I went the doctor recently for a cold. It was a pretty average cold, nothing too funky about it. I wanted to get cured.
“In order to cure your cold, you need to get some rest, drink plenty of
fluids, and eat well,” said the doctor. “You should be fine in 1-3
“No, I want you to cure it, and I want it gone in the next 24 hours,” I
“If you do what I tell you to, then you will get better, but it will
take time,” replied the doctor.
“Well, thanks for the visit, but I think I’ll find another doctor who
will cure me in 24 hours. I don’t think you are doing a very good job as a
doctor. You don’t need to send me a bill because I am not paying
Most people would think this scenario is ridiculous. If a doctor said it would take 1-3 weeks to get cured, we wouldn’t insist on finding a doctor who would tell us what we want to hear. We also would still get to pay the bill regardless of whether or not we liked the doctor’s opinion.
Real estate agents face the dichotomy of trying to establish themselves as professionals, but still rely on the salesperson method of being paid.
The American consumer is shifting towards wanting more of this type of a service. I do about two hourly rate contracts a month, and have never had an issue of being paid, or people not valuing the service. I can also say that this service scares the jeepers out of some customers and they just can’t wrap their head around it. I’ve actually had potential clients ask me if it was legal for me to charge an hourly rate.
Despite the fact that we talk about fees being negotiable, the consumer is slow to recognize the alternatives. I personally think if we are going to close the gap, and increase the professionalism of the industry, we will need to stop thinking of ourselves as salespeople, focusing on “top producing”, “million dollar clubs, etc. Those terms are not geared towards professionalism and service. I am not putting down agents that have worked hard for those type of accolades by any means, but encourage agents in their branding to distinguish themselves on service. In the end, that is what is most important.