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April 28, 2010

The Boutique Advantage Part One

by mark mclean

The average real estate agent in Canada earns less than $20,000 per year.  And like most sales type functions, 10% of the agents do 90% of the work. Our firm consists of about 180 agents. Most make considerably more than the average. They work full time and are committed to providing professional and full service. In 22 years of being in business, I dare say I have never experienced a more cohesive group of individuals. Our firm stands out in a sea of mediocrity.

One of the keys to our success has been the deep care and support for our sales force. There are some that believe that this is a numbers game. Hire as many agents as you can, because you know statistically that only 10% are going to be performers. Our company believes in training, support, encouragement, and access to higher learning.  If, given all the support, our agents still struggle, then we have to re-evaluate their time with us. At the end of the day, we are interested in being the poster child for the best real estate company in the country.

Undoubtedly there is a shift in the brokerage business. I have talked about this before in previous posts.  Smaller companies are losing market share and the big regional and national companies are getting stronger. Their recruitment strategies are approaching aggressive. However the underlying ideas have not changed. Bigger is not necessarily better and while concern for the bottom line is staggering, the general consensus is that the larger companies are looking for quantity and not quality. Multi level marketing as a recruitment idea simply passes the buck. Eventually someone has to do the work.

 As a small boutique company it is next to impossible to compete with the big nationals when it comes to recruiting and advertising. But there is no reason to throw in the towel. If done right, I believe boutique companies can have an overwhelming advantage.  First of all, they are not bogged down in multiple levels of management. They have the ability to adapt and change gears quickly. Second, they can embrace and initiate technological advantages easily and third, they can create better niche advertising and marketing efforts.

After the realignment in the brokerage business happens I believe the true standout will be the boutique, refined, mid sized, and niche company that offers its clients a unique value advantage.  They will have built a near cult following of agents and customers.  The level of professionalism and service will be recognized and admired. So, how is the boutique real estate office going to stand out? I am going to answer that in Part Two. Of course, I would appreciate any thoughts you would like to share with me.

The views expressed in this blog may not reflect the views and opinions of Bosley Real Estate Ltd.

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