Los Angeles, CA. October 26th, 2004 – Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates in Los Angeles, who is currently working on a book about the secrets and myths of the real estate industry, has conducted research into the time it takes to become a qualified real estate agent, versus other professions. The results, he says, make shocking reading.
Of 20 professions he compared, from pilot to plumber, from teacher to chiropractor, a real estate agent could qualify to sell homes as a professional to the unsuspecting public with a mere 48 hours of training (in California; other states vary). The next lowest was an esthetician or beautician, who required almost 12 times more training: 600 hours, followed by a police officer, required to complete 1120 hours of training to qualify for their job. A hair stylist has to complete 1500 hours of training, a chiropractor 3840 hours, a CPA undertakes 5980 hours.
Marguleas says of his findings, "It confirms the beliefs that the public has about the generally low level of professionalism that is still rampant in the real estate industry.
Most people consider a 'professional' to be an 'expert'- someone who has undergone specific training for their career and has a certain level of knowledge and experience too.
The agents to look for, says Marguleas, are those who are carving out a career in the business, who seek to understand every aspect of the industry in order to provide the best possible service to their clients. These agents spend more time obtaining other qualifications, such as becoming graduates of the Realtors Institute, training as a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), and undertaking courses through the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Marguleas adds that agents who have trained in negotiating skills are also ones to watch for.
The fact is that many people are becoming real estate agents with a minimum of training - because the industry makes that possible - in order to make a fast buck. Marguleas adds, "Many real estate agents don't have much grasp of the business at all, let alone the intricacies: keeping on top of changes in legislation, for example. The typical real estate agent probably started out in another occupation and either wasn't making enough money, lost their job and couldn't find another in the same area of business, or just decided to 'give it a go.'"
With the qualification process only taking 48 hours to obtain a license, becoming a real estate agent has become an easy career choice for a lot of people. Many agents are actually 'part-timers' who have another occupation: disc jockeys, hairdressers, contractors, or actors (especially in Los Angeles), for example.
In California, the number of Realtors(R) has increased 44% in the last five years. Now there are almost 400,000 people with real estate licenses in California, 66,000 of them in Los Angeles. "In the early part of 2004, the number of real estate agents in Los Angeles outnumbered properties for sale at a ratio of 7:1. These figures make for a cut-throat industry," explains Marguleas.
Given that real estate agents are assisting people with the most important - and most expensive - purchase of their lives, Marguleas believes that the training to become a real estate agent should, at the very least, be equal to that of a stock broker (1920 hours).
The results of Anthony Marguleas' research follows (hours are approximate)
Hair stylist 1500
Police Officer 1120
Real estate agent 48
Anthony Marguleas is the owner of Amalfi Estates. He has sold $100 million worth of real estate and is an expert on real estate sales, contracts, negotiation, and technology. The company has been in existence since 1995 and has Los Angeles offices covering the west side and the San Fernando Valley.