Chapter 2 — The Origin of BrokerInTrust

After nearly 40 years in the real estate industry, I had to admit there was one question I could not answer. It was a question that sent me in pursuit of the perfect answer — BrokerInTrust.

I’m Roger Hance and I’m a founding broker of BrokerInTrust. I distinctly remember thinking that if one of my friends or loved ones moved to a city where I did not know any of the local real estate brokers firsthand, even I had no way of knowing who I could entrust with the people dearest to me.

That was a moment of clarity.

In almost four decades I’ve owned one of the largest real estate brokerage companies in Los Angeles. I’ve owned and managed mortgage escrow companies. I’ve trained hundreds of  real estate salesmen and saleswomen. I’ve negotiated countless home transactions. I’ve served on professional boards and I’ve helped guide my state and local associations of Realtors and mortgage professionals.

Yet, despite extensive knowledge of my chosen profession, I had to admit that I had no way of knowing how to find a top-flight real estate professional if I went outside my local region of expertise. With my background, you would think that would be an easy question for me to answer. It wasn’t!

The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. If it was difficult for someone like me, imagine how impossible it must be for the average person with zero or little background in real estate. I may know every professional in my backyard, but in any new region or community I was in precisely the same position as every other consumer. There was not a single brand name company in real estate today where, based on name alone, I could be assured that someone like my mom would meet a top, committed professional.

And then it dawned on me — Every consumer considering buying real estate needs an answer to what we now call the “Mom Question.” It could just as easily be your mom or dad, sister or brother, neighbor or friend, you or me.

My mom has purchased four houses through her entire life, with the last purchase coming 20 years ago. I doubt that four transactions spread over 50 years with no purchases in two decades gives her the skill, knowledge, or insight needed to decide who is best suited to guide her through a financial and emotional transaction with so much at stake.

So the question every homebuyer or seller must ask a prospective broker is this — “Can I entrust my mom to you?”

If I would give my mom into the hands of a particular broker, then chances are the same professional will be skilled and committed enough for you, Mr. and Mrs. Prospective Homebuyer or Seller, and for your mom, too.

As it turns out, I already knew the answer to my question: We had to gain consumer trust by creating a community consisting of experts only.

The Answer is BrokerInTrust!

BrokerInTrust is the perfect answer for every consumer, especially our moms.

Indeed, the powerful, yet sublimely simple, idea driving BrokerInTrust — only the top 15% of real estate licensees can carry the BrokerInTrust brand — may well transform the residential real estate industry.

BrokerInTrust is essential because consumers are at a profound disadvantage.

Consumers know little about the real estate brokerage industry and have so few resources to lean on for insight, that it’s unsurprising when someone selects an inexperienced, uncommitted real estate salesperson instead of a top-flight broker. Most people don’t even know the difference between a salesperson and a broker.

Indeed, many consumers are astonished to learn that 80% of all real estate salesmen or saleswomen are involved in no more than three sales each year, with many of them closing zero transactions. It’s understandable that consumers participate in very few real estate transactions throughout their life, but would you want to be represented by a real estate licensee who has closed only three sales, let alone zero?

That’s right: Zero to three transactions!

That’s not enough time in the trenches to learn the basics or the all-important negotiation skills. That’s not enough commitment to stay on top of a rapidly evolving industry, keep up with stunning technological advances, and stay current on an ever-changing, complex regulatory environment.

Zero to three transactions! No, that does not pass the “You can work with my Mom” test!


• 40% of salespeople have less than five years of experience.

• 30% have less than three years of experience, and

• 10% have one year or less of experience.

No, those licensees do not pass the the “Mom” test!

On top of those distressing numbers, add the fact that a majority of salesmen and women work part-time. They dabble in real estate while they stay afloat with a day job.

With so much at stake in a real estate transaction, do you want to risk being in the hands of someone who works real estate part time or who has limited commitment to real estate and limited transactional experience?

No, they cannot work with my Mom!

Incredibly, this is the business model that has emerged, this is what traditional companies have embraced to remain profitable. To keep making money, individual real estate offices today often have 100 or more salespeople. Some offices have over 500 salespeople, with limited guidance coming from as few as three or four managers.

Who does this benefit? Not the most qualified brokers. And, certainly not the consumer.

Excellent, dedicated brokers hand out business cards identical to the cards part-timers distribute. In a company of 500, being one among many shields the inexperienced people, draping them in an aura of credibility. It benefits the big real estate companies, providing additional clients, which translates into a few more sales, while generating little additional expense.

But the current model does not benefit experienced pros, or anyone’s mom. With truly qualified professionals representing a small percentage of the salespeople consumers are likely to meet at an open house or through referrals, advertisements, and the Internet, it’s back to the basic question:

How can any consumer who uses a service one to perhaps five times over the course of a lifetime know if the salesman or saleswoman they work with is qualified? How can anyone be sure that the they passes the “Mom” test?

Trusting BrokerInTrust to do the vetting for you is the answer. BrokerInTrust is not a real estate brokerage company. Instead, it is a membership organization that a real estate professional must earn their way into. Brokers must prove they have the commitment and experience required to represent “Mom.”

The following chapters in the BrokerInTrust story discuss the decline of the real estate industry and detail the value experienced brokers should bring to a real estate transaction. The more you understand about current pitfalls, the better you will understand why BrokerInTrust deserves to be the most trusted name in real estate.

Click on the next video or Chapter for more of the BrokerInTrust story.

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