As a real estate agent, one of the most important revenue streams is your GCI. What is GCI, and what does GCI stand for in real estate? GCI stands for gross commission income and is the amount of money a real estate agent earns from a transaction as a buyer, seller, or both. As a real estate agent, tracking your GCI is essential, as it shows you how much money you bring home from commissions.
However, there’s more to gross commission income than meets the eye. Below, we’ll go into more detail about what GCI is in real estate, how to calculate real estate commission, and more. With this resource, you’ll be able to track your earnings to analyze your progress and set new goals.
Is GCI Important?
You might be asking yourself, “What is GCI, and is it important?” Gross commission income is the amount of money you earn from your commission as a seller, buyer, or both. Gross commission income can come from commissions on rentals, sales, and purchases and doesn’t include auxiliary services you might provide, such as staging and other fees. With that said, GCI is extremely important to real estate agents.
GCI is important for several reasons. First, the real estate market can be extremely volatile, especially when global events can affect the entire market overnight. Keeping track of your gross commission income can give you an idea of your performance and whether you’re overextending yourself or need to revise your strategy to get more sales.
Second, your GCI resembles part of your success. The more deals you close can boost your reputation and business, allowing you to set higher commission rates and earn more money. In turn, this will also increase your GCI. However, your GCI can fluctuate throughout the year, as seasonal trends and location can influence personal performance. With that said, GCI is still important to track on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis, as it allows you to compare your performance to the rest of the market. You can then use this information to make any tweaks to your action plan to improve performance.
What’s the Difference Between Gross Commission Income vs. Net Commission Income?
Gross commission income is the amount of money you earn from your commission, while net commission income (NCI) is the amount of money you earn from income minus relevant expenses, such as brokerage fees, transaction fees, taxes, and other costs.
Your NCI provides a clearer picture of the amount of money you take home from commissions, as it deducts expenses from your GCI. While expenses vary from agent to agent and transaction to transaction, below are common expenses that can help you calculate your final NCI:
- Transaction fees: In some cases, your brokerage might charge a transaction fee for each transaction, which will often go toward business expenses like office rent, services, and utilities.
- Taxes: No transaction is complete without paying taxes. When calculating your taxes, make sure to do so at the end of the process, as taxes are only paid on net income, not your GCI.
- Brokerage fees: Often, real estate agents will have to give a portion of their commission back to the brokerage they work for. Usually, there is a cap on brokerage fees, and once that cap is reached, they no longer need to be paid for the rest of the year.
- Additional fees: You may incur additional fees during the home selling or home buying process, such as referral fees from other agents or marketing fees from people like photographers and stagers, that will be deducted from your GCI.
It’s important to keep your expenses in mind, as they can dig into your net income. By calculating both your gross commission income and net commission income, you can better understand your earnings.
How Do You Calculate GCI?
Now that you know what GCI is and why it’s important, you need to know how to calculate real estate commission. Knowing how to calculate real estate commission allows you to get accurate numbers that you can make informed decisions from. Use this formula to calculate GCI:
Sale Price of Property x Commission Fee = Gross Commission Income
Let’s put this formula to use with an example. Let’s say the sale price of a property is $500,000, and you charge a commission rate of 6%. Using the formula, here’s how to calculate your GCI:
$500,000 x .06% = $30,000
Using the GCI formula, you’ll multiply your commission rate by the final sale price of the home to get a GCI of $30,000.
However, calculating your gross commission income isn’t always this simple. In some cases, there are additional factors to consider that can dig into your GCI. For example, let’s say the commission on the home you’re listing is 6%, but another real estate agent brings the buyer. In this scenario, the commission would be split 50/50. So, you’d divide the commission rate of 6% by two to get a commission rate of 3% for both you, the seller and the buyer. Using the GCI formula, here’s how you’d calculate your GCI:
$500,000 x .03% = $15,000.
In this case, your GCI would be $15,000, and the GCI for the buyer’s agent would also be $15,000. But this isn’t the only factor that might affect your GCI. Another factor could be if there was a seller’s concession of 1% of the sales price to cover the costs of home repairs, for example. Depending on how the contract is written, this 1% might be taken out of the real estate agent’s commission.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of GCI
As with any financial calculation, there are pros and cons to consider. The same holds true for gross commission income. Take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages below:
Advantages of GCI
- Boosts motivation: Through GCI, real estate agents can track your performance on a monthly, annual, and weekly basis, which can help motivate them to go after more leads and listings to generate more income.
- Work harder: Higher motivation encourages real estate agents to work harder since their compensation is dependent on how hard they work.
Disadvantages of GCI
- Doesn’t include expenses: GCI doesn’t calculate expenses, such as taxes and brokerage fees, which can give a false depiction of the amount of money real estate agents take home after each commission.
- Unpredictable performance: GCI is highly dependent on the market, which means it might not accurately depict an agent’s performance throughout the year when seasonal trends and other factors speed up or slow down the market. For example, GCI might be low in the winter and high in the summer, which doesn’t necessarily mean an agent is performing worse or better during these times.
How Can an Agent Increase Their GCI
You know what GCI is, why it’s important, and how to calculate it. So, what steps should you take to increase your gross commission income? Explore some of our top recommendations that agents can use to increase their GCI below:
- Create a referral program: One of the easiest ways to secure more leads is by creating a referral program for existing clients to partake in. If you’re a quality real estate agent, your existing clients will trust your work. Creating a referral program that rewards them with a gift card or other incentive will encourage clients to refer their friends, colleagues, and family, which can help you get more leads and more commission.
- Improve your marketing: Marketing is key to any business. As a realtor, you need to get your name known in your local community, which means upping your marketing efforts. From becoming more active on social media to revamping your website or creating a podcast, these are some of the marketing tactics that have a great ROI. At Tom Ferry, we have a wide range of free real estate agent tools that can help you market your business and increase your GCI.
- Set goals: If you don’t have a goal you’re striving for, it can be easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish. At the beginning of each week, month, quarter, and year, sit down and set goals you want to achieve during that time frame, such as how much net income you need to earn, the average sale price for each home you’ll need, and so forth. Setting these goals can help increase your GCI.
- Sign up for a real estate coaching program: A real estate coaching program will pair you with an industry expert with a wealth of experience who will teach you the ins and outs of being a successful agent. Tom Ferry real estate coaching programs include a rigorous curriculum that delivers real results. Don’t believe us? See how our real estate coaches helped agents achieve a $1M GCI. Our coaches will walk you through eight levels of performance to show you how to advance to where you want to be.
These are some ways to increase your gross commission income as a real estate agent. At Tom Ferry, our real estate coaches can help you set goals, improve your marketing, and more, so you can take your business to new heights.