Evasion - I Object!

One theme I keep hearing, reading, and viewing as advice to newbies -- "don't ever tell them you're new to real estate." I've even read that if a client asks me directly - "how long have you been in real estate" - to treat it as an objection - or an issue, a concern, or a roadblock - to be overcome,  and say something along the lines of "feels like forever" then move on to another topic without giving the client a chance to respond, question, converse, or even, really, have time think about it.

To that, *I* object!

That's evasion, plain and simple.

A direct question deserves a direct answer.

I'm thrilled with my newbie status, but more importantly:

If we evade answering a question as simple as how long we've been in real estate, how could a client ever trust that we'll address anything else they ask with a straightforward, upfront, honest answer?

I've mostly run across this sort of advice in blogs around the internet, in recorded training sessions, and in printed books, all of which are at least a few years old.

Perhaps the evasive response is "old school". Perhaps the times, they are a-changing?

How long one has been in the business isn't an objection, it's really a standard fact the client should learn about any professional with whom they consider doing business. Personally, I tend to research people before ever contacting them to do business - license searches, BBB checks, websites, reviews, etc. - I'm not concerned so much with the length of time in the business but more in how they handle the question, especially those times when I already know the answer.

Anyhoo, my response to the "how long have you been in real estate" question would be to answer the direct question directly, supplement with additional information, then give the client a chance to respond without trying to guide their response with sales-y prompts. I'm envisioning something like:

"I'm new, I just got my license {timeframe} as a matter of fact. I'm associated with {Brokerage Name} which was established in {Year Established}, and I'm working directly with {Mentor Name} who has been in the business since {Year}."

Oh my, I believe I've just worked up my first script. {Bleah} 

Better yet, I think, would be to address the fact at the outset as part of the natural conversation flow so the client doesn't even have to ask (and then wonder later why they had to ask).