What’s Your Idea of Premier?

My blog is making me a bit schizophrenic. One day I’m praising the industry, defending its honor, and disposing of the “sleazy used car salesman” reputation. The next I’m waxing about “unscrupulous” brokers and their dirty tricks.
Unfortunately, today I address the latter.
On a recent “date night” (if you have kids you know what I mean) my wife and I noticed some advertisements around town for a boutique real estate firm, which I won’t name, that called itself the “Premier Real Estate Firm in Manhattan.” Intrigued, I double-checked the meaning of “premier.” Here’s what Merriam-Webster had to say:

Main Entry: pre*mier
Pronunciation: pri-‘mir, -‘myir, -‘mE-r; ‘prE-“, ‘pre-”
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English primier, from Middle French premier first, chief, from Latin primarius of the first rankómore at PRIMARY
1: first in position, rank, or importance
2: first in time: EARLIEST

I’ve been working as a New York City as real estate agent or broker for nearly 15 years. I can tell you that this boutique is not first in position, rank, nor importance (I don’t see a definition that includes “first in self-importance”). Why does it seem that firms city-wide can make this claim with no ramifications? Where is truth in advertising? All sizzle and no steak!
Here’s my challenge to all the “premiers” of real estate. Put your money where your mouth is and prove it! Let’s see numbers, facts, evidence. If you can do it, congratulations! You’re premier. If not, park a few junkers in front of your office, string up some red, white, and blue plastic flags, and start shouting “our low, low prices can’t be beat!”
For the record, I believe I work for the “premier” real estate firm in Manhattan: Prudential Douglas Elliman. I’d be more than happy to backup that claim anytime.

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