Entry by Jose Rivera

OUR FUTURE AS ACRE AGENTS

  72 Comments

As this year comes to a close, I would just like to share with the rest of the ACRE members, my feelings and thoughts for the coming year.

I personally believe, we (ACREs) need our own "platform" from which to operate, more professionally and more efficiently. I really don't feel comfortable, working for any company out there, where other non- ACRE agents are doing things the "old" way. That is like swimming upstream or against the tide. How can any ACRE agent give 100% percent to any of those companies? Besides that, if I was the owner of one of those "traditional" companies, I would be very disappointed to find that out.

Yes, I understand, that we are "independent contractors" and therefore are not bound by traditional "employer/employee loyalty relationships. Nevertheless, we are a "team" and all teams need "coaches". Right now we are working for "coaches" that are not part of our "team"....the ACRE Team

So this coming year, we need to help Jennifer and Mollie (and the rest of the staff) form that seperate, official "TEAM". Keller Williams even has Team Leaders. We need to have "team leaders" too. We can all help in one way or another.

The other day, I read about a couple of very successful, seasoned commerical real estate agents in New York, that "broke away" from their "traditional" famous company and formed their own company, and already put together bigger deals. We need to do the same.

72 Comments

Jose, all great points, but I think most of us feel that the site here is a great platform for ACRE members. That's not to say we could not improve upon the current system.

My belief is--it is very necessary for ACRE to continue to update its' platform, if only to accomodate the fast pace of change brought on by innovation. Things like social media has created a huge shift on how business is done across the board. But we need to be clear on what we mean when we say own platform.

Are we to reinvent the wheel, or do we go in a totally different direction? What does that look like?  Are Teams a viable option? These are questions we will all have to answer and flesh out over time. 

Jose - thank you so much for posting this - and I agree 100% in theory - that it would be perfect if (as you've suggested before I believe) we could create a national "ACRE Realty" and provide professional consulting services as our business model!

And maybe that will come to pass - it's not an impossible dream, just rather inconvenient given the different licensing laws and customs across state (and province) lines, and, for now anyway, the revolving door of the industry as practitioners come and go in huge numbers.

For now, I'm optimistic that the programs we'll be putting into place at ACRE and SWS in 2012 will help to better connect us with each other so we don't feel all alone out there trying to create a better real estate business model.

By the way, one of my initiatives for the "new" ACRE is to develop some sort of training (not sure that's the right word) specifically for managing brokers to help them implement consulting within their offices. If anyone would like to help me tackle this... PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND!

Jennifer, I agree with you. Keep up the good work! Some dreams do become realities.....

I just changed brokerages recently and one of the reasons was exactly what Joe describes.  Although I'm a licensed broker, I don't feel like I have the time and resources to open my own brokerage, but I did find a place that charges only a small monthly fee and stays out of the commission model completely - so $400/month, and 100% commissions - this allows me to run the business model that I want without feeling that I'm paying into a traditional broker business model - and I net much more over the year, of course,  I think it will work well with the consulting model....

Does the $400 fee cover the E & O insurance?? Where are you and what is the name of the brokerage. Thanks!

For now, that may be the best way to run a consulting business - work at a brokerage that doesn't get involved in your compensation (that is, you aren't on a split, so you keep 100% of what you charge... or don't charge!). I did a hybrid consulting model when I was at RE/MAX and it simply wasn't an issue to clear it with them, although I realize now that I should have had all checks made out to RE/MAX, not to me (I charged an upfront marketing fee in exchange for a lower commission and had the seller pay me directly. That check should probably have been made out to RE/MAX- oops).

Anyway, I do hope that the consulting approach will become more and more palatable to brokerages, but until it does, we'll do the best we can with what we have to work with!

Jennifer, I'm raising my hand! What will be the role of the volunteers?

Also, to your comment about An ACRE Realty, I don't see the difficulty. It could easily be franchised based. The laws across state lines are really for the broker to deal with and most know how.

Billy - consider yourself volunteered. And I have no idea (at this moment) what you're volunteering for ;-] except to be on a committee to figure out what tools and training need to be created to make as easy (and attractive) as possible for a consulting-minded managing broker to bring consulting into his or her office.

