Please Don't Tell Me How To Run My Business

Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker 17050

You Expect to Make a Profit?I received a call a few weeks ago from an agent who was leaving another RE/MAX office.  This person wanted to know if I would cut them "a deal". As much as I dislike talking fees over the phone (whenever a conversation begins this way, it's usually not one I want to spend much time or effort on) I told the agent that I don't "cut deals" and explained the 3 desk fee plans I offer to Associates.

This agent then went on to try to educate me about the changing industry and asked if I was aware what other brokers were doing to get agents.....say what? 

Save your breath.

I have a model upon which my business is based. I have long & short term goals both of which allow me to make necessary adjustments in order to remain competitive,"open for business" and profitable.

Shocking isn't it?

Yes, I expect my business to make money.

It seems the word profit has become stigmatized in the wake of the economic downturn. Take the recent brew-ha-ha over the changes on Active Rain.

Buttons, badges, tags, fees (gasp!)

It is amazing to me that so many are put off by the idea that AR is trying to make money.

Has anyone stopped to think that by charging new members, the quality of content may improve? That we may see less agents jump in, create a profile, write one blog post and then leave? That we might begin to see a more focused group of professionals committed to creating quality content in order to reap results and provide greater value to AR members?

Perhaps by slowing the growth, the quality of the site itself will improve?

I look at it this way, I won't hire just any Tom, Dick or Harriot to work at my office. I believe in being more selective because in the long term it's more beneficial, and yes.....profitable.

There are other brokerages who are into quantity, but I'm more about quality.

I could change that, but I don't have to.

I own the business.


  Colleen Fischesser is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Select in Maple Valley, WA. She has been successfully selling and marketing properties all over South King & North Pierce counties since 1990 but specializes in the Maple Valley Washington area. She may be contacted directly at: 425-432-5400


Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved Colleen Fischesser


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Colleen Fischesser REMAX

 Serving the beautiful Pacific Northwest Since 1990!


Colleen M. Fischesser, Managing Broker

RE/MAX Advantage, L.C.

Serving Seattle and the Chelan Valley

206-491-3819  (Cell/Text Seattle)

509-699-1611 (Cell/Text Chelan) 


This is a personal blog based on my opinion and experience in the real estate industry. All content is provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal, financial or tax advice. Laws, industry practice standards and procedures vary by state. Readers are advised to contact appropriate third parties for professional advice when needed. Any questions please let me know!



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Chris Oliver
Century 21, Preferred Properties - Reynolds Plantation, GA

In all of Realtydom there is not one single agent or broker who is indespensible. Each has to find their best fit and some don't belong at all.

Feb 22, 2009 07:42 AM #94
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Colleen, I can totally relate.....I once owned a restaurant, everyone & their 2nd cousin once removed wanted to tell you all about their expertise. And no they weren't even in the business.

Obviously you are successful, so just go on and ignore the rest.

Feb 22, 2009 08:30 AM #95
Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

As a former RE/MAX agent, I totally agree...quality is #1! Good for you for sticking by your standards. :)

Feb 22, 2009 08:35 AM #96
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

there may be something alot deeper that we will never know about, such as establishing a value to sell the company down the road....  It could backfire on them.  Time will tell........

Feb 22, 2009 08:56 AM #97
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Very well said and so true. Sometimes people have an unrealistic expectation and they do not know how to handle it when a person says thank you, but no thank you, I like my business model just fine. I certainly don't do real estate the way a lot of my peers do, but I am very happy in my little corner of the world. Best wishes to you and yours. Regards, C. :-)

Feb 22, 2009 09:38 AM #98
Sonya Loose
Modern Realty - Beaverton, MI
The Lake Girl,Selling Waterfront in Gladwin County

Very cool post and I can tell from your writing that you are a very cool gal and most likely an amazing business woman!  Great job on sticking with your business plan after all you know what works and it is your business!

