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January 6, 2011

Is your company doing the heavy lifting?

by mark mclean

I couldn’t start my first posting of the year without wishing all my friends and family a very healthy and happy New Year. Last year was fantastic and this year is going to be even better. My office, to put it in Queen St parlance, is rocking. We have worked hard to create an office culture that is the envy of organized real estate in Toronto. We have improved our social media assets and our advertising and marketing efforts are reaching a broader audience. One of the unique benefits of all the work we are doing is that a lot of downtown agents are taking notice.  When we opened the office in September, we had about 12 agents. We have since grown that to 30.  I have been lucky enough to recruit a solid mix of new agents as well as some seasoned veterans.

I have been in a management role for a few years and have interviewed a lot of people but lately I have noticed a fundamental shift in the questions I get asked during the interview process. These days, agents want to know what the company will do for them. They want to know what training is available. They want to know how often meetings are held. They want marketing and administrative support. They want to be pushed. They want a strong management team that will deliver on their promises. Most importantly, they want to feel like they are part of a team. They want to make a difference. The shift is evident. Agents want a great (and supportive) brand behind them or their personal brand.

Twenty-five years ago, there was one real estate model; as an agent, you worked for a company that did everything for you and you would receive 50% of the commission you earned. When the pay for service model arrived, agents saw an opportunity to keep much more of their commission, sometimes up to 95%, except that they would be billed everything from photocopies to desk fees. For a lot of agents out there, the fee for service model works well but there is more to this business then a larger gross commission.

Legal and policy changes aside, the real estate business has gotten increasingly more competitive and complicated. The ‘pay as you go’ model, by its nature, puts more onus on the agent to spend time managing their day to day business and less time on client service, education, marketing and networking.  While there are rare exceptions to every rule, at the end of the day, it make more sense to leave the ‘heavy lifting’ to a company that has the organization and depth of knowledge to support you so that you can do what you do best; sell property.

The views of this post may or may not reflect the views of Bosley Real Estate, Brokerage

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