“How Can I Compete with a Minimum Service Real Estate Company?”


posted by on Consulting & Compensation


I got a good question the other day from Melissa. Melissa finds herself competing against companies who provide minimal service for a minimal fee. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, it’s a business model that has its place. But it can make it hard on those who offer full service for a higher fee, especially when the seller says those magic words “I need every penny out of my house to break even!” How do you persuade a seller that your services cost more because they’re worth more?

I could probably write a book, or at least a chapter of a book on this topic (oh, yeah, I’ve done that!), but for our purposes today, let me share a little script I came up with in the shower this morning.

When the seller says something along the lines of: “I’m sure you’re worth your fee, but I simply can’t afford you,” how can you respond?

Well, I don’t believe you should argue with him. Arguing makes you look insecure and somewhat desperate. And it doesn’t work. So don’t do that. Neither should you put down your competition – that will only subtly criticize the seller’s judgment; after all, he chose to consider going to minimum service route. But what if you say something like this:

I hear ya and I understand. You have a tough decision to make. On one hand, you can pay this other company a much lower fee upfront and hopefully retain more of your equity. On the other hand, you can hire a full-service agent, whether it’s me or someone else, and due to the increased exposure and marketing expertise, you might end up with even more of your equity. Either way, there’s no guarantee that your house will sell for what you need it to. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision. Do you have any questions for me that might help you in making that decision?”

The fact that you’re sitting there in the seller’s home means that he hasn’t ruled out paying a full-service company. In fact, he probably wants full-service; he’s just not convinced of its value. But if you first show him that you care about his situation and you trust his judgment, he’ll probably give you the opportunity to persuade him. Just wait til he’s ready…