Broker Bryant wrote a great article this morning on the issue of justifying your commission. I get this question a lot because in my area and with the listings I engage in, sellers nearly always question what I'm paid. As the commissions rise, sellers are increasingly savvy and want to know that my efforts go well beyond just a little online marketing and a broker tour. For me, the #1 thing I give my clients is...experience. Not just any experience, the kind they need.
There are different kinds of experience. Some good, some a waste of time, some bad. The value of what I bring depends on the experience I bring to the table, for a specific client. How do you define one over the other?
Waste of Time Experience: Just "being" in the market and not actively buying or selling. Often the domain of newbies, this can be overcome by working with a mentor. Learn the nuances of the market including how buyers and sellers behave, local standards, zoning laws, top builders, top remodelers, etc. If it has to do with housing, learn it.
Bad Experience: This is just as valuable as good experience. Learn from every deal that falls through and why (that's the key). Learn about how many offers were made on properties and which one succeeded. Learn about what keeps a property on the market for months or years and why. Knowing what causes failure makes it possible for you to point those things out to a client and help them get around it, if possible.
Good Experience: This can include everything from slick marketing to just knowing the right people. Can you engage the local media to cover a home sale? If so, that experience gives you an edge. Do you network with relocation companies to get an incoming executive to buy "that special home"? Do you know the fault lines that make some homes unappealing for out-of-state buyers? Can you create a marketing event that makes a home memorable and talked about? Do you know which homes, similar to the clients, haven't sold and why? Nobody can know it all but knowing as much as possible makes it possbile to make selling your clients home a "win".
We all have some of these experiences but it's what we do with them that engenders two things in our clients; trust and confidence. Once we have those, we have no problems justifying our commissions.