I had a hernia operation a few years ago. My family doctor told me to call the Shouldice Clinic in Thornhill. Apparently this clinic specializes and this is the only operation they perform there. They do hundreds if not thousands each year. My operation was a success and there's been no complications since. While I was there, I met two fellows who months earlier had had their hernia operation at their local hospital. These community hospitals perform on average 3 hernia operations each year. Apparently, these fellows experienced complications and they came to Shouldice to get the job done right.
I thought of this when I received an email recently from a friend of a friend. She had recently graduated from real estate school and was offering her valuable advice to any and all who might want to use her services. She wrote that after running her successful business for 13yrs,
"I have pursued my love of real-estate. Aside from buying, leasing and selling my own places, I have helped a good number of friends and family buy places (commercial and residential) over the years - so finally decided to make it my next business.
I would love to have you sign up for my newsletter - answer any questions you may have about buying or selling - or just keep you up-to-date if you are curious about what's going on with house sales in the city. If you're like me - watching house decorating shows, knowing what and who is selling in your neighborhood and imagining your next dream house is kinda fun."
She went on to say that she was still running her business so this real estate thing will be more of a hobby.
I've seen first hand the financial damage a part time Realtor can do to a hapless client, friend or family member. I'm sure this woman means well.
This idea of "how hard can it be?" is not unique to the real estate industry. Many consumers buy a kit at their local Staples and draft their own last will and testament thinking they'll save a thousand bucks. Their estate will learn in good time what a bad move this can be. Many renovate their own basement thinking they'll save thousands and in good time will learn that maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.
Nope, this approach is downright silly. If I ever need heart surgery, I'm pretty sure I'll use the doctor who's performed this operation many times over the years. If I ever need a lawyer, I'll hire the most experienced and successful lawyer I can afford.
It reminds me of the story about Margaret Lawrence speaking with a doctor at a party and he asked what she did. She said "I'm an author". He said "isn't that interesting. When I retire, I'm going to be an author". Margaret replied, "oh, isn't that interesting. When I retire, I'm going to be a doctor".