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Standard Purchase Agreement Clauses


Purchase agreements are written to clarify most concerns

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There are common questions that buyers and sellers ask during the process of a home sale.  Questions such as: “Are they leaving the lawn mower?” or “How long will I have after closing to move out?”


Over time, answers to the most common of these questions have been built into our contracts in the form of standard clauses.  Most agents who sell real estate in the greater Calhoun County area use a common purchase agreement that has been reviewed by an attorney and is approved by our local Association of Realtors.  Here are some of the standard clauses in that contract and the common questions they answer:


The Financing Contingency Clause:  This clause requires the buyer to be specific as to how they will be paying for the property (cash, mortgage, land contract, etc) as well as what type of loan they will be getting, if any, what their down-payment and interest rate will be, and it establishes deadlines for the buyer to perform.


The Inspection Clause: Buyers are given the opportunity to do any and all inspections they feel they need to verify the condition of the home.  The inspection clause gives them this opportunity, but it also puts a time limit on the process.  It gives the buyer the opportunity to re-negotiate or terminate the sale  if the inspections reveal concerns.  The seller also has the opportunity to terminate the contract if they feel the buyer’s requests are unreasonable.


The Possession Clause: This clause works to be sure that all parties agree as to when the sellers will give possession to the buyer.  It also clarifies that the seller will leave the property in its current condition giving the buyer the opportunity to pursue legal action if the seller damages the property or removes items that should not have been removed.


 The Clause Concerning Personal Property:  Many disagreements have arisen when the buyers and sellers have different expectations as to what stays and what goes.  This clause works to clarify expectations and to determine if items that normally are included (like a water softener) are owned by the seller or are rented. 


Additional Costs and Who Pays for Them:  There are several paragraphs in the contract that address extra items like surveys, home warranties, title insurance, etc.  By including standard wording, agents can fill in the blanks to ensure that everyone agrees on what needs to happen to complete the sale and who pays for them.


Utilizing these clauses in the contract, gives agents a consistent method to avoid missed expectations and mis-communication.  For this reason, it is important if you are the client that you review the contract carefully and check that blanks are filled in or crossed out to prevent un-answered questions.  If you have any questions, direct them back to your agent.  Don’t have an agent?  Call us – we’re always happy to help.


Multiple Offers: Best Practices for Realtors


Locally, we are currently experiencing a “Seller’s Market”. This occurs when the inventory (houses available for sale) is less than 6-month’s worth of demand. There are more buyers looking to purchase homes in the next six months than there will be homes available for sale.

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One of the common characteristics of a strong seller’s market is the receipt of multiple offers. Sellers can receive many offers on their listing and find themselves with the task of choosing the best. When multiple offers are in play and only one is accepted, it is natural to expect that someone is going to be disappointed. Problems arise when there are unmet expectations. The best way to smooth the process for competing buyers, their agents and the seller, is to set very clear expectations up front. Here are 5 things to remember when setting these expectations:

  • Develop a very clear process for handling multiple offers with the seller up front. Listing agents should discuss the possibility of multiple offers with the seller at the time of listing and agree in writing on exactly how they will be handled. RE/MAX Perrett Associates has developed a template that agents can use to accomplish this. This document can be used as an addendum to the listing agreement.
  • Once a plan is in place and expectations are set, COMMUNICATE. By using the marketing remarks in the on-line listing and the showing instructions to agents, listing agents can clearly communicate the seller’s plan for receiving and responding to multiple offers.
  • When creating a plan with the seller, try to answer these questions:
    1. How long will the seller collect offers before making a decision?
    2. Will all buyers who submit offers be notified that there are multiple offers and given a chance to increase their offer before a deadline?
    3. How long will seller take to make a decision?
    4. What will be the process for offers not accepted? Will they be held as backup offers?
  • Stick to the plan – Having the seller agree to the plan in writing encourages them to adhere to the plan when things get hectic. If the seller has agreed to wait 10 days before responding to any offers and then gets a great offer the first day, they may want to change their mind and jump on the offer in hand. Sellers have a right to change their mind, but they will be much more thoughtful in their decisions when they have already carefully considered the possibilities and have a plan in place. If the seller does decide to change the plan mid-stream, re-visit item 2!
  • Make sure buyers are aware of all of their options – This step is for buyer agents. Buyers can get very creative in working to be the “winning” bidder in a multiple offer situation. A buyer’s agent should be aware of all the tools at the buyer’s disposal including, but not limited to, escalation clauses, waiving of inspections, financing type, paying closing costs, etc. For more information on escalation clauses, see our post from June 8 of this year.

