**Update: The ACRE concept didn't take off, but it's still out there. Who knows, it could make a comeback.**
Is There a Better Way to Compensate Real Estate Professionals?:
There are differing opinions, but here are some statements that have been used to describe the current commission model:
- We are charging inflated prices for non-professional tasks
- There are too many real estate agents/brokers sharing the business
- Consumers have few choices available to tailor services to their needs
- Too many professional services are being given away for free
- Properly priced properties subsidize long-on-market overpriced ones
- Real estate professionals spend huge amounts of money marketing themselves, much of it wasted
Would the Consumer and REALTOR® be Better Off If...?:
Thinking more like professionals in other disciplines, let's ask if the situation would be better if:
- The real estate professional was paid for all the work they do, even if the deal doesn't close
- The consumer could choose from a menu of services just those that they need and/or desire
- Consumers could hire a REALTOR® for other services a la carte - tax valuation disputes, buy/sell/rent decisions, etc.
- Real estate investors could forego licensing and work with a REALTOR® on a fee basis for only what they need
The ACRE™ Designation - Good for REALTORS® and Consumers:
The Accredited Consultant in Real Estate™ Designation is awarded to those who take the course and pass the final exam to learn a new way of providing and billing for real estate services.
The ACRE Council LLC believes that there are many problems with the old standby commission percentage business model. They put forth a whole new way of thinking for the real estate agent/broker, which is as a professional whose time is valuable. All the work of the agent should be compensated, whether a deal goes all the way to closing or not. This concept can even out and also actually increase the income of an agent.
The Consumer Gets Choices from a Real Estate Consultant
Consumers, whether buyers or sellers, can choose from a menu of a la carte services, as well as packages of the most requested and necessary services in real estate.
Using this business model, the consumer can still choose the traditional method and many will. However, they will do so with a clearer understanding of our role as real estate professionals and how we're compensated. It takes out "discounting," as they see your service rates and packages, know they're choosing to place the transactional risk on you, and thus pay for that risk-avoidance.
The Course, Exam, and Cost:
The course material consists of one downloaded manual. After reading the material, the exam can also be taken online. It is immediately scored, and the designation is yours if you pass.
One difference with this program is that there is no ongoing cost to retain the designation. It's yours forever once you've paid and passed the course. The cost is $499.
Included in the first year is access to the "Graduate Coaching Exchange." This site has ongoing help, tips, and member information exchange. Other ACRE graduates share their forms, ideas, and experiences. After the first year, continued login is $100/year.
Definitely Not Recommending MLS Only Without Transaction Help
Though some will probably offer it, the ACRE™ Course strongly recommends that there be no offering of MLS listing only, with no help in negotiation or transaction-to-closing.
Our greatest value to the customer/client is in our knowledge of the process and the pitfalls hiding within it. Suggested packaging of services may be called "MLS Only," as marketing isn't included. However, the suggested service packages include all the negotiation and transactional functions that we offer to help our customer to avoid problems.
Taking Your Real Estate Business to a New Place With Consulting
Though this designation hasn't yet been adopted by NAR, the founders expect it to be soon. This method of practicing real estate won't be appealing to all, but there are those out there that have already and soon will embrace it with enthusiasm.
- Get paid for all your work and expertise, deal-close or not
- Get more business, as consumers will seek you out
- Tailor your services and service packages to your area and your desired business practices
You're not a "discounter," and you can do fee-for-service, hourly rates a la carte, or packaged flat rate services. It's all up to you. The key is to offer services that will be valued by the consumer in ways that allow them to choose what will work best for them. Of course, we can decide that just a listing in the MLS with no other services is too risky for all concerned.