Real Estate Broker vs ComFree ?
Video Interview with Patrice Groleau, owner at McGill Real Estate, real estate agency
Why does DuPropio bother real estate brokers so much although it is just a web site served to advertise properties just like Les Pac, Kijiji, LaPresse, Micasa etc. are. Brokers do not have a problem using sites that promote the sale of properties by the owner directly. Traditional Canadian agencies continue putting costly ads in the classifieds while Gesca who is s shareholder of DuProprio gives it the best spot in the Home section. The main point is that DuProprio is openly against brokers or at least it advertises itself as an alternate option to using a broker and is the only website to forbid brokers to directly advertise on their site, while in theory, several properties represented by brokers on the inter agency site are posted on DuProprio as well as on other sites like LesPac, Kijiji, LaPresse, etc. The goal is to advertise everywhere. *(…) For the past few years now, several websites are offering the possibility of advertising properties. Some take the chance, and the fact remains that, a survey undertaken in 2010 showed that brokers are implicated in over 40% of the sales compiled from this type of site; without mentioning DuProprio itself. Showing that the professional services offered by a broker remains indispensable to conclude a sale.(…) 40% of properties on DuProprio implicate real estate brokers…which is huge!
Then it’s the support/advice aspect that bothers them? And yet individuals always had access to an appraisal to have their properties evaluated, to a notary, lawyer or a paralegal for legal advice or to specialized articles published on the web, and it is always possible for an individual to sell his property by himself. It is obvious that information and analyses are not a priority for a call centre, which aims at volume rather than quality. It is impossible to perceive the same amount of details from such a distance; the rapport, analysis and advice maintain general and superficial. The employee that works at the call centre cannot be regarded as a specialist and know the Plateau area when he takes a call in Québec. Real estate is a cluster of nuances that make the difference, and I do not think that it can be done other than on-site, face to face with the client.
McGill Real Estate is an agency that specializes in the sale of real estate projects. Our promoters are allowed to sell on their own but an exception in the law even specifies that anyone other than a broker can sell as well. The situation is even worst than we think, how come this exception in the law doesn’t bother us? Because we know that we are the best at what we do and that the promoters take advantage of our expertise. Of course they can sell on their own, but this implies time, management, and they would surely not sell as quickly as us, and they would miss out on valued advice that they cannot obtain by reading articles on the web or contacting a call centre. The sales velocity will be affected, just as the structure and marketing of the projects would be, and then some. This is called added value.
I agree with the OACIQ that the fact of mentioning “$15000 of savings for the seller that sold on his own!” is false advertisement and very subjective. Would the property have sold for more with a broker? How many hours would this job entail? Hours that would neither more nor less represent a salary** as hours worked and taken away from “the economy” because let’s not forget, all this does not happen on its own! Let’s also not diminish the work involved in selling a property. Putting the client who sold in 48 hours in the forefront is fine, but let us not forget the client that did not sell at all or sold in a year!
So where is this fear stemming from? The answer is simple. It is the first time that a site gives the illusion to owners that the services offered by DuProprio is equivalent to services offered by a real estate broker. They downplay the complexity of the task at hand of selling their property therefore underestimating the job of a real estate broker. But the fact that certain services are offered does not guarantee anything in terms of quality and the quantity of work entailed. The way I see it, it is a website offering extras which is normal… at about $1000 a listing which cannot be comparable to Kijiji which is free! Obviously, real estate brokers who do the bare minimum by signing brokerage contracts without doing any kind analysis, follow-up, and that allow the owners do the viewings, etc. and expect things to just happen once they list on the inter agency site. This type of broker should have doubts with reason because the services offered by such sites pose a threat to them because the quality of services offered is alike. However, for the brokers who offer a service of quality, who work the customary way, they will always be able to justify the cost of their commission to the owners, which in turn will justify their cost of dealing with specialists in the real estate industry. The good brokers have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to DuProprio which is merely a website, a tool just like a hammer is to a carpenter.
It is not for nothing that so many brokers give up their licence, more than half the brokers earn less than $44,000 per year**, it’s difficult, and not a high paying job contrary to popular belief.
Just like there will always be people who will sell their property themselves by using specialized websites, there will also be those who prefer doing their own income taxes, financial planning and even those who will represent themselves in the court of law after consulting legal articles published on the web but there will always be that someone that will turn to a professional: a Tax Specialist or an Accountant, a Financial Planner, Lawyers and even…a Real Estate Broker!
I am here to avoid misconstrued information on certain points in regards to the marketing of DuProprio, that being said, it will never replace a real estate broker. It is up to us real estate brokers to showcase our added value, and for those who cannot do it; do not offer a quality service to your client who deserves it, under false pretence.
*(…) Let’s remember that DuProprio, who has been boasting about having “sold” (actually advertised!) 100 000 properties, has been crunching numbers since 1997 all across Canada. 100 000 properties (advertised and not sold) versus more than 7 million properties sold by real estate brokers; is this even comparable? (…)
*Les courtiers immobiliers ont la cote! (Chambre immobilière de Québec) http://www.ciq.qc.ca/webjournal/2011/09/les-courtiers-immobiliers-ont-la-cote/
**MUST READ: Real Estate Broker’s Salary and the owner that sell on his own