Being a real estate agent is a competitive pursuit.
We don’t get a salary. We don’t get paid while we sleep.
We pay our own super and payroll tax.
100% commission means no sales for the month equals no income for the month.
Feast or famine.
And I don’t expect one iota of sympathy from anyone. We do just fine.
When I was looking for my first “real” career at the tender age of 31 this was actually the biggest appeal of working in sales.
Finally a job that was 100% merit based. The harder you work and the better you are, the bigger the pay cheque.
I understand that this is 2022 and it’s passé to talk about money as a marker of success rather than fulfillment and the “greater good”. But I’m a real estate agent so I’m clearly not that enlightened.
Prior to being an agent I was a fashion model for 11 years and felt like my success was more dependent on the ego, favouritism, politics, schmoozing, and whims of my agents and clients rather than on my own talent (if you call being really, really, ridiculous good looking a talent… which I don’t).
I’m being facetious of course, but herein lies the point…
In competitive industries – sports, acting, litigation, real estate, restaurants, smartphones – the best of the best command higher fees or prices because their service, product or talent and ability is above and beyond the rest of the competition.
The best agents are in strong demand. They are busy.
There are agents in Australia and New Zealand who sell 300 properties a year. They manage 50 vendors at a time. How is this even possible?
Well, they have incredible teams of 10 people to assist them.
They have seamless processes and systems that ensure their clients get the very best service.
They are organized, diligent and fanatical about consistency.
They are like the Three Chef’s Hat restaurant that is overbooked every night of the week with 200 covers, yet still provides exceptional service.
Carla and I are bemused when our competitors use our business against us.
“Carla and David are too busy. They won’t have time to focus on your property amongst all their other listings.”
Makes sense. But it’s not true.
Busier teams are more productive teams. Busier teams are more efficient teams. Busier teams are, by definition, better teams.
We employ two amazing full time staff – Sophie and Mandi – to do all our admin and additional buyer work so we can focus on the most important tasks – listing and selling.
Carla and I sell around 100 properties a year between us. We have done so for a few years now.
10 sales a month (January and July are typically dead months in our market) is not that many for a high performing team of four.
We sold 30 houses in October alone last year. That was at capacity. 10 is a walk in the park.
Furthermore, I would argue that a well-oiled team of four can service 10 vendors far better than a lone wolf agent could service three vendors.
Quieter agents aren’t as efficient, don’t have the systems in place and don’t run at the same pace.
They meet less buyers, do less negotiations, call less auctions, make strategic decisions less often and don’t tend to handle pressure as well.
A solo agent needs to be a Jack of all trades. They can’t be a specialist.
If you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant.
Have you ever been on holidays and decided to try the quiet café because the busy one had a line out the door?
And yet it still took the young waiter (who clearly didn’t want to be there) seven minutes to bring you the menu. The water glass was dirty. The eggs were overcooked. And even though the joint was empty you still couldn’t get the attention of the waiter.
Busy restaurants are busy for a reason. Because they are good.
Would you rather sell with an exceptional, busy agent, or a mediocre one with hardly any listings?
Who do you think is meeting more buyers and creating relationships with the most motivated underbidders in the market looking for a home like yours?
Who do you think has better relationships with painters, stylists and conveyancers because they refer them so much business?
Who knows which photography angles to feature online in which order, to maximize views, because they curate over 100 campaigns a year?
Most customers realise that it is worth waiting 10 extra minutes in line and paying 30% more for a quality dining experience.
When the stakes are 30,000 times higher and you’re selling your home, would you risk trying the quiet, cheaper agent, or would you go with the top performing team in your market place?
The proof is in the pudding.