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Posts tagged ‘training’


In Real estate Jack of All Trades is Actually a Good Thing

This week has been a bit of a blur. A fun blur at least. REBarCamp Toronto (   ) , 2 days of RealtorQuest (  and then Bosley U. Where did the week go? Well, with all that behind me, at least now I have some time to talk about our Monday morning meeting.  I thought this week  it might be fun to outline some of the things we as Realtors know. There is an old expression that says Jack of all trades and master of none. In real estate I’m not so sure that is the case. So, I asked the simple question. “What are the topics you get asked on a daily basis”? You may be surprised at the answers. As it turns out we actually know a lot. I had so many responses that I ran out of paper…twice. Have a look. Did we miss anything?

 Through our discussion, we covered nearly 70 things that we know something about. How? Either through our training, CEU credit courses, Mastermind and Monday meetings and talks around the water cooler. Naturally we don’t specialize in every one of these items but we certainly have a good understanding of them or can direct a buyer or seller to the right person to talk to. One thing is certain, when a skilled agent walks into a home, he is probably going through this list wondering if there is anything applicable to his buyer or seller. I wonder if a mere posting company has this knowledge?

Have a great weekend!


Agent Statistics; The Top 1% of Toronto Real Estate Board

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital” American Professor Aaron Levenstien.

Months ago, at one of my Monday morning meetings, I wanted to drive home a point about the top 1% of agents (by ends) currently in The Toronto Real Estate Board. I took out my trusty tape measure that used to accompany me on every appointment and told everyone to imagine that each centimetre represented 10 agents in TREB. I fixed one end to the edge of our front desk and asked the agents to shout stop when they figured I had reached the number of centimetres that represented the top 1%. Off I walked. I got about 3 metres before I heard the first ‘stop’. Guess what? That 3 metre distance, representing over 3000 agents, was ten times higher than the actual number. Strange but true. The top 1% of TREB, in terms of number of ends, is represented by fewer than 360 agents. Wow! This was fascinating to me so I worked with our General Manager, Ann Bosley, to break down the numbers even further. What came to light was a very interesting story. Check out this first graph;

This first graph is very interesting. In a very unscientific manner, I determined that agents become full-time when they sell over 6 properties in a year. It is fascinating to see that this graph represents a full 71.2% of the nearly 34,000 agents who fit into the category of “Part-timers”. Even more amazing was that a whopping 6136 agents, a full 18.6% of  the Toronto Real Estate Board did not sell a property last year. Note how the percentage of agents in each category diminishes as the number of deals an agent does increases.  TREB membership has grown by over 1/3 in the last ten years and it seems clear to me that this segment of the membership will be particularly vulnerable to a downturn in our economy and if we were faced with as deep a recession as we saw in 1989, we could lose a significant number of agents.

This next graph deals with full-time agents. What’s particularly interesting about this graph is the number of deals the top 1%  do per year. At the very top of TREB are the group I have categorized as the “Super Ultra Agents”. This elite group consisting of only 7 agents represent a mere .02% of TREB. They almost exclusively work as team leaders and they sell over 200 units per year. The next group, the “Ultra Agents”, consists of just 39 agents or .12% of the total TREB membership. They also work as team leaders and sell between 100 and 200 properties a year. The next category is reserved for the “Super Agents” who sell between 50 and 100 properties per year. While there are nearly 150 agents in this category they represent only .45% of the membership. Finally, rounding up the top 1% are the 164 agents that are selling between 40 and 50 deals a year.

The middle group, particularly the agents that are selling 7 to 12 units per year represent the most significant category. They are the biggest group of full-time agents, nearly 5300 agents or 16% of TREB membership. They are working hard enough to get nearly a sale a month, but with an average sale of $500k, this group is making a yearly income of between $87,000 and $150,000 before office split and expenses.

Several months ago I produced an interesting Infographic on the Canadian Realtor, check it out here; . The research clearly illustrated that not only is the Toronto Real Estate Board the biggest board in Canada,  it is over three times the size of the next biggest board, Vancouver. So why did we spend so much time doing the math? Simple, having an insight into the demographics of our board helps us to be better managers. These graphs are an amazing visual explanation on agent performance. I can see what the agents in our company are doing compared to the industry as a whole and I can work with agents to help them jump to the next category.  What is clear is that at the very least, agents should be striving to hit the 7-12 transaction target as quickly as possible and as a dedicated manager it is my job to get them there.

