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    Nick Salmon Managing Director of EYE

    A considerable proportion of negotiators work on near minimum-wage. If agents paid their negs higher fixed salaries and removed sales commissions the result would be better-quality staffing, better service to clients, and better staff retention. Or would it?


    smile please

    Nick, First off well done on “The Arena” this has been greatly missing for property professionals!

    I am a bit overwhelmed and do not know where to start but this topic seemed to strike a chord!

    I pay my staff a better than minimum wage, because i want to attract the best not the cheapest, but i also do not pay them a massive basic. They all get very good commission and bonuses.

    I probably pay my staff more than most in my area but this in a conscious choice. I earn a good living, i want my staff to be happy and have a good living but the commission and bonuses drive them. I believe if you work hard and are good at what you do you should be rewarded.

    It works well for me, as a rule i get the member of staff i want and as a rule my staff retention is very good. The upside is settled offices, and the public get a great service which we quantify by the recommendations we receive.



    It’s interesting that the topic usually centres on on basic plus sales commission. I think you are wise to spend more on basic, smile, with a view to attracting better staff but there is always a danger that the “higher the basic” the less hungry the applicant.

    One thing that rarely gets mentioned is targeting staff on service levels, alongside slightly below market sales targets

    If service levels remain exceptionally high then it follows that business levels also increase and everyone benefits.

    One thing that is certain….the “carrot and stick” method is way out of date now, and doesn’t work in the modern workplace.

    As a matter of interest Smile, do you set service level targets?


    View from the sideline

    The “Carrot and Stick” is not out of date for anyone the owns a business. For your potential vendors it should be “Heaven if they choose you, and hell if they don’t” (Your Carrot and Stick USP?) Its the same deal you proposed to your fiancee before you were married! “Carrot and Stick” is good, you need it, and it’s here to stay.

    There is plenty of Carrot available if you’re prepared innovate, back yourself most of the world works on commission only in this industry (Lots of Carrot) Let your bank manager provide the stick, just like your boss.

    Commission is the answer?


    smile please

    Its ALL about service.

    My company is built on service, i know every company always says this but it really is here. When i started i had a very modest budget and to standout i had to offer something different and to me it was “Doing the basics better” it stood me well.

    As the company grew i looked for the same, initially employing people i knew who i knew would embrace and offer the service we offer as standard and later employing other candidates with a good local reputation.

    If we employ an “unknown” we focus very heavily on what makes them tick, Team Players, self motivated, confident, common sense, articulate and also an attitude that demonstrates putting others first.

    As for service levels, do we have targets? – Not as such but when the staff have done a good job we make sure others know about it and if we receive a complaint no matter how small we always discuss it with the individual, listen to their side and see if they would do anything different in the future.

    Here its more of a culture and a natural habit as opposed to a target, As everybody is of the same thought process its easy.

    Thats not to say we do not get it wrong from time to time, in the past we have ended up with aggressive alpha male types which do help for a period but not long term, After a while they tend to go (usually to a corporate) and sometimes we get what a call “A nice guy” someone too interested in making people happy, not wanting to bother them and forgets that they need to close! again these tend to leave as they do not fit into the team.

    As for the high basic i agree if you pay too much they will not be motivated. We probably pay the best locally but you would still want to sell to get the perks!




    I know this is an older topic but I’ve only just discovered this site. I find it difficult to see how negs in this industry survive on the wages they earn. Sure in bigger towns (London especially) there are some decent wages being paid (5 years ago, in a not brilliant market, one of my negs had a six figure salary) but I sit here now in the suburbs and the negs around me are earning perhaps 25-35k. At the risk of showing my age, that is a salary I was on back in the late 1980s and I just don’t see how they will ever buy a home of their own.

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