What is a 100% agent exactly?

As the owner of a franchise that has an extremely favorable commission structure for its agents, I hear the objection “I’m a 100% agent” all the time.  It is usually in interviews or while talking with agents about the opportunities that exist with my company while we are discussing the pay structure.

The other time I hear this is when agents from “100% companies” call to advertise my substantial listing inventory or want to do open houses at them.  I always let them know that our policy is that only agents at my company can do this and if they are interested in making a change we could work it out. This is usually when the “100% objection” comes out.

So this is my question.  If a 100% company is the greatest place to be, why are they calling me asking for access to my inventory?  Why don’t they advertise their own listings or listings at their company?  The reason is straight-forward.  They don’t have listings of their own.  Additionally, because of the high agent population at their companies, the listing to agent ratio is extremely low making it difficult for them to do this.

It appears that the “zero sum game” mentality is strong with real estate agents, many who believe that the company they are at doesn’t matter, so they might as well be at wherever the fees at the least.  Unfortunately this removes the value proposition from their choices, and limits their choices and income.

Case in point.  An agent recently switched to my company from a 100% shop where they had no deals.  Within a month they had 2 deals under contract (both from our lead program) and still complained that they had to pay a 30% lead program fee.  The agent closed the transactions, and then decided they could make more money by going back to the 100% shop.  What this agent missed was that they wouldn’t have earned anything without having two buyers handed to them.   They were looking at what they didn’t get, not what value they got.

The underlying issue isn’t the amount of fees charged by real estate companies.  The issue is that agents, for the most part, don’t have a plan, systems, skills, or the right work ethic to generate their own business.  Many of them constantly are looking for the “silver bullet” to success, and trying to do it on the cheap the entire time.   Their biggest enemy is the scarcity mindset that they have bought into, which affects their entire business.

The good news for real estate brokers is that there are still plenty of good agents with the right set of skills and beliefs that will add value to your company.

Next time you get a call or email from a “100% agent” asking to advertise your listings, simply ask them this question.  “Is it that you want to advertise listings, or that you want to work with buyers?”  Point out how much your agents make (regardless of splits or fees) and ask them if they would like the opportunity to earn this much.  If they stick with their “100% mantra” tell them to have a nice day and save your energy for those agents with the right motivations.

There are more than enough agents to go around, so be picky.  You deserve it.