Questions? We Have Answers!
Below are some answers to a few frequently asked questions. If you don’t see your question here, give us a call at (615) 371-1544 or (615) 809-2323. We’ll be happy to answer every question you have!
How can you offer such an aggressive compensation plan?
Simple. By all the agents being on the same page and the office providing the necessary items that agents actually use (conference rooms, computer access, faxes, copiers, scanners, printers, high speed internet, support and training) without wasting space or money on the other “stuff” (useless square footage, needless salaries, antiquated systems, monuments to the broker, etc), then everyone makes more money. More importantly we can all then reinvest more money back into our businesses to be better able to meet our consumer’s demands. It’s like investing in your retirement with PRETAX money instead of AFTER TAX money; you get a lot farther ahead a lot faster.
Where’s the catch? What hidden fees are you not disclosing?
Absolutely nothing. You will not pay anything to the broker above the fee associated with your Plan (A, B, or C). That’s it…nothing else…nada. You will NOT see additional charges for using the conference room, sending a fax, making a copy, using our technology or making a phone call. Oh, we do charge for color copies but only if you use them and it’s less than half what most brokers charge. As for the other services, well, if we wanted to make money on those items we would opened a Kinko’s franchise instead.
With so many agents now and your current growth rate, how can I expect to get timely broker support?
We know that when you need a broker question answered, you need it answered NOW, not three days from now. In most cases you can get a broker on the line when you call, but on the rare occasion the broker is not available right then, we guarantee a half day response time to your broker question. All of our brokers are very responsive to texts or email as well. Being the multi-taskers that we are, it’s quite common to be responding to an agent question while we are doing something else that prevents us from answering the phone. As we grow, our model allows for the addition of supervising brokers to also be available to help answer questions in a timely manner. You will always have access to the answers you need. Promptly!
What if I want desk space at the office?
All of our locations (yes, there are more in the works) have permanent desk space available for lease, but on a first come first serve basis. We also have private offices available for lease, whether for just you or your entire team. We also have cubicles available for you to float in and float out – and there is NOT a “Hotel Fee” just for downloading the printer software to your laptop.
How are REALTOR® teams treated at Benchmark?
At Benchmark, everybody is on their own Plan, and what you pay is guided by that plan. We tried the “team discount” system and really found that it’s more confusing than helpful to the agents, and when you ran the numbers out, it was actually MORE expensive than each agent having their own plan.
Do you have a referral incentive if I send other agents to Benchmark?
YES! For each agent you refer to us, you will receive a CA$H payment of $80 after the referred agent has been with us for two month. We are not working an MLM scheme here, it is intended as a gracious thank you for speaking warmly of our team. To earn that free month though you have to do more than just hand them a business card, you need to really have referred them.
Do you have ownership in a title company and mortgage company?
We have added shared ownership in Touchstone Title & Escrow to the menu of services we offer. Why? As the owner of Benchmark we have a compliance officer review every set of paperwork on every transaction, regardless of size. Doing so helps us identify trends and one particularly disturbing trend was title companies that paid lip service to serving the client, but really didn’t do it. Their “service” was 9:00-4:30, Monday thru Friday and if you couldn’t get your stuff together to meet that schedule, well…tough! With Touchstone, we are doing something about it. If it ends up that you need to close on Friday at 6:00 pm, then that’s when we’ll do it! New Year’s eve at 4:30? No problem. Touchstone will do whatever it takes to close the transaction and help the client…period! However, as we are with everything, we believe that it’s YOUR business. Our title company is here to serve, but you are free to use whomever you wish.
With that said though, we are not in the mortgage business, the insurance business, the pest control business or the home inspection business. Our core business is selling and closing real estate! Many brokers try to branch out and be all things to all people and offer a one stop approach. Our experience shows that these affiliated companies are huge profit centers for the broker, but rarely result in the best VALUE for the consumer. And because they are huge profit centers, they divert the broker’s attention from the core business. Despite what you have been told, the best consumer values come from free market competition, every time.
What type of company wide marketing programs do you have?
All company listings appear on our website in which we have invested thousands of hours refining and streamlining for maximum SEO effectiveness. We have cross migration and IDX contracts with all national websites and when your listings appear on our website they appear automatically on these national websites, thereby exposing your listings to over 35 million unique visits per month. Every where possible, your listings will appear with your contact info and all leads are routed directly to you. In addition to this, our website provides an area for you to post a bio and complete contact information. All of this results in FREE online marketing for both you and your client. We also have worked out discounts with most publications and direct mail houses to enhance your marketing efforts.
Are you a HUD certified broker?
Yes. In fact our agents are representatives for some of the most active buyers of HUD homes in the area.
How much freedom do I have to structure my own deals to meet my client’s needs?
As much as you want. There simply is no other business model equal to ours in the freedom offered to the agent. Today’s consumer has more information at their finger tips then at any time in the history of the world. A tremendous amount of this readily available info is related to real estate. Up until now, the real estate agent’s role has been one of information controller, but with the dawn of the internet age, our role has been forever changed to one of information interpreter. No longer can we force all clients into a single model and arrogantly expect that they will blindly oblige our offering of a single business model and a standardized fee structure. Today’s consumer demands choices. Because the traditional broker model ties the broker’s income to the gross commission dollars, the broker is in control of your business. By default then, the broker exerts absolute control over what choices you can offer your clients. Under our model, YOU are in control of YOUR business. No more stopping to ask “mother may I?” when you are sitting in front of a client. It’s your business, experience the freedom!
Why am I paying more to my current company??
That is one you will have to answer yourself. We would love to have you contact us and we can investigate together and see if our company might be your future home.
Benchmark Realty…setting the standard by which all real estate companies will be measured!