Many people have asked me if I'd consider creating an SWS real estate franchise and my answer has always been the same. He!!, no. NOT that I don't think it's a great idea, but frankly, it's not what I want to do with my life. Perhaps as ACRE grows, we'll have the resources to take a huge step like that... and I'm certainly not opposed; I think it's a fantastic idea... I'm just not the gal for the job ;-]

Lest you think I'm just being lazy, let me explain that I'm a big believer in movements happening "organically" - that is - you create something good and begin to attract followers. As your following grows, good things start to happen without being prematurely "forced." Does that make sense? 

I think the Acre National is a great idea!  My title company latched onto the Acre model and created Nucazza around it to attract buyers and offer them to Acre agents while becoming part of the transaction.  IF there is a shot to do ACRE National, I would love to bring the title piece to the venture.

I would like to also be part of a group that can put a "package" together for brokerages to better implement the consulting model. Let me know how I can help.

Thanks Jennifer! I'm very glad to be of help.

And no you are not being lazy, but you can still be organic (that is what is happening now) and franchise at the same time. What I would like to ask, is that you keep an open mind and not rule anything out prematurely.  

Thanks again.

Wow! I am very happy to see all the responses to the "ACRE Realty" idea! Yes, we all know, that "Rome wasn't build in a day". However, like my friend liked to say about Rome...it WAS built! I believe we can continue to share our thoughts and ideas with each other....a sort of "THINK TANK" and something real good is going to come out of this, down the road!

This was a response to a question by Jennifer, but it's on point with the current discussion.

Dear Jennifer,

I'm a big fan of providing real estate advice and counsel to anyone who asks it of me. I don't look any further out than providing the assistance they need and I don't expect!! their business. I am of they opinion that they, themselves, need to become convinced of the value of my service before they will put their complete trust in me. To that end I have concentrated on building myself as a resource of real estate knowledge. I believe that's along the lines of "Selling With Soul."

That said, I believe the difficulty with the ACREconcept is two-fold. First, The industry has become so ingrained in the commission model that, for the most part, buyers don't care about our commission and sellers expect to pay a commission at sale. Of course, there are a few deviations from this model, but from my experience, it is largely the case. Brokerages have grown up on this model and most would not see the value of changing since, in total, if they don't get a sale through one agent, they'll get it from another. And it's complicated to deal with many lesser fees rather than larger commissions. If you think about it, the accumulated total available commission/fees from all transactions would go down under the ACREscenario, since (some) sellers would be paying an amount which is less than a "normal" commission. Therefore, agents and brokers will be working with a smaller pie. Second, through the general dissemination of advice when needed, I have created my own problem. When I have posed the proposition of using me on a pay-for-service/per hour basis rather than a commission, only one of my clients in the last 6 months - an investor buyer - has wanted to go that route. All others have concluded that they'd rather me take the closing commission as my compensation for the transaction, both buyers and sellers. For the latter, when I explain that the other 'side" will still expect to collect its commission, it becomes complicated to explain how it would work. Do we run an ongoing tally of charges to be offset at closing? Does an up-front fee go into escrow? etc.So the short answer to your question is that I'm not really "ACREing" - as yet, although philosophically, I'd like to. I guess I don't want to take a hard line.

I'm coming to the conclusion that Jose Rivera and others who responded to his thoughts, might have the right direction - set up ACRE consulting companies - albeit as seperate brokerages with or but with a common theme/umbrella. That way we show we are distinctly different, rather than just a good philosophy which is difficult to practice and who's time hasn't yet come. Competing within an established brokerage company seems unlikely to work.

What do you think?

Regards,

John

Dear John,

First, wasn't that a Sitcom from the 80s?  Anyway! You are not alone when it come to discouraging those who think differently and are convinced there could be a better way. Of course we have the classic responses with and without explanations as you have provided for us here--the most obvious one being "That will never work!"

But, like others, you have actually answered your own questions. Yes! We do run an ongoing tally of the charges to be offset at closing if that is how you prefer to do it. The reason this is possible is software. So many things can be done in front of the scene or behind the scene without much difficulty with simple off the self software. 

Therefore, to truly be successful we will need a system that demonstrates the benefits of what ACREing can not only provide to our clients, but also to brokerages--established or not.

Mollie mentioned in her book "The End of 6%", that one of her favorite books was "Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers", by Robert Kriegel & David Brandt... about the fact that when tradition fails it's time for a change. Has anybody read that book, yet? I am going to soon.

