Last week, I talked about How to Create More Balance in Your Life using two strategies – Appointments with Yourself and Creating a “Loose” Partnership.
The “Loose” Partnership is based on a Points Per Task System.
I created this system for the most basic of reasons—pure cheapness!
I couldn’t stand the thought of paying other agents thousands of dollars in commissions just so I could take a few days off. 🤑
By the way, for those of you thinking I just make this stuff up on the fly, I don’t. This Points Per Task System is one of the systems I was able to earn between $590,000-$865,000 for 12 consecutive years (beginning in my 2nd year), all as an individual agent.
But how can I say I was an individual agent and talk about my partnership at the same time?
Answer: I was indeed classified as an individual agent my entire career, but I had what I call a “loose” partnership for some of that time. This means my partner and I never had a formal partnership agreement and never shared a single commission. 💰
We simply used a Points Per Task system to support each other. For example:
# Points Task
1,000 – List a property
1,000 – Negotiate a sale or purchase contract
300 – Attend a home inspection
200 – Show one property to a buyer
100 – Show a second property in sequence
50 – each Show 3rd, 4th, 5th properties, etc. (same buyer, same day)
There are many other line items for different tasks, but this gives a general idea of some of the things you and your partner might do for each other. Here’s how it works:
Partner A negotiates a sale on Partner B’s listing (while Partner B is away)
Partner A gains 1,000 points = +1,000
Partner B loses 1,000 points = -1,000
The next week, Partner B is back in town, and he shows two listings to Partner A’s clients (200 + 100 = 300 points).
Partner A loses 300 points (1,000 – 300) = 700
Partner B gains 300 points (-1,000 + 300) = -700
Notice how the total of both partners’ points always equals zero. This works the same with any number of partners. For example, let’s introduce Partner C, who joins the team and immediately signs up a listing for Partner A.
Partner A loses 1,000 points (700-1,000) = -300
Partner B stays the same = -700
Partner C gains 1,000 points = 1,000
The total still adds up to zero, no matter how many partners are added at whatever time. (You could potentially do this with an entire brokerage if everyone agreed.)
The idea is that you either owe points (you have a negative balance) or you are owed points (you have a positive balance). The partner with the highest positive balance always has the upper hand.
For example, if Partner C (1,000 points) has buyer clients wanting to see six properties (500 points) on Saturday afternoon, he can ask Partner B to do it on his behalf, allowing him to attend to a different task, or take the afternoon off if he wants! 😁
Since Partner B has the lowest point balance (-700) and assuming he is not booked up already on Saturday afternoon, he is obligated to agree to any request made by the partner with the highest positive balance. This way, the workload always balances out.
And here’s the best part: So long as you don’t let your points go too far negative, you ALWAYS collect 100% of the commission for your own clients, even while you are away on vacation and your partner is closing transactions on your behalf!
As for the points themselves, I find a good way to think about them is in equivalent dollars. This also makes it easy to correct a wide disparity that may develop over time. For example, let’s say Partner A and Partner B have the following points balance:
Partner A = (5,000)
Partner B = 5,000
As long as Partner B agrees, Partner A can elect to pay out the difference ($5,000) and bring both points balances back to zero. The final say goes to Partner B, who may prefer to keep a strong positive balance if he knows he’s got a vacation coming up, for example. Again, the partner with the positive balance always gets the final say.
You might also agree that a payout must occur when any partner hits a negative balance of 5,000 or 10,000. You and your partner just need to agree to your own set of rules! 📋
Does this sound complicated? I hope not because it’s actually incredibly simple. Maybe just read it over a couple more times, and you’ll see how easy it is. If you disagree with the points I’ve allocated, make up your own!
How do you keep track of the points? Easy; in a simple ledger. It takes mere seconds to record each entry, which adds up to ten minutes of work in an entire year. And, if you take the next step in your partnership and share an assistant, they could take over this simple admin task for you.
The “loose” partnership can lead to some great things. For example, at one time, my business partner (Dave) and I shared all the same systems, the same CRM, the same assistant, and even the same office.
We looked like partners to the outside world, but in fact, we were two individual agents who just figured out a great way to support each other. 🤝
Next week, I’ll talk about how to choose a compatible partner.