This blog is about what sucks about Relevate. Although it might be hard to believe that I’m writing this blog post, every agent who joins us will find out about this stuff anyway, so I’m telling you up front.
Hi, I’m Mike Regan, founder and CEO of Relevate Real Estate. I make videos and write blogs comparing and contrasting different ways to do real estate. Relevate is simply one of those ways. My only goal is to give unbiased, straightforward information to help YOU decide what is best for YOU.
With that introduction, let’s jump into the FIVE things that totally suck about Relevate. Four out of five of these things are about PAYING for services that Relevate provides to agents. I can totally understand why agents would have strong feelings about that, because what we do is basically the opposite of the currently dominant trends among seemingly all brokerages, which is to cut back on services in order to reduce the cost for agents to be part of their brokerage.
Rather watch a video? Check it out below!
So, with that introduction, the first thing Relevate agents hate about Relevate is…
5. Paying for Marketing
Relevate plans marketing campaigns for our agents over a year ahead. It’s September as I type this and a group of our top producers have just gotten together to give their input to the plan for next year. The idea is that most agents participate in most monthly campaigns, so the fixed costs are shared between all of them. As a result, the OVERALL marketing cost per year per agent is reduced to an average of 2% of commission revenue, as opposed to the 10% that is recommended by most real estate coaches. So that’s cool, right?
The other benefit of this approach is that the agents don’t have to invest much, if any, of their time to have actual consistent and high quality marketing. This magazine, customized to each agent, is an example of a campaign. Admittedly, when the business comes rolling in, most agents might not hate their decision to invest in marketing as much. Even though they understandably might not be “in LOVE” with paying for it up front.
The next thing our agents don’t like is similar to the last one, and that is
4.Paying for Client Service Support
One of our core premises at Relevate is that agents who are good at selling should be able to focus on selling to bring in MORE business instead of having to hire and train people to help them handle the business. Relevate hires and trains licensed support team members called Client Service Managers (also known as “CSMs”) to take almost everything off the agents’ plates except selling.
This frees up the agents to do more business, while also having balanced lives. When they think about this, and the fact that without the CSMs it would be really hard to take a real vacation, they don’t hate paying for this as much. In fact, to be honest, our agents appreciate their CSM partners so much they actually like paying them and sometimes even give them bonuses.
This next one might be unique to Relevate, and no one loves this one…
3. The 20% that never goes away
Agents pay 20% of the commission to Relevate. That 20% never goes away and isn’t capped.
Of course our agents wish the 20% could go away, and even I wish we could provide what we provide without it, especially when every brokerage in the world is trying to recruit our agents away by offering low or no splits. But… when they think about what that 20% pays for and all the management they’d have to do if they went to any other brokerage. If they had to plan and execute all their own marketing, hire and train team members and had to find a CRM that could compete with the one they have here, they feel a little better about it.
In the end they say, “Well, what I get for that 20% enables me to sell at least half again or twice as many homes each year AND have a lot of time off… If I left, sure I’d save 20% but I’d sell half as much and work twice as much. And that would stink.” Then they feel a lot better about it. BUT… for SURE if they could get all that for less than 20%? Of course! Who wouldn’t want that?
This next one would bother ANY agent, and that is…
2. Not Getting ANY of the Commission AT ALL for Some Closings
What?! Yep, this is a tough one. And it DOES happen. Once in a while, an agent has a closing, and gets zero dollars. Who wouldn’t hate that?
Here’s why that could happen… at Relevate, agents do not pay for anything until they have a closing. So for example, let’s say an agent does everything they’re supposed to do, and piles up seven or eight or ten pendings, but… there is a 30 day gap before any of them close and any money comes in.
But, in the meantime the agent invested a lot in marketing and client service to make those pendings happen. The way it works at Relevate is the agents don’t have to pay for ANYTHING until they have a closing. They aren’t writing us checks or giving us a credit card number. Relevate carries all those costs in the meantime, and even pays some of their outside vendors for them. That’s part of how the Relevate Business System works.
So it could be that at that first closing out of all those pendings that were piled up, they pay off what they’ve invested to make all those pendings happen and they don’t get anything. That totally stinks. Who wouldn’t hate that? But then typically, since their expenses are now fully paid off, they get to keep almost everything from the next five or six closings. So that’s not SO bad. But it STILL sucks not to get any money from a closing.
And now we’re down to the #1 thing Top Producers truly hate about Relevate. And this one, unlike the others, has no silver lining. This one truly sucks. And that is…
1. Client Service Manager turnover
Yes, unfortunately sometimes a CSM that an agent LOVES working with moves on to something else. Sometimes CSMs get promoted within Relevate because we are committed to promoting from within as much as possible. In fact, three-fifths of our current management team are people who started in CSM or administrative support positions.
Sometimes CSMs move on to other jobs, and in fact over the past two years, three of them became consumer protection agents at the Real Estate Commission.
Either way, agents definitely hate it when they lose a CSM they depend on. Now, we are ALWAYS hiring and training great new CSMs and we also try to get each agent to use at least two CSMs so they have backup no matter what. We’re definitely happy for our CSMs when they get new opportunities, but on the other hand, we wish CSM turnover would never happen because it’s not fun for our agents.
Different Business Systems for Different Agents
So, I admit, Relevate isn’t for everyone. Everything good on this side of heaven comes with a tradeoff. Different agents think in different ways and they should find the brokerage that fits their way of thinking.
Many agents out there have the primary goal of minimizing costs because they feel that is the only way to increase their take-home income. We respect that way of thinking.
Other agents see opportunities to invest money to make more money and free up their time.
Relevate was invented to provide those investment opportunities to agents, who want to utilize them to grow their businesses and increase their take-home income, without experiencing the completely unbalanced lives that many agents have.
So what do you think about what I explained in this blog? Let us know in the comments!
If you are an agent in the Triangle Area of North Carolina area and you’d like to visit with us to learn more about Relevate Real Estate, click HERE to set up a time to talk with us.