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Brad Inman and Realtor Commissions



Pushing boulder Inman

Daniel Rothamel, Inman Community Manager responds to my post.

I can’t ever think of a time that Brad, personally, or the Inman organization, have ever taken the position that real estate professionals are overcompensated.

I can. 

In fact, if there is anyone in the English speaking world who has been working on "the Realtor commission issue" longer or more diligently than Brad Inman, I have to confess, I’ve missed them completely.  Good market, bad market – no matter – it has always been something that needs "adjusting".

Here are a few examples, quoting Brad Inman – all found by searching Google, using the words, brad inman commissions.

From a transcript of an interview on CNN – aired Oct 26, 2006

INMAN: Yes. A big secret in the industry and, you know, I think in the eyes of the public is it’s all six percent. If they all charge six percent, by the way, the government has said that could be price fixing. If it’s you know — they have this informal agreement. So the first thing is, by law, it’s negotiable.
WILLIS: Well, I mean, is there information I should bring to that conversation and say, hey, I’m only paying you five percent or four percent?
INMAN: I think the important thing is to interview several so you can have leverage. You want the best realtor in your neighborhood or your forming area, but interview several. And then say to them, hey, I’ve got an offer here to do it for five percent. Will you consider that?  Some full-service brokers will turn you down, but I think you’ll find a good realtor if you — and also at a better commission if you’re willing to negotiate.

 From a Nov 7, 2000 Homegain press release

HomeGain is the Internet’s largest matching service for consumers and real estate agents. With HomeGain’s technology, a home seller or buyer posts a profile online, including information about the home they either hope to sell or purchase, price expectation, and qualifications of an ideal agent. The information is forwarded to real estate agents in the consumer’s zip code who, in turn, submit marketing proposals, which include the commission rates they charge to sellers. The agent-finding feature is free to consumers, who remain anonymous to the agents until they select an agent.
"The Web is definitely providing the cost savings home sellers expect in a transaction," Bradley Inman, founder and CEO of HomeGain, said. "And with a matching service such as ours, you not only save thousands of dollars but you get to choose your own agent. You’re not forced to place your number one asset in the hands of an agent that was foisted on you by some rebate-driven brokerage. You get savings and full service."

From March 31, 2006 on CNN Money

When it comes to tough negotiations, you may want to step outside your home. We’re taught to be polite to guests in our homes, says Brad Inman of Inman News.

"It’s tough to play hardball when your ten-year-old son is in the next room," he says. You may want to take your negotiations to your office, or a friend’s home.

Just two weeks earlier, March 13, 2006 on CNN Money

Do you need a Realtor? and Do you need to pay 6 percent? And on the buy side, according to Inman, the Internet has become the de facto sales agent. "You’re now doing 90 percent of the buy side work yourself," he says. "That should reduce the 3 percent of the commission that goes to the buyer’s agent."

From, July 1, 2003

Some real estate Web sites offer sellers a chance to solicit anonymous bids from agents for the right to list their homes. According to Inman, forcing real estate agents’ hands this way has brought the commissions of his participating employees, all of whom must at least belong to the National Association of Realtors, down to 4.9 percent.  "These are top-producing agents," he says, "not weak-kneed low performers who need to get into the business and will discount their rates to do so."

There are lots more.  But I think you get the idea.  Mr. Inman was a major part of the mid 90’s Microsoft HomeAdvisor and in 1999 launched Homegain.  He has been working on "the problem" for a while.

For the record, I am a paid subscriber to Inman News and have been for years.  Also, I want to point out that I don’t have any disagreement with Homegain as it exists today (in fact, I am a blogger there), nor do I have any disagreement with Brad Inman having any viewpoint he wants to have and promoting that view, including him wanting commissions to be lower for everyone.  My only disagreement is pretending that it is otherwise.

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at and

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  1. Thomas A B Johnson

    February 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Brad Inman: A decade of dedication to diverting real estate commissions from your pocket to his.

  2. Rob Aubrey

    February 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Brad Inman has an agenda and it is not reporting valuable information. The rants and the articles that come form his site is laser focused.

  3. Ken Brand

    February 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm


  4. Elaine Reese

    February 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I’d like to see Inman get his hands out of my pocket. What I charge is none of his business, but rather between my clients and myself.

    Why doesn’t he take on the amount attorneys charge? See how that works for him!

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Point & Purpose

What makes a top producer in real estate?



What makes a top producer?

Stop and think for a few minutes about who the top producers are in your market?

Ok, now think about what they doing that has allowed them to continue to consistently produce in a down market, when everyday REALTORS are throwing in the towel.

Every day I scan the MLS to see, what has sold, what is active, and what went under contract (I assume that is something most agents do every day.)

Over and over again the same names pop up as the listing agent with the home that sold or the actual buying agent that sold the home.


Except for one agent in my area, all the top producers have teams. Now it may be a two person, husband and wife team or a well oiled team with a team leader, several assistants, a listing coordinator or a closing coordinator. But, they all have HELP.

In my area, the names that keep popping up are on Teams. I believe it is virtually impossible to be a top producer without help. Well, you could do it alone but if you do how is that effecting time with your family? Realistically how many transactions can you juggle and give good service?

Running a Business

The second thing I notice about those top producers is the fact that they treat their business like a business. Real Estate to them is not just selling a house, but something they brand, allocate resources for, grow and manage. Not only are they thinking of ways to grow their business but they also thinking of the future and how to sell it down the road.

I remember being told by a entrepreneur friend of mine years ago, “all businesses are built to be sold.”

Far to many REALTORS, think of Real Estate as a job they do and someday when they retire then all the hard work of creating and nurturing relationships they have built is gone. (I’m outta here)

Focused and Positive

One other observation I have observed with top producers is they are focused and positive. I never see them “hanging out at the office”, or attending broker opens, or really for that matter, serving much at all on their local boards. Oh there are a few, but really very few.

Finally, I don’t see many top producers in my market on Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue or other social media sites during the day. I don’t see them at every conference known to man around the country.

What I do see is they work everyday, on their business and in their business.

How ‘bout you?

Think of the top REALTORS in your market, what characteristics do you see?

Flickr Photo Credit

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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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