The 8% solution

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In the news business, like most legal professions, some days are more exciting than others. The day Marriott decided to dress up a commission cut in a prom dress and hope the agent community would come to the dance, well, that was one of the more interesting days.

It was clear from the moment this story broke that it would have major ramifications throughout the industry. For journalists, that's stimulating, gets the juices flowing. But once you settle down and look at the story for what it is, excitement sometimes gives way to a more complex set of emotions.

The quote that got me where I live actually came from an agent who supports Marriott's position. Kathy Lazor of Clifton, N.J.-based Just Travel said, "At least they're giving me the opportunity to keep my 10% commission, which is more than other suppliers have done."

That kind of resignation is more telling than all the Marriott-bashing combined. It suggests that agents have accepted the idea that they're going to get mugged every time they turn the corner, and that the most that they can hope for is to get out alive. Kind of sad, don't you think?

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