In the 15 years I've been building new homes here in West Michigan I've come to appreciate the real estate community more than most builders and here's why: Realtors bring buyers. Many builders can't get their arms around the concept of giving up a significant chunk of their hard-earned profit when a Realtor brings them a client so they shy away from Realtors. In a sense, I can't blame them. It is frustrating to spend four months building a home, then have a real estate agent who has only been to the home two or three times take 6 or 7% of the gross. Often this is more than what's left for the builder when it's all said and done. We've sold several homes where the real estate company makes more than we did. I've even lost money on projects that paid the Realtor handsomely. However, as builders, we should recognize that it's not the buyer who justifies the commission. It's the dozens of showings that don't result in a sale where they earn it. And as Realtors, we need to be sensitive to the financial hardships of the home builder, especially in this economy.