• “Working arrangements” between in-house and traditional agents can vary widely
  • Agents should have their buyers qualified and educated before entering the sales center
  • The process goes best when both agents put the buyer - and not the commission - first

In this monthly column, a member of Miami’s Master Brokers Forum will examine and positively resolve potential differences which may arise between real estate professionals in the field.

Penni ChasensThis month’s edition is written by Master Broker Penni Chasens from Cervera Real Estate, currently selling residences at the Grove at Grand Bay.

The situation: A “traditional” Miami real estate agent brings their client into a pre-construction sales gallery, and introduces them to an in-house sales representative.

The extraordinary evolution of Miami’s condominium market over the past decade has been well-documented, and continues strong today.

I have been blessed to be part of this phenomenon, selling condos at more than 15 of the city’s signature projects. It is truly exciting to join a project at its infancy, learn what makes it unique, work with a team to help sell its units, and then actually see it come out of the ground.

My colleagues in the new development arena are extremely proud of our work, having helped re-shape our city’s skyline and international identity.

A huge part of our success has been the very close relationship between Miami’s “traditional” real estate agents and the new development community.

Our city’s biggest and best developers make it a priority to engage and entertain the broker community frequently, lavishly and sincerely. This has resulted in a symbiotic “win-win” relationship in which brokers feel comfortable bringing their many clients into our new project sales centers, knowing that the customer will be treated well, and they stand to earn a generous commission if/when the sale is consummated.

Speaking only for myself (although I know many of my in-house colleagues would agree with me), there is a broad range of “working arrangements” between brokers and new project representatives.

There are many times when the agent steps back and allows me to handle the entire selling process. There other times when we work in a true partnership and several occasions where the agent is experienced and informed enough about a project to take the lead. Successful in-house representatives must be flexible to a variety of rapports.

Ideal in-house agent/broker arrangement

The broker has their buyer qualified before they enter the sales gallery, educating them on price points, square footage, location, expected delivery dates, amenities, security and more.

Once they have been welcomed and tour the sales center or model units, the in-house agent should discuss with the buyer the history and credibility of the developer, the area, schools, proximity (or “walkability”) to social areas, the comps on surrounding properties, how pre-construction contracts work, deposit schedules, and the project’s timeline.

Most importantly, the in-house agent should make sure the buyer understands that particular Master Brokers Forumproject’s uniqueness and value. The broker should be aware of and reinforce these matters to their buyers.

Regardless of the nature of our dynamic, whenever a broker brings in a buyer, they are the “procuring cause” and always get compensated. Commissions can vary for each project, but the usual range is 3 percent to 6 percent, and the accepted standard in Miami is now 5 percent.

Between myself and the agent, our mutual buyer’s needs should always come first and foremost, with the commission regarded as a bonus and not a priority.

Fortunately, this is the case with nearly all of the agents with whom I work regularly. With so many new projects coming online in the next decade, Miami’s broker and in-house agents will need to continue working together closely, flexibly and efficiently.

The Master Brokers Forum is a home-grown, elite network of South Florida’s top-producing real estate professionals, built on a core foundation of ethical and professional behavior.

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