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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kleenex, Q-Tip, Band-Aid... Realtor

Public Service Announcement for people employed the real estate field:

Whether you like it or not, the general public uses the term "Realtor" in much the same way that we use the terms Kleenex, Q-Tip, Band-Aid, Jell-O, Styrofoam, and many others. Despite the fact that "Realtor" is a registered trademark that refers to a specific product, in practice the majority of people use the term "realtor" to refer to anyone that sells real estate.

I know this really bothers some of you, Realtors or not, but it's just a fact of life, and not likely to change any time soon. Also, you should know that it really gets old when you constantly correct people on the use of the term. Imagine how annoying it would be if every time you asked someone for a kleenex you were told "Kleenex is a registered trademark of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and I don't have any. However, I do have two-ply facial tissue; would you like one of those?" It gets old really quickly.

I just wanted to throw this one out there, because I have occasionally seen it become a point of contention on this and other real estate blogs in discussions between real estate "professionals" and the public. I am but a messenger. This is just the way things are. Get used to it.


Alan said...

My Zune is not an iPod.


You can google it on Live Search.

christiangustafson said...

On HousingPanic we prefer the term "real-estate clerk" over the archaic REALTOR®.

Prepare to be disintermediated!

witzend said...

Yeah, Realtor = clerk (with an agenda).

Why hasn't this occupation been rendered obsolete by the internet -as car dealers should have been by now?

Just have no respect for someone who suceeds in their career to the extent they take advantage of their clients/customers.

B said...


Anonymous said...

Why aren't Realtors rendered obsolete? Because most people do not want service. Now, you, mr. non-homebuyer may think you want service when purchasing a house... but when it comes to the biggest purchase of your life, I am sure you will turn to someplace other than this blog to find out what it is you should buy.

Sure, you know that prices are continuing to buck the national trend in real estate, you know that even though Mr. Tim shows some sketchy statistics that even though we have positive migration, there is no correlation to housing prices, and you might even be able to look at some sold properties on the internet and determine what you think you should pay on a home.

But when you lose that offer on that home you really liked but thought it was overpriced (and you later learn, if you are diligent, that the house sold for $100k over asking), or when you sell your home and the buyer that you sell the house to sues you because you got your advice from a blog such as this... maybe then you will realize that although you may not respect this field, there are actually good agents out there that put in over 100 hours a week making sure that the people they represent actually get what they want in a matter that is consistant with what they deserve.

Realtos versus real estate agents... it's the difference between a licensed lawyer who is able to practice law to an attorney that posts blogs and gives out advice for a cost without ever passing the bar.

But why spend my time trying to convince you folk that Realtors are more than used car salesmen... after all, you live your lifes with superphilosophies that your career is so much more noble than finding a young couple a dream home and helping them wade through the problems of home ownership.

No... we certainly aren't worth the paper our licenses and code of ethics are written on.

The Tim said...

Wow, Jon. Thank you for enlightening us all about how worthless I am and how great and wonderful you are.

I would applaud you, but your self esteem clearly does not need my help.

Anonymous said...

The Tim,

Hardly! I respect what you write, otherwise I wouldn't be here. I hate when I argue a point and it's discredited without further thought... it's not your fault... it's the mentality of some of the bloggers... which I respect... sometimes.


witzend said...

Hey, Jon:

The "100 hour weeks", does that include "sleeping on it" or what?

"$100K over asking" - might have happened, bet it won't in the future. Hell, In that case, I'd be glad I didn't have an agent!

You might well be an upright, do-right kind of guy, but until many of the flakes that have entered your profession as of late are finally flushed-out, I feel justified.

The Muser said...

Wow, Jon, it's guys like you that make me want to employ someone of your profession when buying a house. Seriously... send me your business card, so I can put it where it belongs.

It's no wonder homebuyers don't often like their real estate professionals/realtors/brokers/whatever moniker people want to use to refer to people who help people buy homes. If anyone knows any of these folks in Seattle WITHOUT an attitude, please let me know.