March 7, 2009

It's Time to Ask For a Raise

Today's post on "getting what you're worth" comes courtesy of fellow real estate trainer and good friend, Chris Leader. Chris owns his own training company, Leader's Edge Training, and is based in Ontario, Canada.

It's Time To Ask For A Raise
By Chris Leader
Leaders Edge Training

A tough market requires a tough approach. This is when we all must look back to our beginnings to revisit the fundamentals of what made us successful in the first place. When we first broke into the real estate industry, we focused on launching our new careers, paying attention to the details and following up on every opportunity or lead.

Today, without a doubt, the market has changed and most salespeople have less than 10 years experience and have never had to work through a recession. The qualities we adopted and the intense sense of focus we demonstrated in the beginning of our careers are the very characteristics we need to embrace once again.

Most salespeople continue to do business the way they did yesterday and they can't figure out why it is no longer working. For anyone who has never read the book "Who Moved My Cheese" this is a great time to read it. Different conditions require a different approach. The business is still out there, it has just moved.

The real estate industry is one of those businesses that when the market is hot, everyone would have you believe you make too much money and the media is relentless in convincing consumers to negotiate your commissions down and many salespeople cave under the pressure. The silver lining to a recession in our business is that when the average number of days on the market increase, when the supply starts to choke the market, homeowners no longer ask "how low will you go" but they are willing to pay what we need to get their house sold. This is when you should be raising your fees (whatever your fees are).

The cost of doing business continues to rise, our dollar no longer has as much purchasing power as it once did, and on average it costs more to market a home. Smart salespeople realize that history repeats itself and it is time for a raise!

This will be the third recession I've lived through in this business. If I was selling today, I would be asking homeowners for a 7% commission and for the ones who wouldn't pay, I would move to the next opportunity because there are many of them out there. In a hot market, your marketing campaign consisted of a sign and an MLS posting and buyers lined up to see the property and in most cases there were multiple offers and houses sold above asking price. Salespeople actually started to think that was normal!

Today, the market has responded exactly the same way it did in 1990 after the boom in the late 1980's, yet once again we have a whole new generation of salespeople who don't know what to do.

Over the next series of monthly tips, I will be laying out a strategy for how to thrive in this market, based on strategies I developed in the last recession, but improved with today's technology. I recommend if you receive these tips, that you forward them on to every agent you know. It's time for us to turn this industry around and this can only be accomplished if we all work together!

I wish you great success this month.

Chris Leader President, Leader's Edge Training

To call Chris Leader an entrepreneur is an understatement. By the age of 24, Chris was already a successful Realtor® and broker owner. When most folks that age are just getting their first job, Chris was busy turning a previously non-profitable real estate company into the top office in his marketplace. Simultaneously, Chris was a partner in a Mortgage Brokerage and ran it successfully for a number of years.

With this achievement under his belt, Chris took over the management of one of the largest offices in Toronto. His success in that endeavor led him down the path to the realization of his true calling, training. Before the age of 35, Chris turned his successes into a platform for education across the industry and became a top trainer for a major international training company.

Today, Chris is a highly sought-after speaker, trainer and industry consultant. His boundless energy, wit and exemplary business expertise have allowed him to train some of the industry's best professionals. Chris' dream was to launch his own training company, and so Leader's Edge Training was born. Chris now provides state of the art training for real estate professionals, mortgage professionals and managers all over North America.
You can contact Chris by email at