How FIXE.IMMO will give the the real estate brokerage industry a long overdue face-lift.
Despite the fact that their business model is a relic of a bygone era, real estate brokers continue to play an important role in a high-value, high-risk transaction where mistakes are very expensive. The protections they afford you, and the expertise they bring to the transaction process have a certain value, and their remuneration must, in principle, reflect the added value they bring to the table.
That’s the part you know.
Here’s the part you don’t.
Once your broker makes the deal happen and they collect their commission, that’s when it’s their turn to start shelling out their (your) money left right and center.
Money Up the Chain
The vast majority of brokers are affiliated to an agency, and that’s never free. They have to pay that agency for the privilege of using their brand name. Depending on the agency, affiliation fees can be as high as $1,500 per month. Once your broker has paid their affiliation fee, they still have to kick up a chunk of their commission in “transaction fees” to their agency, sometimes as much as 30% of what they earned.
If a broker is part of a real estate agency “banner” like RE/MAX, Sutton, Royal Lepage, etc., their agency fees don’t all wind up in the agency’s pocket either. The agency in turn has to pay their part of this money to the province-level franchise. Which in turn, pays part of it’s money to the national franchise, which it turn pays part of it’s money to the international franchise. It’s a structure where money just keeps going up the chain!
Now, you might be tempted to think it ends there. It doesn’t. Those monthly fees and transaction fees only covered the privilege, indeed, the honour of being affiliated to their agency.
Your broker still needs to pay for everything else they need to do their job. Office, phone, photocopies, signs, business cards, advertising, website, even the agency Christmas party is extra.
After all that, life’s other normal expenses: housing, food, car.
Get the picture?
Down the Drain
If you sell your home for $400,000 with a broker at 5% of the sale price, of the $23,000 brokerage fee bill you will pay, tax included, after your broker splits that amount with you buyer’s broker (which happens about 7 out of 10 times), and pay their agency, and pay their expenses, there’s probably less than $7,000 left in the broker’s pocket, before taxes.
Might sound like a lot for the hours your broker worked for you, but unless your broker has other clients or deals pending, no money is coming in again till… who knows when.
Why should that little detail matter to you? Because unless this model changes, you, me, and every other homeowner out there will always be stuck paying a fortune for brokerage services, and professional brokers will continue to get clobbered with useless and needless expenses.
Remember, it’s not the brokers’ fault. This age-old structure is one they can’t avoid. If they want to earn any kind of living, they have to charge what they currently charge.
From our perspective as buyers and sellers, it’s exorbitant. From theirs, it’s necessary.
(Dear buyers, please don’t think that just because you never saw an actual bill from the broker you used to buy your property that you are not paying for their services. The cost just got baked into the price of your home. You’re paying for it over the life of your mortgage. With interest. For 25 years. It’s not free. Far from it.)
Time for change
An entrenched expense-driven franchise agency business model that can’t get out of its own way (and won’t), sellers and buyers with equally unappealing options (5% of the sale price or else do it yourself), and something like 14,000 licensed real estate brokers in Quebec alone chasing fewer than 100,000 listings a year across the province.
Some basic math will tell you that with these numbers, it’s very hard for most brokers to earn a decent living. And many don’t (despite what you might think).
Think about it. Every single broker has to chase down their next listing, and do everything themselves, from doing actual brokerage work to handling their own marketing, advertising, social media, signs, and website, to managing the business and administrative side of things.
Expecting anyone to be really good at all these things, and have time to actually do the job you’re paying them to do is absurd.
You don’t want your broker spending several days a week doing their own marketing or business building activities and learning things that have nothing to do with selling your property.
All these inefficiencies just eat up more margin from their fees, leave brokers with less, and wind up costing you and I more to buy or sell our homes.
To sum up: the business model of traditional brokerage is lousy. It is detrimental to buyers, sellers AND brokers.
This industry is ripe for change. Disruption, even.
A Better Way
What if we separated the cost of putting a property on the market from the brokers compensation?
What if we efficiently centralized everything a broker needs to serve you best?
What if for the first time, a broker didn’t have to pay anything at all to practice their profession?
What if home sellers and buyers could save thousands compared to the current “standard” cost of brokerage services?
No more money up the chain. Member brokers can join an agency that doesn’t collect fee upon fee to pay up the hierarchy. Or they can operate independently. In either case, it keeps costs low and passes the savings to you.
No more money down the drain. We have centralized and optimized everything about running a real estate brokerage business. A FIXE.IMMO member broker gets it all done for them and can spend more time doing what they should be doing: helping you sell your home, or buy a new one .
More money in everyone’s pockets. Buyers and sellers keep more money (they both pay the broker’s fees, directly or indirectly). Brokers keep more money because they have fewer expenses.
Our member brokers and clients agree: the FIXE.IMMO formula will reshape the future of real estate brokerage.
Good news everyone. The future is now.