First off I want to wish all my readers a very relaxing and enjoyable summer, fall and winter or spring, whatever season you are reading this information.

It’s quite amazing, but not surprising that sellers, investors, purchasers of residential and commercial properties and even renters will hire their best friends to represent them when in many instances that just might be the worst decision of their lives to do this. Of course there are many professionals in our industry that perform extremely well with their best friends and all goes well. I applaud them for doing their most professional job at representing their buyer friends as they should always do with all their clients whether their best friends or not! There are presently approximately 1.4 million Realtors in the U.S. and 42,000 reside within Long Island’s expanded MLS now joined with the Hudson Gateway MLS servicing upstate NY, and we are now known as One Key MLS. However, this is far and few between with so many losing their friends, due to issues, problems and glitches during the transaction process; and sometimes right from the get go. My professional opinion this happens due to the lack of consistent day in day out training that is necessary and required to be, as we say, ” on the top of your game.” The lack of pertinent and current knowledge, expertise, professionalism and ethics is an issue and in so many cases discrimination is the culprit. (just check out the November 19, 2019 3 year investigation by a Newsday Investigation on the practice of “illegally” steering clients where 68 Long Island brokers and agents got caught. Here is the link to the article. ). The majority of agents are of good substance and character that practice their business with ethical, client first mindsets and common sense practices. However, for many common sense is no longer common and many agents who may mean well by their clients lack sufficient knowledge to do their jobs properly. There is a correlation between the quality of an agent and their incomes, so if you ask what they earned in 2019 and 2020 there just might be a substantial difference due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this is understandable. However, the lack of knowledge and being able to pivot their business in our “new norm” and earn a solid lucrative living has a lot of relevance to professional and ethical behavior. To some maybe it’s to create short cuts to simplify the process to get their checks asap? But, maybe it’s just that it’s the path of least resistance, a quick and easy buck, possibly a hereditary thing passed down from generation to generation. No doubt and yes, your upbringing has so, so much to do with your behavior and how you approach and handle your business and your day to day job too! The path to “real estate gold” is available to those who put in the necessary and required effort, disciplined actions, perseverance, diligence and the sacrifice of their valuable time! I see and experience this every single day as I go out and perform my business. I am not singling out just realtors, but it runs the gamut of all industries and businesses and in many situations the lack of continuous mentoring and training within companies. It’s quality before quantity because once you know the best way to approach negotiating, or a task or sudden difficult situation you are much more prepared to handle and solve the issues that arise without calling for assistance or worse getting in trouble and breaking the law causing the repercussions of fines and potential revocation or suspension of licenses. Learning your trade from the beginning and continuing this by practicing and applying what you learn day in and day out, week in and week out and year in and year out will always benefit those that choose that very lucrative path. (I said this in last week’s column, lol). The real issues and problems arise when so many rush to achieve their C.E. (continuing education) of 22.5 credits every 2 years, and it’s in one ear and out the other; instead of taking a class once every month or every other month, so information will be absorbed properly and then you will have taken advantage of a much more efficient and slower absorption and learning process in understanding and creating a greater internal data base of knowledge for future reference. Ask your Broker or salesperson when and how many times pre-Covid had they attended our June Long Island Board of Realtors and our Oct Technology Conferences at the Crest Hollow County Club? (only 800 attended the June 2019 conferences out of 27,000 licensed MLS agents!) Moreover, ask them if they have ever attended our National Association of Realtors and Triple Play Conferences, of course pre-Covid, in November and December each year? Again, my professional opinion and years of experience has made me come to the conclusion that the lack of sufficient adequate and advanced training causes 99% of the problems, catastrophes and failed transactions that could be avoided if proper knowledge was attained. If proper negotiations, dialogue, conversations and transparency occur between all the parties there would be more successful sales. Hiring your friends can be a potentially slippery slope and because for most the sale or purchase of a home is the largest and most wealth creating transaction that consumers are involved with in their lifetimes, so why would you want to jeopardize this most crucial financial event? So, you should ask yourself, do I want to lose a friend and the potential loss of a property that I will fall in love with or keep my friend and hire a professional with the superior knowledge and expertise to successfully guide me through the complicated and many times arduous process to a successful and happy ending? Obviously the choice is always yours!

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 39 years experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). For a “FREE” 15 minute consultation, a value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by Cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas or suggestions on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he will call or email you back.