Feb 22, 2009 12:23 PM #99
Lisa Borders
RE/MAX Crossroads - Lincolnton, NC
RE/MAX Crossroads

Great post!  Stick to your guns.  Cutting deals is what gets most brokers in trouble, and no respect from the other agents in your office that did not get the same deal.  We all pick our plan and share the office expense with the broker, that's why we make 95% of our commission.  Better quality with high producers, who are here in business for our self but not by our self.  All Brokers deserve to make a profit, without the business then we are nothing.

Feb 22, 2009 12:27 PM #100
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA. - San Leandro, CA
"The Realtors In Motion"

Way to go Coleen, you must have your own values and adjere to them, whenever you are questioned, you run your business the way we deem necessary with the integrity and the honesty that will always be the golden rule, nobody has the right to question your ethics and your values. Stick in your heels lady, you are right.


Feb 22, 2009 12:28 PM #101
Pat Tasker
Shorewest Realtors - Germantown, WI
Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI)

I am all for quality over quantity.....good for you!

Feb 22, 2009 02:52 PM #102
Glenn Sanford
eXp Realty & Working The Magic, LLC - Bellingham, WA

Running a couple offices myself it seems that the agents I tend to have challenges with are the ones who are more concerned over the splits on their way in then with the agents that simply want to work at a Web 2.0 Real Estate Company.  Invariably those who come in talking about getting a deal will polute the minds of others in the office and be more harm then good.

Thanks for the post.

Glenn Sanford

Feb 22, 2009 05:25 PM #103
Frank & Jodi Orlando
Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale - Cumming, GA

Stick to your guns, our fees are a little higher than most companies, BUT, we provide a lot of leads. Funny how that keeps the split out of the conversation...

Feb 22, 2009 11:25 PM #104
Kym Hough
www.Staged-to-Sell - Danville, CA
Staged to Sell East Bay - Danville, CA

Great Post.  I am not an agent, I am a Home Stager. We get the same kind of phone calls.  I say the same thing.  This will be s short conversation. I would be happy to list exactly how much a vacant house will cost ME to stage it. A sofa alone runs around 1200.00 and you want two and the rest of the house stage for $500.00...sorry kids got to eat and PGE needs to get paid. :) Kym

Feb 23, 2009 03:03 AM #105
Marian Gregor-Ann
Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Arbor area Real Estate

HI Colleen, Of course we are in business to make a profit otherwise who pays the light bill, the phones, the building?  You always have to look to the big picture.

Feb 23, 2009 09:59 AM #106
Roland Carrillo, PhD - Mortgage Consultant
Cary, NC

Crazy, but I have had loan officers tell me the same thing!  If they are such experts and have "great ideas" on how to run a business.... then they can go start their own brokerage.  Of course, they all want huge splits, leads handed to them and all they offer is promises of being the next top producer. 

Feb 23, 2009 10:38 AM #107
Ray Cox

Amazing how many experts there are who always tell you how to run your life, your business, your whatever...

Feb 23, 2009 11:08 AM #108
Ray Cox

Amazing how many experts there are who always tell you how to run your life, your business, your whatever...

Feb 23, 2009 11:09 AM #109
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Agents don't see the overhead/expenses. They just tend to see the missing part of "their" check. Don't waste time on those who don't see your value.

Feb 23, 2009 01:25 PM #110
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR


     Wow!  I can't believe someone would have to gall.  Although the business is changing, where does the agent get the idea that you would make an exception?  Some people always see themselves as the exception, so maybe that was this agents problem. 

Feb 24, 2009 05:14 AM #111
Gayle Ross
Century 21 Ross Group - Houston, TX


This is a real problem here in our town.  We do have several offices that offer those discounted fees/splits just to increase their number of agents.  Very bad business and hurts the profession. 

When the first thing out of a prospective agent's mouth is about the split...well, goodbye.  We have nothing in common from the git go.  Glad to hear others are of the same mindset. 

Feb 24, 2009 06:58 AM #112
Regina P. Brown
California Coast & Country Homes, Inc. - San Luis Obispo, CA
e-Pro Realtor

Colleen, you GO, Girl!  Atta way, stick to your guns!  If that agent is so smart that he knows how a business should be run, why isn't he running a brokerage himself?!

Join my new AR group and post your blog at

Regina P. Brown

Feb 25, 2009 02:30 PM #113
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