The common thread for all parties of making this process as clean and pain-free as possible is communication. Listing agents should communicate early with sellers about the process and possibilities. Buying agents should communicate early with buyers on their options. Listing and buying agents should communicate clearly and in a timely manner with offers, terms, changes, questions, etc. Setting expectations early and communicating them clearly are the key to navigating this wonderfully hectic seller’s market.

Top 7 Reasons that Real Estate Sales Fall Apart (and what you can do to keep them together)


The road to finding the right home is not easy, especially in our current market.  With inventory historically low, buyers have to watch the market and respond instantly to new prospective matches.  Even when they find the right match, they most likely will have to survive and win a bidding war to become the home’s next prospective owner.  After all that work, the last thing they want is for the deal to fall apart and start over again.  To prevent this from happening, we need to ask “Why do deals typically fall apart?”  A good agent and excited buyer can work on preventing these pitfalls by doing some work up front.

  • Buyer is only pre-qualified, not pre-approved. There is a big difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification and sometimes it takes an experienced agent to recognize the difference.  A prequalification is a statement from the lender that if everything the buyer told them about their work history, income, credit, etc is true, then they are good for a loan.   Very little if no verification has been done at this point.  A pre-approval letter lets a buyer and agent know that the lender has checked the buyer’s credit report, verified their employment and income, and reviewed their tax returns.  The buyer’s file has been through the underwriting process.  Often, when an offer is accepted from a buyer who is only pre-qualified, the process of closing the loan brings up credit or employment questions that can kill the loan and the deal.
  • Problems with the lender – Not all lenders can be relied on to deliver as promised. Sometimes a buyer’s lender will encourage a buyer that they are “good to go” without doing their due diligence.  They might tell a buyer they qualify for an FHA or RD mortgage when further investigation reveals they don’t.  They might promise grant money that is unavailable.  Sometimes, the lender’s underwriter is located in a different part of the country with different expectations for loans than a Michigan lender.  Maybe they don’t understand the value of acreage, or a basement.  Many Realtors prefer a buyer use a local lender that they have worked with before and trust.  They want someone close-by that has a local reputation to protect.  In the end, the buyer has the right to work with any lender, but it is highly recommended that you use someone that has been referred to you by someone you trust.
  • The Property does not appraise – Part of the loan process is the completion of an appraisal. A licensed appraiser’s job is to be sure that the property has enough value to support the loan as collateral.  There is not a lot that can be done to influence the appraisal, but there are a few tricks that can help.  If a buyer makes a low offer and then later accepts a higher counter from the seller, the contract should be re-written with the actual sales price on the front page assuring that the appraiser is aware of expectations for price.  The listing agent should pay attention to the appraiser assigned to the file.  Sometimes, an “outside” appraiser is assigned who may not be familiar with values in the area.  If the appraiser is from an office more than 20-30 miles away, the seller can refuse the appointment and request that the lender assign someone else.  Lenders won’t always honor these requests, but the effort should be made.
  • Problems with the title – At the closing, the seller signs over the deed to the home, but only if the deed is free and clear of liens.  There are a number of lien defects that can be found.  Maybe parents deeded the house to children incorrectly before they passed and now the deed must be cleared through probate.  Maybe there is an unpaid tax lien on the deed.  Maybe there is an easement that no one realized was there.  Maybe the seller got a loan to buy a vacation home and didn’t realize the current home was attached to the lien.  While not every lien defect can be pre-determined, a good agent will interview the seller and try to uncover possible issues and clear them before the sale.
  • Buyer is not prepared for hurdles and backs out – It is very important that a buyer understand all the hurdles they must go through to get to the closing table. The lender may ask for documents to further verify income, employment, etc.  The home inspection may turn up issues that must be negotiated.  The appraisal may be delayed, or there may be a title issue that takes time to clear.  An experienced agent will make a buyer aware of possible pitfalls.  I used to tell my buyers this:  “I’m going to sound a bit like a Debbie Downer right now because I’m going to make sure you are aware of all the things that could go wrong during this process. I would rather get to the closing with no issues and have you happy that things were much easier than you expected than to tell you everything’s going to be easy and have you upset at the closing because we had to work through a few issues.  Either way, I’m here to guide you and help you work through any of these issues that may come up”.  A prepared buyer is less likely to terminate the deal at the first sign of trouble.
  • Missed deadlines – There are many dates on the contract that must be met. The buyer commits to having a home inspection within a certain # of days.  If the buyer asks for repairs, the seller must respond in a certain # of days.  The contract states the deadline for the buyer to make loan application and to close.  Good agents make deadlines sacred.  They watch them constantly and make sure they are met, or make sure they secure a written extension if they cannot be met.
  • Too much negotiation is done verbally – An experienced agent knows to GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. All too often, the seller tells the buyer they’ll take care of something, or the listing agent tells the buyer’s agent that the seller is taking care of something only to get to the closing and find out it wasn’t done, or it wasn’t done as agreed.  ANY time a promise is made, someone should be writing an addendum and getting it signed so that all parties are bound to a written agreement.

