Working for Commission

Real Estate Agent with InCity Realty

Originally posted at

QUESTION:  What's wrong with this scenario?

You need a new refrigerator. You go the big box store and are engaged by an energetic salesperson.  She knows the specs for all the models off the top of her head, but you have done some research too and ask her some questions that require studying factory specs, and a call back to you at a later time.  

Within minutes you are doing everything you can to beat down the prices on the your favorite models.  You leave with the salesperson's card, and the she calls you back in a couple of hours with the answers to all your questions, offering to fax you the information.  You are a picky shopper.  You call her with more questions.  You visit the store and the salesperson 3 more times,  spending time with "your" salesperson, while other eager buyers wait.   On one visit, you prevent her from getting her scheduled lunch break with your persistent questions.  Throughout all this the seasoned salesperson maintained her professionalism and helped you at levels far beyond your exepctations.

You see, the majority of her pay was based on commission, and it was in both of your best interests for her to establish a relationship and provide you with superior service.

A few days later the lizard part of your brain gives you the BUY signal.  As you are driving by another branch of the same big box store, you swing into the parking lot, go in, and tell the first salesperson you encounter the make and model of the refrigerator you have decided on.  He  writes it up, schedules delivery.  You whip out your credit card, and in a total of 15 minutes, you have bought yourself a refrigerator.  The salesman gets full commission for his 15 minutes of work.  

The first salesperson, the one who spent  all that time with you, gets ZERO. You run into that salesperson from time to time when you are shopping at her store. You always greet her with a smile, and have even asked her advice on other appliances you will be needing in the upcoming months.

ANSWER:  Nothing.  You got what you wanted. End of story. Lots of people depend on commissions to survive.  

As a real estate agent, 100% of my income is based on commission, yet, it is not unheard of in this business to work with a home buyer for weeks, taking calls at crazy hours, juggling and re-juggling business and family schedules at their whim, establishing levels of rapport that rival those of family members, and showing them scores of properties, only to have them go to another agent to show them that ONE last house, which they buy without consulting you.  No guilt at their loyal agent making ZERO, while their second agent who probably spent all of 2 hours with them takes a 5-figure commission.

Real estate and other straight commission people don't talk about this much.  If  you even think about it, it makes you crazy.  It's part of the business of commission sales.  You just suck it up and go on.

I have a business card stuck in the corner of my white board from a big box store appliance salesman.  I took up a lot of his time when I was researching dishwashers a few weeks ago.  I am not quite ready to buy yet, but when I am, I know who my salesman will be.

By the way, if you use Google+, I have just started a brand new business page. Visit it HERE.


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commission sales
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Edward & Celia Maddox
Solutions Real Estate - Queen Creek, AZ

I guess you have to remember that it all averages out or else you will quit and go to work at Walmart.....

Nov 15, 2011 11:03 AM #1
Joe Spake
InCity Realty - Memphis, TN
Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis Specialist

Yep, Edward and Celia, like I said, if you think about it, it makes you crazy.  If those same people accidentallly took $10 from you, they would be overwhelmed with guilt.

Nov 15, 2011 04:57 PM #2
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Joe Spake

Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis Specialist

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