Recently by Ron Stuart

You be the judge, but I think we can sometimes poach ideas, be motivated and otherwise benefit from what happens in the corporate world. After all, where did the idea of consulting come from? Hardly from within our own industry! This piece from today's Globe & Mail Report on Business about innovation is an example. Have a peek and see what you think. Here's the link... 

Want freedom? Try Consulting!


A recent real life incident taught me a lesson about freedom. Called to a home in an upscale neighbourhood because of a neighbour's recommendation, I met the husband and learned it was a marital separation in which his wife already moved out. Warming to my Consulting Presentation, he said his estranged wife would have to be on side as well and that she had a price in mind that would yield a certain net price. He then proposed that I do the CMA (for a fee of course) before they list the property.

Differing views on remuneration


In its November 2010 issue Real Estate Marketing (REM) published a guest column entitled "In Praise of Commissions." When I cooled down a little, I wrote a response, just published in the February issue, which is reproduced below, but one should first read the original article In Praise of Commissions for context. Apologies for the length, but I'm competing with Paula Bean for the record!

Another View of Commission (as published in REM, February 2011)

The Guest Column (REM November 2010) did our industry a service by raising the subject of agent remuneration, but the assertion that sale-contingent commission is the best compensation method for ever and all time perhaps deserves some scrutiny.  

Public response to on-line media articles around the recent Consent Agreement between CREA and Competition Bureau overwhelmingly cast real estate agents in a negative light, suggesting, among other things, that we are overpaid, under-qualified, self-serving, lazy etc. Little was said to suggest that we add much value to real estate transactions. A common thread connecting many of the negative comments was commission. Public opinion surveys repeatedly rank us embarrassingly low on the integrity scale. Our traditional compensation model only perpetuates this industry’s self-centric image in a day when consumers are demanding fairness and transparency.

The client couple, each a homeowner, asked me to assist them in locating and buying a building lot or an existing single storey home. From the start they ruled out the possibility of a condo. (Stay tuned!).

I am acquainted with one of them through a professional relationship, so there was awareness of my consulting oriented business model. They chose to be served in a consulting framework under which I would be paid non-contingently by the hour but not less in total than a certain minimum service fee for the project.

We looked at several building lots priced around $100K but none were suitable. Had they bought a lot, the co-brokerage of 2.5% and my agreed upon consulting fee would have been about the same.  (From here on watch for the ups and downs from a real estate agent's perspective).


Here’s an actual email received from my website  on April 18 ( name changed and identifying info obscured).


Hi there, I am a first time home buyer and close to entering into a private sale agreement with a friend. He is selling a town house on ********* Court, near ******* Ravine Park. Since all of the homes on his street are identical, I am interested in meeting with a realtor to discuss what similar homes are selling for so I can determine if the price he is asking is reasonable. I think that it likely is, but I would like to speak to a professional before entering into an agreement. I was just wondering how much it would cost to meet with you for a consultation? This sale is quite time sensitive since he plans on listing with a realtor very soon if I don't buy. I can be reached any time at 902-880-****. Thanks! Peter.


How do you think most agents would respond to this?

  1. Ignore it as not worthwhile?
  2. Engage him and try to turn it into a sale by convincing him he should consider other properties as well (which offer a co-broke, of course)?
  3. Slow dance him until the seller listed the property, thus ensuring a co-broke?
  4. Try to convince him he needs a buyer’s agent’s services and should pay a percentage of the purchase price for that privilege?
  5. Swallow your resentment at working for nothing and just freely give him the information he wants in exchange for goodwill and, hopefully, future business.

Consulting Brokerage?

Below is the text of a message sent out earlier today to known ACRE® Brokers. To cover the possibility of missing anyone, as well as to solicit input from others, I reproduce it here:

Dear ACRE® Colleagues:

You are receiving this missive because you are both a Broker and an ACRE®.

As part of the ACRE® Webinar Series we would like to pull together the collective opinions, knowledge, wisdom and experience of the ACRE® Broker Community as it relates to the idea of setting up and operating a “Consulting Only Brokerage.” It will probably take the form of a Moderated Round Table Discussion and your participation will be important.

At this point we need an indication of your interest in the subject, whether or not you might be willing to participate and generally your thoughts on the idea. We look forward to hearing from you this week at .

Best regards,

Ron Stuart
ACRE® Teleseminar/Webinar Coordinator

Hi ACRE® Colleagues:

I want to revise and improve the client satisfaction survey I've been sending to clients but with which I have never been entirely happy. Does anyone have one they're willing to share? Thanks,


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