Experienced, top-producing agents keep detailed checklists to be sure that no steps are missed and that all deadlines are met.  They clarify agreements in writing and they review all documents for possible issues up front.  A good agent doesn’t write an offer unless they are pretty sure it will close.  They know how to do the homework up front to help get their buyers get to the goal line.  Have any questions?  Call your favorite RE/MAX agent – we’ve done this a million times.


Escalation Clauses: A Primer for Buyers and Sellers


Summer 2020 is definitely shaping up to be a HOT market.
  Sellers are routinely experiencing multiple offers within the first day or two on the market.  Buyers are writing full price offers and losing out to higher offers.  With this frantic pace and multiple offers, we have seen a rise in the use of the escalation clause.  Here’s how it works:


A buyer writes an offer for $100,000 and adds an escalation clause that basically says, “If seller receives competing offers, buyer increases their offer by an amount necessary to give the seller a net sale price that is $1,000 above the net sale price of any competing offer not to exceed $115,000”


Essentially, the buyer will beat any competing offer by $1,000 as long as they don’t have to go over $115,000.


Let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of this strategy for both buyers and sellers:


The benefit for a buyer is they pay the lower price if there are no competing offers, but still have the opportunity to beat a competing offer if one exists.  The down-side of an escalation clause for the buyer is that it let’s the seller know the top dollar they are willing to pay ($115,000 in this example).


For sellers, an escalation clause can push the sales price up without having to waste time going back and forth between the competing buyers.  Conversely, if a seller accepts an escalation clause from one buyer, they may never know if the competing buyer would have gone higher as well.  Also, if a seller accepts a higher offer and the house does not appraise for the agreed price, the seller may have missed the opportunity to sell to a stronger buyer at a lower but possibly better price.


We agree it can be confusing.  Just be sure if you are considering an escalation clause, you get the advice of an experienced agent who understands the pro’s and con’s.  RE/MAX Perrett Associates’ agents use a pre-written clause that has been reviewed by an attorney and addresses otherwise unforeseen loopholes.


 and you want to be sure you know what you’re doing.  If you have any questions, reach out, we’re happy to help.

