Randy Templeman compares his early days in buyer's agency with "going into battle." It was not only fight for the buyer, he says, but against the other agent. “As an advocate for the consumer and trying to protect their best interests, it was a matter of trying to educate the agent on the other side," Templeman says. That was easier said than done, he discovered, and found himself selling a lot of new homes and government-owned properties – deals that didn't require "battling" an agent on the other side. The strategy worked. Almost 20 years later, the 46-year-old associate broker for RE/MAX Renaissance Realty in Vestal, N. Y., has been named to the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council's (REBAC) Hall of Fame.
Templeman says he's "honored and humbled" that his work in the industry earned him the REBAC tribute. "It really is quite an accomplishment, quite a recognition, given the sheer numbers of people out there that are practicing buyer's agency."
Templeman says a good part of his success is due to the fact that real estate is his first career, whereas the industry traditionally has drawn agents and brokers from other walks of life. "Most people in real estate did some other job before they got into real estate, and they really don't completely understand the principles behind good marketing and good sales," he says, adding he applied his degree in marketing management directly to the industry, and found he could achieve the most success doing "anything that would help me become more knowledgeable than my competitor and go out and do what they're not doing." And what the vast number of then weren't doing in 1981, he says, is buyer's agency. But as the years went by, that changed. "Real estate is a very self-centered business for a lot of agents. I spent a lot of time trying to teach other agents, to help them adjust to the changes taking place in the marketplace," he says. "It took the consumers to demand [buyer's agency], then the Realtors followed suit, just like Realtors slowly dragged themselves into the information age."
Templeman led the way, educating those within his industry as well as buyers about the benefits of buyer' agency and clear disclosure of where a particular agent's loyalty is set. His first course at a community college in New York was titled "Home Buyer Beware: Customer or Client?" Over the years, he added more courses to include topics such as relocation, real estate careers, selling, buying, financing, investment properties, foreclosures, lowering property taxes and home enhancement. "If you want to sum up my lifestyle philosophy, real estate is not learned, real estate is learning," he says. "I try to gather new information, new knowledge, and share whatever I can with the public and the profession."