Open Relationships in Real Estate

Let’s face it, open relationships are great. You get the best of both worlds. I am speaking of listings, of course. Why do listing agreements needs to so exclusive? It is understandable that no one, in their right mind, would want to spend time and literal money to spin their wheels to sell a listing only for the listing to be swept away by another agent.

So, ultimately, agents are operating under the fear of loss instead of the hope for gain. However, there is more to money to gain than there is to be lost (assumptive. Some agents do spend more than their commission pays, but they don’t last long. How could any business?) If a listing pays a commission of $80,000, and you assume that on average it costs $2,000 to market/list a property (including fixed costs, variable costs, and overhead), it seems like the reward would outweigh the risk. Every Wednesday people go waste $1, or more, on a lottery ticket in hopes to win millions. Every open listing you work on is basically like playing the lottery; but!, you have the ability to change the odds in your favor. It seems so simple, so why not give it a try?!

OK, so here’s the kicker… It may be safe to assume that there are absolutely no brokers in your niche market that would ever consider an open listing agreement. So, when you tell clients that you will list their property and allow them to also list with other brokers in town as well, your clients will be excited at the possibility of every brokerage in town fighting to sell their property. However, when the clients call the other brokers in town the other brokerages will decline to work with an open listing. Therefore, your open listing is basically an exclusive listing.

Additionally, only make the listing agreement for 30 days. Do not allow the listing to auto-renew. By only allowing 30 days you force yourself to have “that” talk with the clients once a month instead of every 90 days. Within a month you should be under contract, or know why the property hasn’t sold. At that time, you and the client can figure out what needs to change for next month, or just part ways. No one likes to be contractually obligated to another party, especially when neither of the parties no longer see eye-to-eye. So make the break-up simple, if it needs to happen.

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