Those for whom real estate is a "first career" are in a small minority. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)
The first article I wrote for Hamptons.com was posted on April 19, 2010. This one, article 194, will be my last. During the years I have been writing, the publishers and editors have given me free reign to select my subject matter and have published it exactly as I had written.
Over the past 20 years, I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach real estate classes for Southampton College, Long Island University, The Hamptons & North Fork Realtors Association, Cook Maran Associates, a school in Southampton and East Hampton I helped create, and New York University in Manhattan. I have also retired from teaching.
Over the years, I have had the privilege of developing friendships with many who earn their living in the real estate industry. That has afforded me a special vantage point from which to watch the real estate profession evolve, especially in the Hamptons. I thank them for their cooperation.
I have seen the profession evolve from the "Mom and Pop" type of ownership of real estate brokerage, to the corporate, multi-office type now prevalent on the East End of Long Island. The demands on the time of those involved are greater than ever, due, in part, to the development of technology which has made information available to the real estate professional and consumer.
The task of showing properties for sale and submitting offers to the sellers has been dwarfed by the myriad of other time consuming factors that are part of real estate sales, and that require special skills and knowledge. Today's real estate professional must be knowledgeable about contract law, environmental issues, building codes, zoning, market conditions, financing, construction, land use - to name a few - and its responsibilities to the consumer under federal, state, and local laws, especially the License Law of the State of New York.
The increasing demand on the real estate agents' time, and the many required skills has given rise to the formation of teams within an office, and the use of administrative assistants.
What I consider to be one of the best changes of doing business is the employment of full-time managers who devote themselves to managing rather than divide their time selling and listing. Many also provide in-house training not intended to be a substitute of the continuing education required by the New York Department of State for license renewal. On a personal note, I think that "online" courses deprive the agents the benefit of the discussions and opinions that take place among agents in the classroom setting.
From my perspective, I see more cooperation among real estate agents from competing brokerage firms. In part, I attribute this to good management. Cooperation among agents is in the interest of the consumer and therefore required by License Law as well as the National Association of Realtors. Other real estate professionals with whom I have had the opportunity converse - attorneys, appraisers, mortgage brokers, home inspectors and engineers - also support my perception of the increased professionalism among real estate agents.
A characteristic of the agent pool of East End real estate agents that contributes to their skills is the diversity of experiences that many bring to the real estate profession from earlier careers. Those for whom real estate is a "first career" are in a small minority. An office of people with different skills and experiences can create a synergy from whom all benefit, agents and consumers alike.
In closing, I wish all of you, readers and real estate professionals, my gratitude and best wishes for health and happiness in the New Year.
John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate Broker, DOS Certified Instructor, and real estate consultant. He previously taught at NYU, LIU, and The Cook Maran Real Estate School, which he helped found.
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