In an era when many are cutting fees, it takes guts to raise yours, but that’s just what Davis did. He applies the increase—1 percent of the listing price—to a bundle of value-added client services. Approximately $400 covers a home preinspection; the remainder is used for staging services or repairs and upgrades. When he’s through, every home is what Davis calls “parade ready.” The move helped earn him almost $15 million in sales on 38 closed transactions in 2006.
Buyer tune-up: Davis expends similar effort preparing his buyers before looking at homes. His clients meet with a team of financial and tax experts to learn how they can pay off their mortgage in 12 years instead of 30. By creating simulated budgets, he helps buyers understand what their true expenses will be as owners.
Number cruncher: To help ensure that his clients pay the lowest possible price, whatever the market, Davis cowrote a software program that targets market value. Recently he saved a client $40,000 from the listed price of a lakeside property by pinpointing the exact price of the home and generating a market analysis report that made the seller comfortable accepting the lower offer. Now he’s studying for a financial planner certificate, a Series 222 securities license, and a CCIM designation.