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Online Professional Services | Clickit Realty Case Study

Professional Services OnlineDo you have a professional service to offer online?  Or have you considered brokering professional services?  It’s not for everyone, but it’s a pretty powerful business model for those who resonate with it.

 

Clickit Realty Case Study

This case study comes from my own experience with selling a real property quite recently.

In New York State, where the property was located, a property can only be put on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) by a state licensed real estate broker.

This is important to know because the vast majority (I’ve read 98%) of real estate sales occur as a result of MLS exposure.  That’s because most buyers contact brokers to buy real estate, and the first thing most brokers do is to look at the current MLS listings to see what matches may be available.

Now, as fairly knowledgeable real estate investor, I wanted to sell the property myself, and save some money in reator commissions.  A property offered for sale directly by the owner, and not by a real estate broker, it’s commonly called an FSBO (For Sale By Owner).  

The problem with FSBO properties is that they cannot be listed on the local MLS.  

I did some google searching and found a way to do it, though, for a minimal fee.

It’s called a flat fee broker.  

A flat fee broker takes a small “fee” to list your property.  

I paid Clickit Realty Inc. (clickitrealtyinc dot com) $400 for the service.  After listing the property on MLS, the Clickit Realty broker had very little involvement in the sales process.  That’s why they don’t take a commission, which in my case was an industry standard of 3%.

So, for $400 I had my property listed on the local MLS registry, and buyers brokers were welcome to bring prospects by to see it.  Because I allowed buyers brokers, I not only was able to sell the property as a FSBO, but also via MLS.  If I sold the property myself, I would save the entire commission of 6%.  If I sold it through a buyer’s broker, I’d have to pay them 3%, but would still save the 3% listing broker commission.

For my part, since I had no traditional listing brokers, I had to do all the work they would typically do (including listing forms, disclosure statements, pricing the property accurately and negotiating the final deal).

To make a long story short, I listed the property through Clickit Realty for a flat fee of $400 rather than using a tradional listing broker for 3% commission.  I sold it in about 10 days, and saved thousands of dollars in commissions.

What Professional Service Can You Offer or Broker Online?

Do you have a special service you can offer or broker through an online site like Clickit Realty did on theirs?

I have special knowledge, for instance, of medical malpractice litigation.  I’m not an attorney, so I can’t offer the legal service of representing you.  However, I can educate you, assess your injury as to its key components (in New York, this is the negligence and compensatory thresholds), and refer you to attorneys who can service your claim and/or suit.

So I could, theoretically, create a website to find clients for medical malpractice, screen them according to the threshold criteria, and set up a referral system for attorneys who would actually provide the service to qualified consumers.

That’s one type of brokering.

What sort of professional services could you offer or broker?

Clickit Realty answered this question and has formed a very sound online business that just may change the whole nature of how people sell properties in the future.  I think it will.

Do you have a similar groundbreaking idea?

Remember, it doesn’t even have to be groundbreaking.  It just has to offer real value to both professional servicers and their consumers.  You stand to build a highly successful business as a brokering or referral service, just for putting introducing these folks to each other.

Again, I understand that this is not for everyone.  You need to have some specialized service you could offer, such as the real estate brokering or legal referral examples I have given you.

I’d love to hear, in the comments below, if you have a professional service you could offer, broker or refer.

What challenges do you have in capitalizing on this idea?

Or, what do you think of the whole idea just in general?

I appreciate if it you’d post this article in your social sites, too!

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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21 Responses to Online Professional Services | Clickit Realty Case Study

  1. The Food Curator October 19, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    David, I used to run a business brokering manufacturing services (CD, DVD, VHS,etc) to the film, music and corporate markets. I would stress your point that having specialist knowledge is absolutely vital for success. You have to be able to offer clients a tangible value (such as offering complimentary services, in my case it was packaging and distribution) to make it worth their while using you rather than working directly with the business you are brokering services for.
    The Food Curator´s last blog post ..Kikkoman – A night on the sauce!

