Flat fee MLS listing in Florida can be more powerful than full-service
My story is real and reaffirms why I am a flat fee MLS broker. By the way, flat fee listing means the service provided to the seller is not necessarily tied to a commission paid by the seller. Flat fee doesn't indicate the level of service provided to the seller either. For example, our ADDvantage® Plus flat fee MLS plan offers sellers 100% contract representation and does everything a full-service listing does except showings for just $799 and $150 at close. The reason why I differentiate this right off the bat is because the service level that we (ADDvantage®) provides sellers far exceeds the service provided by 95% of all so called full-service Realtors.
Last week I spent some time in the role of "buyer's agent" with a gentleman who had been referred to me. He wanted to see multiple properties over the course of a full afternoon. I discovered why flat fee MLS services in Florida are so popular. If any seller experienced the lack of service and attention that I witnessed, no wonder sellers look to flat fee MLS as an alternative way to sell.
My client and I had chosen over a dozen properties to view in Tampa in the $200,000 to $250,000 price range...all listed by full service agents. Here is what I encountered in the process:
•1) 50% of the agents were not available to confirm showing instructions; did not answer their phone and did not return our calls.
•2) Once I finally reached one of the agents who was not available earlier in the day, I was told to log into the MLS and push a "show button" which would prompt me to put in my brokers license number, company name and email address. I said to the Realtor in this particular case, I am in the Tampa right now with my client and not in front of my computer now...might you just tell me the code?" She said, "well, it's not easy taking your information and tracking it. I'd rather have you login and get he code that way." After a short debate, she accommodated my request at a great inconvenience to her.
•3) Another full-service listing agent said, "call this toll free number because I don't know who you are and they'll give you the showing instructions" and rushed me off the phone.
My experience was nothing short of appalling. If my day spent as a buyer's agent is any indication of how full-service agents handle "showing requests" from fellow Realtors, then the flat fee listing industry as a whole has been unfairly criticized by the full service Realtors; one of the chief complaints by the full-service agents has been the lack of responsiveness by the flat fee companies.
In the case of ADDvantage®, we deserve accolades.
At ADDvantage®, we offer more service than any full-service agent I spoke with the entire day and we don't even get paid a commission if our clients sell. I am not saying you can't go wrong with flat fee because there are plenty of flat fee listing services in Florida that don't answer their phone either. The point here is there are too many complacent and lazy full-service agents that disservice their client-sellers and certainly don't deserve a 3% listing commission (6-7% in total).
ADDvantage holds membership at the following Florida MLS Boards:
Amelia Island and Nassau County MLS/ Nassau County
Bay County MLS (Panama City MLS)
Citrus MLS / Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy Counties
Daytona Beach MLS / East Volusia County
Emerald Coast MLS(ECAR) / Okaloosa, Walton Counties
Englewood MLS / Sarasota County
Flagler MLS / Flagler County
Ft. Myers MLS/ Lee County
Gainesville MLS / Alachua County
Greater Tampa Bay (GTAR)/ Hillsborough County
Hernando / Hernando County
Manatee MLS / Manatee County
Marathon and Lower Keys-Florida Keys MLS / Monroe County
Martin MLS / Martin County, St. Lucie County
Melbourne-Brevard MLS / Brevard County
Mid-Florida Regional MLS/ Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, West Volusia, Polk, (Hillsborough)
North-East Florida MLS /Duval, Clay, Putnam, St. Johns County
Ocala-Marion MLS / Marion County
PARMLS-Pensacola MLS / Escambia County
Pasco-Pinellas MLS (Pasco & Pinellas Counties)
Punta Gorda Port Charlotte North Port MLS / Charlotte County
Regional MLS/ Palm Beach County
Sarasota MLS /Sarasota County
SE FL Regional MLS / Miami-Dade & Broward County
St. Augustine & St. Johns MLS / St. Augustine & St. Johns County
Sunshine MLS of Naples / Collier County
Tallahassee MLS/ Leon County
Venice MLS / Sarasota County