The Problem With Asking For the Lowest Cost

I see this all the time on social media and I’m sure you do too — people asking for recommendations for the best someone to do something at the lowest price, or a ‘good, cheap electrician,’ for example.

Everyone wants a good deal.

But the more I think about it, the more I think that we’re all asking the wrong questions. You wouldn’t go to the lowest cost hair stylist just to get a good deal, and no one would advise going to the least expensive tattoo parlor just to save some money.

If it was all about the cheapest price, Whole Foods Market and Nordstrom’s wouldn’t exist, but they do. Why is that? There are choices for a reason; they set allow businesses to set themselves apart in the marketplace.

I harp on the price question for a reason. We all know accountants, contractors, and attorneys. We also all know that they do not all offer the same quality or the same services. They have differing levels of market knowledge; differing levels of experience; differing levels of expertise; and different personalities that allow them to be a good fit for some and a poor fit for others. Asking for the best at a ‘reasonable’ price is a subjective, relative judgement.

I write this because one of the most frustrating things I get is the weekly complaints from members about another REALTOR® offering a differing commission from what they offer — perhaps deeply discounted or a different structure.

When approached with questions like this, the response should be about your value, your service, and what you offer.

Instead of worrying about the commission rates another REALTOR® is offering, or a rebate to buyers or sellers, focus on what sets you apart – why you are charging what you charge and the value you offer for it.

No two REALTORS® are the same.

You have differing levels of market knowledge, differing levels of experience and expertise, and oftentimes, totally different customer service styles. It’s about the best fit for the customer, and that’s not always about low cost. In fact, it almost never is.

Most everyone lists on the predominant multiple listing service in the market; most everyone has (or should have) professional photographs taken of property; most everyone put the property on the “internets” (oh, don’t get me started on what this means); so, what else do you do that makes you worth what clients are paying?