The era of real estate where brokerages are luring away agents with huge signing bonuses is unsustainable, according to Treasure Davis, a Realtor and team leader with the RE/MAX Treasure Davis Team in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“At the end of the day, nothing is for free,” Davis said during a session at the Inman Connect New York 2019 real estate conference on Wednesday. “All of these big companies that are offering huge huge money – I question how it is sustainable.”

Davis said that the money in that bonus comes from somewhere. Brokerages offering huge signing bonuses and 100 percent commission splits won’t be able to support the agent when it comes to marketing if all the money is going into recruiting, Davis explained.

“They’re going to get their money back,” she said. “They’re not giving it to you for free.”

Compass has reportedly offered big signing bonuses to lure agents and other industry upstarts like eXp Realty have commission split programs in place where agents can keep up to 100 percent of their commission.

Davis has a rule with her agents: she doesn’t mind if they take a meeting with a competitor as long as they’re open about it. She’s never taken a meeting in her career without informing her broker.

“I expect that from my clients, family, friends. Why would I not offer that same respect?” she said. 

In an era of disruption and new business models, there are increasingly more distractions in the marketplace in the form of competitors. There are different models, indie brokerage versus franchise, different commission splits, salaried agents and discounters.

Ricardo Rodriguez, a Realtor and team leader with Coldwell Banker said he understands there will always be “mercenary agents” that run from brokerage to brokerage for the most money and the best splits.

“Most of us understand it’s about long-term relationships, finding the right culture as far as your broker is concerned and your team is concerned,” Rodriguez said.

He said he’s constantly taking meetings and mentoring agents. He has coffee with agents newer to the business at least three times a week. It’s a way to recruit and also build long-term relationships.

Email Patrick Kearns

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