By Marty Douglas

I lost a salesperson a couple of months back. Not a new experience. I have helped people to the exit but when one of them chooses to go voluntarily to another broker, it’s a shock.

It makes you evaluate and do a tally. I came to my current position as a managing broker nearly three years ago when the office staff numbered 59 licensees. Since then, 24 have joined the brokerage, 13 are new to the business, 11 experienced. So you wouldn’t be surprised if our total today was in the high 70s, allowing for some attrition.

Sorry. It’s 67. A net gain of eight. Those are the realities of turnover.



Still, a .333 average will get you into the Baseball Hall of Fame. And when we look at the age group of existing licensees and the increase in the number of women in the business, we shouldn’t be surprised by attrition due to retirement and parental leave – challenges faced by every segment of the labour market.

In our case, of the 16 no longer in the trenches on our team, half were a combination of retirement, parental leave and spousal transfer. The other half saw greener grass. Or cheaper grass.

In the ʼ80s, because we added new people every year, we took an annual group photo. Yes, it was in black and white! For history, I started blackening out the faces of those missing in action from the original photo. In 10 years there were only four of us left out of 24. In hindsight the churn or burn rate is shocking. My goal was to do all I could to make sure the reason for leaving was out of my control.

Every manager and owner has one critical responsibility – recruiting. Then comes the nasty bit.

In the early years, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a franchise called Realty World. It was brought to Canada in the 1970s by Harold Waddell, one of the most respected Realtors in the greater Vancouver marketplace. As an international franchise, Harold’s region outshone other North American franchise members. Canadian offices regularly hauled home trophies from whatever U.S. city the international convention gathered in. Today, particularly in Western Canada, those former Realty World offices are the backbone of Royal LePage.

Realty World’s strength was in its broker council, a group of managers and owners who believed in the strength of the brand. We met every two months and the annual two-day goal-setting session inevitably had recruiting high on the agenda. In assessing one particular Fraser Valley brokerage, the facilitator criticized the manager’s recruiting. We’ll call the manager Bill because that was his name. Bill wound himself up to his steely 5ʹ8ʺ and hissed, “Our company is very good at recruiting. We’re just piss-poor at retention.”

I don’t know which is worse, the weekend desk clean-out and farewell note, or the late in the day visit from the departing salesperson who says something like, “It’s nothing personal, just business.” But of course that’s not the case. It’s very personal.

People leave for a variety of reasons, as long-time REM columnist Barry Lebow noted in a recent issue. His advice, “Ethics – over all else”, should be the guide. The reality of many transitions is summed up in an old Scottish proverb, “No matter where you go, there you are.” When they get to where they are going, after the enthusiastic greeting, it turns out it’s the same grass! Listings are the name of the game and that means prospecting, spending a couple of hours a day seeing the people. You don’t do that on the golf course or behind a desk. You do that face to face, voice to voice, a minimum of 10 times a day. Simple.

Despite what the departed say, many don’t leave for a better deal. Incentive recruiting is a two-edged sword and inevitably, the bonus comes to an end. We recruit with a long view. Some will tell you they leave because of the manager. Okay, I’ll take that hit for the team. Many leave because the work effort required is a surprise, because they aren’t as “lucky” as others, because their hands weren’t held as they crossed the road.

In her boot camp for real estate office managers, Dyan Dobbin explained, “We’re running our real estate agencies like adult day care facilities.” Which caused me to reach back once again to my Realty World days and a great manager from Campbell River, B.C., Barry Watchorn. “We are too soft in this business. We spend too much time herding turkeys up and down the runways, hoping they’ll fly,” he said.

Look. Real estate is not an easy job. It shouldn’t be for the bucks we are paid. But it is a simple job, which is why we don’t need a university degree to qualify for licensing. Ready for the lesson? LIST PROPERTY, FIND PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM REASONS TO BUY! The most important thing you can do in ANY sales position, vacuum cleaners or sex toys, is go out to find the client, not wait for them to come to you. Good people are in the business, in and out of the office, every day.

Re/Max’s Dave Liniger said recently that the downside of an improving market (in the USA of course, never in Canada!) is that part-timers and losers come back into the business. Inevitably, we will manage someone of modest talent. Their presence in the office or on the team can be a detriment to recruiting. David Knox, one of the best trainers in real estate and a speaker not to be missed, asked this question: “What would you rather have – an empty kennel or a dead dog?”

As they say at UBC, “Tuum est.”

Avatar
Marty Douglas, irregular REM columnist, is a past chair of the Real Estate Council of B.C. He currently sits as a director of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, serves as an advisor to the Real Estate Council of B.C. and is on CREA’s Realtor Code Task Force. He is an associate broker with Re/Max Mid-Island Realty on Vancouver Island, B.C.

44 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, Marty – it’s up to you – tuum est.
    Semper fi and nulli secundus.

    In the late 80’s, I had been canvassed by several franchises offering me wonderful opportunities to give birth to a new franchise office in town.

    I gave it some serious consideration one season, interviewed several opportunities, and truly you are correct, Marty.

