Raising the Bar in Real Estate

For years, I’ve heard agents complain that getting into real estate is too easy and that more education is needed.  Should it be a four year degree?  Should there be a two year apprentice period, like there is in appraising?

In requesting that it become harder to get into real estate, what is the ultimate goal of this request?  Is it to reduce competition?  Is it to stop the “hobbyists” from entering?  Or is it to ensure a higher level of competency?

Most arguments I have heard indicate that the goal is a higher level of competency.  If that’s the goal, would a four year degree assist with that?  On one hand, yes, because the book and technical knowledge would be there.  On the other hand, no, because most of the lessons in real estate come through experience and actually doing it.  It is nearly impossible to mimic experience in the classroom because as we know real life is weird and we can’t make that stuff up!

What about a two year apprentice period?  I think that would address the experience issue that textbook learning wouldn’t cover.  But is a time frame the most appropriate method of measure or should it be an apprenticeship for x number of transactions (since that’s truly where experience comes from!).  And what is the number that x should represent?  Would it be 10?  20?  What happens if in a two year period, they are only involved in 7 transactions, not 10… do you deny them a license?  It might not be an issue of competency, but of poor prospecting skills.  Does that matter?

Tackling the entry into real estate is a tough topic.  There are several things at play –

First, it would be the Idaho Real Estate Commission that would have to propose that the education be expanded.  Request from who?  The Idaho legislature.  In order to even propose the question to the legislature, the Commission would have to have consensus on what they are asking for – something that isn’t easy to obtain.  Everyone has a different idea about what stricter/more education looks like.

Second, when the idea has been floated in the past, the legislature didn’t view it favorably.  They were of the opinion that it would create an unfair barrier to entry into the industry.

So can things change?  Maybe. Should the requirements change?  That’s clearly a topic of debate.  What do you think?

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