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June 21, 2011

What Separates the Best from the Rest

by mark mclean

 

A few times a year, our company runs a new agent orientation/training program called Bosley U. I have made reference to it in my blog before. It is a 5 week training program taught by the managers at our company and when the group finishes, we are confident that they have as much information and skill as someone who has been in real estate industry for two years. Each session is taught by 2 managers and last week I was teamed up with Maureen O’Neill, the manager of our 276 Merton office and past president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Maureen and I currently sit on the Education Committee for the Ontario Real Estate Association (she is the Chair, and I am the grunt).

This morning I wanted to write about something she said which I thought rather apropos given the pressures we face by The Competition Bureau. As you may or may not know, the Bureau is bent on allowing members of the public access to all the data available to Toronto real estate agents. TREB, has been collecting sales data for 30 years, and has painstakingly made sure that it is secure and kept private. The Commissioner feels that it is within everyone’s right to have access to that information. While I have my own opinions on the matter, the truth is that if, as a member of the public, you want to find out what a house is worth, you simply need to go to City Hall and look at the public records. But knowing what the house sold for down the street does not necessarily provide you with the tools or required information to sell your house privately.

Maureen brought up a stellar point during the last class. As she so eloquently said; everyone has access to sold data and available homes for sale but the two distinguishing points that separate very good agents from average agents and even most FSBOs are marketing and negotiating.  Good agents are constantly reading the pulse of the market. They are out “in the field” everyday, looking at properties, talking to agents, negotiating offers and networking.  A part-time agent, or a member of the public, simply is not active enough to interpret the information available, and without the information, he or she cannot adequately negotiate the sale of a home properly. Sure, you can get some information by reading the paper, but I actually don’t believe you are getting the full real estate picture unless you are going to open houses, attending seminars and office meetings, checking on what has sold all over a neighbourhood or simply talking with your counterparts.

 The other piece of the equation is marketing and, once again, a professional agent is using his resources to sell his listing and today that means not just MLS and a feature sheet. Good agents today are utilizing Facebook, blogs, twitter, websites, 3rd party sites, networking with other agents or promoting their listings through their offices. Not only are they getting a property exposed but through their time in the business they have developed relationships with mortgage brokers, home stagers and tradespeople.  Good real estate agents are connected. 

Here are some very telling statistics;  There are over 30,000  agents in the GTA. 20% of them did not sell a house in 2009.  50% did fewer than 4 deals. Only 5%  (or 1500 agents) did more than 24 deals in a year.  What kind of agent do you want to be?

The views in this blog do not neccessarily reflect the views of Bosley Real estate Ltd, Brokerage

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