In March 2020 when the pandemic hit, the restaurant where Jennifer Smith was working as a waitress announced a temporary closure. By June, it turned into a permanent one. Unemployment was a shock for Jennifer, who had been working in the restaurant industry for 15 years. “That was heartbreaking,” she said. “Being in the restaurant industry, I never thought I would be out of a job ever.”
She thought it might be time to explore a new career. After talking to a friend who is a real estate agent, Jennifer signed up for classes. In August 2020 she got her real estate license. Jennifer said, “It was tough getting started in a brand new career but houses were selling fast and it was exciting.”
I just spoke with Jennifer this week and found she’s decided to quit real estate and go back to the restaurant business because it’s steady work and a regular paycheck. This is a common story I’ve heard many times in the last few months as hundreds of agents bailout of the real estate business.
Jennifer’s story doesn’t shock me and to be honest, it’s necessary. There are way too many inexperienced Realtors in the Kansas City area by comparison to the number of homes that have sold this year. At the beginning of 2022, there were approximately 13,000 licensed Realtors in the greater Kansas City area. Just over 40% of those licensed agents never sold even one home this year. Of the remaining 6,500 agents, the average Realtor only sold four homes in the last ten months. When interviewing a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home, this is exactly why you should be asking the question, “How many homes have you sold in the last 12 months?”
At an office meeting the other day, I heard our broker say, “We are quickly moving back into a skills-based business. The agents that have been ‘winging it’ are going to get out of the business because it’s just too hard. The ones that learn the business, dig in, and educate themselves will be the ones that survive into 2023.” He could not be more correct in this statement.
This real estate market is full of “Jennifers” who got into the business to make some quick money and didn’t bother to learn the necessary skills to sustain themselves long term. It’s frightening that these agents are “practicing” on live clients too.
I’ve been in this business for over 17 years now and I’ve seen a lot of consumers get hurt badly working with incompetent agents. My team members and I are working every single day to advise our clients at a very high level. We are consistently taking time to educate ourselves and our clients about the current real estate market to help our clients achieve their goals.
If you or someone you know needs our services, it would be our pleasure to help them. Feel free to reach out to me at 816-651-9001. – Ron Henderson