Sometimes, market changes are best understood by the sights and sounds around us. On Saturday I posted my "sign post" that gave a true visual of how the market has changed. Today, I'm going to write about an occurrence that has happened to me, three times in the last two weeks. Three deals, three selling agents, three phone calls, one question. "I've changed companies can we change the name of the selling brokerage on the purchase contract to my new company?"
Now folks, in Florida all business is conducted through the Broker. Brokers own the listings and Brokers own the deals. Agents must work under a Broker and can only be paid through that Broker. So asking to change the name of the company on the contract, without Broker approval, is a big no no, both ethically and legally.
The first agent, that asked, was entitled to a referral fee from me for a listing that I sold. He figured, that since he now worked for a 100% company, if he could be paid direct, he could avoid paying his previous Broker and avoid his new $395.00 per transaction fee. Nope, ain't going to happen on my watch. Give your Broker his due.
The next two were very similar in that both agents had switched companies in mid-transaction. One had actually removed (white out) their old company's name from the contract, wrote in a new company name and delivered it to the Title Company. Fortunately, Cara, my closer called me on this and I let her know that the agent cannot do that. Give your Broker his due.
At least the next agent called me and asked me the question. Her explanation was a little more revealing about current market conditions. She also works for a 100% commission company and pays a $395.00 per transaction fee. Supposedly, her and several other of the agents, for this particular "rent a Broker" (her words not mine), have not been paid for their last few deals. It seems the Broker has been using their commissions to pay the bills. I guess, when things are slow, $395.00 per transaction won't cut it.
So here we have the "sounds" of the market. REALTORS® constantly switching companies looking for greener grass. Brokers not paying their agents promptly, or at all, so they can use the money to try and stay in business. And agents trying to cut their Brokers out of the deal.
What surprises me about this is that my business is booming. I'm listing and selling houses constantly. And I'm not the only one. The REALTORS® that have been in the business for years are still marching right along and in fact are excelling in this changing market. Maybe, its because we never stopped doing the things that made us successful. When things were booming, we still advertised and still kept in touch with past customers and clients. We never lost our momentum. We don't wait for business to come to us, we go and find business.
So folks, if you are struggling in your business, don't change companies or try to cut your Broker out of the deal. It's not the company, it's you. Wake up tomorrow morning and do these things:
Put a smile on your face. It's much nicer than a McDonald's uniform.
Mail every expired and withdrawn listing in your market a letter.
Implement a FSBO drip campaign.
Review the listings you do have and figure out why they haven't sold yet, then make a change.
Call ten people from your data base.
Call your current customers/clients and ask then for a referral.
Preview three active listings in your market area.
Go to lunch in your market area, visit five business owners and drop off your biz cards.
And anything else you can think of that's proactive.
The next morning, repeat and keep at it. For how long? Forever. Remember if your business is slow, then your job is finding business. And if your business is booming, then you job is finding business. It's a simple plan but it works.
I say, "get off your butt and go to work". What say you?