    • David Merrill 101 October 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Michael.

      Specialist knowledge certainly is a prerequisite for this type of venture, which is why I said it’s really not for everyone. After all, not everyone has specialist knowledge, and not everyone is apt to make a business venture of it even if they do.

  2. Ryan Biddulph October 20, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Neat stuff David. Congrats on your sale! All is new to me, just learning a bit about pro services. I do know that many meteorologists – by major – sell their forecasting skills for forensic purposes. Fun and interesting way to make some extra cash.

    Thanks,

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph´s last blog post ..Why Mixing Online Business with Pleasure Can Form a Poisonous Facebook Cocktail

    • David Merrill 101 October 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Forensic forecasting is certainly a good example of using specialized knowledge in an enterprising manner, Ryan.

      Of course, the challenge is, that not only do you first need specialize knowledge of some sort, you then need the specialized knowledge of online marketing in order to leverage that knowledge. Unless you joint venture your idea with someone that has the online marketing expertise, and you provide professional service. That’s certainly not a new idea, and many people have done that very successfully.

  3. Gregory Bowen October 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Hello David….what a great Idea….I will be thinking of things I may be able to try…..can’t think of anything that i could broker right off hand but I just started to ponder the idea…..I would be open for suggestions….I think that the Clickit Realty broker idea was genius….stuff like that could be huge …and create an income that would allow flying south for the winter, like a migratory bird…..hmm….I will be giving it serious thought and investigation…Thanks David….Smokey
    Gregory Bowen´s last blog post ..How Do You Measure Wealth?

    • David Merrill 101 October 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Glad to get your wheels turning, Smokey.

      Which reminds me, don’t you know a lot about trucking?

      I wrote a review on U-Pack Moving a few posts back. The U-Pack Moving guys clearly took their knowledge of moving and teamed up with ABF Trucking to create a fairly nuanced concept of moving and hauling. That’s not brokering, but it is providing a professional service, using mostly online marketing tools.

  4. marquita herald October 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Really enjoyed your article David. As I was reading I couldn’t help but think of the experiences I’ve had selling property. Even though I do not currently posses the expertise you do, I’d be willing to go so far as to take classes to learn just to feel I had greater control over the process in the future. Thanks for the inspiration!
    marquita herald´s last blog post ..Understanding the Roller Coaster Ride of Life

    • David Merrill 101 October 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

      When you really enjoy something, Marty, you’re on the right track.

      If you have fun learning the selling process, then I’d say you’re in the right spot to find your own way to develop or broker related services.

  5. nick catricala October 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    David,
    well… you have another winner here.

    Real estate or any other brokering services is very lucrative when done professionally as you did… but I must say not everyone does it as great haha 🙂

    I too placed my home for sale more or less at the same time you did… I put it on Kijiji.com and had a lot of inquires, including real estate agents and other companies that do the same work as Clickit Realty, over here we call them commfree.com and propertyguys.com and others.

    I used most of them or at list talked with some in regard of this property and others that I sold before… all of them do a great job exposing the property on the MLS and as you mentioned do not get involved in anything else after giving you the package that you chose (yes, they have different one, starting at $400 and going to full cost of $4000.

    I for one, could not see my self brokering anything that I am familiar with… perhaps because I never though of it… but I am certain if me and you get together, for certain you may pinpoint what I could.. so my friend, we need to get together and then I can share it with others what I am good for brokering haha 🙂

    Thanks so much for yet another great and informative article David. look forward to read more.
    _nickc
    nick catricala´s last blog post ..The Twelve Sacred Principles of Karma

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      Sounds like you’ve got some real estate expertise yourself, Nick.

      Of course, just because you have some specialized knowledge or information, doesn’t mean you need to start brokering or providing services related to it. But it is an intriguing idea for those of us who are so inclined.