    Realty World seemed to have the best system. I enjoyed the meet-up and presentation in their boardroom. It was a little difficult initially to know what questions to ask.

    But I had aways approached my sales career as though it was a business; because it was – my business – within a business. Even way back then, a quarter century ago. My business approach to being a sales rep annoyed some people.

    We worked in a bullpen open environment. And when I wasn’t on the phone, or out with clients, or presenting offers, every morning at 9 am I was in the office, initially. But eventually I elected to work from home. Too many files actually disappeared. Office files were open to any and all.

    There was never a minute to spare. I was making charts and graphs, manually pre computer days. Creating percentages and goal patterns. I kept copious amounts of notes and spent countless hours creating systems that made my life so easy. There was nothing difficult back then about the real estate business.

    I was completely spoiled. It was all so easy. I saw everything in pictures. Pictures in my mind. Guidelines I had made seemed to just automatically fulfill. I diarized and catalogued everything. I built my farm. I worked on it nearly daily, with unmitigated passion.

    So when I sat down in the boardroom at Realty World, I asked to see some spreadsheets of a typical branch someplace, anyplace, in Canada. Profit and Loss statements. Block out the location if needed to maintain business privacy. I understood if they felt obligated to do that.

    The two very businesslike men in the boardroom had quizzical expressions on their faces, and when one left to get the spreadsheets, the other one said that out of everyone they had interviewed, I had been the only one to ask to see spreadsheets. They willingly accommodated.

    I was very near to signing on the dotted line. I, alone, had all the responsibility for making the big decision, and I thought I was fully prepared to move forward.

    And THIS provided me with the only reason not to. Nothing to do with corporate. Everything to do with a potential bottom line.

    I was so completely shocked I still recall that meeting nearly 30 years later. I was about to pay XYZ dollars for the opportunity to be a babysitter.

    My bottom line NIBT was “four x’s” that of a given branch. I was so shook up I could hardly breathe. I so wanted to sign on. It felt good, smelled good; great company and presentation. Nice people.

    But then it hit me: the definition of bottom line related numbers. I just couldn’t unfreeze the pen in my hand. I had to say thank you but no thank you. I don’t know exactly what I expected, but I realized it wasn’t rock science. It looked like I was doomed to continue the status quo.

    Subsequently I was offered a wonderful franchise for free by a corp VP, at another company, who had followed my career, after the year before when the local franchise was on the edge of disappearing with a couple hundred agents in tow, when the then broker offered to sell it to me for just shy of a half million dollars. I greatly respected the VP, and still do although he himself went off on his own in a different direction a few years later.

    And only a few months later was offered a for-free franchise, one of the very first, of a brand new player in the market.

    I was so honoured. Truly I was but as I related to what I had learned having seen the sample P & L’s earlier, at Realty World, again I had to decline the great opportunities offered to me.

    But by then a few months had passed and I had decided to move forward, although I thought I would never leave the brand I had been associated with for many years. I did truly love the company.

    It had just become impossible to stay due to branch politics. So that’s when, using the basis of those corp P & L’s, I decided I would never make a good babysitter. I considered a couple of people out of town, who historically had created a niche, just working on their own. I wondered, “can ‘I’ do that? Just me, myself and I?”

    That’s when I went off on my own, 25 years ago, and opened my one-person boutique. Surrounded by people telling me I’d never make it past the first year, in 1991.

    Like the last on a well made, properly fitting shoe that fits your foot as though custom made just for you, put it on and wear it. It felt right. I did.

    Marty, can you speak to why more people don’t just work on their own, under their own banner? Can it be as simple as they feel the need for engaging in the group office atmosphere?

    Carolyne L ?

  2. I thought your article on recruiting was bang on Marty, as to the comments on DDF,CREA and the rest??? Did I miss a paragraph inside your commentary on everything else??

    • Moss,

      Were it not for the fact that your rhetorical question here to Marty was really just a quip directed at his detractors, you probably would’ve just waited for the next RE/Max event to give Marty his hug — as hugs are really meant to be given by using your arms, anyway!

  3. Interesting gamut in the commentary below. It reminds me of the old parlour game when you whispered a sentence in the ear of the person next to you who then passed it on in a whisper to the next ear and so on around the room. Inevitably the original utterance bore little resemblance to the final revelation. This column was about recruiting. The commentary swerves to CREA’s DDF, a critique of a website, lures in editor Jim Adair on a sidebar of journalistic integrity and finally anchors on Independent Contractor Agreements. Glad I could help.

      • PED,

        Ross Kay also joined this discussion under an alias — which he subsequently acknowledged, here. However, Ross also indicated that he has used others on REM but didn’t divulge all of those identities. PED, for the record, would you please confirm that you are not another Ross Kay alias — given your comment history?

        • Now that’s funny, as if I need to confirm anything to you are you a REM administrator? besides which, Jim Adair knows who I am.

          You’re paranoid! and who cares how many aliases someone chooses to use, it’s a forum made public by the operators of REM. Their site, they’ll decide who and what is posted.