Dear William,

I didn't mean to sound discouraging - only to emphasize that in a traditional brokerage it's going to be difficult, or certainly a very lengthy process, to convince both Realtors and the market of this better way. That's why I believe that setting up or finding brokerages which are committed to consulting rather than commissions is the way to go. Thanks.

This has been a great discussion - thanks, Jose, for starting us off.

One thing I'd like to toss in here is in response to John's (and others') comments about the difficulties of "convincing" the public that commissions aren't the only way to pay for real estate services. This is probably a post in itself, or maybe even a chapter in a book, but I'll try to keep it reasonably brief!

One of the areas I've always disagreed with the early marketing of ACRE is the whole "Stop Working for Free" mantra. I think that sent the message that "consulting" is synonymous with "fee-for-service" which is not the case at all. It also implied (in my mind) that consulting is all about what's best for the AGENT, without nearly enough emphasis on how consulting benefits the consumer.

And yes, real estate consulting IS partially about how a real estate agent can be compensated for service. But NOT simply because agents are tired of “working for free” and are demanding a different arrangement!

No, the reason that professional real estate consulting specifically addresses our compensation structure is because true consulting is about offering the consumer transparent choices, both in the services they receive AND how those services are paid for. 

While there may indeed be significant benefits to the real estate practitioner who chooses to implement a compensation model that includes upfront or non-contingent fees, if the consumer does not benefit (at least) equally from the arrangement, the business model will fail. 

So, while the consulting model does include detailed discussions about compensation, it's just a part of the big picture of developing a real estate consulting practice, and we believe that by offering the consumer CHOICE in how they pay for real estate service, we are better serving the consumer… and fortunately, ourselves as well.

Okay, so this isn't as brief as I wanted it to be and I still haven't really made my point... but I'm going to hit SUBMIT and continue in the next comment box!

Okay, to continue... my point is that if YOU don't believe that a consulting model (whichever model you implement in your own business) is of benefit to the consumer, you will never be able to "sell" it to anyone.

I compare it to home inspections. In most markets, having a home inspection was optional; however nearly 100% of my buyers had their homes inspected prior to purchase. Why? Because I believed so strongly that an inspection was important and in their best interest and my buyers never questioned me on it.

However, I once got an email from a newer agent who mentioned that hardly any of his buyers got home inspections; in fact, he said that of the 10 buyers he'd worked with to date, only one had done an inspection. I was stunned, but as I pushed him a little bit on it, I discovered that he 1) didn't have a good inspector to refer to and 2) was subconsciously concerned that the inspection would "kill the deal" and cost him a paycheck. Therefore, he was not able to "sell" inspections to his buyers and most of his buyers did not do them.

Another example is home staging. In 2009, every single one of my sellers hired my home stager (and paid her themselves). Every single one. Why? Because I believed so strongly that home staging was in their best interest AND I had a great stager to refer to.

How is this related to consulting?

Thoughts?

Hello John,

I know you really didn't mean to discourage and I was responding in the manner I did, in order to make a point. I didn't mean to do it at your expense. I understand your perspective quite well and have use those same comments to make adjustments in my own practice. 

I do appreciate everyones point of view and I also have to make sure I'm in a receptive mode when in a forum of this nature.

Thank you John!

I just want to say one more thing...in regards to all my previous comments, about desiring to see our own independent real estate company in the future.

I am well aware, that NAR (the national association of realtors) has done so much for our business, and that without them we would not be able to call ourselves "Realtors". Also, the "MLS" is part of NAR too, and we all know that we can't operate without the MLS.

So...in the future, are we going to be known as "ACRE Realtors" or "Realtor ACREs". We just can't stay as "Realtors" because the public won't know the difference between US and those Realtors that are NOT ACREs.

We owe it to ourselves, and to the general public too, to be able to "stand out" from the traditional "realtors", and not just call ourselves "ACRE Agents". Those last words may imply to the public, that perhaps we are not also... "Realtors".

Please feel free to make some comments about this. Thank you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!... ESPECIALLY TO MOLLIE AND JENNIFER...AND TO ALL PRESENT AND FUTURE ACREs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

To be honest, I've never been a big fan of NAR, due in part to a really crummy experience being an exhibitor at the 2007 National Convention (don't get me started) -- and frankly, I don't see NAR being a big part of the future I have in mind for ACRE and SWS. I know that in some markets (but not all), you have to be a Realtor to have access to the MLS, but otherwise, I think we can do just fine on our own, thank you very much.

