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Lorena Bobbit: Part Time Hairdresser and Real Estate Agent

I am at the Council of MLS’s meeting in Chicago on behalf of a client, and it is surreal. How is it possible, in the age of Craigslist, that it takes this many people to manage a relatively straightforward database?

I just watched Stefan Swanepoel tell the MLS people, to his credit, that it is in their best interest to advocate raising the bar of professionalism in real estate, a subject that has been prevalent on this blog for as long as I’ve been reading it.

Its hard to see the MLS and RE Assoc. people taking that message to heart, considering that raising the bar = fewer dues paying members, but if you are going to tilt and windmills, you might as well go for it and speak truthiness to power, I guess.

Still, the problem of standards is no joke — except that it is.

Good Morning America was on over breakfast at the hotel today, and they started a new “Where are they now?” segment with Lorena Bobbit — remember her?

At about 2:49 in the story, the reporter tells us that Lorena makes her living now “..as a part time hairdresser — and real estate agent.”

As John Bobbit once surely said — “Ouch.”

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  • 6 comments

    6 Comments so far

    1. Don Reedy September 30th, 2010 10:30 am

      John…”ouch is right.”

      We can’t regulate the frauds and fakes in the legislature, the legal profession, and more on point, in the real estate profession. We can, however, regulate the profession itself.

      That there are real estate practitioners who because of lack of training and regulation have bitten off more than they can chew, is the sum and substance of how wrong we’ve gone.

      This is a funny, and very sad post. I suspect that soon you’ll be able to just “tear off at the folds” a real estate license from any of the local tabloids, mail it in with a few hundred bucks, and get your secret decoder real estate ring (with MLS token code attached)in as little as 48 hours.

      For those who continue to believe that anything short of excellence is appropriate…I say bite me.….metaphorically, of course.

    2. Jim Klein October 1st, 2010 1:10 pm

      There is no “profession itself,” Don; there are only professionals. The problem is that to regulate the bad ones means that you have to regulate the good ones too…and that’s a big problem. Should the best RE people be in the RE business, or should they be in the business of regulating other RE people? If the latter, then it’s a giant waste. If the former, then you have less talented folks telling more talented folks what to do.

      Excellence has nothing to fear from competition. The presumption has to be that individual clients can take care of themselves. Information technology makes that a piece of cake anyway. If people could clip and tear a RE license, you’d see the level of service soar sky high.

      Besides, seems to me Lorena might be the perfect listing agent. Who would dare ask if she can lop something off?

    3. Don Reedy October 1st, 2010 1:27 pm

      Jim.

      Excellence has nothing to fear from competition. The presumption has to be that individual clients can take care of themselves. Information technology makes that a piece of cake anyway. If people could clip and tear a RE license, you’d see the level of service soar sky high.

      I want to go along with you, but my experience is that presuming “individual clients can take care of themselves” has not proven itself out. I’ve said here before that information is not knowledge, and thus information technology, which provides the former and not the latter, is a sharp edge of paper waiting to cut the finger of the unsuspecting client.

      But, I will agree that Lorena might well be the perfect foil against an unrelenting would be negotiator. :)

    4. Jim Klein October 1st, 2010 8:53 pm

      Naturally I’d say that it hasn’t had a chance to prove itself out. Any way you cut it, regulation is a strong incentive toward minimum standards and ensuing mediocrity. That’s bad enough, but all too frequently it’s also a prohibition against excellence.

      Meanwhile Lorena has managed to accomplish what tyrants could only dream of—scaring the s**t out of half the population!

    5. Cris R October 5th, 2010 3:33 pm

      Thanks for the update on Lorena Bobbitt. Did you know that I am a real estate agent/astronaut?

      To be fair, she seems to be doing better the her ex husband.

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