Tonya Eberhart is the founder of personal branding firm BrandFace, LLC. Michael Carr is a former BrandFace client-turned-co-author and partner. They focus on helping real estate professionals become the face of their business and a star in their market. Learn more at BrandFaceRealEstate.com.
10 Skills You Have to Calm Commission Gripes
In part two of a three-part series, glean talking points about your experience in the field, which will come in handy if clients object to the amount they’re paying you.
June 7, 2018
Even if you’re armed with vast amounts of knowledge of the industry, it isn’t very valuable without experience. To use a sports analogy, imagine that Michael Jordan had all the skills necessary to be a basketball phenomenon in his early teens but never put them to use. Would he be the hoops superstar he is today? Without the experience of playing the game, the short answer is no.
You are no different. Without experience dealing with the ups and downs of the real estate market, you wouldn’t have the answers to the critical questions your clients seek. Is a certain obstacle to the transaction really a deal breaker? Why are certain homes selling faster than others in a particular area? Which marketing tools have been proven to work best to attract a specific customer? Which negotiating tactics are likely to move things to the closing table faster? In the second part of a three-part series, let’s look at how your experience supports your commission with tips drawn from our book, 31 Reasons Your Real Estate Agent Is Worth Their Commission.
Part One: Use Your Expertise to Justify the Commission
Learn how to explain to prospects and clients that your specific real estate knowledge is worth the money they’ll pay for your services. Read more.
Part Three: A Powerful Sphere Can Boost Your Paycheck
Learn how the connections you’ve formed in real estate serve as ambassadors to your business and can help clients see your worth as an agent more clearly. Read more.
You’ve got tools your clients don’t have. You could pull your own bad tooth with a pair of pliers, but the dentist—who went to school to learn and practice the skills of dentistry—has all the right tools. And after the procedure, the dentist knows the next step. Similarly, when it comes to real estate, only you know all the rules, pitfalls, and expectations. Display confidence about your real estate skills in every conversation you have with potential clients. Back that confidence up with stories or data that demonstrate your skills.
You’ve got relationships your clients don’t have. You use the skills of your job as a real estate agent every day. You meet with buyers and sellers who are looking for the right property or opportunity. That means you form acquaintances and relationships that also prove invaluable over time. And you work to foster those relationships and stay on top of what matters to them. Many times, you will have a buyer in mind before you even attain a listing. Your prospects need to know this.
You’ve turned objections into opportunities. You hear “no” every day. While buyers and sellers might think that is an absolute answer, you can see what is flexible and fixable. You can confidently navigate treacherous waters because you have overcome obstacles in transactions before, many of which your clients didn’t even know existed. Experience is often unveiled by answering questions your clients didn’t even know they needed to ask.
You’re more efficient at solving problems. Most people are not aware of the time that can be wasted when issues arise, unnecessarily prolonging a closing. But they definitely feel the frustration when it happens. You, however, can see through 99 percent of those issues (many of which are simply excuses) and know how to circumvent them or bypass them completely, saving your clients time and often saving the deal.
You bring education and modern technology. Strategy is paramount in real estate sales. Experience provides that extra 5 percent difference that often leads to the 26 percent better return on your client’s investment. You take continuing education courses every year to learn the latest guidelines, techniques, and tactics to do your job like a pro. Through your associations, you have access to every gadget or tool that gives your client’s property a competitive edge, and many of them are exclusive to your industry or brokerage.
You’re loyal to a fault—and that’s priceless. Once your client contracts with you, you are not only required by law to look after their best interests but you also willingly offer them your loyalty. Take the story of Tenzing Norgay. When Sir Edmund Hillary became the first person on record to reach the top of Mt. Everest, Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa who was pushing him while carrying his backpack. Even when you don’t receive the credit, you remain loyal and steadfast. And this loyalty wins you more than the deal—it wins lifelong customers.
You act as your clients’ “broker.” “Broker” can be a noun that describes a person in a lot of industries—stock broker, franchise broker, mortgage broker—and it’s the definition most consumers think of. However, “brokering,” as it pertains to doing deals in real estate, is a verb that, by definition, describes why all real estate professionals are worth a commission. Just ask any investor whose agent was able to use their experience to navigate a multiple-offer deal by negotiating terms rather than price. The average buyer or seller may not realize how much your brokering experience can affect the bottom line of their investment. It’s imperative to communicate it early in the process.
You’re the first to know. You often get the first peek at properties that are off-market or hitting the MLS soon. You know about planning and development for your area, as well as the players who are making it happen. You know about market changes that can directly affect pricing, timing, and speed of sale. This edge can put your buyers and sellers in an advantageous position that they would never realize without your experience. Many times, agents have sold a property before it even hits the MLS because of this experience.
You’re always accessible. Many of you are accessible seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. And most of you have your family trained to expect a little interruption on occasion. There are few industries where this accessibility is expected more than in real estate. Obviously, everyone needs down time and to properly prioritize, but one of the reasons you’re worth the commission is because you’re there when your clients need you. Most of you have sacrificed both professionally and personally at one time or another to meet this expectation. Your clients should know that access is invaluable.
The statistics are on your side. There are more than 500,000 active full-time agents and more than 6 million housing units sold each year in the U.S. That represents the vast majority of buyers and sellers who utilize and pay for an agent to help them navigate the highly competitive and complicated real estate process. In fact, 88 percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent, but among those who used the internet to search for homes, that share goes up to 90 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017 Report. Hiring someone with your experience can save your clients both time and money, a fact that has been proven time and again with sound statistics.