I see this from both sides and most often it's the agent who gets the raw side of the deal. Buyers are only too happy to hang onto old traditional ways when it comes to exploring properties of interest in areas where they are not familiar. The day the buyer is willing to put an agent on a retainer like an attorney, or to pay an agent an hourly rate just to be shown around, is the day that you can expect JR to give up her expectation of a full service commission from every customer, regardless of the work involved. In the meantime, buyers are demanding the best of both worlds, which is making it very difficult for some agents to stay in business. As I said at the beginning of this thread, we do offer flexible services, you only pay for the services you use. However, there are still many services you use that we can't charge for because you, the buyer, are not willing to give up the old way of doing things. If you go to Best Buy to look at electronic equipment and spend an hour talking to a salesperson, then armed with your new found knowledge and expertise, come home and buy it for less on eBay, does that salesperson not get paid because of it? No, the salesperson does get paid, they are on wages and they make enough on those who do buy from them to keep that person on staff. No so the real estate agent, who is self employed and has not insignificant expenses to pay every month if they want to stay in the business and do a professional job. So next time you take an agent out for a day, remember that while they are with you, they can't do anything else.
As I said, i see it from both sides. When I spent some time recently in another State where I am not licensed looking at condos for my student daughter, I hired a buyer's agent to represent me, who drove me around for a couple of afternoons, as well as spending a considerable amount of time on the phone with me and setting up drip campaigns, and monitoring "MY" sector of the market . After a month of so of this, he had educated me sufficiently well for me to know that I really didn't want to buy at this time, i wanted to rent, and he didn't handle rentals. Imagine how awful I felt when I broke the news, yet he was the ultimate professional, and kindly said he had really enjoyed working with me and perfectly understood that I wasn't going to buy a property just so he got a commission. Of course not, but if I hadn't drawn on that expertise, I would never have got to the point where I realized it wasn't the right time for me to do this. The next day, I mailed that agent a $500 check as a small token of my appreciation, at least to help defray his out of pocket expenses. I suggest that only a fellow agent would ever think to do that. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
The view from here is that some of the new business models make a lot of sense, especially for the buyer, so if you are a buyer who doesn't want to pay for full service and you want to cherry pick the services you pay for, that's fine, please come and see us. But before you walk through our door or the door of any agency, please think about doing the right thing by the agent who helps you, even if things don't work out as expected. Then perhaps more agents could afford to work that way.