Real Estate & Tempur-Pedic - There's a Lot to Love About Our Compensation Models

Education & Training with Sell with Soul


I was watching TV the other (sleepless) night. Caught a Tempur-Pedic commercial. Seems the Tempur-Pedic is a spectacular bed for whatever reason, so spectacular that the company gives you a 90-Day trial period. Not 90-days of simply looking at your new bed, but 90-days of actually sleeping on it. If you don't love it, you give it back. No questions asked.

Now, that's a guarantee.

I'm not in the market for an expensive bed these days (I'm actually sleeping on a blow-up right now - don't ask), but I tell ya - I'm impressed. I'm sure Tempur-Pedic's 90-Day guarantee is mostly gimmick, and I have no idea if they stand behind it, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. And proclaim that we could use more gimmicks like this in our world.

What if everyone guaranteed their product or service this way? Wouldn't that be SWEEEEET? If your doctor doesn't cure you, he returns your money. If your publicist doesn't increase your exposure, he doesn't see a payday. If that pay-per-click campaign you shelled out $500/month for doesn't produce results, you get a refund.

Sure, there are innumerable flaws in this model, but isn't the overall philosophy wonderful? Put the pressure on the provider to 1) be worth his or her fee, and 2) analyze the situation before accepting payment to determine if your money will be well-spent, and I imagine we would see an exponential improvement in the quality of products and services delivered to the marketplace. I can't tell you how many times I've paid for a service and been told after a disappointing experience - "Well, we never guaranteed results!"

Why not? Why did you TAKE my money if you didn't think it was a good investment for me? (Okay, that's a silly question, but I still think it's a fair one).

While I believe that the real estate industry's compensation model is seriously flawed, I do like the message we send that if we don't perform, we don't get paid. Unfortunately, all too often we DON'T perform, even under this model, but that's a topic for a dozen different blogs. Philosophically, though, I like it.

That said, and yeah, this will sound really inconsistent, but I could also get behind the model of real estate agents as salaried professionals or pay-per-project consultants. Which I'll elaborate on next time!


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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I believe that we are better served (serving ourselves) by thorough research and examination before buying. 

"Buy to Try" doesn't appeal to me. 

In fact, "Try to Buy" doesn't appeal to me either. 

I like research, compare, buy and enjoy. 

Now if something doesn't work, that's different. 

Jan 01, 2010 12:32 AM #1
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The average Joe and Jane in forums, on blogs tell us their reaction to what they bought for a product or service. I believe the average citizen on the street who spends hi money and hits a home run or grounds out, and talks about it. That "research" is invaluable. And free.

Jan 01, 2010 12:35 AM #2
Mandy Buchholz
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Murfreesboro, TN

Jennifer, thanks for putting a smile on my face. I have often wondered the same thing especially about the doctors.

My Mother owns her own furniture store and she knows all the hype. It took me several years to find a mattress that I felt great sleeping on and it is different then what my daughter likes. My husband can sleep on anything thank goodness I did not have to consider his needs.

Have a great year!!

Jan 01, 2010 12:43 AM #3
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate


I think there is merit to the topic, and also think that there are market forces that are shaping things that way.  But, "One Size Must Fit All," it would seem. 

Keep thinking ahead.  We need more of it.

Jan 01, 2010 12:59 AM #4
Kim Dove
Watson Realty Corp - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville FL


That was a very interesting spin? It started me to wondering.........What if our business were this way?

Jan 01, 2010 01:25 AM #5
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA
Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate.

JA - Is an interesting thought.  And definitely Realtors do not get compensated unless the deal goes through so there is some similarity.  And some folks who work for new construction builders are already on some sort of salary as well as licensed assistants.  Am interested on your thoughts on this.  I really love the incentive of Realtors making more money based on doing more business and production and so forth.  It maximizes their potential...


Jan 01, 2010 01:33 AM #6
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kim - I think that is how our industry works, for the most part. We don't perform, we don't get paid!

Mike - Sure there are variables that don't fit tidily into the model, but imagine if more companies were so sure their customers would be satisfied that they were WILLING to guarantee their work. That's my point!

