“He was very responsive, always.”
“She was patient and took the time to explain the process to us in full."
“I was relatively unfamiliar with the home-buying process, and asked a lot of (what felt like) really stupid questions. She answered everything happily and thoroughly.”
What do the reviews of every top agent tell you? When I read these, I see that there is a ton of confusion when buying or selling a home, and a good agent spends most of their time responding to and answering questions (most likely the same ones over and over again). The gist here is that people are looking for a sherpa when they are buying or selling their home. Someone to provide an exceptional experience during what might be the biggest transaction in their lifetime.
As if exceeding client expectations is not hard enough, another challenge the industry is facing is commission compression. And the fact is, commission compression is not going away; and service-oriented agents must do more, not less. So how do you overcome these challenges and continue to grow your business?
I shared a few of my tips at the Realtors Mastery Summit for how you can improve your value (perceived and actual) and position yourself for continued career success despite potentially smaller paychecks per transaction. Here's a sneak peak at some of those big ideas:
- Find a “fair” commission rate that’s mutually fair to both the agent and buyer. There’s no blanket commission rate that will be fair across the board, however, 2.25% to 3.5% is standard. The commission rate should depend on the market and the experience that the agent provides. To determine a fair commission rate, evaluate the experience you provide your client. Strive to be proactive to their needs, not reactive. And remember, your total production is not their problem: too many transactions does not justify a bad experience, and too few does not justify a higher commission.
- Go above and beyond by providing white-glove service to your clients. Whether it be paying for higher quality photography or facilitating higher quality repairs- your due diligence will be apparent. This doesn’t have to be a huge expense. Something as simple as showing up on the move-in day with toilet paper, soap and other necessities speaks volumes (Champagne a month later is nice, but moving is the hardest part of the deal; help make that easier!). Anything you can do to show that your customer is more than a sale will benefit you in the long run.
- The buying process can be very confusing for first-time buyers. If buyers are concerned, agents should take the time to educate them on the process of commission pay and buying a home. This is a great opportunity to start nurturing the subsequent sale of their home. For example, if you find a home with a low buyer’s agent’s commission, let your client know that the home is likely to be less competitive and that you may be able to negotiate a better price, given lower competition. This builds goodwill and plants the seed that higher commissions pay dividends.
- Ease seller's concerns by providing a transparent selling experience. Some sellers assume that they can do what realtors do, but this is because they assume agents are only doing a fraction of what they are. Digital transaction calendars like Clozio help bridge that education gap of the value you are providing and all the work that is actually going into the deal. Consider also providing variable service levels, which allows the client to choose from different outcomes and understand what goes into each level. Once “service tiers” are outlined (from FSBO’s Listing only service to full service), clients will typically up-sell themselves. But if not, you can save yourself a significant amount of time while saving your client money!
- Delegate and destress. You can’t be everywhere at the same time, and you shouldn’t have to be up all night sending late night texts to your clients. For you to do more volume, you have to get ahead of your todo lists across all of your transactions. Invest in that assistant now, or contract out that work to an agent concierge service like Clozio.
- Most importantly- Don’t ignore the things that your client values. Spend more of your time doing the things that your clients think is important and find tools and resources to make the other tasks less burdensome. For example, clients value walking through a Comparative Market Analysis, not the effort that goes into creating it. If you can prepare a CMA in five minutes instead of two hours, you’ll have more time to spend delighting your clients.
To be successful, agents must put clients first, and the agents who provide consistent value will rise to the top. A little extra time and effort will go a long way and ensure you bring home that bigger paycheck and earn more referrals.
You can find me discussing this topic on the Realtors Mastery Summit on October 10th, along with 20+ other experts in the real estate industry. You can register for a free ticket here.