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October 19, 2011

Measuring your Real Estate Success

by mark mclean

Last  week I was sideswiped with the flu just days before I planned to run the Scotia Bank 1/2 Marathon. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I trained all summer for this one race and to be knocked out at the last moment was heartbreaking. Well, what can I say, you make do and you move on. I plan to be on the start line in a few weeks in Hamilton.

A few days in bed gave me the opportunity to catch up on some reading. I have been a fan of Michael Lewis’ work for some time after his breezy explanation of sub-prime mortgages and the ensuing market meltdown in The Big Short, so I was looking forward to his new book Moneyball. I won’t get into an in-depth book report here so I will just say that the subject matter revolves around a simple discovery of the use of statistics to rewrite how baseball players are drafted. Throughout the book, Lewis explains how a few men looked past conventional ideas on how success is measured in an effort to predict with certainty how players would perform. I’m not a huge baseball fan but the story is hard to put down. I started thinking about how I, as a manager, could use similar metrics, during the interview process, to determine who would be a real estate star.

The reality is that if you asked an agent how they judged success, they would say it was by how much money they made. But if a new agent is just starting out, how would you know if they were on the right track? Surely there was a better way, besides looking at a bank balance, to gauge how they were performing early in their career. Like any business, (real estate included) there is the start-up phase where little or no money is coming in, but eventually the foundations that one lays or the groundwork that one establishes, starts to pay off  and the sales start to happen. I wondered what other metrics could be measured. I decided to put my experiment to the test. At my Monday Morning meeting I asked the group the simple question; how do you judge your success? The first response naturally was by the amount of money we make. Another was by how many deals they made. Interesting. I asked further about this and the comment back was simple; “Some deals are sales and some are rentals. I don’t do a lot off the rentals, but they are important to me because it keeps me busy and, who knows, maybe those renters will turn into buyers, or maybe, the landlord will use me to buy and sell in the future”. I like the way you think! Here are some other interesting answers;

  • How often the phone rings
  • How many houses I look at in a day
  • How many showings I booked
  • How many (real estate related) emails I get a day
  • How many people visit my website or blog
  • How many people respond to my newsletters/flyers
  • How many people call off my open house signs
  • How many open houses am I doing
  • How many people are liking my Facebook page
  • How many times I show up on Google Alerts
  • How my Klout Score is improving
  • How many contacts I have on Twitter and LinkedIn

When I look at this list, the common denominator seems to be the word “people”. It is not surprising really since real estate is a people business.  The more people you know the more your business grows. If the three rules of buying real estate are location location location, then perhaps the three rules of a successful agent are networking networking networking.

Have a wonderful day.Now, get out there and network!

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