Working on Your Data Base


Hey guys, for today's installment of "What should I be doing while I'm waiting to go back to work?", we are going to talk about a Realtor's gold mine and that is a database.  Successful agents have a few things in common and one of those things is a database.  All successful agents have a complete database that they use to track their customers and clients and their business. 

If you already have a database, don't stop reading quite yet: I'm going to talk to you first.  If you've already got a database in place, then as yourself, "What am I doing with it right now?". Are you reaching out personally to your top 50 clients asking them how they are doing, how things are going, are they on quarantine, are they essential, do they need some grown-up time, would they love to video chat with you?"

The thing to ask yourself right now is "What kind of an agent am I going to to be?" Are you going to be that agent that is reaching out, helping, giving advice and caring, or are you going to be that agent who says, "Sorry, I'm off work for the next few weeks, I'll talk to you when I get back?"

Okay, now for those of you who do not have a complete database: Get busy.  It's data entry, guys.  Get your phone and go to LeadStreet and start manually entering all the contacts from your phone into LeadStreet.  Save yourself a bunch of time and categorize them as you enter them. Categorize them as past client, friends and family, soccer moms, Christmas card, etc.  If you have a teenager at home dying of boredom, this is a great job for them.  For you techies out there, download your contacts from Google into a CSV file and upload them to LeadStreet.

Once you get that database complete, here's an idea:  add additional contacts for the area you want to farm.  Just go to the tax records, enter the street you're interested in and start entering those people in your database categorizing them as a specific farm.

When your database is complete, go back to the beginning of this entry and ask yourself, "What am I going to do next?"  Reach out, get in touch, show your clients and friends and family that  you care.  Start a private Facebook group for a certain demographic like Ashley Reniger's Momfit group.  this is the timem to be creative.  Let's ask ourselves every day what can I do in this market that no one else is doing that can set me apart?  How can I encourage buyers and sellers to move forward or at least be ready when this is over?  Once you have the answers to those questions, let's share...let's keep each other busy and motivated.

Loan Fraud - A Cautionary Tale for Buyers, Sellers and Realtors


If you have recently gotten a mortgage, your lender asked you to sign a form authorizing them to pull your original tax return in case of an audit.  Unfortunately, there have been instances in the past when either a borrower or their loan officer falsified numbers on a tax return which was later caught during an audit.

It is hard for most of us to believe that someone would commit such blatant fraud.  What we don’t realize is that almost every day, there are opportunities for buyers, loan officers or Realtors to commit fraud without intention and without knowing it.


Basically, problems happen when there are terms in the contract that are not shared with the lender and/or the underwriter
  For example: Let’s say the seller has offered to give the buyer a $2,000 carpet allowance.  At closing, the seller hands the buyer cash or a personal check for the $2,000.   Payments that go from one party to another without the lender's consent are a violation of real estate escrow laws. The buyer's mortgage lender is entitled to know all the financial details as the loan approval is based upon those details.


In this example, it is very probable that none of the parties intended to commit fraud.  The Realtor doesn’t think of carpet as having to do with the loan, the loan officer doesn’t want to “muddy things up” with extraneous details, and the buyer has no idea what the underwriter requires.


Another example would be if the buyer financed only 80% of the property’s value from the lender and the seller accepted the proceeds as full payment but collected the remaining 20% from the buyer with an “undisclosed seller second mortgage”.


Both buyer and seller are asked to sign an affidavit at closing stating that all terms of the sale are included in the statements and that there are no undisclosed agreements.  Parties that sign this document but proceed to transfer money outside of the closing run the risk of committing fraud.


What to watch for?


Be aware if any party to the transactions directs you not to share certain documents with your lender.  While this is not always wrong, you want to be sure you understand why the document is being withheld.  If furniture or appliances are included in the sale, but the buyer isn’t paying any more for the house to get them, the lender would prefer that the personal property be addressed on a separate addendum.  Lenders prefer the loan cover only the real estate.  Also, agreements between the buyer or seller and their agent may not require disclosure to the lender as long as they don’t affect the actual terms of the sale between buyer and seller or the buyer’s costs.


