Real estate salespeople: Are you still threatened by ‘squeezed’ commissions?  A new book by Morris and Murray, Game Plan: How Real Estate Professionals Can Thrive in Uncertain Times, names pressure on commissions as one of the continuing trends for 2012 and beyond. Get this book. You’ll find some trends predictable–but some are not.

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

In fact, negotiation skill was one of the skills California buyers said they wanted (and 82% said they didn’t get) with their buyers’ agent. 

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?

A Resource to Guide You to Today’s Representation of Buyers

Whether you’ve been in the business 3 minutes or 30 years, it is time to polish your buyer presentation skills. I’ve put together all the resources you need: Buyer presentations, with a PowerPoint presentation, and your own guide, where I coach you as a presenter. This is a really comprehensive guide, with over 150 pages and several presentations–plus dozens of checklists and documents.

Take a look at The Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit.