Last week, Bill Wendel at the Real Estate Café wrote to me and to Scott. He had a legitimate complaint. Bill got a Google Alert saying that one of our commenters called his business “scary.” Bill’s rebuttal got stuck in our junk filter (which blocks anything with a full URL.) I have known Bill and The Real Estate Café model since I started in real estate in 1991. Bill has been working a fee-for-service model for years and years before anyone else I know. I like Bill. Here’s the URL to his rebuttal.
I don’t find Bill or his business scary at all. The fee-for-service model is perfect for a consumer who is self-motivated and interested in doing a lot of his/her own footwork and research. I offer a fee-for-service contract, too.
My experience has been that consumer fear paying hourly. What if you spend thousands on the broker, then don’t buy or sell? When consumers look at it that way, they prefer commission models that cost nothing if the purchase and sale does not happen. In my experience, the perception of potential waste of money is stronger than the benefit of getting a commission rebate.
Consumers have three choices:
Buy and sell on your own.
Pay a broker per hour; maybe pay for services that don’t lead to a purchase or a sale.
Pay a broker by commission; pay nothing unless the purchase or sale happens. (There are some hybrid models that give rebates on commissions, but you are still paying commissions.)
Have you hired a broker fee-for-service? Did you find that you could do enough of your own work to see benefit from paying by the hour?
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