Boiling it down to basics:  Lenders use the buyer’s income, their debt-to-income ratio, the property’s value and the buyer’s cash investment to approve or deny the loan.  Any agreements between parties related to the transaction that might change these factors should be disclosed to the lender and the underwriter to avoid loan fraud.


If you have any questions, contact your favorite RE/MAX Perrett agent today and don’t worry, we’ve done this a million times!

4 Easy Changes for a More Organized Business



Just to clarify: Selling real estate and being a Realtor can be extremely hard. Realtors work with people, and people will surprise you with challenges every day, but the actual mechanics of keeping track of clients and transactions does not change very much. With the right systems in place, it can be easy. The catch, of course, is that most agents never put those systems into place. As a matter of fact, like the graphic above, many spend more time running around putting out fires, handling surprises and avoiding the work of creating systems than they need to.

Time IS like money - you spend it or you save it. One way to save it is to invest in ways that make it grow and earn you more. Unfortunately, by the time most agents find they need systems, the job feels too big to tackle.  So, here are 4 small and easy changes to start you on the road to a more organized business.

  1. SET A WORK SCHEDULE AND POST IT - Decide what hours you will work each day. Write them down and let your family and your clients know.    

Example:  M-Th 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Fridays, 11am to 6pm, Saturdays from 9am to noon and Tuesday and Thursday evenings by appointment.

If you wake up Monday morning and you have no set appointments, go to work anyway and work from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm as scheduled. Spend that time doing the prospecting, file management and client follow-up that never seems to get done. Just this change alone will actually free up your non-working hours, allowing you to spend them with family, hobbies, friends, etc.

  1. CREATE A DATABASE - At the least, Gmail is a database. Your data base should include the following for all customers and clients: Full Name, Address, Phone, Email, Classification (seller, buyer, past client, friend, etc), special dates (Birthday, Anniversary, Home Anniversary, etc) and notes.
  1. USE CHECKLISTS: Don’t push yourself to do more, be more, earn more – push yourself to be consistent. Your business will grow when you create consistencies. Consistency comes with checklists. You should have some sort of checklist for every aspect of your business, whether it is an electronic “action plan” or a paper checklist. The good news is that you do not have to create them yourself. Your broker has access to checklists for new buyers, new listings, pending sales, post-closing follow-up and everything in between. If your franchise provides you with a free CRM, there are action plans that you can apply to clients. DotLoop and Zipforms provide task lists for tracking your transactions. Any time you forget to do something, you should make yourself implement a checklist to track that activity. Where will you find the time to do this? Re-read the part about setting a work schedule.
  1. SCHEDULE ACTIVITIES JUST LIKE THEY ARE APPONTMENTS – Schedule 1 hour twice a week to update your pending files. Schedule 1 hour a week to call all your sellers and give them feedback and updates. Schedule 1 hour each week to call and update all of your current buyers. Schedule 2 hours each week to reach out to past customers and clients and schedule 30 minutes/day to update your social media channels. Treat these as appointments and schedule your other appointments around them. If your sellers know they will hear from you every Tuesday morning, they are much less likely to call you all hours of the day, seven days a week. You will be amazed at how orderly and controlled your days will become when you take command of your schedule.

Is this all overwhelming? Then just do #1 and start working a consistent schedule. Once the benefits have proven themselves to you, you will be ready to take the next step. I heard a diet expert say that it does not matter at all which diet you choose. Weight Watchers, Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Atkins…they all work. What matters is the moment you make the decision to actually follow one. That rang true to me and rings true with getting your business organized as well. What systems you implement, and how you implement them is not important. What is important is that you make the decision to begin implementing systems. Good Luck and call me if I can help in any way!

Business Planning - Working for a Reason.


Why do people succeed?    Because they INTEND to.