          • PED,

            For all I know, Jim Adair knows all of the alias’ that Ross Kay utilizes here, so the fact that he would know who you are wouldn’t equate to you not being one of those alias’. Technically, your answer here is non-responsive. A simple question should solicit a simple answer.

            As far as who cares about multiple identities on a website, you don’t have to look far and wide to find an answer to that question. I had hoped that Jim Adair wouldn’t approve of one individual using four different identities or more, to respond to one REM article, but his open response to the subject was to the effect that REM doesn’t have a policy in this regard — while others certainly do, with their reasons for doing so explained.

            REM isn’t just a website or an online magazine, it exists because this industry exists, so what happens here can reflect on organized real estate.

          • Here’s your simple answer.

            When REM becomes your domain it will be your business until then none of this about anyone’s identity or user name(s) is any of your business.

            Now stop being such a curmudgeonly Rex Reed of an online magazine to all the guest writers and posters.

          • Maybe CBC’s politically correct Rex Murphy, too? PED. lol

            He used the word “profoundus” in a recent commentary:

            Defined:
            Situated at a deeper level in relation to a specific reference point. Compare: superficialis.

            [www.urbandictionary.com › Curmudgeon. a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man.]

            If we don’t laugh, we weep ;) PED

            Carolyne L ?

          • “If we don’t laugh, we weep”

            or forever kvetch like a curmudgeon.

            Thank you Carolyne for your kind words. It means a lot.

          • You neglected to mention that in Ontario, a Curmudgeon is usually an owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, for the other Provinces the definition is more open to interpretation — more subjective.

          • I can vouch for PED being a real person, and not as one Ross Kay. But, as with Ross, I for one feel comfortable doing business with PED, in North Toronto, any day.

            PED is also, like Ross, “straight up,” and “tells it like it is.”

            You can know that clients can be trusted with and served well by both. No referral fears at either.

            PED was already preaching the real estate gospel when I came to REM, many years ago, and was a strong participant during the CB debacle.

            Is a strong TREB member, who again like Ross, but in a different location, knows many of the rules and regs by heart; a walking, talking, encyclopaedic type brain.

            And, with both: clients come first. Always first and foremost.

            Cordially,
            Carolyne L ?

    • Marty,

      What your subject article should remind us all of, is our past, and consequently the famous saying: those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it! Marty, you should be glad that you help remind us of our past, but the problem is that our past is still a part of our present (to varying degrees) and for this, you shouldn’t be glad.

  4. It’s hard to decide what is most remarkable about Marty’s subject article: the fact that is so fundamentally honest, for too many, or that such honesty would be stated publicly. I’m speaking about the main claim of: “Every manager and owner has one critical responsibility – recruiting.” In an industry that is Governed by Provincial Law, in the form of an Act (Real Estate Services Act, in British Columbia), how could a Managing Broker or Broker of Record regard recruiting as the one critical responsibility, as opposed to managing the practitioners under you, as it relates to the quality of how they practice?

    Marty further laments the leaving of his brokerage by a viable practitioner by saying: “But of course that’s not the case. It’s very personal.” in relation to someone who has left, trying to claim to him that their decision to do so had nothing personal to do with Marty. On the subject of someone leaving Marty’s brokerage because they felt they didn’t get enough support, Marty remarks: “…because their hands weren’t held as they crossed the road.” as a means of repudiating any notion that Marty didn’t do all that would’ve been required of him. The problem with the aforesaid is that Marty never really indicates what he feels is required of him, but does clearly indicate what he sees as his most critical responsibility.

    As we consider the external pressures on organized real estate for change, the change that has already taken hold and what is in store for the future, we need to be able to identify where we were weak and where we went wrong. If we allow ourselves to be dragged down a rabbit hole talking about social media, instead of pulling our heads out of our personal holes, the future for organized real estate will be grim. An, ethical, successful brokerage should recruit on its own, based on reputation!

  5. So now we have confirmation as to the various monikers that Ross Kay submits under — amazing, but we still don’t know the total number!

    Let’s review the following quote from the one of those alter-identities that was posted here: ” The Data Distribution Facility (DDF) rules and regulations as confirmed by CREA’s legal team repeatedly, makes it practically impossible for a listing to not appear in the distribution without the member effectively taking anti-competitive actions.”

    The Rules and Regulations that relate to the “Data Distribution Facility and its “Direct Data Feed” pertain to how to utilize this system, the reciprocal nature of this system and explain its levels or stages. There simply isn’t a need to have CREA’s “legal team” repeat anything as it relates to the aforesaid subject matter. CREA’s Rules and Regulations around the operation of DDF would be a separate matter from any notion that the Competition Bureau of Canada may have any interest whatsoever in the: Direct Data Feed. Legal opinions only need to be given once and when given, they are in writing – ergo, reinforcing the absence of any need (on the part of the author) to repeat same.

