I know you’re finishing your business plans for 2012 (aren’t you?). Well, if not, I’ll ‘guilt’ you into it. Not really, but, I highly suggest you think through your business this week so you’re not taken by surprise next year. My question today is,  “Have you built in those safeguards into your business plan that assure your commissions aren’t eroding?

A recent study showed that shrinking commissions was the largest problem perceived by top producers.

I was asked to do a presentation on real estate trends and their impact on real estate professionals for the National Association of Realtors’ Mid-Year Convention. So, I did lots of research. The presentation is called “The Drumbeat of Emerging Trends”. In it, I explore the five most important trends affecting real estate right now.

In this blog, I want to share with you how to assure your commissions don’t shrink.

After all, if you’re a committed agent who invests monetarily and emotionally in a long-term career, you deserve the commissions you want to charge.

What it Takes to Preserve the Commission Levels you Want 

There are two things you can provide that more than earn your ‘generous’ commissions (and that a computer search can’t do for a buyer or seller):

Expert consulting

Expert negotiating

Becoming that ‘Value-Added’ Consultant and Negotiator

There are some specific steps you can take to provide truly deliver immeasurable value to your clients. Here they are:

  1. If you haven’t taken interactive, tough, to-the-point consulting and negotiating workshops, do so now. Unfortunately, most agents aren’t trained consultants or negotiators, so they’re missing the opportunity to differentiate themselves from other agents—and impersonal web-based services
  2. If you don’t use a written questionnaire to interview prospective buyers and sellers, get and starting using them now.  (see The Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit and Your Client-Based Marketing System for comprehensive consulting tools)
  3. Regularly survey your clients, at least at closing, to find out how you did—and keep refining your buyer and seller systems based on client feedback

Surveys Now on the Web for the World to See 

A huge trend: websites have been created that feature surveys from real estate clients. The client has been feeling let down by agents, and now can either vent or brag! Take a look at




Ask yourself: If I were a client, what kind of feedback about an agent would cause me to want to work with her? What would cause me to avoid this agent? Some of the client surveys you’ll see on the site are awe-inspiring—and some are exceptional for entirely different reasons! 

Down to the Wire 

I believe that, very soon, companies will be either full service, generous commission companies, with dedicated, career-focused agents, or limited service, “less generous” commission companies. Which level of service (and fee structure) will you offer?

What education, training, and skills are you going to build into that business plan to assure you are the professional of choice–and worth every penny of what you want to charge?

New Business Planning Series

If you’re unsure how to start your plan, if you don’t see the benefit of planning, I’ve got some answers for you.  I’ve been working on business planning for years……and I’ve just come up with a series that I think answers questions like, “How do I get started? How do I know what numbers to put in? How can I make my plan useful?  How will I know that it works?”

I call this big program Come See 2012: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. In it, I’ve created 2 webinars to walk you right through the planning process. I’ve made it simple and straightforward–but not so simple it won’t work!  Along with that, I’ve provided the most updated versions of my planning documents–15 of them!

In addition, I’ve added several bonuses:

  • From the Coach: 53 Pointers for your Business Plan
  • Biggest Marketing Dos and Don’ts
  • Especially for teams: How to use the planning process to teamify and inspire

All for a VERY affordable price of $79. Why not let me walk you through the process, provide inspiration, and confidence that your plan will work to give you a great 2012? Click here for more information and purchase.