Recently by Mary Pope-Handy

A few days ago I received a call from a gentleman in my marketplace who wanted to hire me to consult on pre-sale preparation of his home so that he could maximize his sale next year.  He didn't want to get tied down to any particular Realtor or real estate agent just yet.

I am at a more "traditional" brokerage but to their credit, the guys who run it have been somewhat open to other business models - cautiously and in small doses.  When I got the call for pre-sale help, I explained to the home owner that I thought I'd be able to assist but needed a clearance from my broker as that hadn't been on my radar since moving companies.

Long story short, I couldn't reach my manager too fast but told the potential client that we could do a one hour free consultation (my usual) and that if they wanted more we could talk about it down the road - after I got the green light.  The green light did come, but it was a new concept for them (my company) to consider: getting paid for the work you do rather than hitching everything to a sale and a commission.

Yesterday I did meet with the future sellers, who are super nice and so is their home.  They were thrilled to have a free 1 hour consultation and I did  explain that in the future if they wanted more help they could pay me (and that I would reimburse them later if they hired me to assist them in selling their house). (My manager thought that my approach was "very very fair" and I agree.)

So it was a huge win on two levels:

  • I got an opportunity because I am on the ACRE website
  • This opportunity allowed me to present a scenario to my brokerage that they were willing to consider and eventually OK'd

It was a breakthrough for me that I can consult and charge for particular services. My manager wants his agents to expand the ways in which they can earn a living in real estate so he views it as a win, which it is.  And it was great to be able to be found because of the ACRE website.

Being an ACRE means having a different way of viewing things and a different way of working with your clients. To me, one of the most salient aspects is the focus on providing consumers options.

I work at a traditional brokerage, but I, too, view things through the ACRE lens and look for ways to provide options to my clients and truly consult with them rather than sell to them. With that in mind, I did a post today on buyer broker agreements, which are not only unpopular here in Silicon Valley, but are viewed rather dimly (link to a post on Trulia of another blogger in Los Gatos who thinks that buyer broker agreements simply show a lack of trust and are rarely necessary).

Whether you are in a traditional or non-traditional office, how do you provide options which are different than those typically found in your area? How is your "slant" on things particularly ACRE-inspired?

I'd like to do a roundtable post with several ACREs, whether you're doing a lot of work which is ostensibly different or if there are even subtle differences to your approach to your real estate practice.

Please respond in the comments section or shoot me an email at Mary (at) and we'll get it rolling!

(PS If you visit the post on Trulia, please don't leave a bunch of argumentative messages - I don't want to "sic" the ACRE community on him!)

Unless you're in a small or independent brokerage, there's a good chance that you've got a bit of a challenge on your hands in terms of getting your management to OK your work as an ACRE, in which you are paid for the work you do.

I'm at a very traditional company, which means that it's pretty much "pay by commission" only. But not entirely. With all the short sales and REOs out there, more managers and brokers are allowing their agents to do BPOs - Broker Price Opinions - for which they are compensated a small fee.

What this really a "baby step". It's a small but prevalent way of getting paid for the work you do.

We can get very busy helping friends and past clients with jobs that they and we know are not going to turn into a listing or a sale. These odd jobs and favors can wreck havoc on your productivity if the requests get out of control. What kind of "favors" would these be? The most time consuming ones, in my experience, are really those which involve doing a competitive market analysis. Just in the last few weeks, I've had several along these lines:

  • Valuation of a home at the time of death of the owner for estate tax purposes
  • Valuation of a home for owners who are trying to decide whether to refinance, sell, rent, or attempt a loan modification or take another course of action
  • Valuation of a home to fight foreclosure proceedings (not a loan modification, but to overturn a foreclosure

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