Before we tell you how we’re different from every real estate brokerage out there, we’d like to explain the traditional brokerage model first.

Why do traditional REALTORS charge so much?

The traditional real estate brokerage business model hasn’t changed in over a hundred years.  The typical model offers the listing agent a commission based on the sale price of the home. That commission is usually split between the listing broker and the broker working with the buyer. Then the brokers split the commission with their respective agents who worked the with the actual clients. All of these agents / brokers / offices are working within an all-or-nothing financial environment. Remember, neither agents nor their brokerages get paid unless a seller’s home sells or a buyer buys a house.

So what happens when an agent works with a seller who doesn’t sell, or more frequently a buyer who doesn’t buy? Lots of time spent, $0 earned – that’s what happens. Hundreds of hours working for a client for no payment at all. And if you are the listing agent for a seller whose home doesn’t sell – you may have thousands of dollars in marketing expenses out of pocket, along with those hundreds of hours or work and $0 (or a few thousand dollar loss) to show for all that time and effort.

So who ends up paying for all that lost time and money?  You do. The seller who actually sells, or the buyer who actually buys. You are not only paying for the services you receive – you are paying for all the services dozens of other consumers have received, but didn’t have to pay for because of the all-or-nothing commission model.

How We’re Different

TheFlatRate.com utilizes three unique approaches to cost and revenue calculations compared to traditional brokerages.

TheFlatRate.com utilizes three unique approaches

(1) Our business model levels the playing field by eliminating the risk of non-paid hours and marketing losses.  By charging a fixed fee to the client as the transaction progresses, we minimize our financial risk – something substantial in the traditional brokerage model. By minimizing our financial risk, we can charge less than our traditional competitors who need to calculate an additional 30%-50% or more into a client’s transaction to cover consumers who don’t end up buying or selling.

(2) We utilize a division of labor model.  The traditional REALTOR® wears many many hats. Let’s face it, no one is great at everything. So when you hire a single REALTOR®, they are expected to be a property expert, a marketing expert, a top notch negotiator, know the contract and all federal, state and jurisdictional addenda like the back of their hand, and remain on top of every aspect of the transaction and all parties, contingencies, dates and appointments.  In today’s world, it practically takes a four year degree just to understand the digital display advertising aspect of your overall marketing campaign. It’s not the “stick it in the MLS and the news paper” model any longer.  Also, a few decades ago, the contract of sale was four pages long.  Now with disclosures and addenda attached, the average contract runs around forty, and changes every year.  We have dedicated salaried employees to do do each and every aspect of the transaction squeezing every bit of efficiency possible.  You will still be dealing with a dedicated listing or buying agent because you need a consistent point of contact.  In our model, your listing agent is more like the captain of your ship, leaving the details of each task to the respective associate or team of associates to complete.

(3) Today we hear more and more about “virtual businesses” and “cloud based” companies – TheFlatRate.com takes this model to the extreme.  Most real estate brokerages have multiple physical locations, sometimes within a mile of each other. That overhead is extraordinarily expensive.  We maintain one physical location in Hunt Valley Maryland from which run our administrative offices.  All of our associates, assistants and transaction coordinators work remotely.  We have truly embraced the virtual office model and save substantially. We pass those savings on to you.

Many new brokerage models have come along over the last few decades, from teams to pyramids (sorry “multi-level marketing platforms”) to virtual staging and more.  But they all have one thing in common – they’ve figured out ways to make MORE MONEY FOR THE REALTORS®. How can a model where new associates must share commissions with another associate who “brought them on” save the consumer money?  Now two people need to get paid PLUS the brokerage.  Don’t be fooled by some hip new phrases.  Take a look at what each broker is offering, what they offer, and what it will ultimately cost you.  We encourage you to compare us to EVERY OTHER broker in town.  We think you’ll agree, the time has come for a new kind of brokerage. TheFlatRate.com