Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Aeromove -- don't do it

Please. Unless you really want to.
I hate to start this new venture (the blog) with something negative-sounding, but I just got another email from Aeroplan encouraging me to sign up with Aeromove. It has taken me a while to figure out how this really works and what it really is. Like many things in this business, you need to pull back a layer or two before you decide that this is something you should do.

I like Aeroplan. We charge "everything" to an Aeroplan gold card and really haven't had too many problems booking flights. We have, however, found that Aeroplan's other services and products that allow you to spend your points are often rather expensive. And their programs that offer points for purchases beyond flights or the Visa card are, well, less than generous!

Aeromove is associated with Aeroplan, but is actually a product/program from a company called Centract Realty.

The idea is that we (agents) sign up for the program and you (buyers and sellers) also register.

Then when you are ready to pick an agent you go to the Aeromove site and select or request an agent. When you buy or sell you get a whole whack of Aeroplan points.

Great deal, right? You decide, but here's how it works "under the covers".

When you sign up, you get 250 points. If you sell/buy for, say $500,000, you get 25,000 points. Depending on how you value points, that comes out to about a $500 value to you.

Meanwhile Centract gets a referral fee from our commission. How much? 30%. On the above deal, that's typically $3750 right off the top.

Hmmm. You may think that we are outrageously overpaid, but giving 30% of our income to a third party that you don't know in exchange for $500 in aeroplan points doesn't seem like a great deal for anybody (except Centract)

On principle, we give all of our clients full and premium service. We do not scrimp. But if our income drops by 30%, we just have less money to spend on advertising, feature sheets, websites, postal promotions, client gifts, even reduced commissions for certain circumstances.

Obviously, how you go about selecting your agent is up to you, but that's how this approach looks to us.


Hello and Welcome.
This is a blog by Gord and Lee Martin. We are Realtors working primarily in the Beach, Bluffs, Riverdale and East York areas of Toronto, ON, Canada.
The intent of this blog is to put our thoughts out there on:

. Current issues in Real Estate
. How Real Estate really works
. Tales from the Real Estate trenches ... every experienced agent could write a book !
The whole thing will attempt to be informative, entertaining, maybe even funny and a little irreverent. We'll try not to get sued or hauled up in front of an ethics or regulatory body, but it will be the straight goods.
We may occasionally comment on how we do business, but don't worry ... this is not just a place to brag about how good we are. It's an honest attempt to inform and entertain.
Lee Martin is a Broker. Gord Martin is a Salesperson. We are with Royal LePage Estate Realty Ltd., 2301 Queen St. E., Toronto, ON M4E1G7, 416-690-5100.
You can also reach us at Martins@LeadingTheWayHome.com and 416-699-5897
Between us we have some 30 years of real estate experience, regularly achieve "top 5%" award status, have Royal LePage's Lifetime Achievement Award, and are designated as "e-Agent" and "Real Estate Planner" ...

There, that's done. Now, on with the blog ...