I've been here for a few days, I feel like we're all friends here, so I've got some simple advice. Stop complaining to the consumer about your expenses, please.
On the front page of activerain today: http://activerain.com/blogsview/873117/Expenses-of-a-Real-Estate-Agent
A very well written article, and spot-on expenses are tough in this business. However I felt like I needed to respond to this, because Realtors complaining about their expenses to the consumer drives me insane. Here's my response that so far appears to be getting ignored:
"While it is a good and in-depth list, put yourself in the consumers shoes. What would the common consumer today say about this? I could guess... a big "so what?" Consumers today want to know about the service you'll give them not about the bills you have to pay as a professional. We don't hear about any other salespeople of other professions complaining to us about their operating expenses, and if we did, we probably wouldn't care.
Does having or paying these expenses guarantee over the top service, or will it make you adhere to a standard of practice that other Realtors will not? Will it make your systems so air-tight that you're replying to any phone/web inquiry within 20 minutes regardless if you're in a meeting, with clients, or just at home on the weekend? You could argue yes to many, however consumers care about service, not the bills we pay."
It's the truth people, consumers care about the experience they go through, the knowledge of the agent, and the service they receive. I know our expense of doing business is nuts, believe me, however the fact of the matter is nobody cares, at least nobody who you'll make money from. I firmly believe this is one reason why independent web sites are flourishing in real estate and why Realtor image continues to stay low. We're busy trying to justify the money we're spending to our consumers while the truth is they don't really care.
Think about how cars are marketed and sold. Do we hear about the cost of each part in the car? Do we hear about the salesperson's monthly costs of doing business? Nope, we hear about quality, experience, lifestyle, etc. Focus on service and a high standard of practice and you'll go much further in this business than the agent who is continually talking about their cost of doing business.