So, I don't want to tie being a real estate consultant to being a Realtor - they are two completely different "titles" in my mind!

But I like the way you're thinking for sure!

Hey Jose, 

I kinda get where you are coming from, but there are a lot of real estate professionals out there who believe the NAR is an impediment to the industry. As for the MLS being part of NAR--I don't want to say you are wrong, but if NAR disappeared today the your local MLS would be unaffected. 

I would have to agree with Jennifer, NAR shouldn't be a the focus here going forward with plans for ACRE and SWS. Here's a link I'd like everyone to look at when you have a chance.

http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-essential-characteristics-of-the-entrepreneurial-mind

It's like Jennifer said, you can do something that you truly have on confidence in. I have no doubt that this group here can change the industry! I've been working for almost a decade to make it happen and my belief that it will happen is stronger today then it has been at any point in the past.

You have to believe! And sometimes you may have to get rid of things you have come to rely so heavy in past.

 

Sorry guys,

My writing is truly terrible. It should have been, "you can't do something that you truly have no confidence in. 

Here in South Florida, if you are not a member of the local board, you can not use the MLS. I would love to see the day that the MLS is available to all real estate agents, without the politics and the propaganda of the present "boards". Thank you Jennifer and William for your input. Perhaps one day, we will all be able to access a "national MLS, and not have to be concerned with attending so many "training classes" at the local boards, that most of the time charge for them anyway. Once we have our own "platform" ALL our "relevant" training and learning should be directly by our own "support group", available locally in every major city! We may be able to also form and be a member of a private, mutual investment group (sort of like a Credit Union or Real Estate Investment Trust) within ACREs, where we can use for our "retirement" days. I'm sure there are many people here, who can come up with similiar ideas.

LOVE the article, Billy! I've been searching for great articles about "entrepreneurialism" and this is definitely one of them. Here's another I like... http://www.bizoffice.com/library/files/entrepreneur.html

Yes, on point Jennifer!

One of the reasons I went out and started my own brokerage was to be able to do what I want commisison-wise. I have been consulting for 5 years now, although only recently became an ACRE. 

I offer buyers/sellers a traditional brokerage model, but when someone does not fit the mold and wants more or less service, then I break it down into pieces and offer consulting services. I could not do that when I did not own my own company. 

I don't think we need a national ACRE franchise. That would be just like going backwards to the franchise model. Instead, we all need to operate as each one sees fit for his/her style, market, and business needs. 

To those who are having problems with brokers understanding, or finding a place where you can practice consulting your way, I encourage you to get your broker's license and hang out your own shingle. You don't need high overhead to succeed if you have built a good solid name in your market. 

In response to Erica Ramus's comments:

Erica, I think what you are doing may be completely right for your own little (in overall picture little that is) operation, but as far as promoting and furthering the ACRE way, it is completely the wrong way to go, and doomed to disaster. The current commission model is just too ingrained into both Realtors and the public- it's just too easy to fall back. In my opinion the only way that the consulting model will work on a large scale is to franchaise it, or at least "kit" the business model so that one larger North American wide company can latch onto it and run with it- as at least a "division" of their own business model. To be honest, if done the right way, it could propel a franchaise to the top of the heap and really make a difference in the future of consulting and the real estate industry. There are enough ACRES and enough momentum to propel such a franchaise- however there may very well be some resistance to present ACRES to move companies to do so..

As we speak, there are hundreds (or thousands) of registered ACRES not doing any consulting at all, and I am registered among them. I have created my business model, formulated a business plan, even put together a potential price schedule, but then my phone rings and I get busy involved with a serious client, which rolls into another transaction, and before you know it I have fallen back into the old way of doing business. Human nature takes over and I am reluctant to "change the wheel". Then I hit a slow period and I get excited, then the revolving door takes over!

