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Real Estate Agent Stereotypes and How to Combat Them

Do you believe that there’s a grain of truth in every stereotype?

Negative stereotypes can be very damaging, both professionally and personally. Over the years, the media has often portrayed real estate agents as cutthroat opportunists, ready to betray their clients at the slightest chance for more money. Or how about the horrible perception that all real estate agents lie and exaggerate to get the sale? Yikes!

As a real estate agent yourself, you know how incredibly wrong these stereotypes are and how damaging they can be. You don’t want your business to be dragged down by these negative perceptions.

We’re going to break down some stereotypical behaviors and traits that many people believe are inherent in real estate agents, and then we’re going to talk about how to knock them all down!

Stereotype: Real Estate Agents are DISHONEST

Reality shows, movies, and–heck–even The Simpsons, have shown real estate agents to be unprofessional and dishonest, ready to lie and exaggerate at every turn in order to close a deal. Run down = investment opportunity. Falling apart = rustic. We suspect that you know the stereotype of dishonesty all too well; it probably drives you nuts every time you see it portrayed in pop culture.

The way to beat this stereotype is easy, just be completely honest with your clients. Falsehoods will always come back to bite you. When you’re with your clients, always listen to them and their needs. They’re depending on your knowledge because, odds are, they’re out of their depth that they’re terrified. Tell them about the positive attributes of a property without exaggerating. Always disclose if there’s something wrong with a home. Be truthful, straight forward, and foster a reputation for honesty that will hopefully follow you through your entire career.

Stereotype: Real Estate Agents are LAZY

Some people have the perception that being a real estate agent is easy. I mean, you’re basically just the person in the middle, right? All you’re doing is helping money to change hands and skimming your cut off the top. Pfft. Easy! (That was sarcastic.)

If only they knew just how much work really goes into a deal! The long hours, lack of sleep, high stress, and having to deal with difficult clients makes for a very difficult job at times.

To escape the stereotype of laziness, project an air of competence at all times. Be proactive about your clients’ needs. Try to know what they’ll need before they do. Cross all the “t”s, dot the “i”s, and be as helpful as possible. The perception that you’re lazy won’t last very long when you’re giving your clients the fantastic customer service you want to be known for.

Stereotype: Real Estate Agents are RICH

Bwahahahah! That’s a good one. Yeah, right! Thinking that all real estate agents are rich is kind of like thinking that all actors are rich because Tom Cruise makes $20 million a picture. Believe us, there are lots of actors waiting tables out there and there are a lot of agents struggling to make an average living in real estate.

This one goes right alongside “lazy” as one of the biggest misconceptions of being a real estate agent. In some markets, yes, the top agents can make an incredibly comfortable living. On the whole, however, competition is very high for great listings and the average real estate agent certainly isn’t making a 6 figure income.

The way to beat this stereotype is not to project an artificial air of affluency. Look professional and well put together, absolutely, but don’t waltz out of your car like you’re just coming from your penthouse. Don’t put on “airs”, put on competence!

Stereotype: Real Estate Agents are EGOTISTICAL

There are many potential clients out there who are fearful that their real estate agent will turn out to be self-obsessed and put their own interests ahead of theirs. You can beat this stereotype in one super easy way: LOSE THE EGO!

Your clients are depending on you and you should always put them first. Never show off with your knowledge or try to dazzle them with real estate lingo they probably won’t be able to follow. It’s your job to help them make one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make in their lives. So make them comfortable by relating to them rather than impressing them. If you do an excellent job and find them the house of their dreams, don’t worry, they’ll be impressed!

Break Away!

As with all professions, there are lots of real estate agents out there who exemplify all of these [negative] stereotypes; the egotistical, the rich, the lazy, and the dishonest can be found everywhere. Don’t be that person! Your job is to make sure that you avoid all of these negative perceptions by being as helpful and client-focused as you can be. Always be professional, it’s as simple as that.

Give your clients your business card (printed by us here at SureFactor) and let them know that they can call you at any time for help. That is how you’ll get a reputation for being a cut above the real estate agent stereotype.