I'm on a ranting roll this week and it's only Tuesday.
My friends... let's stop complaining about "working for free." Let's stop proclaiming that we need to better protect ourselves from the home-buying and -selling public who live to abuse our willingness to do work "without any guarantee of compensation."
WE DON'T WORK FOR FREE. WE WORK ON CONTINGENCY.
There's a big difference!
Our willingness to work on a contingent basis - that is - to not be be paid until or unless we perform, is precisely WHY real estate fees are what they are. We are able to charge a lot of money to do what we do, far more than we could charge if we were paid by the working hour or by the job, upfront.
Working by contingency is risky. And when something is risky, it means, by definition, that there's risk involved (duh). In our industry, the risk is that we may not be paid for our efforts. No, we don't much care for that outcome, but it's the chance we're willing to take to be able to charge the hefty fees we do when we're successful.
If you don't want to work on a contingent basis, you're welcome to find a different model that better suits your personality. There ARE other models out there - Mollie Wasserman's ACRE program is a great one, and there are hybrids where you reduce your fee in exchange for a retainer or upfront marketing fee.
But if you, like most of us, enjoy the challenge of shooting for the sweetest possible payday, stop worrying so much about those "wasted" hours! As long as you were doing something that taught you more about your real estate market and/or put you in front of a warm body to impress with your wonderfulness, you weren't working for free. You were just building up credits toward that next sweeeeet payday!