Every one I discuss the ACRE model with thinks it is fantastic, yet I have done nothing to put it in practice- why? Because I am worried about failing, and too worried about paying the bills to spend the time I think is needed to put my own "successful" consulting practice to work. Too worried about how my peers, including my broker will see me and perhaps see me fall on my backside because I forgot to think of a potential issue or situation which will not fit. As the only practicing consultant in my area, I will feel all the eyes on me waiting for me to fail! That's too much pressure for most of us to handle without a support system behind us. Yes, there are other ACRES we can blog, email or even call to talk to, but it is not the same as having the support right here at home. That's what a single multi-national franchaise could do, not to mention adding much needed initial credibility.

That's why I think a franchaise "kit" needs to be formulated and "SOLD" to an existing viable franchaise, one that is currently operating between all state and provincial lines- in both Canada and the US.

And it should cost the consultant a fairly hefty price, at least $5,000 to be a member, plus a yearly retainer. Mollie started the ball rolling in the right direction, and by offering free access to hundreds or thousands of active agents (which I am one of- thank you Mollie!), and has spread the news about the consulting model, but human nature takes over and our value model tells us that as it did not cost us much, it's ok if we don't DO what we all know we should be! I know I am not speaking for ALL ACRES, but I bet the majority.

Anyway, those our my thoughts for what they are worth. Sorry it's way too long! I have not been much a part of the Exchange in the past, but I am concerned about the future of ACRE and want to see it continue, but in a much more viable way.

With all due respect, I don't need a "kit" to do consulting. I mix it in with my brokerage and have managed to create my own model.

If ACRE sold a "kit" to one major franchise, I'd take issue with that. Why is that necessary? Let anyone who wants to be an ACRE take the class, put their own menu of services together and start practicing. It's not that tough. The "kit" is already before you -- in the ACRE class you do the work. Simply offer it as an alternative to your clients. No major work or extra marketing necessary. 

Respect appreciated. However, I am looking at the big picture here, and the vast majority of ACRES are not as entrenched in the consulting model as you have obviously become. It is to your credit that you have had the foritude and committment to not only consult, but to also broker your own business. I take my hat off to you. But to me, and I would guess many others, we don't want to spend the time and take the responsibilty of brokering our own companies. It is obvious you are strongly independent (not having met you personally), and that is great, but many in our industry definitely need the support that you adamantly resist, and this exchange, while it is an absolute fabulous resource, just isn't getting it done on its own.

I was speaking of the big picture and future of ACRE, and I realize it may not suit everyone.

Loving this discussion... keep it going... and know it's being absorbed and will be acted upon!

And it may not suit anyone, but that's why we have the Exchange, to swap suggestions and ideas. Perhaps my views will not be held by the majority, but that's what I believe is one way of really getting consulting going . . . obviously not the ONLY way.

By the way, my vision for the future of Consulting lies somewhere in between Erica and Tony's viewpoints (how's that for playing Switzerland?).

You're right Tony I am fiercely independent. I don't think packaging it in a box will help the hundreds of agents who have taken the course yet not done anything to move forward with consulting. Either you believe in it, or you don't. If your broker won't help you, then find another broker who will, or start your own company.

I don't see how adding water and microwaving will help move the movement forward. The pieces are already there. The path is laid down in the course. Now you need the energy and time to move it forward, or not. Putting it in a box, charging $5000 to buy the kit won't make someone more or less likely to put the principles into practice.

I just don't get the point. How many people take a class, go home, and never open the book again or remember what they learned? How many people buy software and tools and never use them? Tons. 

You took the ACRE course so you care. Now each of us needs to put the principles into our own practice. 

I believe in ACRE and consulting. But I don't personally care if someone in my town or the next town does it or not. I will continue to operate my own way. I am not on a mission to convince the others around me to do this. If they don't see the benefit, tough for them. They are missing out. It works for me. That's all that matters to my business. 

Tony, everything you said in your post is correct. First, falling back is not only easy to do, but it is almost inevitable, due to the fact that consulting is presented using the traditional real estate model. I believe that it is difficult, but not impossible to offer consulting with the traditional model, which is an at-need model. Secondly, I agree with you on franchising and what you call a kit, I call an "Add-On Franchise." 

As you said, franchising gets you to scale sooner and makes you somewhat more legitimate in the eyes of the industry. A far larger benefit of franchising, is that it gives you a system that exposes if the franchise is viable and if it will be profitable or not. 

