Leads, service and 1-percent commission: How SRE makes it work

Consumers are raving about service and savings, and leads are never a problem

Before Chester New began working as an agent with SRE — the brokerage that’s been turning consumers’ heads all over the country with its 1-percent commission program — he was hanging his license with an independent brokerage and was “pretty much on my own” as far as support was concerned, he says.

That meant he was generating his own leads — which meant that instead of leaving his full-time restaurant management gig to sell houses in Hawaii, New was using his restaurant work to help him find those leads; he was closing one to three sales per year, and they were all buyers.

Now that SRE is his brokerage, New has been able to “86” the restaurant management work. He is selling real estate full-time — working with a 50-50 mix of buyers and sellers — and he did between 43 and 48 transactions in 2016 under SRE’s umbrella.

The SRE difference for clients

SRE has licensed brokerage operations in 47 states and the District of Columbia (soon to be all 50 states) and more than 2 million listings on its portal. The billionaire-backed brokerage offers the same bells and whistles (for clients and agents alike) as many of the best-recognized global franchises — with one big difference.

That difference is a commission strategy that saves buyers an average of $20,000 per transaction and allows sellers to keep a larger portion of the profit from the sale, too.

Instead of the industry-standard 6-percent commission rate (which is typically split between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent), SRE only charges its buyers and sellers 1-percent commission. That means buyers get a rebate of any commissions that exceed 1 percent, and sellers can also save off the traditional model and keep more from a sale.

Commissions are negotiable, though — SRE sellers can sell for 1 percent if they choose, but SRE recommends offering no less than 2 percent so that the buyer’s agent is paid, too.

And clients love it — hence the repeat business. That’s because the rebated commission practice means customers get full-service treatment for less money.

“We don’t do less,” New noted. “We do the same or more.”

“Consumers are doing their own research online; they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than they ever have been before, and it’s been our pitch all along that technology is driving prices down not only in real estate but everywhere,” said Rob Young, Executive Vice President at SRE. “We are giving the same quality service that you’re going to get with any name brand that you may be familiar with; we’re just being smarter about how we do it.”

The SRE difference for agents

Consumer interest in SRE’s innovative rebate model means that its agents (like Chester New) are sitting pretty when it comes to leads.

“At SRE we get leads from the company, so I don’t have to look around for customers,” noted New, who added that he’s generating repeat business at the brokerage due to the 1-percent commission promise, which comes with the full-service treatment that clients expect from traditional commission models.

“Our program sells by itself,” New noted. “It makes a whole lot of difference.”

Clearly it’s working for New, who’s able to complete many times more transactions with SRE’s model — and can focus his attention on his current clients instead of constantly generating new leads.

“I’m so busy just taking care of the clients,” New notes. “In this business you have to be hands-on; it’s a 20-hour-a-day job.”