Most seasoned agents have experienced a situation with another realtor over commissions.

For those who haven’t, it’s just a matter of time.

First, to try preventing – or at least minimizing  – issues, it’s always a good idea to try and get ANY deal down on paper.  It may not always be possible to do so, and even if it IS written down, things may still flare up, but at least it makes discussion or even negotiation a little less emotional (maybe!)

If there is no written deal OR if that doesn’t seem to be working , then it’s time to remember what any good businessperson has to remember – keep your cool at all times.

If things are not working out here are some tips for minimizing the stress and taking control of the situation in order to maintain order.

  • Make contact with the other realtor as soon as possible. Before you do, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you are going to say.  It also helps to be the person who initiates the discussion.  That avoids having another agent getting a “surprise” and over-reacting.

When someone is surprised, and contacts you after the fact, things will almost certainly get unpleasant.   Everyone is stressed these days and not necessarily capable of thinking before reacting.  When surprises happen, people tend to assume the worst and damage control becomes much tougher.

  • Don’t argue with the other realtor, no matter how outlandish or even silly their position is. Take a deep breath, don’t be offended, and just let them talk.  Oftentimes, agents just need to vent frustration and know that someone is listening.

Most counselors – marriage counselors especially – will tell that what gets people really upset is not just the issue that gets the heat turned up, but being treated as if what they are saying is unimportant to the other person.   There is an old saying that “a gentle answer turns wrath, but harsh answer stirs up a fury.”  Remember also that it takes two to make an argument.  Letting the upset person talk, until they’re through, means they will be less likely to explode.

  • Continuing the theme of Be Kind, we have all lost deals and it can be painful. A little bit of empathy goes a long way. It costs nothing and makes you – as well as the other person – less stressed.
  • In all else fails, be willing mediate or split the commission. Going to arbitration is stressful, time consuming, and a very high risk game, because the result is “winner takes all.”   “Winner takes all” means that one party gets… nothing.   Sometimes it’s better to give a concession, rather than risk losing it all.

Finally, think of the people who you respect.   The most respected people are almost always those who are the least angry and negative.  Being kind, fair and balanced is a formula for less stress and more success.

Just think about what you want to be known for and make your decisions on that basis.