Would you leave $18,000.00 on the table?

Before 2011, whenever a buyer would call in on one of my listings, I would always tell them they needed to go find themselves a Realtor. I did this for several reasons, one of which is because, I just was too busy with listing to be taxing people around to look at homes.

As a new year resolution and, after considering that I may very well be leaving a lot of money on the table by not working with these buyer’s, I decided I would create a buyer’s team. This would be a group of trusted Realtors who like working with buyers that I could forward these buyer’s to and these agents would work them to close.

The way I had envisioned this team to work is, I would pre-qualify the lead, hand it off to the buyer’s agent, they would work it to close and pay me a 25% referral fee, fair enough. Well, after many months of doing this, I realized very quickly that buyer’s agents don’t like to work, or at least the ones I had working with me anyways.

It wasn’t like I was just pulling agents off of Craig’s List, I was interviewing them, talking with previous brokers and doing a decent job of figuring out who would work and who wouldn’t, at least so I thought. Push come to shove and I ended up getting rid of about 20 or so agents before I finally found one I really thought was hungry enough to do a good job.

This agent, we will call Suzy Super Agent, she talked an incredible game. She was hungry, needed the work, was ready to do a great job, showed up an open houses, just was totally on board.  She told me she was down on her luck, needed a helping hand, had 3 kids to feed, and she would do whatever it took to get a job (that was legal of course).

About three weeks into the job, I started getting calls back from leads that I sent to her. Yes, you heard me correctly, buyer’s were calling in, I was qualifying the lead, assigning them to her and amazingly enough, these leads were calling me back wanting to know when someone was going to be calling them.

Of course, I confronted her but, she kept telling me that she was calling these people and not hearing back from them. So, the 5th time this happened in a week, I conference her in on the call, stayed on the phone, muted my head set and listened. Let’s just say, customer service skills were lacking, seriously lacking.

It happened a 6th time, did the same thing and realized, I have a problem. So, once again I confronted her, she had every excuse in the book and yes, having grace, I extended her forgiveness thinking that our tough talk would straighten her out and all would be good.

At the end of January, I had given her 36 leads for the entire month and not a single buyers agency agreement or deal on the table so, I had one of my other buyer’s agents audit her leads and come to find out, she left $600,000.00 worth of sales on the table and told me she was only working with one lead out of 36. In other words, she didn’t follow up, she didn’t work, she didn’t attempt to close $18,000.00 in commissions but, she was working a cash investor I sent her who wanted to buy a $150,000.00 house.

Needless to say, we no longer have a relationship with this agent and I am looking for an agent to replace her.

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  • That is the exact reason why we set up the buyerlink program as set a monthly fee (plus 10% at closing) for a set number of leads program, as opposed to 25% at closing,  We even have a couple members that are around our general area.  I could probably hire more agents on my team and do the referral fee thing for get a %, but having a little $$$ each month is at least some guaranteed income.  If they are paying ME in advance for leads, they are more likely to REALLY work them, and then at least I also get 10% on the back end as well!

  • Cynthia, I'd like more info on your hiring showing assistants model...would you mind sharing? Thanks.
  • Hey Cynthia,


    Send to me what you have, I would love to see it. JGonzalez@RealTracs.com is my email.



  • Jesse:

    The DISC test is the first thing to do.  You should also not give a buyer's agent more than 10 leads per month.  The split should be 50/50, or close to it, since you are the one generating the leads.  A new model that is coming out is hiring showing assistants, which is a different split.  I would be happy to give you more information.  I just came from a conference on this very subject!

  • yes
  • Randy, is your personal assistant licensed?  Very interesting.
  • Hi, As a Broker I have been there done that & didn't get the T-Shirt! I tried to hire 3 Buyer's agents. Didn't work out. I now have my personal assistant show the REO listing. If Buyers are interested, they meet me & I write the offer as Listing & Selling agent. I had made more money this way and gained Investors too.
  • Hiring people is always a daunting task.   As far as buyer's agents are concerned, I've tried many times like Jesse.  I actually got lucky at the beginning of this year and hired an agent who is handling all our leads and has about $1 mil that he's working on.  It's a numbers game everybody, always was, always will be.  You have to keep trying and don't quit.  You learn what works and then you quit doing what doesn't.
  • I am blessed to have a buyers agent who is above board and honest - for the past year this has been a win-win situation for the 2 of us.  I hope you find a really good and honest buyers agent because it is so worth it!
  • Well, yeah, $6,000.00 was stolen from me due to gross negligence on her part.

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