Last week I posted a blog promising a series of subsequent blogs on the subject of "Real Estate Consulting, Sounds Interesting But It Will Never Catch On..."
In that blog, I listed 7 common objections agents have toward the concept of consulting - here they are:
…my broker will never go for it.
…why would I want to make less money?
…charging upfront fees is illegal in my state.
…prices are too low in my market to make charging fees viable.
…I like working on commission.
Let's hit the first... "my broker will never go for it..."
You know what? You may be right! Your broker may have absolutely zero interest in allowing his agents to offer alternative services and compensation options. But here's the problem I often see when agents tell me "my broker said no."
Imagine the scene: an agent trots into her broker's office all revved up about real estate consulting and announces that she wants to start charging upfront fees and offering alternative services. The broker, probably up to his own elbows in office crises, politely asks the agent a few questions about how it works, but the agent really doesn't know. She just knows she's "tired of working for free" and has heard that if she becomes a real estate consultant, she can charge for her time and expertise.
If I were the broker, I'd probably respond negatively myself. I'm guessing I wouldn't have the time or energy to explore some new-fangled approach to business just because one of my agents suggests that I do. I might tell her I'll look into it, but I'm pretty sure it would never happen.
But what if the agent schedules a meeting with the broker and comes in prepared to have an intelligent conversation about the benefits of consulting, how she envisions it working in her own business, complete with a business plan that includes the services she'd offer, the client-types she'd focus on and how and how much she'd charge? What if she makes a professional proposal to the broker that is clearly well-thunked out instead of simply saying "I wanna consult, can I do it?"
Okay, so maybe our agent takes this approach and the broker still sez "no way."
Well... honestly... I got into real estate because I wanted to be my own boss and create a business I could be proud of and excited about, so if my broker doesn't "let" me do that, I'd probably be looking for another place to hang my license. Once I worked for a franchise (RE/MAX) who let me run my business my own way and later owned my own company, I can't imagine going back to a company who wanted a say in how I served my clients and what I charged them for my service (as long as I stay within the limits of the law of course!).
There ARE consulting-friendly brokers throughout the country and if you want to see if there are any in your area, you can visit the Accredited Consultant in Real Estate (ACRE) website and check out the ACRE Locator (look for the green markers). There are also plenty of practicing ACREs who might have some insight into getting their broker's blessing - look for the red markers on the map.
Just something to think about...
Next time... "It will never work in my market."
Upcoming SWS Teleseminar
"Real Estate Consulting in the Real World: The First Steps," Thursday, September 27th. Details and registration here.