A few notes on the information gathered here. The statistics on agent performance are collected by a third-party, independently audited company called IMS Incorporated. When you see an agent claiming to be in the top 1%, it is almost always supported by IMS numbers. For the purposes of this post, the numbers provided only deal with units sold, not dollar volume, over the last calendar year. There is a small margin of error in some of my math. Don’t forget that there are a number of new agents that are working full-time but have yet to record a transaction. Also, the numbers do not report new construction sales.


Report From Inman Connect NYC

I’m back. If you are a regular reader you probably noticed no new posts last week.  I was lucky enough to spend last week at a real estate and technology conference in New York City. (The picture in this post was taken on The Highline one evening). If you are a real estate agent and are serious about your career, The Inman Connect conference and Agent Reboot in NYC should be priorities. If you have ever been to a conference, you know that you are often pretty lucky to come away with a few “jewels” but this week was nothing but gold. Much of the focus was on utilizing tools to making the buying  or selling experience better for our clients. There is an upside to making the experience better too – you can make more money. Interesting concept don’t you think? I wanted to share my theory on why the U.S. is leading the way in the Real Estate field.

We all know that the U.S. real estate market has been challenging for many years so it is no surprise that when industries have their backs against a wall they have two choices….adapt or die. You just have to look at the American automotive industry for proof of that. I always owned a foreign car. Japanese, German and Swedish wheels were my particular favorites  partially because they were perceived as either luxury, or well-built, but today I drive GM. My Yukon Hybrid is the epitome of comfort and technology and the service, when needed, is amazing. Oh, by the way, I’m not being paid for that recommendation.

 Not surprisingly, organized real estate in the US has faced a massive public relations problem. Before the crash, many agents were making a great deal of money, now, the national average for a Realtor is less than $30,000 per year. There has been a tremendous amount of attrition. The best agents are still out there but don’t think for a moment that they aren’t hurting a little too. So faced with extinction there were some serious decisions to make and it seems that the two significant changes that have taken place both adapted advanced technology to drive their business.

 First, Virtual Office Websites, also known as VOWs are a development that, I believe, were born from necessity. As someone who has owned and set up a real estate office, I can tell you that one of the biggest operating costs are rent and staffing. VOWs aren’t confined to bricks and mortar and can utilize 3rd party services (virtual assistants) to do anything from answer phones to handle paperwork. These two significant cost savings have allowed them to invest in finding clients and recruit agents. Their virtual offices are growing because they provide an inexpensive sales alternative to the hundreds of thousands of home owners who are still under water and looking down the barrel of foreclosure or short sales. They are not out there to replace the job of a Realtor because you still need someone to do the paperwork. VOWs just believe you don’t need an office to run a business.  But one fundamental is missing; Camaraderie is an important part of keeping agents properly trained, engaged and held accountable.

 The second major change comes from the full service companies who are using Social Media to further establish themselves as market leaders. They are building relationships and showing that they are market leaders through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pintrest and 4 square. They are blogging a lot and reporting on the hyper local level. They are openly sharing information and providing a massive level of training to agents. They are upping the ante in the race to be the best.

The take away for me was simple. Technology is here to stay. It is not meant to replace the person to person relationship that should exist between an agent and their client. We are in an information society where Buyers and sellers know more about what’s out there so a Realtor’s role has shifted from source to trusted advisor. Over the next few weeks I hope to write a lot more on these topics so I hope you will continue to check in to my blog for more on my experiences with Inman Connect and Agent Reboot. I’m sitting at the airport in writing this and really looking forward to my Monday meeting where I will be conducting a panel discussion with 5 of the 13 agents from Toronto, who spent the week in NYC. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Only 13 agents   from Toronto, including 5 from Bosley Real Estate, attended this very important conference. 13 out of 33,000. Crazy.Have a great week. Mark


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