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The pace of change continues to speed up. Distractions are easily found. Just browsing my Facebook news feed could lead me down a rabbit hole of pondering new entrants, new business models, industry politics and potential competitive threats. I was recently asked what keeps me up at night, and while it’s a commonly asked question that can lead to insightful discussion, I’d rather share what doesn’t keep me up at night.

  1. Agent Commission Splits
    One of the many benefits of running a 100-percent commission model network is that when we’re talking to agents about joining HomeSmart, we don’t need to have a conversation about what our commission split plans are. Every agent is on the same plan: 100-percent commission.

Once we’re relieved of that conversation, we’re free to focus on what the agent really needs and wants, which is the technology, training and business systems that’ll allow them to hit their personal real estate goals.

  1. Renegotiating Commission Splits
    We’ve likely all had an experience of purchasing a product or service and then finding out that someone else got the same thing for less money. This happens every day in real estate offices, where agents show up asking their broker for a better commission split because they heard another agent in the office got a better deal than they did. It’s also common practice to renegotiate commission splits with agents on their anniversary dates, or at the beginning of every calendar year.

A culture of inconsistency around money and its related exchange for value can be disruptive to morale. Since we’ve removed that disruption from the equation at HomeSmart, we can focus on bringing our agents value and offer them consistency in service and technology. There’s no need to worry about the time of year or hitting certain production levels.

  1. Pressures on Commission Rates
    There’s growing concern that the commission rates consumers are willing to pay for real estate professionals’ expertise will decline in the coming years. While time will tell if this happens, in the meantime, HomeSmart agents are able to charge whatever commission rate they feel is appropriate to market their services. There’s no requirement for them to seek approval for exceptions to company policy on commission rates. The commission is 100-percent theirs.

We empower our agents to market themselves competitively and provide outstanding value to buyers and sellers in exchange for the commission they earn. When we combine this with technology that allows them to manage the full scope of their business, we end up with many efficiencies and a win-win environment.

When HomeSmart was founded almost 20 years ago, part of the vision our founder, Matt Widdows, had was to create a brokerage model that would remove the traditional friction around commission dollars and allow us, as a broker and now a national brand, to focus on providing technology, training and support to real estate professionals. Over the last two decades, we’ve seen our model and our commitment to the agent flourish into one of the largest real estate networks in the country.

With all the changes and noise in our industry, we’re committed to not getting distracted, and we’ll continue to focus on our agents. We’re dedicated to advancing technology and business systems to allow our agents every advantage in today’s competitive real estate landscape.

To me and the team at HomeSmart, that’s worth losing sleep over.

Wendy Forsythe has leveraged her passion for real estate, operations and branding to help build successful real estate networks in both Canada and the U.S. She is currently the chief operating officer at HomeSmart International. HomeSmart combines a transaction-fee business system with high service and robust technology. To learn more, please visit You can reach Forsythe directly at