The way in which agents manage their cash flow and receive advanced commissions could be about to change, as technology disrupts the ‘old-school’ model.
Specialised funding company Commission Flow has taken over rival business Early Settlement, and CEO James Steer says advanced commission facilities are more than just ‘last-minute bailout facilities’ – despite ongoing misconceptions.
Mr Steer said Commission Flow’s new state-of-the-art technology platform, which is now available to a wider audience, will have many positive outcomes for the real estate industry.
The online CRM system, a tech platform purpose-built for the real estate industry, allows agencies to apply for advances online, manage applications, make payments, view transactions and request extensions.
“The CRM system has been designed by real estate agents for real estate agents,” he told REB.
“It will track all workflow and give agencies a more streamlined, efficient and accurate way to manage their cash flow needs. It covers everything from an initial inquiry to the completed transaction, and can also assist with end-of-year financial reporting.”
Technology such as this cements the commission advance industry as a sound alternative to traditional ‘old-school’ bank lending, Mr Steer said.
Mr Steer said the company will continue to promote the benefits associated with an advance commission facility. He said the practice has been around for more than 25 years, and should be seen as more than just a last-minute bailout tool, despite its growing reputation for this.
“This couldn’t be further from the truth,” Mr Steer added.
“Advance commission is not a loan. It’s used regularly by savvy business owners who want more freedom in their business to grow, and is a globally accepted way of boosting your business.”
His cause was made more difficult in April this year when Sydney agent and company director Shaun Andrew Crockford of Claremont Meadows pleaded guilty to creating fictitious real estate listings to obtain early commissions, along with defrauding his company’s trust account of more than $800,000.
Of the crime, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe described Mr Crockford as “robbing Peter to pay Paul to keep his cash flow going”.
Commission Flow’s acquisition of Early Settlement was finalised on 14 July.