It’s no secret that airline miles are a valuable commodity, but are you aware of all the creative ways they’re now being used? In addition to the standard gift card for a local restaurant, you can now get free cruises with air miles, and even get paid for your miles through entertainment and retail rewards. While it’s all great fun, it gets even better when you combine miles and real estate. You see, real estate agents have been advertising at airport gates, giving travelers the option to skip the middle man and go right to the home seller. Blog Post: http://www.career.com/blog/travel/real-estate-agents-now-advertise-at-airport-gates-will-
Real estate agents are one of those professions that you would never expect to see advertising at an airport. But with the housing market getting crazy over the past few years, and Realtors needing to find ways to stand out, they have been making inroads. A lot of the time (though not always) this involves giveaways, such as free airline points.
Brokers now advertise on airport gates, giving you hundreds of thousands of miles
Gary Leff 28. April 2021
The housing market is booming in many parts of the US and mortgage rates remain low by historical standards. Brokers pay for the next potential customer, and lead generators return some of that payment to you in the form of airline miles. This is a potential win-win situation.
A sign of the times: not only can you earn miles by buying or selling a home (or both!), but select American Airlines locations in 75 airports are now promoting Miles From Home Realty, an American AAdvantage partner.
To clarify, this is a lead generation company in real estate. You register with them and they put you in touch with an estate agent. This agent receives a commission on the sale of the house. You pay the lead generation company to refer a potential customer (you), and you get a portion of the reward (miles) back.
- You do not choose your broker, although you are not obligated to use the broker they send you. You meet him and see if he’s worth working with.
- If not, ask to be assigned to another broker that you may like better and can earn miles with.
- Or leave before you sign anything.
When I bought a condo in 2006, I got 3,000 United Airlines miles for $10,000 because I was referred to a broker. And to get my current mortgage, I got 100,000 Chase points.
I am puzzled by the brokerage commission: the fact that 6% of the transaction is more or less saved (although there are discount brokerage firms and brokerage firms that do this themselves), and that the commission sometimes goes up to 7% (4% for the buyer’s agent as an incentive to show the property) raises a real question.
However, if you do not receive a commission refund, you can often ask the agent to provide a portion of their commission to bridge the gap between buyer and seller and achieve a final closing. They want to be paid the commission if the sale goes through, not no commission if the deal falls through. (No matter what your broker tells you, they don’t work for you, they work to sell).
It’s usually best to do this at the last minute, when the deal is about to close. Even if you’ve reached a price you’re happy with, why not take the time to earn an extra 1% by asking your agent to make up the difference through his commission?
- Maybe you can get a discount (or an increase in the amount of the deal) from your broker instead of miles, these things can be negotiated individually.
- Unless you’re super self-sufficient and really depend on a broker, working with a bad agent can be expensive. Getting to any destination may not be worth the miles. Make sure you are happy with the agent you are working with.
Financially, you may not get the best mortgage deal if you go for a mileage deal. For example, QuickenLoans offers 25,000 United MileagePlus miles for a mortgage. However, don’t think you’re paying more for your financing because of the miles – miles are a marketing expense, a way to attract customers, something that happens in some form with mortgage lenders anyway.
If you are in the market for real estate, it pays to research the types of discounts you can get, and knowing what offers are out there is an important type of discount that you should not leave on the table.
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