Agents with The Red Pin Brokerage offers their clients a 15 per cent cut of their commissions on the purchase of a resale property as a way to “thank” clients for their involvement in the buying transaction.
“The main reason for the rebate program is that working together [with clients] to find the properties is a dual effort more now than it has been in the past,” says Michelle Ryckman, an agent with The Red Pin. “Before, an agent would pick you up and bring you to the properties. But with the advent of the Internet, we realize that the client is more involved in the process.”
These types of programs, however, have come under scrutiny as sales reps accuse those who use them of “buying” clients. Ryckman argues that it’s just one way she differentiates herself from the other 40,000 sales reps in the GTA.
It’s not just new-age firms that offer these types of programs, says Edmonton agent Duane Ritter, pointing to Century 21’s Air Miles incentive. Ritter, though, says he finds no fault in the brokerages that advertise their services this way – that’s free enterprise, after all, he says.
“Hopefully we live up to what you’re paying us or what is agreed upon at the beginning,” he tells REP. “I feel my service should warrant what I charge. I can’t see giving an incentive to use me, other than I provide the best service I can.
“I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just not my particular style.”
As sales reps increasingly compete with one another for business, some agents are giving back to their clients – using their own commissions.