“20/20 Confessions of a Realtor”


< 1 minute read

June 27, 2013

In case you missed it, 20/20 did a great piece on all the backhanded and misleading practices in organized real estate.

Have a look…

I loved this piece!

It really speaks to me, from what I post on my blog, to the things that bother me about organized real estate.

We just had this conversation last week – about agents “fishing” for clients by advertising properties that aren’t actually available for sale.

In the video, we saw how many Realtors will leave properties listed for months (even years!) just to fish for leads, only to tell callers, “That property isn’t available, but I have something similar.”

New York, Toronto; it’s no different.  It happens here all the time, and once again, there’s nothing that RECO is doing about it.  But how could they?  How can they monitor the DAILY actions of 36,000 Realtors in Toronto, and thousands upon thousands of others throughout the province?

Although perhaps there is one glaring difference between the way real estate works in New York and Toronto….

The 20/20 piece noted that there are 27,000 real estate agents in New York City, and with a population (2012) of 8,336,697, that’s one agent for every 309 people.

In Toronto, there are over 36,000 real estate agents, and with a population of 6,054,191, that’s one agent for every 168 people.

And in the time it took you to watch this 6-minute video, eleven people went and signed up for their Phase I real estate exam…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. Kris

    at 9:39 am

    I think it is more like RICO (not RECO).

  2. Weirdy

    at 11:25 am

    Judging by my former school mates and real estate agents I know:
    People who don’t find themselves in life, go down one of few roads. Being a Real Estate Agent is one of them.

    another one is law enforcement.

    1. Moonbeam!

      at 12:37 pm

      omg where to start with this… people who don’t find themselves in life!! are you 15? is this how you think?

    2. Bojangles

      at 1:44 pm

      Basically a catch all for people that have no idea what they are interested in, for many cases, not all.

      Kinda like a dumb broad saying “I want to go into Media or PR!!”

      WTF are you talking about broad. You don;t even know what that means!

      1. Broad

        at 2:39 pm

        Yes I do. It’s like mingling and events and stuff.


        1. David Fleming

          at 4:43 pm

          Or girls that want to go into “event planning.” That’s all the rage these days.

    3. Jesse

      at 11:19 am

      Or, like myself, feel that they found themselves in everything. Where else would I be?

  3. JC

    at 12:30 pm

    I used to work in an office of over 100 agents. Forgetting that I have sold my own house on several occasions, out of that number, there were (and still are) only 2 out of that 100+ that I would want working on my behalf.

    There are just too many fly-by-nighters. I’m currently having an issue with a “Broker” (in name only, it would seem) not paying commissions in a timely manner. Over a week since closing and you still haven’t submitted the paperwork?

    I’ve said it before… the worst part of this business is often having to deal with other “professionals”.

    1. David Fleming

      at 4:45 pm

      @ JC

      It once took me seven weeks to get paid after a deal, by a “brokerage” that was ONE guy, working from his “brokerage” in his condo in Ajax. He kept saying that he sent the cheque, that it got lost, that it was re-issued, etc. I don’t know what’s worse: a) that this is true, b) that it’s not!

      But I agree that when you work with a true professional, it makes it all worthwhile. I sometimes run into agents I’ve done 5-6 deals with before, and it’s like, “Oh, Jane, thank GOD I’m dealing with you!”

  4. Brennan

    at 1:33 pm

    I think to be fair, we should compare New York City to Toronto using correct population numbers. The City of Toronto has 2.6 million people to New York City’s 8.2 million.
    If we wanted to incorporate the metro numbers, the GTA would have 6.5 million to NYC’s 20 million.
    Otherwise, great stuff.

  5. RLST8Rocks

    at 11:58 am

    Uh….it once took me 2 months!!!? to get paid by a “large” franchised brokerage. Everytime I called I got the excuse that its an issue at head office. I work for a small brokerage and if we did this, in addition to RECO we would not hear the end of this.

    It’s not the size of the brokerage or the brokerage itself that matters but the integrity and the knowledge of that particular agent that you are working with. If as a client you decide that you’re not happy with any aspect of the service you are receiving then you are free to end your business relationship. There’s even a form for it!

    I know realtors are easy prey for all sorts of bashing as is our industry. I would know as I grew up in it and work as a realtor. It’s not perfect and neither are the people working in it but what industry is?

    Every realtor in the city is essentially an independent contractor no matter which brokerage they work for.They all have access to the same info. It’s the franchise owners that have you believe that they are offering the realtor or the public sonething different. The only person that will offer you sonething different is the actual realtor.

    There are many realtors in the city that make it a sport to bash one another as that’s all they can do. A lawsuit or two will catch up with them one day in addition to RECO fines. However there are many dedicated professionals out there including myself that put tbeir heart and soul into what they do. To all the haters: get licenced and see how “easy” real estate is. Trust me when I say that you will be running back to your old job in a matter of weeks.

    Peace out and congrats David on getting married this weekend!

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