    The same Ross Kay alter-identity also said the following in the same submission: ” If you are looking to keep your listing out of the DDF it is only legally (ie not anti-competitive) possible today [remember that no legal authority has been quoted in relation to this claim] in the following ways:”

    A legal opinion from a lawyer [assuming one exists] can only be viewed as law, when the lawyer giving the opinion also happens to be a sitting judge or an adjudicator — in which case it’s not an opinion it’s a “ruling”. Furthermore a “ruling” only stands if it isn’t appealed to a higher court. To suggest that a brokerage could avoid the risk of anti-competitive behavior because of the nature of the brokerages business model, is a contradiction, but in my opinion, it is also to suggest that the Competition Bureau of Canada engages in discriminatory behavior as it relates to the application of the Competition Act.

    While the Competition Act does contain a provision regarding “Abuse of Dominance” which allows for the Act to be applied differently from, perhaps, one to another, the only suggestion to date that this could apply to our industry was in relation to how it might apply to CREA, but this was never proven. To date, there simply isn’t any indication that I’m aware of, that the Competition Bureau of Canada would view the actions of a Brokerage or Franchise Brokerage as, perhaps, falling under the “Abuse of Dominant Position” provision in the Act.

  6. Alan, REM doesn’t have any rules about using multiple “identities”. But it brings up the question again of whether REM should insist that people use their real names in their posts. If that became a rule, would everyone stop posting?

    • JIm,

      Due to the nature of a “Broker of Record’s” responsibility around reviewing advertising and anything that could be construed as an advertorial, anonymity has a legitimate function in a forum such as this. Also, a contributor’s views may not be consistent with that of their brokerages, and the brokerage should be entitled to give the public impression that it wants, without a practitioner’s views being seen to represent theirs.

      However, as far as potentially having two or more separate identities on REM is concerned, I see that as a separate matter. Were someone in an official capacity such as a: CREA Director or Association Director motivated to create a second anonymous identity so that they could honestly speak their mind or whistle-blow, this would have some legitimate journalistic value. Conversely, if a regular contributor was to create a second but anonymous identity, with a new moniker that implies a certain insight, for the purpose of avoiding past and current impressions of their writings, this would seem inconsistent with any kind of journalistic standards that I could imagine. However, I’m not a journalist.

  7. Reply to Alan’s comment to me – (can’t do third reply) so typing here:

    Sorry for the long reply, but once again a post triggered this set of questions …

    Speaking of Google; specifically Google images – real estate or related (or not???)

    A few years ago Google had the wrong house picture posted for an address. Same model, but wrong house on the street…

    Has anyone noticed that when you google a person’s name and go to images (most obvious of course when you already know what the person really looks like), and see all sorts of images of people who are in no way them, or even plausible as to why those images might be there.

    Let’s use the example of a female agent (could be a male – just a point of reference for purposes of making a point) – let’s say it is someone who always dresses appropriately, whatever the event, mostly business suits etc. never sultry sexy poses…

    And lo and behold there are pictures of gals in bikinis and party dresses, pictures of guys who in no way are affiliated. And women of several age groups, some trying to look like sleek models on a runway.

    Not unlike FB issue of the same ilk. Reference there, as well, is the “like” associations.

    I never knew that if you visited a page, it often automatically shows up as a “Like,” on your personal or business page. WOW! Best be careful what you visit. Or searches you do and then you visit a site.

    Same with books or films you enjoyed. If you don’t provide the information, FB chooses “for you.”

    The systems seem to be designed with some sort of auto-select, to either choose for you, or complete a selection you started to make, producing all sorts of choices you would NEVER have made.

    That whole concept both at Google and at FB is so wrong and truly an invasion of basic privacy. I am surprised not to have seen this addressed in any
    way.

    Did anyone else take exception to this sort of thing? I find it very annoying and full of misrepresentation. Totally midleading, often, especially for people who don’t know any better.

    And when clients look at your info and see outrageous or peculiar entries, believe it or not, they will judge – and if you are, for example, applying for a job – it could affect the decision making process.

    Here’s another perfect example: do a google search:
    carolyne L recipes images – and what is there – a few pictures are mine; all the others are absolutely NOT MINE.

    I don’t want the owners of those pictures, like also in the aforementioned notations here, to come chasing me down thinking that “I” posted those photos; much less anyone (clients and colleagues, in particular) on FB, or Google images thinking the pictures deeming to be me, are for real.

    Who gave permissions for such attributions and affiliations? And more importantly – how to correct it all???

    Carolyne L ?

    • Carolyne, You remain so far ahead of others why organized real estate…especially women leaders (no chauvinism intended because my mom and wife and daughter know that would never be intended) are not seeking you out is simply crazy. I have read your posts now for 3 years and your insight and logical thought provoking posts defy the environment you traded real estate in.

      Here on REM and in association directed “educational courses” for a few years using FB to power your business has been endorsed alongside google plus, myspace (remember that one) and dozens of others. The FREE (wink wink nudge nudge you stupid REALTORS) give me your business while you sleep FREEMIUM sites.

      Point2 conned CREA so bad that most agents names now have a Point2 direction on the first page of google while their listings posted to the DDF have a similar google premium.

