Scott Wright:

It’s important to caveat that this 13.8% average is an actual mean average of all the brokerage firms for which we have data. Our database includes traditional, uncapped graduated-commission-plan firms, capped-plan firms, flat-fee firms, and other hybrid models. Retained CO$ varies wildly between each of these types. This mean average also includes widespread geographical diversity, incorporating higher-Retained-CO$-firms on the East Coast alongside firms on the West Coast that tend to sport lower Retained CO$.

However, these intricacies don’t take away from the greater trend. Even if we segmented our benchmark using the qualifiers mentioned above (which we do for our valuation clients), we’d see the same downward trend. It’s a frustrating trend that begs the question, is there an end in sight?