Tony and Suzanne Marriott's Phoenix Arizona Real Estate Blog

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Discounts?

Oh my, it seems like the question of "discounts" gets more vicious every day. 

It's been my experience that some of the set fee outfits claim they are saving a client "x" compared with someone who would charge a higher fee.  Duh, let's see, if one number is lower than another, then it's lower and there is a difference.  The unproven assumption is that the consumer only has a choice between the set fee outfit and this postulated alternative, and that the set fee outfit knows with certainty what the other broker would charge, and then proceeds to calculate the savings.  How does the set fee outfit "know" what this number really is?  What if it's higher - there's even more savings!  IMHO it insults the intelligence of the public to tout mythical comparisons and savings.  What does make sense is to clearly describe the service offering and the price it's on offer for.

There is also the perjorative use of the words "discount" and "traditional". 

The word discount is used by, well, folks more closely aligned with the real estate model that is obviously changing as a "put down" against their competition to imply that selecting them will somehow get the consumer a poorer level of service.

The word traditional is used by some of the set fee outfits as a "put down" against their competition implying that the consumer will pay more for the same level of service.

Smells like a dirty tricks political campaign.  Why don't we all decide to run on our own platforms and discuss with potential clients what we do and what we would charge them for their specific situation, instead of bringing into the discussions and marketing the "spin" that attempts to put down a competitor?  Let the consumers decide - and whether anyone reading this likes it or not - the consumers are the ones who make the decisions!

If you are considering selling a home or real estate in the Phoenix area you owe it to yourself to talk with Haven Express at Keller Williams Realty Professional Partners to determine whether Tony Marriott is the best real estate Broker in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area to help you with the sale of your home!

About the Authors - Updated 2018

If you are considering a Traditional or Short Sale of your home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or any location in Maricopa County Arizona, you owe it to yourself to talk with the BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty to determine whether Tony and Suzanne Marriott are the best real estate Brokers in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area to help you with the Successful Sale of your home.

Tony and Suzanne have personally Listed, Sold and Closed more than a hundred Short Sales with the highest list to close rate in the Phoenix Metro Area!

Tony Marriott - Chief Operating Officer - BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Suzanne Marriott - Chief Learning Officer - BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Associate Brokers, REALTORS
BVO Luxury Group
Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Comments

You write "Why don't we all decide to run on our own platforms....." Well, real estate, like politics, is not a collegial/friendly group of participants but rather a dirty, some times cut throat, business. Why?
Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 12 years ago
Gary - I don't know the answer.  All I do know is that those who try to make themselves look better by putting others down often end up causing the opposite impression.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

Sellers seeking "discount" solutions for real estate transactions are much more likely to find themselves spending their "savings" on legal fees. I have offered reduced commissions on occassion, by choice, but will not represent a Seller in transaction for "limited" services. I prefer to focus on the numbers. Sellers utilizing a full service REALTOR® sell their homes for substantially more...and they are less likely to end up in court.

Posted by Kelly Kilpatrick, Broker-Associate almost 12 years ago

Business is competitive no matter what you are doing. I am of the belief that the main reason why there is so much in fighting in the real estate industry is because the educational standards are set way to low. If you look at the Hot Topic blogs here on AR, they are all about discount agents, part time agents, rebating, fee for service. Home inspectors have to have way more classes than we do and then they have to work under an professional inspector until they accumulate enough hours to go out on their own. This is just an example, but I think a good one. It's still not enough.

I seriously believe since we represent ourselves as providing Professional Services, we should have professional degrees. Think about it, almost everybody balances their check book, but you have to have a 4 year degree to be a CPA. Real estate is complicated and getting more so everyday and some do not have the training and educational levels to handle it. We have recently seen an influx of schools offering 4 year degrees and advanced degrees in real estate and there is good reason for this. If I had it my way, a person would have to have a 4 year degree in a related field to be a licensed Realtor.

Posted by Grant Howell, Broker/Owner 214-234-6901 (Alex Lowery Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

Exactly.  I've never gained much, if anything, when I'm putting someone else down.  So, I try like the dickens to avoid the temptation even when it is SO tempting. 

Communication is so subtle, however, and it's easy to do, with inflection or body language.  Oh, how I pray that my actions would be above reproach, when possible.   

Just a couple of days ago, an associate in our office was putting me down for not volunteering to help with an office luncheon which we were having that day.  The person likes to get jabs in at me (a Republican vs Democrat thing, don't chu know), so when that person commented that I wasn't volunteering to help, I simply replied "I don't remember being asked".    These luncheons happen very frequently and their is little money in them for us, and frequently little learning ("this is a mouse, you click on the link here and it brings up a page which will allow you to make entries").  I was in the computer industry for 20+ years and I'm sorry, I'm just not going to go to a lot of high-tech meetings but I CERTAINLY am not putting someone else down when they choose to attend and get educated.  More power to them!  After all, we're independent business people and we do get to make choices about what is important in our businesses, right?   