What if you asked yourself to fill in these blanks at the end of each day?:  “I’m glad I did ______________ or,  I wish I had___________________”.   How about at the end of each week?  The end of each year?  The end of your career? 

One of the most common mistakes that small business owners make is spending all of their time working IN their business and not enough time working ON their business.  A real estate agent is a small business owner and just like any business, they have several departments:  Marketing, Sales, Admin, Accounting, Receivables/Payables, etc.

Now is the perfect time to step back and look at your business and evaluate the performance of each department and make a plan for improvement for 2020.  A written business plan is the roadmap to your 2020 goals.

essful agents go through this process at least once a year.  They intentionally decide where their business is heading and they intentionally decide how it is going to get there.  Once an initial business plan is created, the process is relatively easy each year as it typically requires tweaking an already existing plan.  The hardest part for most agents is creating that initial plan. 


Jon Cheplak, a top agent coach recently said in a presentation of video for social media, “don’t let your fear of looking bad in video keep you from starting.  My crappy video beats your no video every day”

The same could be said for business planning.  A one-page no-frills basic business plan beats no business plan every day.

So, just start with these five basics:

  1.  Make a written production goal.


  1. Divide that goal by your average commission and determine the number of sales you have to have to reach that goal.


  1. Decide what percentage of your sales will be with sellers and what percentage with buyers.


  1. Decide where these sellers and buyers will come from.


  1. Decide what you are willing to do to attract the number of sellers and buyers you must work with to accomplish your sales goal.  Don't forget that Quality is by far the best business plan.  As you develop yours strategies, ask yourself how you can build on quality.


Here is an example:

  1.  Annual production goal: $100,000.00
  2.  Average commission: $3,000. $100,000/3000 = 34 total sales

  3. 50% sellers/50% buyers= 17 sellers and 17 buyers

  1. Sources for clients: FSBO’s, Expireds, My network, On-line Leads, Sign Calls, Open Houses, Relocations, Referrals, Farming, etc.

  1. Create a written statement explaining how you will work with your selected lead sources to attract the clients needed for your goal. (“I will attract 5 listings and 4 buyers by contacting my current network at least once per month including a phone call at least every 6 months”).


This is a very bare-boned business plan, but it is a terrific start.  Once this plan is in place, you can add to it, improve it and concentrate on different areas of your business each year as you improve. 

If you would like to see this process in action, please feel free to attend our in-house business planning sessions beginning this week.  We will be concentrating on creating and updating plans for agents in both our Marshall and Battle Creek offices and are happy to share the process with you. 



So, you’re interviewing 3 agents to list your home, but did you know that effective agents are also interviewing you evaluating whether they can realistically help you accomplish your goals?



I Googled “Questions to ask a real estate agent” and got 137 million results.  The most common are; How long have they been in the business?, What is their marketing plan?, How much do they charge?


These are all good questions.  I spend quite a bit of time coaching our agents on how to respond to these questions and how to demonstrate their value.


What I also teach agents is how to interview the client.  Effective agents know that not every client is the right client for them and they know how to determine which clients can effectively be served by our services.

In many ways, real estate agents are just like grocery store owners.  They have to determine which inventory to put on their shelves and they make those decisions based on which products are most likely to sell.  A store owner isn’t going to move the Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios over to make room for a new cereal unless they are convinced it’s a smart move.


Similarly, an effective agent fills their inventory with listings they are confident will sell.


So, what does an agent look for in a seller?  We like to say that an “A” seller is motivated, loyal, and has reasonable expectations


A motivated seller wants to sell their home and has a desired deadline.  In contrast, a non-motivated seller only wants to sell if certain expectations are met and has no real deadline to sell.


A loyal seller chooses an agent they know, like and trust and then follow’s that agent’s advice through to the conclusion of the sale.  They implement their agent’s suggestions and cooperate as much as possible to remove potential barriers to selling their home.


