Five Questions With: Connie Pepin

Connie Pepin is the owner, founder and manager of Treasured Home Solutions LLC, a real estate firm that specializes in helping first-time homebuyers. She established the business in 2017 when she obtained her real estate license.

But this summer, she took her talents to the Smithfield-based Realty One Group Executives, where she has two agent partners working for her, with plans to expand her team by hiring newly licensed agents that want to learn the ins and outs of the field. A Bryant University graduate, Pepin said she joined the company partly because it offers a 100% commission pay structure.

PBN: How does commission work for real estate agents at Realty One Group Executives, and how does that compare to other real estate agencies? And why do you prefer this pay structure?

PEPIN: There are several pay structures available at Realty One Group Executives. I chose the 100% pay structure, where the agent only pays a transaction fee depending on the sale price, because me and my agent partners will make more money on each transaction. If the brokerage is receiving 25% to 40% of the commission before the agents get paid, that’s when a new agent can feel like they are not making enough to survive in this industry.

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One hundred percent commission pay means there is not a split with the broker, but there is a transaction fee on every transaction paid by the agent. However, that amount differs based on the selling price. For example, if the house sells for $450,000, then the transaction fee is $850.

PBN: What’s your view on how new agents should be helped when entering the Rhode Island real estate industry and joining a local real estate team? Why do you feel this way?

PEPIN: I feel that new agents should definitely join a team that offers mentorship and leads so they can grow their business faster and have the team leader supporting them on their transactions. Realtors learn by getting in the field because each transaction is different and it is something that cannot be taught in a classroom.

PBN: What was your initial exposure to real estate and how did that lead you into a career in the field?

PEPIN: My initial exposure to real estate was to rehab and flip homes. I knew that I was going to obtain my real estate license so I could save money on my flips, but my decision to focus solely on real estate happened because I was going through a breakup, the market was starting to increase, and I realized I love helping others and so sales comes naturally to me.

PBN: You’ve said you take pride in assisting senior citizens and the disabled seeking to buy or sell a home. What is your warning about hidden fees and discounted brokerages?

PEPIN: Discount brokerages like to advertise that they charge 1% to 2% to sell homes. But I warn everyone, not just the disabled and senior citizens, to do their homework before selecting an agency. I don’t want to see anyone getting taken advantage of, and, unfortunately, we live in a world where many don’t have a conscience. Realtors should be honest about the percentage the seller is paying and not throw in hidden fees at the end of a transaction.

PBN: What does dual agency mean and why is that a problem for homebuyers and sellers?

PEPIN: Dual agency means one agent representing both the seller and the buyer in a real estate transaction and will receive the entire commission at the end of the transaction. For me, it’s a problem because the agent is put in a precarious situation and has to negotiate on both sides. It’s a conflict of interest, which is why dual agency is illegal in some states because agents can be tempted to make unethical choices due to the double commission at stake.

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer. 

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