Wednesday, 3 September 2014

GRE writing argument task: The following appeared in a letter from a homeowner to a friend.

"Of the two leading real estate firms in our town—Adams Realty and Fitch Realty—Adams Realty is clearly superior. Adams has 40 real estate agents; in contrast, Fitch has 25, many of whom work only part-time. Moreover, Adams' revenue last year was twice as high as that of Fitch and included home sales that averaged $168,000, compared to Fitch's $144,000. Homes listed with Adams sell faster as well: ten years ago I listed my home with Fitch, and it took more than four months to sell; last year, when I sold another home, I listed it with Adams, and it took only one month. Thus, if you want to sell your home quickly and at a good price, you should use Adams Realty."
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

While it may seem correct at the first glance that Adams Realty is a better real estate firm than Fitch Realty, there are a few unsupported assumptions which can undermine the statement. This issue requires a thoroughgoing examination. In my opinion, the given arguments are not cogent enough to prove that Adams Realty is clearly superior.

Firstly, The number of estate agents is not a direct factor which can unambiguously point out a better company. Event though there are only 25 estate agents working for Fitch Realty, they can be much more productive, impassioned, determined, qualified, trained, and experienced. On the contrary, these 40 real estates agents from Adams Realty can lack these essential and vital qualities. As a result, if we were able to compare the amount of work done on average by a person during a day in both of these companies, we would find out that Fitch Realty's workers are simply better and more efficient.

Secondly, considering revenue holistically is not a proper approach, for the reason that Fitch Realty is a smaller firm than Adam Realty. Thus, once again, we should search for another factor or a parameter that would be more objective and commensurate in this case. For instance, we could divide the revenue by number of hours devoted by all employees. Furthermore, although Adam's revenue was two times higher, Fitch's home sales where only about 15% less than Adam's home sales. This indicates that probably Adam's charges are higher than those of Fitch's. It might be the adequate reason for the gap in revenue of both the firms. There is also another possibility that Adams sells only high priced houses, which brings more income. Hence, the argument cannot be concluded without all this information.

Thirdly, the argument that home listed with Adams sell faster is not fully developed. The case with the author's homes is not objective. The crucial flaw here is that these were two totally different homes. The first home sold with Fitch could have been in very bad condition or it could have been overpriced. Moreover, the market conditions could make the sell much more cumbersome. On the other hand, in the case of the second home, the market conditions could have been much better, the home could have been keenly priced and in prominent district. In fact, these are only two very specific cases and an element of randomness can play here a great role. It could have been the case that Adams found a buyer by accident. A more pronounced property would be an average time per sell.

In conclusion, the arguments given by the author are raft of fallacies. There are many unstated and unwarranted assumptions. Finally, without further details on this matter we are not able to state unanimously which company offers a better service. Besides, some arguments can prove even a contrary statement which would clearly show that Fitch Realty is better.

1 comment:

  1. The author of the letter claims that it is better to use the services of Adams Realty in real estate sale rather than Fitch Realty. The claim is based, however, on some questionable assumptions, which should be revised in more detail.
    Let focus on the first assumption of the argument: Adams has more real estate agents. Does really the quantity reflect the quality? Maybe Fitch does not need as many agents because the ones they have are more effective in selling and more competent. Also if they work part-time they might have better experience in ither field or they might just not need as much time for the real estate selling as Adams' agents need. It is very shortcutting way of thinking to claim that if particular company has more sales representatives it is of better quality. Some smaller companies can offer even better service because they are not mass-oriented and concentrate on few clients and deals at a time and therefore are more personalised and individualised.
    The second assumption under the argument seems problematic as well. How can the amount of revenue of a company certify the superiority of its service? It can show as well that a company imposes greater commission on their sale, so in other words they keep more money of the sale value to themselves and leave smaller part on the sale value for the client . Also home average sale value says really little about the real estate company superiority. It might be that the company with the smaller sales value focuses on different segment of properties for sale (the cheaper ones). As in the example mentioned above it may also mean that they comman greater commission on their sale, while Fitch can earn smaller part for themselves. Also it may mean that Adams could have been selling just higher-valued properties in the last year but it does not show their superior sales abilities. The author also gives numbers from the last year, which is not actually a representative of a general business operations. That particular year could have been just expceptionally worse for Fitch and in other years it might have outnumber Adams in the amount of revenue.
    On the other extreme, as the next example, the author bring forward the case of sale from ten years ago. He states his opinion on his particular experience, so it os not objective mean of assessing the company service. It might be just his case and not the others'. Also his property might have been exceptionally easy (or attractive) to sell and he has no comparison as he used only service of this particular agency. Besides, he makes and inadequate analogy to his another sale from a year ago, which was not so succesfull with Fitch and he draws very simplified conclusion based on the time it took both to sale. However, such comparison is not correct as both cases dealt with other properties and were in completely different times (for example 10 years ago it might have been generally easier to sell any property). The market for real estate could have changed drastically over this 9 years time difference and it might not be related to the real estate agency operations at all. Also the real estate agency service might have changed in that time. This is just example how people can generalise and build stereotype attitudes and opinions based on just one case.
    In conluclusion, the recommendation the author give that one should use Adams Realty when selling a property is based on very questionable assumptions and should not be taken as an objective and reliable one.