The Truth about REALTOR Awards

I recently was talking to a client, and the subject of professional awards came up.  I told how, when I worked in property management, I had a ton of awards… some were company awards, some industry awards.  Initially I put them all on my office wall.  But then I moved to another company and… well, putting company awards from another company up seemed wrong, so many of the awards ended up in my basement in a box; and only the industry awards were carried to the new company.  And then I left that segment of the industry and I became a real estate agent, and ALL the property management awards went into the box.

My first year as a real estate agent, I got an award from my (national) brokerage at, and it came with a metal (like one you might wear around your neck, except… I mean, you would never actually wear it around your neck).  The next year, I was told I qualified for awards from the national brokerage but I would have to PAY FOR THEM.  You may be thinking what I was, “WHAT??”.  Up until that point I always thought company awards were to motivate employees, or (in the case of real estate agents) subcontractors,  who were either protecting company interests or generating a lot of money for the company, depending on their position.  In other words, I thought “awards” were “rewards” – tokens of gratitude and appreciation.

I had no idea they were about self promotion.  Immediately, I had a flash back to the awards in the basement.  There was no way I was going to pay for them.

And it turns out, that’s typical.  I JUST got an email from my local association, and in it was this headline, “REALTOR Awards, Apply Today”… followed by “This is a marketing investment.  For a fee of as little as $—recipients have branding rights to award titles all year long.”

So now you know the truth.  Now you know how REALTORS get awards.  These awards are meaningless to me and I simply move on.  What matters to me is my clients.  I get note cards, emails, phone calls, HUGS, family pictures, holiday cards, testimonials, and referrals.  These are the only Awards I need… the only REwards I need.

I sincerely thank every one of my clients who has taken the time to let me know that when I worked hard for you, it mattered.  That’s what keeps me going on even the darkest days in this business.  It’s why I pick up my phone on vacation and early in the  morning and late at night…. I do it because you are important to me.

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