Robert Donica

Getting a license to cut someone’s hair is no small thing. According to www.in.gov/pla, cosmetologists in the state of Indiana must have a MINIMUM of 1500 hours of education before they are eligible to apply for a license. Wowza! As reported by www.hackcollege.com, the cost of that education has an average price tag of $4,420. If a cosmetology student attends full time classes, they can have their license in about 9 months. The other thing you should know is the amount of hands-on training your stylist received before they ever get near you with a pair of scissors. First, they trim the hair of mannequins; then they’ll work on the hair of other students. Once they have mastered the main techniques of cutting, coloring, and styling hair, coiffeurs-in-training can work on people who come to the school’s shop for a cut or color. These patrons KNOW that they are working with amateurs, and they receive a discount for their patronage. A seasoned instructor keeps a watchful eye, and over time, the amateur stylist gains the knowledge and expertise you’d expect from a licensed professional. One last thing – a cosmetologist in Indiana will make between $16,000 and $35,000 dollars a year. As with most professions, the best ones tend to make more than their less experienced or less talented counterparts.

Now let’s look at your real estate agent’s training. Your agent, if they got their license before 2014, spent just 54 hours in a classroom or watching a video on-line (in 2014, the state increased the required hours to 90). Your agent never even saw an Indiana purchase agreement during that class, or any of the other documents you would sign as part of your transaction.  Unlike a stylist, an agent does not have to demonstrate their ability to work with clients in a productive or professional way. Real estate agents simply attend the class (which is more about history and theory than any actual transactional information) and pass 3 tests with an average score of 75% (www.in.gov/pla). That was a “D” when I was in high school! Once they complete their hours, the soon-to-be agents just need to pass the state exam which features questions about figuring out their commission fees and determining the number of gallons of paint required to paint a 12×12 room (when’s the last time you took your Realtor paint shopping?!).  Recent grads charge as much as seasoned veterans, despite the fact that they have no technical experience and haven’t acquired any valuable experience or knowledge beyond a textbook. The 90 hour class can be completed entirely online in as little as two weeks. The cost of this education is $600 (www.recp.org). Because agents are subcontractors; they are not required to attend meetings, educational courses, or the like provided by their brokerages. Brokerages are also not required to provide any education or training (though it is recommended). In reality, the agent who answers the phone at that top tier agency could have (and likely did, if they’re answering the phone) just received their license and hasn’t had a moment of technical experience. Yet you’ll pay them the same outrageous rate as someone who’s been in the biz for a decade. Full time real estate agents in Indy make on average $62,550 while a more senior agent will make approximately $133,950 (www.salaries-by-city.findthebest.com).

You are paying your highly trained and invested cosmetologist $20 for a haircut that will grow out if it goes badly, but paying THOUSANDS of dollars to your barely trained agent who gave up just two weeks of their life for their license. And if your real estate transaction goes badly…it ain’t gonna grow out!

Good luck out there!

Susan

3 Comments

  1. 18.02.2015 at 05:29

    I knew it didn’t take much to get a RE license, but this puts things into perspective. I used a flat fee agency to sell my last house. Went fine. Agents charge way too much. Most of them only have a high school degree.

  2. 08.03.2015 at 09:55

    Is there a way to not pay an agent so much? Even a lower commission is too much imho.

  3. 17.03.2015 at 00:06

    You are paying your highly trained and invested cosmetologist $20 for a haircut that will grow out if it goes badly, but paying THOUSANDS of dollars to your barely trained agent who gave up just two weeks of their life for their license. And if your real estate transaction goes badly…it ain’t gonna grow out!

    WTF is going on? Is this for real??????

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