  6. Dr. Erica Goodstone October 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    David,

    Congratulations on your quick sale and for doing it yourself in such a cost-effective way. When you asked what skill I might broker, I thought about the many potential therapy clients who call me that I immediately refer to someone else. For example, I do not do psychological testing and I have received many requests for this. So I am actually brokering for free. I give them sites to check out, organizations to contact and people to call – at no fee. But I also would not be interested in making this type of referral into a business.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone´s last blog post ..Other People Make Relationships Difficult – 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2013 at 12:14 am #

      A referral business can be just a part of your main profession, of course, Dr. Erica.

      Network referrals is pretty much a bedrock of most professions. It sort of flows naturally, and insofar as it does, it’s actually something that your clients probably see as a value-added service to the one you provide up front.

  7. Rick Lelchuk October 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    David,

    Interesting concept you suggest, one that is applicable to most any industry. Most of us would be willing to pay to have another do the heavy lifting for us.

    As a healthy eating advocate, coach and mentor I’ll be looking in that area to see what brokering might be viable. It’s a vast area from which to choose and a bit of a daunting task.

    Thanks,

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk´s last blog post ..Get Smart, Get Support

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2013 at 12:21 am #

      Health is an excellent industry for this sort of service, Rick.

      It need not be a brokered service, though. It can also be one which you create and offer yourself.

      Good luck with it.

  8. Shelley Alexander October 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Hi David, first of all congrats on your real estate sale and for being able to do it in such a cost effective way. You had the skills to make in happen and were able to save thousands of dollars in the process. You have inspired me to consider how I can use my specialized skill set as a holistic chef to expand my business in a broker capacity. Let me know if you have any insights that may help me! Thanks so much for the post!
    Shelley Alexander´s last blog post ..Sweet Potato Mash with Tangerine Balsamic Glazed Red Onions

    • David Merrill 101 October 28, 2013 at 12:27 am #

      There are so many things you could offer, Shelley.

      You’d have to make a list of adjunct services that would add value to the one you provide yourself.

      If you’re a holistic chef, you might network with other holistic professionals, such as holistic bakers, or digital information related to remedial therapies for degenerative diseases since many people funnel into holistic cooking and eating to overcome specific illnesses.

      The possibilities are really limitless and depend more specifically on your personal interests, and those of your clients.

      I wish you well. You’re certainly in a position to make use of this information.

  9. Nile November 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I’ve never run into this… in fact, I am preparing to buy a property from my father… the one I’m living in now. I wonder if this is something my dad could get into for his other properties that he’s trying to sell. Realty is really changing in regards to buying online.
    Nile´s last blog post ..Blondish.net Podcast – 2013 Mini Episode 6

    • David Merrill 101 November 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      I’m sure your dad could use a flat fee broker in his state, whatever it is, Nile.

      My agent was a New York broker, but Clickit Realty has agents in every state, I’m pretty sure. Just google them and see.

      Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  10. Kyle Nelson November 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    David, not to familiar with this industry and realty but this seems like a great way to sell a property and have A LOT more money in your pocket in the end. I am going to share this with my parents because they are about to retire and going to sell their property. A way to save money is big for anyone and your case study shows that your house sold quick and you had more in the pocket afterwards. Great share!
    Kyle Nelson´s last blog post ..Personal and Business Relationships Matter

    • David Merrill 101 November 17, 2013 at 12:37 am #

      I’m glad you can share this with your parents, Kyle.

      I’d love to hear how they make out with it.

      Feel free to ask me if you need any guidance along the line.

  11. Sarah Arrow February 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    I’ve found this post intriguing for a number of reasons, firstly being in the UK, we don’t sell our homes in the same way. Secondly the option to sell it yourself for a reduced fee is a strong incentive when thousands of pounds are involved and thirdly, how many services could apply this method to their sales?
    Sarah Arrow´s last blog post ..10 Writing Mistakes [Infographic] – Which ones are you making?

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