      Here I am at 10:50 on a Friday night reviewing Bank of Canada house price studies and laughing at the ignorance of the economists on how housing markets function. I am sure if I asked you a question framed in how real estate is bought and sold you would answer with a reality no MBA or the CREA Chief Economist would take years to learn.

      I hate waste. I hate seeing potential lost through the hands of time. If your fellow registrants remain ignorant to the value of your wisdom and expertise I guess the coming storm is even more justified than I myself now believe it to be.

      Ross Kay
      http://www.rosskay.com

      sometimes posting as Advising the Associations, Advising the Registrant, RECO Update and more!!

      • Let me say, I am no lover of social media; I know next to nothing about it, and nearly all my client base of all age groups, does not participate.

        Joined LinkedIn and Twitter (immediately Jack Layton followed me, and not long after, Justin Trudeau – seeing as how I am apolitical, and had no political specific affiliation, I had to scratch my head in womderment), and never used the sites.

        I got weird invitations from who knows whom. People “following” me that I have no way of knowing who they are or what they want, if anything) how to communicate with. Never did MySpace, Ross.

        I belong to a couple of industry forums is all. But many people are fickle. They often only are interested to “collect LIKES and FRIENDS.” These are somewhat nebulous “terms,” that are quite misleading.

        I had swallowed the “it is necessary” pill, and signed on, but quickly discovered it was not my “thing.”

        It’s fun for interacting with colleagues at times, but who has a new grandchild that just learned to walk/talk didn’t hold interest for me. And in the industry, anyone who knew me will tell you I am definitively not a social butterfly. :)

        I love everyone but at the end of the day, I just want to go home.

        And I never participated in Point2, (I found it all overwhelming) although Saul in San Diego is a business friend:colleague who took on that project in Saskatchewan.
        ****
        Nom de plume: how clever to make use of a pseudonym relative to “topic-particular,” Ross.

        Creates a memorable effect… Makes it easier sometimes to follow a thread, and be remembered, in a sometimes whacky disqus system, where it is often easy to lose track of (or go back to) a specific thread, unless you can recall the specific article subject name.

        Learned REM is not equipped to search “comments:posts,” only can search words that appear “in an article.”

        But I did discover that a search IS doable, using your browser. It will redirect to a REM comment, easily.

        Not unlike Tommy Hopkins with his umbrella story, your pseudonym choices. And his rememberable pet remark: “You must have a reason for feeling that way… Can you tell me what it is?” He was “remembered” for taking a head-on different approach to this business.

        Careful if agents use such a canned expression of interest… It can bite your bum. But it truly is an excellent conversation guidepost.

        Really and truly, and said in a genuine manner during a discussion, it can act as a bond achieving method of gaining trust (and respect) but only if you are, in fact, truly interested in developing rapport.

        It’s a wonder I was ever so successful, Ross. I spent so much time developing rapport, days, weeks, months, and in a few cases, years. The longest interaction, that in the end netted me a near twenty thousand $ commission, took three YEARS to consummate. I have been blessed with an inordinate amount of patience.

        Some people just don’t rush, and their near impossible wish list, nearly not realistic. That is how to paint yourself into a corner, when you finally do reach fulfillment. They likely will live there forever. Where’s to move them to now?

        Happened often with my clientele, literally. No where to move them to and no need to move again.

        There’s a big difference between being a nuisance and being in your face frequently (with a purpose). Commonly called “follow-up,” but often the “follow-through” gets forgotten.

        People see right through disingenuous attempts, knowing all a sales rep really wants is just to chalk up another “deal.”

        One of the things I pointed out when first meeting up with someone new: disengage their fear mechanism; that is always number one.

        They have to know that there are no dumb questions, and no matter the depth of the question, you will always be there for them (I know that’s how “you” worked, over the years, too, Ross); the most perfect answer to a question is often: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out;” and then move forward from there. FIND OUT, and report back, ideally in writing. Keep a paper trail.

        One of the chief missing factors in our industry: “lack of patience.”

        I had to tell her the truth!!! A client, the woman of the pair, a couple of years ago said she thought since I had sold them 8 properties since 1985, and made it all seen so easy, that now that she had retired from business, as a divisional Vice President of a manufacturing firm, she thought she would go into the real estate field; then in her late 60’s.

        She asked did I think she was smart enough? A loaded question of course. Out of respect I could have bowed and cow-towed and made her feel good. But of course I took a different approach.

        She is one to speak her mind, and what pops out of her mouth is whatever does so, sometimes before she thinks it through; often sounding demeaning (he, even more so). And her short suit is “patience.” She has none. Minus zero tolerance.

        So, THAT is what I told her; “yes, you don’t need me to tell you that you are plenty smart enough; that goes without saying. You know that already.”

        “However, I honestly don’t believe you have the “patience” needed 24/7 in this business. And you need to be prepared to work countless hours and not get paid a nickel.”

        She elected not to go into our industry. I initially met them as a sign call. The property was not for them. We’re talking 1985.

        They informed me they rather liked a property for sale, in the same street but didn’t want to pay what the seller was asking.

