Why Do They Call it “Selling” Real Estate Anyway? It’s Not Like Selling Pencils… by Carol Ann Palmieri


posted by on Reflections From a Difficult Market


I could hardly stop myself from jumping up and clapping when I read the post I re-blogged below. Here are some similarly-topic’ed posts I’ve written myself on the subject:

Real Estate Agents – Salespeople or Consultants? Depends on the Agent! 
“Lead Generation is what Real Estate is All About” 
Doctors and Lawyers and Real Estate Agents?

And here’s my comment on the post itself…

AMEN Carol Ann – I don’t even know where to start in expressing my agreement with you. Last year I wrote a Manifesto (that remains mostly unshared) about what it will take to change the somewhat negative image among the general public of our industry and one of my suggestions was to prohibit the use of the word “salesperson” (or any variation) in our official titles or personal branding. WE DO NOT SELL REAL ESTATE! Homeowners sell real estate; we facilitate the transaction in a professional service capacity.

Do we have to sell ourselves? Of course we do – so does every other self-employed person on the planet. Do we call a self-employed dentist a Dental Salesperson? Do we say that they “sell” dental services? Do we call a self-employed massage therapist a Massage Sales Associate and refer to her business as one of selling massages?

Of course not and it’s the same with real estate agents. However, the notion that we ARE salespeople is so pervasive in our industry that we’re attracting the WRONG practitioners TO our industry – people who ARE natural salespeople and aren’t particularly interested in the pieces and parts of what can be a very complicated transaction. I crack up when people argue with me over this and say that the “details” of a real estate transaction are best left to a $12/hour assistant so that the “salesperson’s” precious time and sales skills can be best used drumming up new business. HA! When someone says that, I KNOW they have no idea of what a competent, client-centered real estate professional does all day – and it ain’t SALES.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. Thanks for the opportunity to passionately agree with you! Fantastic blog!

Via Al and Cal Realty Group Al Mussi Carol Ann Palmieri (RE/MAX Executive Realty):

Why do They Call It Selling Real Estate Anyway?  It’s not like Selling Pencils

I have never considered myself a “sales” person.   I read a gal’s post today. She was questioning whether or not to stay in the field feeling that she wasn’t comfortable with her sales abilities. The first thought that came to mind was,

Why do they call it Selling Real Estate anyway?    Do any of us think that it’s like selling pencils or something?    No buyer is going to let themselves be “sold” into making such a large purchase.   Especially one that you can’t return!    You can push a pencil on someone and that might be selling, but telling a person why they need this $500,000 dollar house instead of another just doesn’t work.  On the flip side, does anyone think we can talk a person into selling a home when they don’t want to?    Can you imagine someone going through the home sale process because their agent was a quick and convincing talker?   I don’t think so.   sales pitch

So instead of calling it Selling if we called it consulting or something else wouldn’t it take a lot of pressure off all the parties involved?    It would be more accurate, wouldn’t it?     What do Realtors really do any way?    We Research, Investigate, Evaluate, Negotiate, Facilitate, Market, Promote, Educate, Coordinate, and Communicate just to mention a few things.       If we stopped calling it selling, there might be a higher degree of trust  on the part of Buyers and Sellers.  They might not not worry that we are trying to get them to do something that we couldn’t possibly do anyway.    

I will admit.  There are times we need to recognize that someone wants to make a purchase and needs a gentle nudge, but that comes with experience and getting to know your buyer or seller.  That nudge comes in the form of opinion.   We are not “selling” them. 

The only thing we might actually “sell” is ourselves or our services.   What sets us apart in the crowd.   One doesn’t need to be a hard sell or an in your face kind of person to do that.    Confidence and ability to complete what you say will can win over even the toughest skeptic.   

Would  the real estate field  attract more folks to it if the word “sales” wasn’t used in front of agent?   We do have to have to be great communicators with exceptional organizational skills as well as an intense degree of dedication, but sales skills, I wonder.

If you don’t want to be sold, but want an agent that will guide you through the real estate process from locating to evaluating and negotiating the home of your dreams… I’m your gal.