Anyhow, I had three intensive meetings that day, two for which I serve as President and founder.  We had had 20 visitors come to our BNI Chapter kickoff meeting just two hours before, and quite frankly, I was mentally exhausted.   I ALWAYS like to be of assistance, 1) when the event is planned far enough in advance that I can put it on my schedule, and 2) when there is meaningful information being shared. 

The point is, putting others down, for any reason is NEVER a way to build up one's image.  It ALWAYS back fires.  Of course, if someone is saying, "Don't confuse me with the facts", and follows that up by thinking the person with the facts is somehow personally putting another down, that's a personal problem. 

Anyhow, I tend to agree with GARY WATERS statement.  "Real Estate, like politics, is not a collegial/friendly group of participants ... Why"?  Because we are all independent contractors and our ability to put food on the table is controlled by a straight commission.  We don't "receive a salary", we "earn a commission".  

I do tend to give out information much more freely in my office, where I will work closely with others for the long term.  However, when people ask me, "Now, how did you win that bid online for that REO property?  I wonder if you would train me on how to do that?", is there any wonder that I reserve that for those who are in my "inner circle" -- those who believe in "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", rather than "every man/woman for themselves").  

We're all independent business people, often competing in the same neighborhoods, sometimes for the same business.  It's our capitalist system at its finest -- so sometimes RE, like politics, can get a little ugly.  

Trust me, there is no love lost between our firm and the discount, flat fee brokers who would love to gain benefits from us, at our expense.   When they put that rider on their sign that states, "look how much commission we saved", it's like Qwest advertising a "FSBO Local" vendor on the outside cover of their phone book.  Our CEO made a decision to trash ALL of the Qwest yellow page books in ALL of our offices.  Can you blame him?   Yepper, business is war.   

Posted by Andrew Lietzow, MBA-Exec Dir Iowa Real Estate Investors Association - (IaREIA | Iowa Landlord Association) almost 12 years ago

Grant Howell, e-PRO *Frisco Area Realtor  - Well put.  If we want to enhance professionalism in our industry, we need to increase the desire of REALTORS to become true professionals.  True professionals study their trade for months, if not years, prior to being foisted on the unsuspecting public. 

I know a person in the industry who literally sweated day and night prior to taking her test, being afraid they would not pass it.  Me, I wanted to get a hundred!   I was bummed because I missed three questions.  The Real Estate Licensing exam needs to be made SIGNIFICANTLY more difficult, IF our industry is going to garner the respect of the public.

Consider Architects, Lawyers, Dentists, Doctors, RN's, etc. -- they all pay a heavy price for education to earn their credentials, then they take a horrendous board exam.   There certainly could be, at least, some differentiation in the level of licensure for Realtors.  

Of course, the CRS and GRI designations are helpful (I've taken all but one course for my GRI, as of this moment), but they not as well respected as they once were.  The CCIM designation is much more significant, and rightfully so.  

I'm not advocating hurdles which are insurmountable, but certainly a much more difficult licensing exam would go a long way toward improving the level of professionalism. 

Posted by Andrew Lietzow, MBA-Exec Dir Iowa Real Estate Investors Association - (IaREIA | Iowa Landlord Association) almost 12 years ago
Kelly - Thanks for the comment!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
Grant - I'm not sure about the 4 year degree requirement - however - a real estate focused curriculum with the equivalent amount of education and rigorous testing would be a great improvement - regardless of the business model the licensee chooses to pursue.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
Andrew - I really appreciate the effort and content of your comment.  Thanks for adding to the topic!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
CCIM is indeed a tough nut to crack - apart from the portfolio experience there are four core courses to take - each one 5 days in length - then an examination held twice a year.  Not for the faint of heart!  I've taken the Intro and 101 class - have postponed the other three classes for a while due to business demands.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
Tony, I'm fortunate that commission rarely comes up in my listing presentations. But when it does I just tell them some charge less some charge more but this is what I charge, then I just move forward. Sell them on your service and commission does not come into play. They are just ready to sign and get moving. Any success gained by bringing down others is empty and not worth having. I've done deals with some very good REALTORS(R) that choose to charge less and I have had some very crappy ones that charge more. It just doesn't matter to me.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 12 years ago
Bryant - You and I are exactly on the same page here - thanks for the reinforcement!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
Hmm, if the public really wanted 'discounters' and saw value in them, they would have a pretty significant market share. That's not the case here in Las Vegas, and I'm sure it's the same nationwide.
Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 12 years ago
John - How do you define a "discounter"?
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
Tony - To me a discounter is someone who tries to create value with the public by marketing primarily on price, and usually offers limited services as well.
Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 12 years ago

John - You are as wise as I thought you were!  Very well put - and you dodged the bullet of taking the position that a "discounter" is discounting of a "fixed" commission... :-)

BTW - The database project does indeed have a connection with our VMDHW game plan - stay tuned!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

I give money back to my buyers and I advertise that I do. I am able to do this because my arrangement with my broker is different than most agents. Let's face it, we all give part of our commission to someone. I just choose to give mine to my clients.

