Episode 57: Aligning Incentives With Your Real Estate Agent W/ Nic Johnson

My guest on today’s podcast is Nic Johnson. Nic is the founder of Listwise, a business designed to help home owners sell their home for the highest price possible, by creating incentive compensation for the real estate agent beyond the typical flat 3% model that has been in place for the last 100 years. They do this by aligning incentives, encouraging competition among agents, and therefore fostering a win win for both parties, because as the agent delivers more value, they make more money. In this episode we talk about value, because all businesses (especially service businesses) should be paid in accordance to the value they deliver. If you deliver massive value, you should be paid accordingly over someone who delivers standard value. What I love about Nic is his vision and thoughtfulness. He is really passionate about doing what is best for the seller, and you can tell that by the way he has created Listwise and how the mechanics of it work to the betterment of the seller and agent before the benefit of Listwise. And be sure to listen to the end as Nic shares his definition of success as the pursuit of gratitude over the pursuit of chasing external things. So with that introduction, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Self-Employment Success Podcast with Nic Johnson.


Leland Gross (00:00)

All right, welcome Nick Johnson to the Self -Employment Success Podcast.

Nic (00:05)

Great, thanks for having me today, Leland.

Leland Gross (00:08)

Of course, I am excited for today's episode because I think what you do is fascinating. I think it's cutting edge and really interesting with kind of the state of the industry you're in, which I'll let you talk about more in a second. But start off by telling the listeners who you are personally and what you do professionally.

Nic (00:29)

Yeah, so on a personal basis, I've got a wife, three kids, aged 10 to 15. Currently, we're actually in Spain at the moment, spending a month here. We previously lived here abroad for a year, and so we've come back to kind of reconnect with some of our friends that we made while living abroad. And so that's kind of a personal, personal...

And then professionally, I started a company called ListWise about a year and a half ago with the goal of helping homeowners get better results when they sell their home. So the idea being typically when people sell their home, they hire a real estate agent and they pay them like a fixed percentage. And that gives the agent a strong incentive basically to try to close that sale or to do it as quickly as possible. And the agent isn't that...

motivated to get kind of the best price. And so what we do is kind of help people implement an incentive commission where that agent's percentage that they make varies based on the price they get, which makes the agent much more incentivized to get the highest price and better aligns their incentives with the homeowner. So we're trying to kind of help homeowners both lower costs and get better results from the agents that they use. That's kind of what I'm working on professionally.

Leland Gross (02:01)

I love it. I really think it's fascinating, especially because in my opinion, this might be a hot take. I don't think the real estate sector industry really has been interrupted in a while. There hasn't been much innovation in the way agents get paid. It's been the same for, you know, decades now. If you buy your house in, you know, 2000 or even before long before that, it was going to be that fixed percentage price all the way up until now.

And so I think it's really interesting, especially now in the news, there's the big lawsuit with the National Association of Realtors based on how they get paid. And so I think that you're poised to really like create some innovation here. And I think this idea of, you know, changing the comp to incentivize the highest price as opposed to the quickest sale is really interesting. I was having I was telling someone about you honestly, like an hour ago and