While recently updating my E-key, I noticed that the roster function deleted 78 members and then added 84 members for a net gain of six. Looking at the roster total I saw that there were 10,859 agents currently registered with the MLS system in the greater Austin, Texas area. Now, that is a huge number of real estate agents in my part of the world. Out of curiosity I learned that in the last year approximately 12 percent of the agents had sold around 90 percent of the real estate. Further investigation showed that 70 percent of the new agents entering real estate quit in the first year. Of the 30 percent left, 90 percent of those quit in the second year. It appears that the people making the most of this massive turnover are those that own real estate schools. I talked about this with Jason Crouch (who also had the same experience)at lunch recently and was inspired to write this post! Thanks Jason!
I hear people say that with the downturn, maybe it will clear out some of the crowd but I have never found this to be true. In good times people flock to the profession in search of the so called "easy money". In bad times even more people seem to get a license because "if you can't do anything else you can always be a Realtor". As professionals we encounter and incredible amount of competition. The only way we can effectively stand out is by building a solid reputation based on results.
I often go on listing appointments and face the challenge that my soon to be client has both friends and family who are realtors. At these meetings I also see a lot of refrigerator magnets, calendars, cup holders, drink coasters, and other house hold items emblazoned with the names and logos of competing agents and companies (which is the reason I don't employ such marketing gimmicks.) Although 75 percent of my business comes from personal referrals I depend on my reputation and that of my company to build and expand my business.
I am fortunate to work at an independent high quality firm where all of the associates are FULL TIME most of the members are share holders of the company. Last year with 36 associate brokers and agents we sold nearly 300 million dollars worth of real estate in Austin, Texas. Compare that production with the largest company in town that has over 3,500 agents and likes to trumpet the fact that they sold 1 billion worth of properties. You get the picture.
No matter where you work, you can succeed by focusing on your abilities and what you can do for your client. It is paramount that you be truthful and realistic and (walk the walk) for any claims you make about your expertise. There are at least 2 dozen agents in my area that I know might beat me at any listing appointment where I compete. If that happens, that is fine. They are all very good agents and the only thing that distinguishes us is that different people work with different personalities.
The most important thing we all have to remember is this; in the majority of cases, a person's home is the single most valuable investment they will ever have. Because of this it is important to have the best representation possible. Not a friend, family member or part timer but someone who is a full time, committed professional with the clients' best interest at heart!
Here's the difference: my clients can get the same service, effort and expertise as Neiman Marcus or they can go to Wal-Mart... which would you choose?