Thursday, December 10, 2015

Can commission rates be used in advertising?

QUESTION: A broker in my area is running an ad that say he takes listings for a specified flat fee.
  The ad also prominently features a big No symbol—you know, the red circle with a diagonal line through it—and inside the circle there’s a number with a percentage symbol after it.  The clear message is that other brokers charge commissions at that percentage rate but that he does not.  Doesn’t this ad violate the antitrust laws since it mentions specific commission rates?  Should I report this to my local association?

ANSWER: Although as a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid talking about or advertising commission rates charged by your competitors, in our view there is no antitrust violation in the ad, and we do not think you should report it to your local association.  The essence of an antitrust violation is an agreement among competitors that imposes an unreasonable restraint on trade.  You can read the ad to infer that other brokers generally charge the commission rate specified inside the No symbol, but even if all others do charge commissions at that approximate rate, it would be a violation of the law only if they've actually agreed to charge that amount.  The ad is pro-competitive because it is explicit price competition, which is favored by antitrust law enforcers.  In fact, antitrust enforcers would almost certainly object if your association made any attempt to stifle or suppress the ad.

Any question a broker may have about whether an ad or other marketing material complies with the antitrust laws should be directed to the firm’s broker-in-charge, who in turn should seek legal advice from the firm’s own lawyer is he or she is unsure of the answer.      

NCAR provides articles on legal topics as a member service.  They are general statements of applicable legal and ethical principles for member education only.  They do not constitute legal advice.  If you or a client requires legal advice, the services of a private attorney should be sought.  Always consult your broker-in-charge when faced with a question relating to the practice of real estate brokerage.
© Copyright  2015. North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any part may be made without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. Any unauthorized reproduction, use, disclosure or distribution is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Are You All In?

If you believe your real estate business is built on relationships…
Then make building them your BUSINESS!

Are you “ALL IN” in your business and with each and every client you work with? If not you need to ask yourself these questions:

1.     Why do I choose to be Part-Time in my business?
2.     How is not being “all in” affecting my lifestyle?
3.     What will it take for me to be “all in”?
4.     Do your client perceive you as “all in” ?...If not what do you thing is their perception of you?
5.     What do you feel is a “justifiable expectation” your clients should have of you as their REALTOR?
6.     Are your clients getting their monies worth when you are not “all in”?

Think of your talents, skills, energy, and knowledge as your “poker chips”….and your situation with each client you work with is your hand of cards…the hand you are dealt if you will. 

Are you just pushing in a few chips every hand… going through the motions….just getting by?... Or are you giving all you have by going all in to each and every hand you are dealt?


1.     Being consistent with your prospecting activities and communication with your clients
2.     Building relationships based on trust and care
3.     Becoming an attentive listener… but also paying attention to what is not being said as well. Tip: Ask your clients what they didn’t like about their last real estate transaction… people are more likely to be open and honest about the things which caused them stress than they are the things which went smoothly.
4.     Be respectful of others time.
5.     Stay Motivated…. And learn to recognize when you are not.
6.     Manage your emotions during the transaction… become the calming force.
7.     Find balance in your personal life… take time for yourself, family, and friends.
8.     Celebrate your successes!

Productivity is never by accident… It is most always the combined result of commitment to excellence, business planning, and focused effort.  Or in other words… Success doesn’t “just happen”… you must plan for it.

Make your real estate business an awesome place to work… remember YOU are the boss of YOU!

Eddie Brown