Hey, agents, what’s your value?

by Madeline Mordarski

If you’ve paid any attention to the news cycle this past month, you’ve likely seen inflammatory articles on the NAR settlement and subsequent think pieces on what this means for the industry. And if you’ve seen these articles, you may be wondering what that means for your business and the industry at large.

A few examples:

“Buying a home? Realtor commissions could shrink after legal settlement.”

“One analyst said over 50% of nation’s 1.6M agents could be out of business.”

“Thanks to NAR settlement, real estate is in its wild west era.”

It’s no surprise that buyers, sellers and agents alike are still confused about commission. Is the seller not allowed to pay? Are commissions slashed? Are they negotiable for the first time ever?

A resounding no across the board: While it may feel like there is a “standard” commission, actual commission structure has always been and will continue to be negotiable, just as the actual purchase price of a home or deal structure has and will continue to be negotiable.

Why would clients pay at or above a perceived standard? The same reason a buyer might submit an over-asking bid or meet a seller’s asking price: value.

The value of a brand or product is how much extra you’ll pay for it over another — or how often you’ll choose it over another. Value is both intrinsic and extrinsic and is not determined by one sole factor, though market conditions play a heavy role here.

Experienced or savvy sellers already know this. They understand that by choosing the right agent and offering the right commission structure, they increase the odds that their home will sell as quickly — and for as much as possible.

Experienced or savvy buyers already know this. They understand that while searching for a home online may be easy, identifying if they should actually buy that home, and then facilitating that transaction, is hard. They understand that a buyer’s agent serves as an expert negotiator, facilitator and advisor who has their best financial interests at heart.

Experienced or savvy agents already know this. They understand that their brand value lies not in their logo design or how many followers they have on Instagram, but how well they’re able to relate to their clients, communicate their service offerings, build trust, show their expertise and deliver results.

For everyone else, there is undeniable confusion — and by confusion, I mean opportunity.

Regardless of where offers of compensation are conveyed after this summer or who pays compensation in any given transaction, two fundamental truths remain:

A good real estate agent can make all the difference in a transaction for a buyer or seller, whether that be to accomplish a dream of homeownership or make strategic steps toward financial freedom.

Like any entrepreneur, real estate agents who can effectively communicate that value have an immense amount of earning potential.

Realtors, like any group, aren’t a monolith. Right now, the industry is being negatively viewed as such, yet when you ask buyers and sellers about their personal experiences with their own Realtor, their answers are inherently positive. In fact, over 87% of all homeowners surveyed said they would use their real estate agent again if they bought or sold a home. When these clients get past the noise and the headlines, they know where the value lies.

If you’re an agent, regardless of what brokerage you’re affiliated with, rather than hyper-fixate on the headlines, this is an opportunity to get back to the basics and look inward.

Remember why you exist and the needs that you meet in your clients’ lives — therein lies your value. Then, infuse communicating that value in your day-to-day business and relationship building.

Do you work with UHNW buyers? Or do you protect their privacy and financial interest? Do you join clients on a tour? Or do you observe and identify potential issues with a home and guide your client on what to do next?

Albert Einstein said it best: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

The rest will follow.

Madeline Mordarski is the chief marketing officer at The Keyes Company, based in Miami.

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