Competition can be a healthy thing! It can inspire us to push through our comfort zone and challenge us to try harder. Competition in real estate has resulted in many different business models. Just like McDonalds and Raudz Regional Table are in the same restaurant industry, I am sure you will all agree that they both provide very different product, experience, quality and atmosphere. Real Estate is very much the same way. This blog post speaks to Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty’s model.
The Competition Bureau’s job is to make sure that everyone plays fairly. They are the watch-dog making sure that everyone understands the rules surrounding the Competition Act. Here is a video with a conversation about this topic, and a call that came into our office and was fielded by Walt Reglin, who gave very good responses that were in compliance to the Competition Act and Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty’s Competition Compliance Policy! (Great job, Walt)
Susan Tough, our managing broker has some terrific advice:
This is not just about circumventing problems with the Competition Bureau, it is equally about being able to recognize your value as a full service agent and demonstrate your value proposition to your client! When discussing commission, you do not want to use words like: traditional, standard, normal, average or typical. You want to speak to your business model and what you charge for the services you provide.
As an office, our business model and policy is that we do not support mere postings in our brokerage. You can not contract away your agency, and our office policy is that we are a full service, Ultimate Service® office.
Here is a reminder of our office policy which all of our agents sign:
Competition Compliance Policy of Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty
1. The commission rates or fees charged by our firm are based upon the cost and value of the services we provide our clients and customers. Our rates or fees are not determined by any agreement, understanding, recommendation or suggestion involving a competitor or any other person who is not a party to a listing agreement with our firm.
2. The amount of compensation that this firm offers to co-operating offices is determined by the level of service to be performed by those offices in addition to the amount of compensation necessary to foster co-operation. The compensation offered to co-operating offices is not intended, and is not to be used, to encourage or compel any competing firm to raise or lower its commission rates or fees.
3. Salespersons and brokers/agents affiliated with this firm shall not discuss with any person affiliated with another real estate firm the commission rates or fees charged by this or any other real estate office with our marketing and sales area. Notwithstanding the foregoing, salespersons and brokers/agents affiliated with this firm may negotiate the compensation to be paid to a co-operating salesperson or broker/agent on an individual transaction.
4. Listing presentation shall focus exclusively on the level and quality of service provided by this office, the results we have achieved for customers and clients and the performance the client can expect in exchange for the fees we charge. Any salesperson or broker/agent who is requested to compare our services with those of a competing firm should do so by emphasizing the value of the services we provide, not by disparaging competitors.
5. Whenever a salesperson is uncertain about a proper response to the concerns of an actual or potential client or customer, or whenever a salesperson has been present during an unauthorized discussion on commissions or fees, he/she should immediately contact the firm’s principal broker/agent or sales manager and advise them of the situation.