Are all real estate agents deserving of the same amount of real estate commissions?
New technologies are fueling innovation leading to huge shifts in the way we do business. The internet data exchange (IDX) that places every listing on thousands of websites merged with the power of social media has fundamentally changed the way every top-producing Realtor markets their properties and themselves.
Real estate agents and brokerages are leveraging these new technologies to operate leaner. Modern brokerages have come on the scene with recruiting incentives, signing bonuses, 100% brokerage splits, and stock options. Agents like these brokerages because they get to keep more of their money — though their fees never seem to change. What about their clients?
If agents are saving money, why is the consumer still paying the same commission fees?
When was the last time you heard of a Realtor complaining that a lender should “know their worth” if they cut their rates to get more clients? Realtors are continually trained as objection handlers to keep their real estate commissions in place.
As Realtors sign their transfer paperwork to move to a company with remarkably better splits, what percentage contemplate passing that savings along to their clients?
It’s no surprise then that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the National Association of Realtors (NAR) arguing that many of their policies are not transparent to consumers.
There are other factors at play as well, one of which is that in this modern age there are still 581 multiple listing services (MLS) currently active in the country.
I feel like the DOJ has stepped in because the real estate industry was not going to police themselves.
How do we fix these problems pertaining to real estate commissions? The answer is to start looking at our industry through the eyes of the client. Stop asking your fellow Realtor how to value each other, ask your clients how they value you.
There are many Realtors who are amazing top producers that truly go the extra mile for their clients and they are worth their high fees. But everyday, a new-to-the-business Realtor joins a brokerage, and they are immediately coached on their value.
We have to stop perpetuating a virtual monopoly by pushing policies that require us to be inefficient because that stifles innovation. Some real estate professionals should innovate and choose to charge less, do a higher volume, and make more profit.
These Realtors should not be blacklisted or bullied. Policies should not be enacted to drive them out of business. We have a value problem in our industry and the consumer is suffering through it. Trust me, the DOJ will solve it for us if we refuse to solve it ourselves.