When I am driving in the car I like to listen to podcasts. I highly recommend it. You already spend time cruising along, why not learn new stuff and get motivated by a great speaker.

A few days ago, I came across Mike Cerrone’s Real Estate Agent Success Calls. Mike interviews top producing Realtors to find out how they became successful.

Here’s a link to his interview with Toni Zarghami from Sarasota, Florida. She shared two strategies you will find useful.

Here they are …

The 4 – 7% Commission Strategy

Before Toni goes on a listing appointment she sends out a pre-listing package and asks the seller to review it before the meeting.

​She tells the seller that they can find everything about her and her team in this package, so during the actual listing consultation she can totally focus on the seller’s needs.

​One part of the pre-listing package is her Commission Menu. It lists 4 different commission levels for her services.

Having your rates on a printed piece of paper makes it more official. That’s pure psychology. The seller is less likely to ask for a discount.

Here are the 4 levels of service:

  • 7% Commission The listing agent will stage the house in addition to all marketing services and contract negotiations. The listing agent gets paid 4%, the co-op agent 3%.
  • 6% Commission The standard 3/3 split with a co-op agent, but without staging.
  • 5% Commission If the listing agent or one of the team members procures the buyer the commission rate is reduced to 5%.
  • 4% Commission If the homeowner (seller) refers the buyer, e.g. a family member or friend, she only charges 4%.

I know some agents use a similar approach right here in Columbus.

Focusing on different levels of service and giving the homeowner an incentive to help find a buyer are great ways to distract from the dreaded commission discount question.

Four Customer Appreciation Events

A great way to build strong relationships with your clients and get more referrals are customer appreciation events.

While party type events are entertaining they may not be as effective as the ones Toni conducts:

  • A Pie Giveaway before Thanksgiving.
  • A Pizza Giveaway at a nearby Pizza joint.
  • A Movie Afternoon with a small reception before the movie.
  • A Car Wash with interior detailing to get the clients out of the car and talk.

These events are very effective because the customer gets something for free. There’s a high perceived value, while the real cost of organizing the event is less than $800.

Let me know if these tips are helpful and if you plan to implement them in your business.