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How One High End Realtor Kept His Commission And Your Emails

CNBC.com

It's hard being a realtor. To get paid, you have to agonize through the entire deal--spending time and money--and, increasingly, it all falls apart at the end. Even if the transaction is completed, clients start grinding you on the commission. Hey, that's business. But I always ask the very high-end realtors I meet if their mega-millionaire clients also try to grind them on the commission.

"Of course," one told me, a realtor who sold $100 million in properties last year. She tells me that when the commission issue comes up at the beginning of the relationship, she always says softly with a smile, "Why do you want to punish me before I've even done anything?" Good line.

Rich Wagar, a long-time realtor in Aspen I interviewed this week, says when someone starts trying to renegotiate the commission, he often says, "Well, geez, sounds like you need the money more than I do." Once, he got a call from a client saying, "We have to talk." Red flag! So he brought two suitcases to the meeting.

After saying hello, the client said, "Why do you have two suitcases?" Wagar answered, "Well, in one suitcase I have some champagne. What's in the other suitcase depends on what you want to see me about. If it's about my commission, then I'd better open the second one." The client admitted it was about the commission, so Wagar opened up the suitcase, and inside was, well, a specific brand of human lubricant. The client laughed, and Wagar got most of his commission.

KRISPY KREME, BOEING, WILL FERRELL AND PRINCE BANDAR
Regarding my post yesterday on research using Krispy Kreme Donuts to show how the brain reacts more strongly to pictures of food when hungry (really??!!), Lou G. responds:
"The Feinberg School Medicine research results are so 'earth-shaking', I can't wait for their results relative to other basic human drives like sex, fear, etc. Whomever is funding this research group, should keep the money flowing....society can't afford to have these researchers out-of-work...roaming the streets, hungry."

Regarding my post on Aspen home prices, including Saudi Prince Bandar's 55,000 square foot home on the market for $135 million, Brent S. tells me:
"Prince Bandar has pulled his house off the market."

After Fake Jane wondered this week why "Semi Pro" was rated R, Nick R. writes:
"I agree. I was on my way to the movie 'Semi Pro' with my son. When we checked the movie times on mobile handheld we noticed that it was rated R. We went to see 'Be Kind Rewind' instead...which was not as good as 'Semi Pro,' but was not rated R. I don't get it. Ferrell's audience is young teens through 30 years old primarily."

On Boeing's loss to Northrop Grumman/EADS on the tanker, Jerry M., writes:
"If it was to be a U.S.-only system the Request for Proposal should have said so. They allowed EADS to compete because everyone thought that BA had it in the bag. NGC provided a better value."

And Robert C., writes:
"A more interesting issue is whether any of the design and intellectual property stuff associated with the project will be done in the U.S. Keep hearing from the 'powers that be' --all of whom are smarter than I am--that we are into the post-industrial economy and everyone should go get an education and a knowledge-based job. I help educate future engineers and I wonder if there will be any jobs for engineers left in the US. I might also point out that someone mentioned that the 'assembly' will be done in the US. Isn't this the approach that Boeing is using on the Dreamliner? I have noticed how well they have adhered to schedule by outsourcing (offshoring?) major systems. Guess I just don't understand the business model and the need to monetize our core processes."

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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