        They had seen the house already and entertained making an offer – until the rep who showed it to them said the seller would never accept such a ridiculous offer. (REALLY?) Agent didn’t own the house. Or even have it listed. It was on MLS. The sellers had listed with a friend.

        And, the would-be buyers had a house to sell. During the course of our discussion, I suggested they view the property again, with me, (there were no buyer contracts back then) so I could get a feel for what they were saying, They did.

        The house did not show more than a 6:10 and I was being kind, in my mind. But I didn’t say that.

        I knew somewhat precise values in my head because I had been involved in helping buy or sell many in the immediate area.

        I simply said / if you are genuinely interested, I will present your offer, gladly. Perhaps it can be massaged into place so that everyone agrees.

        If you don’t get it, it’s not for lack of trying, and I’ll find something else for you.

        They were surprised that I “would do that for them.” They said: “You are prepared to do that for us?” They got the house and I got to list theirs.

        A couple of years later, I double-ended them, at their bought location, and sold them another of my listings, double-end there, too.

        Exclusive listing from my opinion of value file, on hand due to that would-be seller chose not to move at the time of OofV.

        Sellers moved out of town on corp trsf that just happened to be in the works at the time I reconnected – with my buyer who specifically wanted their floorplan on a park lot location. Short supply.

        Five years later these buyers/sellers wanted to move back into the subdivision where I had first sold them. Only now they wanted a bungalow, with a pool, on a large private lot. I just happened to have one. Very short supply.

        Another double end. And I also sold that seller an MLS listing. My buyers sent me their golf buddies who bought a house, and they, too, had a place to sell, as well as sending me their son, a first time buyer. That golf couple sent me their daughter in a different part of town.

        This is just one example of dozens times dozens that worked out in a similar fashion.

        I wouldn’t double-end today except in a very rare set of circumstances.

        I was forever told, Ross, that I worked in an unconventional manner. Only explanation is to relate these sorts of circumstances. Maybe it will help someone else along the way.

        Thanks for your kind words, again, Ross.

        I was never sick a day in my career, but for past couple of years, I have been nearly completely incapacitated, and simultaneously dealing with a major family crisis; so as a result, nearly invisible.

        At 73, life is on hold at least temporarily. We’ll see what the future holds. Maybe later will investigate the MBA. LOL

        Be blessed in all you do. You are appreciated. Don’t ever think otherwise.

        I don’t know ANY of the topics you take on, as to being able to quote chapter and verse. Not often within my area of skill, knowledge, or authority to speak to. So, I, for one, always learn from your skill set. Thanks for all you do. Timewise, you must have a clone :)

        Cordially
        Carolyne L ?

  8. Marty,

    You may be missing reality here.

    Today, agents are hiring the brokerage and not vice versa. Seasoned agents only want your brokerage services and not your so called “training” or “supervision”. If it were cheaper, we would all be opening our own franchises (gawd, the regulators and boards would hate the added bureaucracy in that — but they would bill accordingly, I’m sure). So count your blessing that you have been able to “retain” as many suppliers (i.e. agents) as you have because if there is more VALUE to us across the street, you can be sure we are going to cross the road.

    And I, for one, take offence in you calling real estate industry members “salespersons”. We don’t SELL property, we only sell our SERVICES. We BROKER properties.

    Yes, Dave Liniger hates part-time agents and “losers”. As long as consumers allow commissions to go unchecked and aren’t demanding an evolution to the formula, the market will always have part-timers and losers because it really is so easy to earn a full-time wage working part-time in this industry. Let’s face it, any agent not doing 24+ deals in a year (the majority) is only WORKING part-time in this business. It’s not rocket science and really only requires a high-school education, a little business and marketing savvy and a whole pile of knowledge/experience.

  9. Marty,

    The impression you try to give with this post is that only the sales representatives can be “turkeys” and “losers” and that the Brokerages are too soft sometimes. Well, actually it’s the sales representatives or practitioners who are too soft sometimes.

    I’ve reviewed your brokerages real estate website, and I can’t say that I was overly impressed. I wouldn’t consider the pictures of your property listings to be up to my standards, with pixel dimensions of “573 x 430” – for an enlarged presentation. I also noticed what I would describe as chromatic aberration on a number of the listing photographs that I reviewed — which included listings close to the top of your highest price points.

    I also conducted refined property searches using your brokerage website, which led me to competitor brokerages property listings, as well — that would no doubt pertain to the DDF. When I started my search I was only expecting to see your brokerages listings, as there was no prior indication I was entering a DDF window — which should particularly confuse users who know nothing about the DDF. Marty, the ReMax brand may be strong, but I wouldn’t want my listings displayed on your brokerages website.

    Marty, nothing personal, but if your brokerage website was dedicated to just your own property listings, you would be able to market them in a way that would be “above the crowd” but as it stands, the rest of the crowd (your competitors) fits in your balloon!