Lenn & Andrew - I agree that the Internet has made research much easier, but, as above, I believe that a world where more service providers are willing to put their money where their salespitch is, would be a world with much better products and services.

Mandy - I would love to see higher standards put on the medical field, although, of course, there are lots of variables. But that's how WE work, too, and there are plenty of variables in our transactions too!


Jan 01, 2010 01:36 AM #7
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

C&S - In the next day or so I'll post a completely contradictory blog about why I also think a salaried/consultant model can work - and I do believe it could. Personally, I love working on contingency and I've always chosen careers where that's the model, but I don't think it's the only feasible way to pay for real estate services.

Jan 01, 2010 01:38 AM #8
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque


I know this is off point, but they are awesome beds!!! And there is a big factory here in Albuquerque with many jobs so I love them doubly.

Yes, the overall philosophy is wonderful, and one we Real Estate Brokers live and die by.

Jan 01, 2010 02:14 AM #9
Sally Lawrence
Advantage Real Estate - Tehachapi, CA
Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR®

Hi Jennifer and Happy New Year!

Isn't what we're really talking about here accountability?  Something that seems sadly lacking in our world.  I'm a big believer in delivering what you promise and owning up to your mistakes.

Jan 01, 2010 04:11 AM #10
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

I love the idea of a consultancy.  It would be a more equitable payscale.

I think transparency in pay is important.  Clients need to know that we do not take that big fat check and put it in our pocket.  Rather, there are frequently many slices to the pie.

Congratulations on the new book!

Jan 01, 2010 05:21 AM #11
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Very nice post Jennifer.  I will need to check out the book!  Happy New Year!

Jan 01, 2010 06:26 AM #12
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Jennifer, anything that can keep me from spilling my wine while I'm in bed is a good thing.  Seriously though, the wide variety of "products" we sell mandates why the commission compensation works for now.  Because of the subjectivity it's difficult to place a guaranteed $ value out there.  Great topic, thanks!   

Jan 01, 2010 07:11 AM #13
Christopher Watters
Watters International Realty - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor (512-829-8000)

Compensation methods is so controversial in real estate. I'm content with what is in place right now.  I imagine if I start having a large percentage of deals not going through then I might not think the same, lol. As for tempur pedic, it might be different in other states but we can never "gurantee" anything in real estate. OMG If someone wanted to return a home after 90 days they would have to pay alot more than Shipping and handling.. unless of course there was some poor negligent disclosure.

Jan 01, 2010 09:07 AM #14
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Jennifer I do guarantee my services by giving folks the ability to cancel my listing agreements at any time with no questions asked. I also take 45 day listings.

As for TempurPedic, it is an AWESOME product!! I've had one for about 6 years now and truly don't know what I would do without it. TLW has one as well but chooses to sleep on a blow up. Go figure.

Jan 01, 2010 09:32 AM #15
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Have  a great new year and I will enjoy reading your posts in 2010 as much as I have enjoyed them in 2009

Jan 02, 2010 02:00 AM #16
Alyce Martin
The Realty Group, LLC - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque - THE Place To Be!

Can't wait for another debate about compensation.  "Flawed" or not, I've always been self employed and expect payment for excellent service.  As realtors, we are only compensated once the client is "satisfied." (contract wise). So in a way, our services are as guaranteed as they can be.   Being paid as "consultants" would be interesting - but I guarantee, there will be "discounters" in that arena as well.  If I agreed to show a house for $250.00, what do you bet there would be those would do it for $100, or $50, or ... ? I actually would not mind being called to locate a property for a buyer who paid me a retainer while I found the perfect property - or be paid up front for my marketing expertise when listing a home - but unless everyone is on board with that compensation model, I don't think it has legs.  Interesting post as always.  Your views are fresh and ALWAYS thought provoking.   

Jan 03, 2010 02:29 PM #17
Alyce Martin
The Realty Group, LLC - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque - THE Place To Be!

Am I going crazy? I thought you were in Denver - what happened?

Jan 03, 2010 02:34 PM #18
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC


I've often wondered about that guarantee with the mattress too.

Jan 04, 2010 01:00 AM #20
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