“I don’t take clients for the money…anymore.”
I just heard those words spoken by Alexis Martin Neeley who is a very inspiring and successful lawyer and internet entrepreneur. You know what? I don’t either. I know what you are thinking,
“A Realtor who doesn’t take clients for the money? Yeah, right!”
Okay, okay, I do like to get paid for my services. No one appreciates being used or working for free and believe me, as a service provider who works on contingency (only paid a commission when the real estate purchase or sale closes escrow) rather than on retainer or via an hourly fee, there have been (too many) times when I have worked for free, albeit not intentionally.
When I was new to the business, this happened more frequently because I was afraid to listen to my intuition and ask potential clients the tough, thought-provoking questions that would help determine if they were serious about their own, personal real estate goals and interested in having me help them achieve it.
But, I quickly realized that I was not only doing myself a disservice by failing to ask these questions, I was also doing a disservice to my clients.
As a real estate consultant, one of the most beneficial things I can to do help a client is to help them clarify their vision…help them figure out what exactly they want…what their long-term goals are and which type of property is going to be right for them now and in the future. When I train new real estate agents, I ask them what they think their role is in today’s transparent world of open information. What is their “value proposition”? How do they help their buyer and seller? If all of the real estate listings are online and public, why do buyers and sellers need a Realtor?
For me, I know that my value is about information but more importantly, it is about contextualizing that information.
It’s about figuring out how the big picture – the economy, politics, technology, marketing, legislation – translates to the individual home purchase or listing. I help my clients clarify their goals so they are focused and know what they want (and need) to achieve. I help them save time by making the process more efficient. And, I help them make the smartest choice possible given their personal circumstances and resources. Believe me, this is not the typical way of seeing the role of the Realtor. There are too many examples out there of why our profession as a whole is ranked so low on consumer confidence and trust reports.
So, no, I don’t take clients for the money.
I take on clients because I believe in their goals and feel I am the best real estate agent to help them achieve them. What I love about my real estate business is how mutually beneficial it is. When I help my clients achieve their real estate goals, I am simultaneously achieving my own professional goals (to run a successful, profitable and caring real estate practice). Even during this tough economy, business is thriving. I am able to help more and more folks – San Francisco home buyer and seller clients – and able to give jobs to others through our team and agent/vendor collaborations.