Remember when potatoes were just potatoes, not Idaho potatoes or Michigan potatoes? Remember back before California had dancing raisins, before bananas dressed up like Carmen Miranda and Orange juice commercials featured Donald Sutherland voice-overs?
You see, before that, there was no better example of parity products -- products that are equal, with no greater value, one over another. A potato was a potato. The only deciding factor about which potato you would buy is which one had the lowest price. They were all the same in their perceived value.
That is, till ad agencies came along and convinced everyone that Idaho potatoes are the best, and Chiquita grown the best bananas, Dole the best pineapples and so on.
Those ad agencies added value -- in the perceived quality of otherwise parity products -- fruits and vegetables. In doing so, they knew they could ask consumers to pay more for their products because they were worth more.
Can you see how Realtors are a little like a head of broccoli? If you are just the same as every other Realtor, the only basis on which you can compete is price -- how much you charge.
If you want to get paid more and not be left scavenging whatever crumbs of commission are left after paying relocation company referrals, bank foreclosure companies' cut-rate commissions and flat fees, you MUST convince prospective clients what YOU offer is worth more than what the run-of-the-mill real estate offers.
There are many ways to distinguish yourself from the average real estate agent. You might specialize in a particular neighborhood -- the neighborhood expert -- and, as such, have a network of neighborhood contacts who tell others in the neighborhood how great you are. You might specialize in FSBOs or expireds and show your success rate in getting those types of homes sold. You could build a powerful internet-marketing program and show how your internet presence is unrivaled.
In this highly competitive market, it is your choice whether you compete daily on price alone or you attempt to get paid what you're worth.