How Does it Differ from Real Estate Sales?
What exactly IS real estate consulting? Well, let’s first take a look at what it’s NOT:
- It’s not limited service, although it can include it.
- It’s not specifically flat fees or fee-for-service although it can include them.
- It’s not about commissions although it can include them.
- Most importantly, true consulting is not a gimmick. And it’s not simply a title that an agent puts on their business card because it sounds better.
At it’s heart, consulting is about offering quality, transparent choices, both in the types of services that you can receive and how those services can be paid for. A true consultant is trained to provide a thorough needs analysis and then offer responsible options in how those needs can be addressed. Let’s look at the major differences between consulting and sales:
The Real Estate Consultant is compensated for their expertise, time and/or the task. If they’re paid contingent on a guaranteed outcome (a traditional commission), it is understood by the consumer that will be paying a premium to have this guarantee.
The Real Estate Salesperson is only paid for a guaranteed outcome (one they can influence but not control).
The Consultant is often retained and compensated the way other professionals providing a service are, such as CPA’s or most Attorney’s.
The Salesperson is compensated the way other salespeople selling a product are. (By the way: this doesn’t mean that a consultant can’t offer commissions if that’s what right for their client – the essence of consulting is providing choices. It’s just essential that the consumer understand what it is they’re paying for).
Consulting covers a variety of skills and can be used to reach a variety of outcomes.
Selling has one single focus – to SELL something.
Sometimes the best choice for a consumer is not to buy or sell at all! (Or not now). The Consultant is retained to provide the counsel to help them reach that decision.
A Salesperson, when there’s no transaction, has nothing to offer (and no way to get paid).
The real estate salesperson usually has only one way of being paid: a contingent-on-a-sale commission. Consultants, on the other hand, can offer a variety of compensation alternatives such as hourly consulting, a flat fee, as well as traditional commissions, so that the consultant can tailor their services based on what the consumer needs to reach their goals.
By the way, consultative service is not limited to transactions. As an example, wouldn’t it be great to be able to receive (and pay for) just a couple of hours of objective counsel on the real estate market when you’re not sure what you want to do?
Who might be interested in Real Estate Consulting?
- Any homeowner who’s trying to decide whether to “move or improve” and wishes they could get objective counsel…
- Any buyer who isn’t sure they’re ready to buy but would like some guidance on the market…
- Any consumer who really doesn’t WANT to play Realtor but feels forced to go it alone if they need to save money…
- Any consumer who’s ever resorted to a discount broker or a discount commission and found out too late that they got discount service which didn’t get the job done, or didn’t get it done right – thus losing money and valuable market time.
Any agent can call themselves a “consultant”. But if you want the real thing, choose an