By Subhi J. Gharbieh
A week or so ago, I was approached by a long time friend who I have known since elementary school. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, and even graduated from the same university. I remember as kids, we would always talk about how successful we wanted to be when we grew up, and how we were going to help each other become successful.
He called and asked me a few real estate related questions. He said that a relative of his had a property in mind that he was ready to move on, and needed some consultation. I thanked him for the referral, and gave his relative a call. We met, discussed the whole buyers representation process, and everything went pretty well.
A day or so later, I received a call from this friend of mine, saying that his relative was going to approach this property representing himself, without a REALTOR®. I respectfully accepted that and didn’t think too much about it. Immediately following that, he calls me again, this time saying he would convince his relative to purchase the property with myself as his REALTOR®, only if I gave him 50 percent off my commission. (The subject property listed at a little over $2 million dollars.)
Just remembering the friendship that this person and I had as kids, this “offer” felt like a slap in the face (I’m 22, it wasn’t that long ago). I explained to him that it might seem like he is dropping a large amount of money in my lap, but the process to acquire a property of this value takes a lot of time, knowledge, negotiation, and liability. He wasn’t convinced. Long story short, I declined to represent the buyer.
This whole situation made me really ponder about many things. Most importantly, it made me realize that we don’t do a good enough job of showing people the value of working with a REALTOR®. Most everyone thinks that we have a really easy occupation, which requires very little work or effort. Little do they know about all the expenses we incur, the professional liability insurance we pay for, the time and money we spend negotiating/marketing/meeting with inspectors etc., and the significant amount of taxes that we take out of our not-so-big commission checks.
Lets make our goal from now on, to really do a better job to show our potential clients the value of our time and services. You know I will be doing just that.