What Do I Charge?

Receive moneyI recently received an email from a trainer in the real estate industry looking to branch into training in some of the smaller offices locally.  She didn’t give me a lot of information to go on, only that she was trying to figure out what to charge.

I spent a fair amount of time giving her a detailed answer that I thought might be useful for others out there as well. (I think it’s good to share what you know on the web. The more access we have to a global source of knowledge, the better – from the simple, but useful Credit Card Comparison to Wikipedia – my personal favorite for beginnings of research.)  Keep in mind that you’ll make a lot less speaking in the real estate industry than in pretty much any other industry I know of, so don’t take the actual price I quoted literally unless you’re also a real estate speaker.  Here is the answer I sent:

It’s hard to say how to charge for brokers. Each one is very different. The question you have to ask yourself is what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to bring new people into your training business where you can sell the agents individually into coaching or additional training or products? If so, then the program should be free to the broker with a strong sell close at the end for the agents.

If you are just looking to get paid for your training, then I would highly encourage you to get certified to give CE credits in your state. You will get many more, higher-paying gigs if you can offer CE credits with them. Also, you can get certified to teach GRI, ABR, etc. These aren’t great paying gigs, but they establish you as a professional in training and open doors for other speaking events, plus they build your mailing list which is key if you hope to develop products and agent-centric training sales later. (Which is where the real money is in this business – that’s why I keep coming back to it.)

If you just want to do a little training on the side, then charging anywhere from $100-$250/hr for a training that takes you no longer than half an hour to travel to would be appropriate depending on your experience level. If it takes longer than that, then you should charge for travel time as well.

I run a consulting business teaching speakers and trainers how to develop their businesses. If you’re serious about growing your business, then give me a shout. I’m happy to help.

Lady J says:

Thank you for your responses it helped me come up with a fee that represents myself.

Kelle Sparta says:

Dear David,

You are correct – as I said in my post, in any other market other than real estate, I have charged much more for my services. But in the recent years, real estate has been hit so hard and individual brokers don’t generally pay much anyway.

My answer was to a rookie trainer looking to start by doing small, short classes in her local area to the smaller brokerages. She is not coming from a distance. She is a known quantity in the market. To be honest, she’ll be better off if they don’t know her than if they do. If they’ve co-broked with her, then they won’t want her training them. Familiarity breeds contempt. What she was really asking was: how much can I charge and still get the job? She wanted the experience. That’s why I gave her the advice I did.

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

David Rosman says:

Here is a trick I learned from Joe Sabah, speaker and author in Denver, CO. If you have any friends in Denver who have lived there for more than ten years, ask about Joe. Or look him up on LinkedIn.

when I first got into the business Joe provided me three rules.
1) what do youwant to make annually – this is a real number, not a fantisy. Double that. Now divide by 2000 (working hours in a year) and you have your low end.

2) How much do you think you are worth. Because we underestimate our worth, double that number, then double it again, not increase it by another 50 percent. So if you think you are worth $100 per hour, try bidding at $250.

3) You never bid for a one hour seminar. You are spending at least one-half of a day in preparations, travel, setup, etcetera. Charge by the day or half-day. Take that annual salary and divide by 250 (work days).

One of my first gigs was a two hour training for the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. Because of travel, I was charging for a full day. My brain said I wanted to make $100,000 annuallly, so I was looking at $500. Using Joe’s formula, I should have charged $1750 plus expenses. I was very uncomfortable with that so I dropped it to $1250 plus. they agreed to the bid too quickly. I found ouot later that another presenter with less experience asked for and received $2000 for the day. Thank was 1992.

Don’t underestimate your worth. Remember – an expert is someone who travels more than 200 miles to tell you what you already know.

David Rosman
Speaker, Commentator, Communiction Faculty
InkandVoice.com