practitioner' will, perhaps, get the job done. However, I'm firmly convinced that what most of us desire (home-sellers included) is someone who practices professionalism.  There is no shortage of those claiming to be professional, but I believe that today, the word has been so over used it means little more than "job-mechanic".  In other words, being 'professional' no longer infers that the user act with professionalism!

What makes someone a true professional?  There are probably as many definitions as there are stars in the sky.  Here's some that are important for me:
  • Knowledge and expertise are critical.
  • High ethical standards. Everything done places the needs of the client above all others, including your own.
  • High moral standards.  No agendas here.  The right thing to do IS the right thing to do.
  • An ability to do more than expected and in a way that provides amazing customer satisfaction  
  • A passion for the job and the ability to sincerely care about the people involved
  • Above and beyond.  Not the watered down version comparable to the current use of the word professional, but the true "I can't believe you did that for me" above and beyond.
  • The ability to take responsibility for all actions and correct mistakes to the best of your ability, immediately without complaint. 
What does professionalism mean to you?  Let me know by leaving a comment, please.

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