Real estate agents, like other self-employed people, don’t have the comfort and consistency of bi-weekly paycheques. Cash ebbs and flows and on occasion you might need to borrow. Realserve provides commission advances to fill the gaps between commission cheques. But who is going to know about your commission advance?
“Most people who apply for a Line of Credit at the bank don’t tell their friends,” says Angela Gougeon, Realserve’s manager of Canada East. “We will never publish anywhere or discuss anything about our clients’ use of commission advances.”
On the one hand, realtors need to be public figures. Your success relies on getting your name and face out there. And you’re dependent on the very public digital realm. “Building trust in the marketplace is the biggest asset,” Gougeon says. “Curating your brand takes strategy. A real estate agent that nobody can find is not going to succeed.”
On the other hand, you’re entitled to your privacy just like anyone else. “There is a piece that you want to be inconspicuous – your relationship with your partner, your finances. When it comes to commission advances, most people prefer not to share that information with others,” Gougeon points out. “They might be embarrassed at having to borrow or feel emotional about experiencing a lull in cash flow.”
Realserve’s has a strict Privacy Contract and commitment to maintaining client’s anonymity.
“Because providing our services involves collecting, using and disclosing some personal information about our clients, protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities,” Gougeon says. “The only people that will know about the commission advance besides you and us is the brokerage office because they have to sign off to pay us.”
While some people might feel there is a stigma surrounding borrowing, but the reality is that most businesses borrow money to grow. The need to market your brand and the homes you have for sale is ongoing and costly. “Living with the conflict of bills coming due and no cash can leave anyone feeling trapped. The financial demands of business can hinder your plans and dreams,” Gougeon says. “We get it. We want to support agents by directly depositing cash into their account.”