How to Handle the Commission Discount Request

Services for Real Estate Pros with RealSupport Inc.

Real estate agents have myriad responsibilities that consumers do not always think about, nor appreciate. In markets where listings are lean and sellers have the upper hand, it’s not unusual to get pushback when it comes to commission.

Articulating your unique value proposition online helps get you into the client’s home. But when your client is sitting in front of you, seeking a discounted commission in return for their signature on the listing contract, what can you do?

If your online presence is strong, odds are your prospect has already vetted you, and wants you to handle the home sale. They just want you at a lower price, and see no harm in asking.

You’re now on the hot seat. How you handle this question affects more than this listing. If you agree to lower your commission for this client, any future referral may have a built-in expectation of a discounted commission.

If you refuse to lower your commission, there’s a risk that the client will call another, hungrier agent who will cheerfully take the cut.

Before you answer, think about the strength of your professional image online. Can you point to five-star reviews and prove that you go above and beyond mere transaction management? Do you have client testimonials that you’d be proud to share? Is the quality of your website, blog and social media pages top-notch?

Or does your online presence look piecemeal or minimal?

How much have you invested in yourself?

If you’ve already discounted yourself online, it becomes harder to defend your commission at the listing presentation.

Conversely, if you have strong credentials online, then you already have proof of your value. You may need to articulate it in person to your client, but it’s an easier conversation. Your answer might sound something like this:

“Mr. Client, I’m glad you asked about my commission. I continually re-invest in my business, so that my clients receive the best possible marketing exposure and resources. And because I invest strongly in teams, systems and technology, I’m able to focus on you. I’ll provide you with personal guidance and prompt answers to your questions. I’ll also be on the front lines throughout your home sale. If a problem comes up, I’m going to do everything possible to solve it, no matter whose court the ball is in. These are just some of the differences between me and a discount agency.”

Does your online presence make the right statement about you? Contact RealSupport today for help with personal branding, web design, online reputation management, and more!

Bonita Breit

Copywriting & Marketing Specialist

RealSupport, Inc.


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Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Great suggestion on how to respond to the "lowering your commission question".  I decided a long time ago not to lower my commissions.  Often times they're just checking to see if you'll say yes.

Apr 19, 2017 03:24 AM #1
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

If we can't be firm about commission, how good will we be at negotiating a deal for our sellers?

Apr 19, 2017 03:32 AM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I choose not to work with people who are not grateful for my expertise.

Apr 19, 2017 08:15 AM #3
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