We all receive spam in our email boxes every day. As a broker, much of my spam comes from the numerous tech companies telling me how their new, shiny object of tech will revolutionize my business. Today I received an email from a company selling photography, but it also included a large article on tips for real estate agents to protect their high commissions. I know, I completely get how this company wants Realtors to make big commissions because that would be how their real estate agent clients can afford their product. What is disturbing to me and I’m sure most all home sellers is how no one in Southwest Florida except Florida Luxury Broker Realty dares to mention that all this commission money they are coveting is in fact the wealth of the homeowner, not an entitlement to a real estate agent. I don’t know of any Realtor who when selling their own home would want to pay the highest commission another salesperson could squeeze out of them. In fact, there are thousands of Realtors who got a license specifically to sell their own homes and save the commissions. Yet, the everyday homeowner is sold the idea that agents deserve these high commissions. Here are a few of the highlights of how the high commissions are defended in this article written for agents (paraphrased).
- Believe in yourself, even if you would not want to pay that commission yourself. Perception is reality so if you (the agent) believe that you are worth that much commission, then you can convince the homeowner to believe it too. Hide any moral issues like imposter syndrome, anxiety, or guilt. In other words, even if you know you don’t deserve it, you need to lie to yourself to gain self-confidence and put your mindset in a hyper sales position to sell that high commission figure to the homeowner.
- Branding is all about imagery and style. While a professional appearance is important in all professional settings, there must be some room for professional aptitude in this advice. It is said that the age group named Millenials are one-third of the current buying demographic, soon be the dominant demographic and they rely heavily on the digital world for their information. I agree with that and believe it to be a good thing and partly how we are able to reduce our commissions as we move away from print and other more expensive forms of marketing used in the past. Relying too much on a salesperson’s style in person or online has given rise to the “poser” agent who skips professional education in favor of just their appearance and sales ability. That is all well and good for them until it is time to write or accept a contract, review inspections, discuss financing, insurance, zoning, buyer and seller logistics issues, and the variety of real problems and negotiation matters that exist in every transaction to one degree or another. The real estate seller or buyer is then left hoping there is a Broker or someone else in their agents’ office who might find the time to piece their transaction back together and get them to the closing table. Real estate buyers and sellers need to be cautious of who they enlist to represent them and don’t just rely on advertising and imagery.
- Have data speak for you. This is usually a legitimate way to show your professionalism with a few caveats. I know from being in the digital marketing world for over two decades that the reviews and data are now much too easily manipulated. I leave organic reviews on Google, Amazon, and Yelp when I appreciate a great product or service. Many people don’t realize that what might even be a majority of that data of that type now is bought by the person or company receiving the review or if you have bad reviews there are services you can pay to either have the review disputed or have enough fake positive reviews generated that it buries the bad. I look at the reviews when I buy things, but I always take them with a grain of salt and I don’t rely on them for my final decision making. I have never asked for reviews for my service. Working mostly in the luxury niche of real estate, my clients do not necessarily have the time or inclination to promote my business when they are typically heavily involved in their own. Right now in my business, aside from my decades of Southwest Florida real estate industry experience, the best data I am offering is the enormous amount of savings in real estate commissions we create. That is hard factual data that no one can dispute.
- Don’t lower your commission because you reduce your perceived value. Don’t let the homeowner talk you out of paying you what you deserve. Perceived value is an enormous problem for home sellers in the residential real estate industry in terms of commissions paid. As I have pointed out, even though technology and marketing have changed and the costs and workloads for agents have been reduced drastically, commissions have been held at the same level for decades. That is because of the perceived value that agents are trained to hard sell the homeowner as in articles like the one I am writing about, the intensive training from national real estate sales gurus, and the hardcore sales tactics from brokers and their companies that are maintaining those all very similar high commission rates. The article actually used the phrase, “what you deserve” referring to commissions. I have seen a million dollar home sell in one day and the listing agent collect roughly $70,000 in commissions for filling in the blanks of a preprinted purchase agreement and emailing it off to other professionals to process. We are literally talking about just a couple of hours of work for the agent. The listing agent deserved something for undervaluing the property, selling it to an investor, and costing the trusting seller at least a hundred thousand dollars in equity just so he could score a quick sale, but an obscene commission isn’t what I was thinking. The only thing “Guaranteed” in that transaction was the homeowners’ loss and the salesperson cashing in. Although agents don’t work by the hour, that pay rate if averaged out per hour is much higher than a vast majority of cardiac surgeons and others in professions that require many more credentials than a high school diploma and a couple of weeks of coursework. To be perfectly clear, the selling homeowner always determines what the real estate salesperson is to be paid or what they deserve. Do you really think the homeowner in the example given would have paid the salesperson roughly $14,000 per hour of work if they were given all the facts about the sales process?
The tide has already turned on high commissions in real estate. Homebuilders are offering an average of about one percent to Realtors and Florida Luxury Broker Realty is not the first discount commission or flat fee real estate brokerage company nor will we be the last to be created. We are the first authentic and locally owned office of its kind in Southwest Florida as far as I can tell. We are not an out of town agent referral company or one that makes you take your own calls and do your own showings. We offer all the services as a Realtor at a fair, professional service fee and no ridiculous broker or office add-on transaction fees. We give you back your options and let you keep your wealth. Contact us whenever you are considering the sale of your property to discover how we can deliver to you full professional services and a fraction of the cost.