I have created a program that works like your kit, that I'm calling an Add-On Franchise. Instead of offering the program when someone has an immediate need to sell (most calls to traditional brokerages are looking to sell asap) I'm approaching people without that immediate need (Pre-Need). Using consulting or even a Flat-Fee works a whole lot better inside of a Pre-Need model, far better than an At-Need model in my opinion. Just think of the Funeral industry.

I'm finishing up the franchising documentation and should them completed before spring. What I have to do is get to scale and I will be approaching independent real estate firms because they are the most flexible when it comes to new ideas. The cost I'm toying with is between $3500 and $7500 for early adopters.

I actually have the full program in place with a web portal for listing properties on a Pre-Need basis.

Who would like to join me?

In my model, I see the other franchaise companies, after seeing the success of the consulting model both in sales and consulting becoming a reality, will have little choice but offer similar services and bingo . . . consulting will be the wave of the future. Not all sales agents will be consultants, and perhaps in some instances consultants will do ONLY consulting, and listings or sales will be referred to the "sales" force- or non-ACRE agents. That may not be for every ACRE, and so it should be flexible enough for the member to choose. Other models have worked well in this situation, such as notaries & lawyers (here in Canada), mortages companies and even staging companies- one side benefits and promotes the other. At first it starts out small, but as momentum builds it will eventually become an industry standard. Time will nuture the consulting model, but it needs to be "wrapped up" in a neat little package and "sold" (referring to the idea rather than dollars) to the right committed company(ies).

All ideas, whether successful or not, start out as dreams . . .

With "all due respect" to everyone reading/participating in this Exchange of ideas ...

I just revived an article I originally posted in our infancy: Bussiness Approach vs. Business Model. It is now in Recent Entries.

I think we all need to consider the nature of the beast ... the typical real estate agent who enters the business without a clue about how to conduct oneself as an independent contractor, an independent business person, and how the typical brokerage my take advantage of the non-experience with the cookie cutter commission approach. One does not need to think. It is simple.

Consulting is not for everyone. I contend that an agent who wants to pursue "consulting" as a mode of operation, the Business Approach, can do so in the commission only environment. No problem.

Take it the next step. Offer a different way to get paid as an ALTERNATIVE and be able to JUSTIFY why it is in your clients best interest. Where is the value? The value is in your own reputation, experience and a set of reasonable fees.

The key word here is alternative. Since we comptete in a 99.99% commission based system, it MUST be offered as an alternative and you need to have a method of presenting your "consuting fees" in whatever form they may take as a competitive "CHOICE."One of the most significant differentiators offering CHOICE and a solid fee schedule is the TRANSPARENCY which does not exist in the commission only model. Believe me when I say it is powerful.

My experience was to start my real estate business as a consultant and developed my fees from the very beginning. I then interviewed brokers until I found one who was focused on integrity and open to the idea of a "fee schedule" alternative. It happened to be RE/MAX and I became a 100% agent, able to negotiate anything I wanted with my clients. My business approach was one of a consultant and my business model included offering choices on how I could be paid.

So, individuals CAN DO this as agents or in their own boutique brokerages.

My10 cents worth.

From what I'm seeing here, we are all heading in a similar direction. I tend to agree with Erica on a personal basis - if you GET the concept and philosophy of consulting, just DO IT - make it happen in your world! But what I've found after five years of teaching and training real estate agents is that many DO need a kit or a system to get started and we can fight that or accommodate it.

This is something I'm struggling with as we speak as I put the pieces and parts into place for the Real Estate Consultant of the future. On one hand, I don't think entrepreneurs should have to be told EXACTLY what to do - give them some ideas, assurance and support and let them take it from there... on the other, to effectively spread the word (and the movement), the reality is that we probably will need to create a tidy package that is easily understood and implemented.

Excellent discussion. Thank you all.

Jennifer, since we are deep into this discussion here, is it possible to give us a more detailed outline for the webinar? 