    • Marty, their website has nothing to do with DDF — it is IDX. As REALTORS®, we have the right to advertise all board listings in IDX on an IDX website. DDF has to do with “Third Parties” (i.e. non board members). I would hate to think of what our MLS *System* would be if all we could do is advertise our OWN listings or have to rely on the awful listing agent lead capture website REALTOR.ca

      • Tom,

        The DDF is just a glorified and expanded version of IDX (I know the difference) — you’re point is moot! These systems were designed to even the playing field between the lower producing and higher producing real estate practitioners — they’re not about the seller’s. As a matter of fact, many seller’s haven’t even known that they were going to be exposed on IDX — and didn’t give informed consent, in some instances and jurisdictions.

        • The Data Distribution Facility (DDF) rules and regulations as confirmed by CREA’s legal team repeatedly, makes it practically impossible for a listing to not appear in the distribution without the member effectively taking anti-competitive actions. Since the DDF “cat was not keep in the bag” it now is impossible to put back. If you are looking to keep your listing out of the DDF it is only legally (ie not anti-competitive) possible today in the following ways:

          1) Your registrant business is under a independent non-franchised brokerage who itself does not participate in the DDF or any IDX nor does it allow it’s listing’s creative to be used by any other registrant other than those working under the same independent non-franchised brokerage.

          2) Written direction from the Seller is obtained directing the Listing Brokerage to assign marketing control exclusively to the Brokerage which must meet the conditions of 1) above. (Note this requires a highly skilled, ethical and professional registrant to ensure the client completely understands the reasons why their listing is not part of the DDF and the risk reward of such a recommendation. Remember you National Association supports inclusion as a beneficial option.)

          3) Optionally the listing can be taken non-mls and not posted to any co-operative listing service.

          • Question please: some things happen on the Net, almost instantaneously; other things, not so much…

            Poses the question relative to agent leaving the arms of the fold, at current brokerage – taking listings assigned to new brokerage…

            How to get the listing OFF the existing feed (on the Net), where multiple brokerages currently have it flowing in their system?

            Likewise, for some reason, sold listings often appear as being active, when they are no longer, in fact, available…

            Has anyone experienced that?

            Carolyne L ?

          • Technically there can be a 48 hour window that can be a result of meeting the minimum requirements of the DDF across both association and member feeds.

            Bigger problems occur from the 3rd party sites where CREA has failed to due even a modicum of follow up to ensure compliance.

          • Carolyne,

            What you’ve described is just another inherent problem with these systems. Instead of there just being one redundant version of a listing floating around there can be hundreds. Regarding IDX, I’ve seen an expired property listing rank higher on a Google search than the active version of the same listing — months after the initial expiry.

          • ATA,

            If CREA has a legal opinion regarding Competition rules — you could quote them here, but you’ve chosen not to do so. You may require anonymity but any written competition opinions should be, at a minimum, paraphrased by CREA, officially.

            1/ The fact that one franchised operation should choose participation and that another wouldn’t, should be up to the individual franchisee — notwithstanding written franchise agreements. There is a suggestion by the creators that exposure on IDX and or the DDF is beneficial to seller’s and practitioners (more the latter) and this was made presumptively at the time these systems were implemented. To suggest that a business has any unwavering obligation to promote a competitors product on the basis of a reciprocal arrangement, in the absence of empirical evidence that has been properly documented that confirms some clear benefit to a seller, is ludicrous. At the very least, the agreements that I’ve read about such systems require the user (brokerage) to have a dedicated portal or window.

            2/ Based on my experience with IDX, written authorization hasn’t been clearly given by a seller to accept or acknowledge participation, and yet you seem to suggest here that it’s necessary to have permission to decline such exposure. The nature of a typical written listing agreement is that it is an: exclusive marketing contract that is to be managed by the listing brokerage. These concepts (IDX & DDF) can tend to disempower the individual practitioner from using their own good judgement, in terms of what is best in representing a seller client — when a brokerage must be either 100% in or 100% out. When an individual is denied using his/her own good judgement to represent a client how could that be viewed as reflective of unobstructed natural competition?

            When a prospective buyer Googles an address online for a property in Ontario, and it shows up (complements of the DDF) under a competing brokerages banner that is based in British Columbia instead of the listing brokerage, or at least a brokerage from the same province — do you really think any seller will benefit from such exposure? Where is the documented evidence that there is any value to sellers in having a listing brokerages marketing efforts fragmented or diminished in primary stature?

            One of the main points that the Competition Bureau of Canada tried to drive home, was that we had to be more flexible in terms of what we hadn’t or wouldn’t offer consumer’s. To the extent that I can agree with that kind of sentiment this would be a good case in point, because it should be easy for a seller to decide not to participate in the DDF or the IDX — if they agree with the counsel of their real estate practitioner.

            The most fundamental aspect of good competition, is that we are free to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. When we’re all floating around in the same basket that’s not my idea of competition — it’s just one crowd going up and down that’s depending too much on hot air!

          • Alan, Your association has all these answers. They were part of the DDF process. These items were still on realtorlink last time I looked….anyway call your association and ask what the legal opinion of CREA was that required your association voting yes to the DDF or being forced to leave CREA. ( Assuming you are not in Manitoba or Quebec).