Let me ask a question, the average agent gives 50% of their commission to their broker. An agent like myself pays my broker $75.00 per transaction, who has more money in coffer to market your home?? Who can afford the extras like a personal website with the address as the url, professional videos on YouTube, high density magazine ads, Harmon homes, featured listings on Realtor.com, home staging, virtual tours, I even help my clients make repairs and paint their home with my complimentary concierge service.

Just something to think about.

Posted by Grant Howell, Broker/Owner 214-234-6901 (Alex Lowery Real Estate) almost 12 years ago
Grant - You very eloquently reinforce my point.  I don't care for the term "discounters".  There are many different business models.  It's not one size fits all.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

First of all, for Andrew Lietzow, I enjoy your responses and sense a kindred spirit there. Although you sense a reduced appreciation on GRIs and CRSs, you are getting the education, making the contacts, so you are receiving the lion's share of the benefit of those courses--- keep up the good work.

As to 'discount' vs 'traditional', I have reduced my commission on some clients, but I don't know how to reduce my concern that a transaction is completed properly, or to reduce my liability for a transaction. I can't care 75% or 85%; call it a character flaw. Can you imagine that insurance commercial with only one hand out  to hold you?

 

Posted by Don Horn, ABR, CRS, GRI, CNE (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago
Don - Thanks for the comment - and I agree - every situation is different - and we negotiate a win-win for all concerned.  It doesn't translate into differing levels of service.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

There a re couple of companies here that advertise full service for a discount.  When you drive past their listings the signs say for sale by owner.  I am sorry, but that is not my idea of full service.

You can charge any fee you want, they are negotiable and the market will decide whether you are worth it.  The part that irritates me is when someone false advertises their services.  To claim they offer the same service as me and then hand the seller a sign and send them on their way.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Randy - You are absolutely correct - false advertising has no business in any business.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
With more and more focus on service and amenities in other areas of the market, it's no wonder full-service real estate brokerages are going strong.  We actually take listings at what may be considered 'higher' than the norm and most people choose the higher levels even after asking for a 'reduced' fee!!
Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) almost 12 years ago
Christina - That's been my experience too.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

Although it is more important to sell our service (which I think we all know that...we give good service...well, I do  HA!) there is a difference with a high market such as ours.  The commission here will ALWAYS come up during my listing presentation (I take everything with me in one crack because our market is so competitive with MANY agents in a small area) because it is VERY high for a home that is priced high at market value.  In fact, our listing agreement has the whole shabang on commission right on the first page...

As far as discounting the service we give if the commission is negotiated to a lower price...I think we all agree our service will not be less "quality"???

And I agree with Randy on the ads that say full service and hand them open house signs to do a "for sale by owner" with the company name on the bottom....what is that?

 

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 12 years ago
That's what you call "bait and switch"!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

Asking the sellers to choose certain levels of service as compared to a price list empowers them to be involved.  Sometimes it seems like the agent lists the property and sails away; the sellers don't see the individual tasks that are part of the commission fee and which may be left out of the 'discount'.

I promise my clients to not use jargon that will confuse them, but to give them pertinent information all along.

Posted by Paula Walter, Ph.D. e-Pro REALTOR (Realty Executives of Kansas City) almost 12 years ago
Paula - Thanks for commenting and adding key info to the post!  Much appreciated.
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago
Tony- This will always be a hot topis especially as more low fee companies try to catch a part of the market.  I jsut receive a flyer for one of our local.. low fee companies and the misinformation/ actually lies ..as part of their  why use us feature was unbelievable.   As Sally noted in higher priced markets fee  are always a concern.. but you get what you pay for.. I just pointed out to a client what they need to do to save almost $80,000 in up front taxes ... no one else told them that.. not even their tax man..but they think my fee is too high..
Posted by Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA (Real Estate West) almost 12 years ago

Some clients never see the bottom line - just the commission line!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

Enjoyed this post and want to read more - try this one - Peacocks and Pickles for Christmas 2015!  Wishing you a prosperous and Happy New Year!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 3 years ago

Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 3 years ago

Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 3 years ago

Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

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