Hi Erica- I had thought so (about the independence), but your attitude helps no-one other than yourself. I can respect that, but I am not sure that the future of ACRE can handle such an independent and self-centering (with all due respect) attitude amongst its members. That has not seemed the overall attitude in these exchanges in the past at least. I can understand you not wanting to have anyone competing with you directly in the consulting model- who would want that IF they were in your situation? I am sorry if you feel my ideas are threatening to your business- I'm sure there may be a few others entrenched in the consulting model who can (even if just a little) understand how you feel. It seems to be a way of life though, once you get a great idea and start making a success others want to "tap" into it and "pack it up in a box"! I also hate the "corporate" way we live in North America, but you have to admit the most successful companies are those who make it easy for others to do business. In our case, it is not so much selling the idea to make money, but changing the way our faltering industry works. If I owned an independent "Happy Burger" on main street, there's no doubt I'd wouldn't want to see a McDonalds or Burger King being built around the corner. That may be a gross exageration as a comaprison, but I think you get the point. The big thing you will have though is the years of consulting experience, and the fortitude to know and plan ahead . . . I also get the feeling your competitiveness will do you well!

PS- If I am insulting you in any way, please understand I have no wish to do so. I only want to share my ideas. :-)

I've been away for a few days and am amazed at the thoughtful discussion here and elsewhere on the Exchange. I have dreamed of discussions like this and now that I've passed the torch to Jennifer, wa-la! I guess everyone likes you better Jennifer! : >

My most important thought when developing my Brokerage wasn't centered on how I can it most profitable to me, but how I can also make it most profitable to the clients I serve. 

Just think, if we can take a portion of the market that isn't necessarily our market yet and turn them into paying client, what the potential would be?

Merv - thank you - you really nailed it.

Tony - I'm loving your ideas and would like to talk with you offline because I think we could come up with some good stuff. However, I understand exactly what Erica is saying and it's how I feel in many ways about what I'm doing. I WILL do what I feel is right, both with Consulting and with my Exceptional Agent project and if only a very few choose to join us, then so be it. I don't want to dumb down my philosophies simply to appeal to the masses. As I mentioned in an earlier comment - this is something I'm struggling with - whether to make Professional Real Estate Consulting something that "anyone" can do... or try to maintain a higher level of professionalism and expertise to make it that much more meaningful...

 

Billy - yes, absolutely. Not today, probably, I'm deep into a highly competitive NYE beer pong tournament - how's THAT for transparent? ;-]

I am not threatened Tony. I came from a franchise that was very strict and that is why I left. I don't ever see my neighboring competitors doing this. But I also don't think you have to spoon feed people. That is totally against what I think ACRE is. The ability to operate your business as YOU see fit, not anybody else. Let the market determine if it will fly. 

I am an entrepreneur and if someone told me I had to use a system and do it their way I'd drop out of the program. 

Erica, I think what is really being suggested here is not something that will restrict you, but something that helps streamline your operation base on the consulting concept. 

Having a system that helps you work smarter, faster and more profitable doesn't have to restrict you from running your business your way. 

I get that. And I am not against a system. I just don't like the word "franchise" I guess. This isn't McD's. It cheapens the image in my mind. System -- good. Franchise -- not so good in my opinion. You cannot put the ACRE platform in a box, add water and have instant consultant. It just doesn't work that way. Charts, programs, training -- yes. National franchise, no.

Erica, I'm confused on how most of us view our professional label just because we are compensated in a particular manner. Because we get paid in traditional model at the end of the process we believe we are something other than consultants. The day we all received our licenses, we became consultants. How, but even more importantly, when we get paid does not change that.

William, that is an interesting perspective.

I believe the day we got our license we became sales agents.That is what we are taught and what our brokers expect. Our role as a consultant is developed on a desire NOT to be the typical sales agent and we choose to operate with a different business approach and learn how to do it, usually through experience and what is comfortable with our own personalitiy and comfort zone.

How we are compensated has nothing to do with our business approach with our clients.

Now, learning HOW to offer different compensation and finding a place which allows us to operate with a different compensation model, or business model, adds icing on the "consultant" cake and makes our individual approach very powerful.

Happy and Prosperous New Year to all!!

One more thought ...

Jennifer teaches we individually must operate in our own comfort zone and we can be as succcessful as we want to be. I agree 1,000%. Consulting, however an individual defines it, is no different. The concepts are real ... approach the business with your clients best interest in focus no matter how you choose to be compensated.

Pure and simple.

This page contains a single entry by Jose Rivera published on December 28, 2011 10:06 AM.

ACRE/SWS Merger - Weekly Newsletter - Yea or Nay? was the previous entry in this blog.

Light at the End of the Tunnel being an ACRE is the next entry in this blog.

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