Reasonable sellers understand these things:

  • Buyers will not over-pay for a home because sellers need or want them to
  • Homes sell because of price and exposure. If your home has been properly exposed in the MLS and it isn’t selling, it’s over-priced.
  • They expect their agent to hustle and do all that they can, but understand that they, as sellers, also have to do all they can to make a sale happen. They understand that they may need to stage, they will need to price right, and they may need to do necessary repairs.

Unreasonable sellers expect the agent to work a miracle and ignore their own role in the process.


Before my back surgery, my surgeon asked me questions that were not the kind of questions doctors usually ask.  He wanted to know what my plans were once I recovered.  He wanted to know how I saw myself post-surgery.  Eventually he explained that he was interviewing me.  He had a policy of refusing to operate on patients unless they could demonstrate a belief that they would fully recover.  He needed to know that I had a positive attitude about my recovery.  If not, I could find someone else to do the work.  Once I realized he was interviewing me, I practically fell over myself to prove that I was qualified to be his patient.


So, what can you do to prove that you are the right client?


First, choose your agent based on the right criteria.  Choose someone you know, like and trust.  If you don’t already have an agent, ask your friends who they trust.  Work with someone who will tell you what you need to hear even if it’s not what you want to hear. Listen to them and respect their advice.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t question them when necessary, but if they can logically and tangibly explain their position – go with it.


Second, know what your walk-away price is and if the data shows that price is not realistic in the current market, don’t list your home.  Wait and pay down your principal or do whatever else you need to get the house ready and your finances where they need to be to sell at a reasonable price.


Lastly, be a member of the team.  Agree up front with your agent on your expectations of them and their expectations of you.  Understand that a price drop may be necessary.  Have faith in the value of upgrades you are asked to complete.  When you get the urge to ask your agent to do more, ask yourself if you’ve done what you agreed to do.  If you are working with an agent who knows, likes and trusts you, they will go to bat for you and stick up for you when a buyer tries to push you too far.


Would you like to meet quality agents who will tell you what you need to hear?  Call us.  With 30+ agents, we’re sure we have an agent you can know, like and trust!



I was in a broker training recently, and the speaker asked, “What is the most important factor that makes agents stay with a brokerage: The culture, Production, The physical space, or Leadership?”


Since I work hard on our culture at RE/MAX and try to create an atmosphere where agents are challenged to personal growth, I found myself hoping the answer was culture, but as soon as I heard the correct answer, I knew it to be true.


is the number one factor.  Office culture can be a wonderful “family” environment; the building agents work in can be modern and beautiful with all of the best tools; and the broker can be a great person who truly cares about you, but if motivated agents aren’t producing, they are not going to stay.


There are a lot of companies out there offering a full menu of promises that do not speak to productivity. 

If you are thinking about getting into real estate, or are wondering if you are in the right place, ask yourself these questions as you look at your options:


  • When interviewing with a broker or recruiter, what is their focus? Are they asking you about your production level and if you are happy at that level?
  • Are they talking to you about changes you could make to your business that would allow you to make more money?
  • Are they challenging you to work on a business plan that will help guide you through your year?
  • Are they offering you solutions that are actually geared toward creating a consistent income based on repeat and referral business?
  • Are they being clear about the amount of work and time needed for new agents to build a business?
  • Or, did they not even discuss production? Are they just offering cheap splits or virtual tools that have nothing to do with the 4 core real estate responsibilities: Lead Generation, Lead Conversion, Client Care, and Business Management?  Are they promising a large income without explaining the work necessary to achieve it?


The most important thing a real estate salesperson needs to know is that they own and operate a business. 

Businesses have several departments:  Sales, billing, payables, development, marketing, etc.  We often make the mistake of only focusing on our sales department.  An effective broker teaches and encourages agents to focus on the entire business.  Promises of lots of money with cheap fees are empty without the support needed to grow a complete business.


If you would like to know more, I highly recommend you read, “Takin’ Care of Business” by Brian Buffini and Joe Niego.  Or, call me at 269-441-5573 and I would be happy to visit with you and share my goal of helping agents make more money in less time – no strings attached.

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