Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to common questions people have about our Real Estate fees and services. If you don't find what you're looking for here, please don't hesitate to contact us.
- How can you afford to earn so much less than other Realtors?
- You obviously have great credentials, why don't you charge more?
- Is there any disadvantage to using your company vs. a Re/Max or other large company?
How can you afford to earn so much less than other Realtors?
Our business model is possible due to a number of factors.
- Our advertising budget is small.
Bus benches, billboards and balloons cost a lot of money and do nothing to help sell your house. We keep our advertising limited to a few Internet Search ads and a once yearly newsletter to keep in touch with past clients. A huge percentage of our business comes from word of mouth and repeat clients. While it is not unusual for some Realtors to spend in excess of $100,000 a year in advertising, our advertising costs are usually less than $5,000/year.
- We don't have brokerage fees to pay.
Most Realtors pay a monthly fee to their Brokerage, a percentage of all their commission earned to their Brokerage, or a combination of both. This can add up to tens of thousands of dollars a year in fees! As our only Realtor is also the owner of the Brokerage, there are no fees like that to pay.
- We don't have franchise fees to pay.
Re/Max and most other Real Estate Brokerages are franchises. The fees just to open the doors under a well known franchise are probably close to $250,000 and that doesn't even include the ongoing costs. The only cost our Brokerage has is a yearly licensing fee which is about $1,000.
- Our operating costs are very low.
Most Brokerages have office space to lease, receptionists and other staff to pay. Because we have a single Realtor, there is no office space required outside of a home office. We find it's more convinient for our clients when we meet at their own home or at a nearby coffee shop. This website was built and maintained by the owner personally, as are all other aspects of the operation, so there are no additional staff salaries to pay and no fancy office space to lease.
- We don't drive Cadillacs with huge lease payments.
We're perfectly happy diving a normal car. It's clean, comfortable and can take our Home Buyers from house to house just as well as an overpriced luxury vehicle with huge monthly payments. Plus, we offer our buyers $1000 cash back which is way more fun than riding in a Cadillac!
You obviously have great credentials, why don't you charge more?
There are a number of reasons.
- It's easier to get new clients.
Most home owners interview multiple Realtors before choosing who to list with. When we can sit down and show that we know our stuff, offer premium service and charge thousands less than the others, it's an easy win.
- It brings more referrals and repeat clients.
When we can provide great service at great value, it makes people happy. Happy people result in lots of referrals and repeat business. That's new business that doesn't require advertising to procure, which saves us money.
- Its easier to sell properties.
Sometimes the Real Estate market can get quite competitive, especially when the economy is struggling and prices are falling. All else being equal, home owners who pay lower commissions can afford to price their homes more competitively. In some cases that may be the difference between selling and not selling, although in most cases, in normal markets, paying less commission just means our clients save more money.
- Less stress.
For all the reasons above, our work life is less stressful than it would be otherwise, and to us that's important.
Is there any disadvantage to using your company vs. a Re/Max or other large company?
Not at all. In fact, there is probably a significant advantage. All Real Estate companies in Calgary and area belong to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) which owns the MLS system. This gives all Realtors access to each other's MLS listings. We are part of that network so all Realtors can show and purchase our listings and we have access to all of their MLS listings.
Sure, some companies have balloons and fancy offices, but does that help sell your house? Of course not. Well known names like Re/Max are actually just franchises like Tim Horton's or McDonald's. In Calgary, there are over 10 different Re/Max franchises and each one is a completely seperate company, some large, some small. The one thing they share are significant franchise fees that are passed on to their Realtors, and ultimately on to you with their high commissions.
Individual Realtors, regardless of who they work for, are responsible for their own advertising, marketing plans and education and could have vastly different skills or services, even within the same company. Associates in a big firm who have taken less courses or have less experience may have to track down and consult their busy Broker to get the information they need to protect your interests. Hopefully their Broker is available when some unusual clause appears in the offer you receive late one night and the buyer only gives you an hour to decide before they pull the offer and buy another house!
With our company, not only do we have access to every single MLS listing out there and every other Realtor has access to our listings, but because our only Realtor is also the Broker, your interests are always protected and we never waste your money on balloons or other things that help sell franchises instead of houses.Back to Top