          • ATA,

            I’m quite familiar with the answers that my Association has, thank you. They, like most, just go along with whatever CREA is selling, at the time.

            The fact that an Association is participating in the DDF is a separate and distinct subject from what a brokerage may decide to do, so you’re just confusing the subject and dodging my points — because they’re over your head, or inconsistent with what you want to push.

            CREA doesn’t have a legal opinion; CREA receives legal advice — the legal validity of which can only be determined through formal processes such as the Competition Tribunal. If the legal opinion exists that you’re suggesting I should confirm verbally, I wouldn’t need to confirm it verbally, I would just read it for myself.

            ATA, I don’t know who you think you’re going to impress by suggesting anyone should look for “verbal” verification of anything important, but in the interests of not pretending to be someone you’re not, I feel you need to come up with a new pen name — because, quite frankly your current one is more than a little bit pretentious!

      • Tom,

        You are mistaken about what the DDF (direct data feed) represents — which is a sad commentary considering it isn’t new. In the event you are in fact a practitioner, you also wouldn’t have disclosed this properly to your seller clients — assuming your brokerage has chosen participation. I’m sure CREA would be happy to bring you up to speed though. Actually your Broker of Record should be your resource, but some Brokers aren’t as relevant as others.

    • Alan, Marty writes great articles that are enjoyed by all. Why would you take the time to visit Marty’s website to pick something that you could criticize. Seriously Alan are you really a Realtor. Your comments in general reflect that you are not in a management role or on a real estate team since very few individuals would be able to work with someone that is so negative. I once had a boss that was a bully and no matter what you did or said you could never please him. I expect most Realtors would like to work in an office were everyone is friendly and willing to help one another succeed.
      I would never pick an office to work based on the pixels on their website.

      • CA,

        I had assumed that someone was enjoying Marty’s articles; I don’t particularly enjoy them. That fact that Marty uses words like “turkeys” and “losers” by quoting other so-called notable industry members, I find extremely negative, and gutless, because he should be using these words directly himself — since he seems to embrace them, so comfortably.

        CA, if you want to refute what I’ve said, you need to make some kind of argument — whining isn’t an argument. However, if you happen to be part of Marty’s stable, I can understand your concern over my technical points.

  10. Not sure what the point of the author or “Advising the Broker Owner” below is but I left my brokerage due to management and lack of perceived value for the thousands I was handing over to them every year – pretty much why people leave most jobs. During my first week on the job, I came up against my broker/manager in a bid to list a small commercial rental. I was told in no uncertain terms to “back off” – so much for the mentoring model! I still hung around for another 5 years but witnessing the advantages this manager took with regards to local sponsorship paid by the brokerage and with incoming referrals made it an easy decision to defect. The money in splits and fees that I saved was icing on the cake. Since my move, none of my new clients have ever raised the objection that I work for a small, unknown brokerage and the additional 20% I keep comes in handy when I have to compete for business or market myself more fully (or pay for my kid’s university). I doubt my brokerage gave my leaving a second thought because in today’s world paying for retention is bad business when there is an unlimited supply of low/(no?)-cost, fee paying replacements.

    • PP, How many transactions did you complete for that brokerage when you were a new fresh registrant looking for help?

  11. In Canada today there are over 5 million home owners still in a home they purchased with a sales rep that has since left the business. Those x-reps wiped their hands of their liabilities the moment they turned in their license and closed up their real estate business. The Broker Owner they represented in the handling of those sales remain active and still are liable.

    Failure to complete due diligence voids Errors and Omissions protection as does misrepresentation giving the brokerage zero relief. In a court challenge the former sales rep could not be force to self-incriminate so silence would be the tool of choice, leaving the Brokerage hung out to dry with no defense as they were not a party to any conversations yet still fully liable.

    It has amazed me for more than 30 years that Broker Owners assume so much liability for such a small share of the commission pie. Years after a sales rep leaves, the brokerage still remains liable.

    This now goes for teams and the new sub-franchise agreements that allow multiple brokerages under a single local franchise. I suspect team leaders are far more restrictive and controlling of their staff than broker owners have been in the past, so they may assume a lesser risk than broker owners normally do.

    Beware the educated consumer with a government website to visit for information and warnings.

    • Not sure about your province, but in Alberta just because an agent has left the industry does not “wipe their hands of liability.” In fact, the independent contractor agreements between the agent and the brokerage put ALL the liability back onto agent’s hands and wipes the brokerage’s hands clean of liability completely!

      • Tom, In Alberta or Ontario or anywhere else in Canada clauses in ICAs do not void the Brokerage of being 100% to the consumer client. The contracts are signed on behalf of the brokerage under the oversight of the brokerage whether the broker owner likes it or not. Sure the brokerage can then sue the former employee but it would be a practical impossibility with the legal relief available in a civil proceeding.

        The Brokerage is the one signing the contracts and getting paid not their sales staff.

        RECA cannot be avoided by a Brokerage no matter what paperwork they sign to try and get around their obligations attached to their right to operate a brokerage business in Alberta..

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