Hi folks. I have been reading and participating in a very heated debate over at the BloodhoundBlog today. It seems, a consumer has chimed in, and is asking us to explain what it is we do, to justify our high commissions, when the consumer is now able to find all the information they need, to buy or sell a house, on the Internet. Well, if you take the time to read the discourse over at the BloodhoundBlog, you will see that this debate definitely took a turn for the worse. Mr. Candybags is slamming Reel-toors (his term)and Realtors are slamming Mr. Candybags. Amusing and sad at the same time. Amusing because I love reading a good slam fest and sad to watch Realtors avoid answering the question.
So let me ask it again here. What do you do, to sell a property, that justifies receiving a x% commission? Why would the consumer want to hire you and pay your fee, when they can find all the information they need on the Internet (disintermediation)? What can you say to justify your commission?
Well folks I am here to tell you, you best be prepared to answer this question. And you best have a better answer prepared than your 25 step marketing plan and access to the MLS. This will not cut it in this day of disintermediation and discount, web based, Real Estate agencies. If all you can bring to the table is your marketing plan you will find yourself either out of business or drastically reducing your commission to be able to compete in this market.
So, what do we do? Well, here's what I do. I build value in something that the consumer cannot access over the Internet. "Broker Bryant, that's pretty vague, can you expand upon that?" Of course. I thought you would never ask.
First, all people want to feel good about themselves and their decisions. You can provide that. You can help people decipher all the information that they have available. You can help them apply this information to their situation. Together, you and the consumer can come up with a game plan that will help solve their problem. You can be a trusted advisor.
Secondly, you can be a calming force. Selling or purchasing a home can be one of the most stressful things a person ever goes through. You can remain calm and help them through this. This can be achieved by constant communication and by constantly being there for them when they need to be reminded of why they are selling or buying. When the going gets tough, you can be there for them. You can let them vent their frustrations, on you, without taking offense. When they are all done, you can get them to return their focus, on the end result.
Thirdly, you can be their friend. You can have honest and sincere, care and concern about their situation. You can lead them down the right path without placing your commission in first position. You can make them and their situation feel important to you. This cannot be faked. It must be genuine care and concern. Folks can, tell the difference.
My point here, is to understand that folks' emotional needs cannot be satisfied over the Internet. As Realtors, we need to position ourselves, to be the one person, that will take the time to make sure that their emotional needs are met. If you can achieve this, I can assure you, that your business will take off and your services will be in high demand. And the consumer will be more than willing to pay the price for this kind of service. Quit trying to sell them something, they can get over the Internet, for less money.
So that's it. Broker Bryant's crash course on overcoming disintermediation. Did I make you feel good? Did I give you a solution to the problem? Did I present it in a calm and informative manner? If so, I will mail you my bill. I take Master Card, Visa and Amex.
"Hey TLW, the mall opens at 10:00 and I got me some more of that money coming in. Have fun and buy me something nice. I wear JUMBO."
So, what do you do to justify your high commission?