How Corporate Relocation Companies Pick San Diego Real Estate Agents
Congratulations, your company wants you to relocate to San Diego! They have a generous package of relocation benefits for you, and hands you a list of “approved” agents and lenders to use. You might think that the company has thoroughly examined the qualifications of all the agents in the San Diego area, and has selected the best ones to save you time and make the move smoother. But this simply is not true.
Most transferees I talk to are surprised when they learn what’s really going on. The fact of the matter is that the company has a huge expense in relocating you. They seek to reduce that expense by receiving “referral fees” from San Diego real estate agents and lenders. Those agents on the approved list are not necessarily the most qualified, but only those who are willing to give back some of their fee to the company. That’s why they say that your relocation benefits are in jeopardy if you don’t use the approved agents.
This is not to say that the agents on the list are not competent, only that you can’t assume that they are. There’s good ones and bad ones. I’m on the approved list of several San Diego relocation companies, and I can tell you that no one has ever asked me about my credentials, only whether I would pay the referral fee. No questions about my professional designations, no review of my letters of recommendation, no investigation into what kind of service I provide the transferee, nothing.
Since this is true, you should never let the company “assign” an agent to you. Ask for a list of all the agents and interview them just like you would on the open market. Have them send you their promotional materials. Then go ahead and choose who you’d like to work with.
You also need to be careful when using the approved lender. Remember that the lender did not get on the recommended list because they offered the best interest rates. It might be worth your while to get a couple of other competitive quotes just to make sure that you’re not paying too much for your loan.
By the way, if you have a favorite agent who isn’t on the list, that doesn’t mean you can’t work together. Many times an agent can get himself “approved” by simply talking with the relocation company and agreeing to their fee structure. This way you have the best of both worlds – you get the agent you’re comfortable with, and you get your relocation benefits too.