You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief across our great country as the regular full‑time professional referees returned to the NFL. We suffered through a brief comedy-of-errors time with stand-in referees, some of whom apparently came from the Lingerie League. How did I not know about that league?
The strike centered around a group of highly-trained experienced professionals wanting to be compensated in direct relation to the value they bring to the proposition of overseeing an NFL football game. Somehow, the powers that be thought that during the strike they could “drop in” inexperienced referees with lower skill levels and achieve the same result. There were numerous occasions, including one that directly decided the outcome of a game, where this strategy failed resoundingly.
This reminds me of how some home owners choose an agent to sell their home. The decision to buy or sell a home is the largest financial decision that most people ever make in their lifetimes. Nevertheless, the mindset of many home sellers is similar to that of the NFL during the strike: we can get anyone to stand out there with a striped shirt—or in this case a photo business card —and achieve the same result. Time and time again, in the real world of real estate sales, this theory is disproved just as it was on the gridiron.
Just like professional NFL referees, highly-trained professional and experienced real estate agents are not a cost of doing business. They are people you hire because they add value. You don’t maximize the value of a real estate transaction by minimizing sales costs. You do it by building the largest top line (i.e. sale price) that is possible in the current market. Cheaper talent does not get the job done.
Home owners would do well, when hiring an agent, to remember the NFL strike and understand that just like it matter who officiates at a game, it matters who sells your property. Don’t make the mistake of the NFL, thinking that the same results will be achieved no matter who is out there on the field with a striped shirt.
Football needs zebras who won’t blow the calls—and your home needs a thoroughbred who won’t blow the sale.