Construction crews get a bonus if they finish road work early, and one industry player argues the real estate profession should be similarly remunerated.
“We should get more [money] if the property has been on the market less [than average],” says Michael Eisner, an agent in Toronto. “It’s a benefit to [the sellers]. Sometimes they think we’re not worth the money [but] we are.”
Eisner is, of course, speaking tongue in cheek, but he says using the notion of tipping is a great way to educate clients about an agent’s worth.
“An average sale lasts, let’s say, 45 to 60 days,” he says. “If I can sell it in three days because I can look into my database [to find prospective buyers], that’s something that you work really hard to establish so it’s worth something.”
Beyond selling a property quickly, Eisner says agents need to explain the expenses they incur – virtual tours, professional photography, and other costs of a sale that agents pay out of pocket.
“People don’t realize how much money we make,” Eisner says. “The average agent in Toronto makes less than $40,000… You have to take into account the split between brokers, then the split with the brokerage, then expenses. We don’t work on retainer. We put our money and work up-front.”
Eisner says every agent has a duty to explain this split to clients in an effort to educate the general public about what an agent really gets paid.
“Explain the time and where the money goes and how it is divided,” he says. “The commission of $10,000 seems a lot for three days’ work, but what if it took three months. [Then] you give $5,000 to the other broker, then $3,000 to your brokerage, then the expenses… so people have to understand where the money goes.”