Indies can compete.
Our competitors can cram their value into an eight-word billboard or a 30-second commercial. Can your team do that? Do your agents know how to articulate all the value that they bring to the transaction? Indie brokerages and our agents can offer a lot but we often don’t train agents on how to sell that value.
Every day, our agents have to defend their commissions. People think that the only thing a listing agent does is put up a sign, a lock box and input it into MLS. They think that all buyer’s agents do is open doors. As agents, we have to let clients know what they are getting for their money.
Here are the 10 main items of value that your indie brokerage can offer. Every agent must explain and claim them to broadcast your value to the world.
In addition to the minimum, listing agents provide much more:
Signage is important, but there is more. When someone tours a house, we know that is the second look. The pictures and online presence need to be curated to attract attention and generate appointments.
Bad photos kill even the best priced listing. Marketing also includes open houses, flyers, eblasts and other strategies to drive traffic.
Agents offer consultation on how to best present the house to the buyer. Buyers write a contract based on emotion, and they often can’t see past the clutter to envision how wonderful the house really is.
The agent can provide tips on decluttering and opening the rooms or suggest a professional stager to come and do the magic.
In addition to making sure those who are looking at the house are qualified, our agents also take the safety of our clients very seriously. In the age of COVID, the agent can also manage all the safety protocols to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Furthermore, our team will track who enters the house and assure that only qualified buyers tour. They also get feedback for the client from those showings so the offering can be refined.
Buying agents do more than open doors:
Our agents know the market better than their clients. Letting buyers send us a list of homes to show them reinforces that agents don’t offer much value. Doing a complete buyer’s discovery interview and curating a list of homes for them to review will show that your agent knows the market and knows the client.
On the buyer’s side, the agent coordinates with other agents and sellers to provide an efficient viewing schedule while also managing COVID safety protocols to protect the clients. The agent might preview houses to make the search more efficient.
All of our agents provide the following:
A good agent can be “the heavy” if needed. They can fight for our clients and give them the confidence that they are getting a good deal. By the way, if one of your team can’t negotiate and earn our own fee, why does a client think they can negotiate well on their behalf?
There is a lot of paper pushing in a real estate transaction. An organized agent can keep up with it all and highlight the important parts.
The agent has the opportunity to go the extra mile to help clients who have a lot on their plate. No online company will meet the HVAC vendor at the property or drive the power of attorney across town.
Clients don’t realize all the moving pieces that are involved. They don’t have a grasp of the critical dates or all the people involved. They simply do not know what to expect since they only do a transaction every seven years. Our agents provide immense value in managing the details.
Our agents have vetted professionals already on their phone. They have people they have worked with on a daily basis and can schedule them as needed. The client doesn’t have to take a chance with just an online review.
If all of this value is not enough, agents and their brokers have experienced not just successful transactions but also transactions that don’t go as planned. That experience might be the most valuable thing that an agent and brokerage can provide. One of the greatest values that we offer is:
This is where agents flex our fiduciary muscle and set good expectations with our client. Most clients do not realize how complicated the closing process has become. Clients don’t know what they don’t know.
An experienced agent along with their broker can often anticipate problems and solve them before the client has to get involved. Lender-required repairs are easier for the seller to understand if someone set the expectation early on that they might come up.
At some point, every agent has to show clients what they are getting for their money. This list can be presented by our agents as they go over agency information or a buyer’s representation agreement. It can be in written format but is most valuable as a natural part of the conversation.
Agents just need to cover each point. This list is also valuable when an agent’s commission is challenged. This list is the first place that they should go. It is a fair question to ask clients which one of these services do they want to cut out if they want to cut the commission. Value costs money.
Of course, this is the value that your agents should be providing. If they are not, they don’t deserve a good commission. They deserve to lose out if they are not delivering the full value proposition of a real estate professional. If they do provide this level of value, they need to know how to present it to the client. Clients need to know that value that is provided every day or our agents do not deserve the commission they are being paid.