Have you ever opened up a newspaper (I know, seems prehistoric) and looked in the classifieds or real estate section? I suspect most of you have. Outside of all the great locations (location....location), won't last longs and other cliche sales tactics agents use you'll usually find one other thing: Charts, graphs, banners and other things exclaiming agents and brokerages as #1! Why? Because people like to work with the top professional. It's easy enough to get caught up in.
But everyone seems to be number one. It's a phenomenon that seems unexplainable, right? Unless there's a huge tie at the top, how can everyone be #1? The answers are simple. To be number one you're one of three things:
- REALLY the number one agent/brokerage around.
- Skewing numbers to show that you're number on in specific areas, market conditions, etc.
That's it. It's really simple. If you sell the most properties or most dollars in sales, you have a claim to being "top dog" (though such phrase is a little dated and very cheesy). Often times this is the same agent/brokerage (with the most transactions and dollars) and other times, a large sale or many really high or low dollar sales will skew the numbers so as two different agents/brokerages are #1. I don't worry too much about this, they can both claim it in my book.
However, the intentional skewing of statistics to show that you're number one drives me crazy. It's just a little lame. If agents/companies spent as much time working hard at their job and say, providing market data to consumers, as they do trying to connive ways to "truthfully" tell people they're #1; they'd actually be #1 without the fluff. Not much you can do about it as long as there's a full disclaimer that "statistics taken from MLS over a 9 day period where I closed a bunch of deals and didn't do anything for the 3 months before or 6 months after" or something similar. That's an obvious exaggeration, and lame as I think it is, I can actually live worry-free with those who PROPERLY identify what they're number one at with a clear, legible disclaimer. What I cannot stand is those that......LIE. I dislike liars in every aspect of everything. So don't say you're #1 if you suck. There's someone out there who is closing a house Monday (January 4th) and is readying a "I'm #1" ad/speech/listing presentation prop/etc. based on the fact that they'll have the highest volume in their area despite the fact that they're the only one.....and the likelihood that they'll lose the title mere days after and probably never regain it.
Want people to think that "REALTORS" aren't scheysters and as crooked as used-car salesmen?? STOP allowing people to open a paper and see that there's 14 #1 agents/offices right in front of them!! Hard to get respect in an industry when some of the more visible out there do not deserve it. Truth be told, I finished 2009 #8 in my immediate office market area of Coal City/ Diamond/ Braidwood (I could throw in a ton of other little towns that had no/limited sales to boost the geographic range of where I'm a top 10er....but that would make me lame as well. And I'm lame enough on my own). Would I like to sell more properties than I did? You bet. Just like if I was #1, I'd still want to sell more than I previously did. Would I advertise myself being #1 when I wasn't to help boost the possibility of selling more? Nope. It's lame. I'd much rather focus my time on serving clients and providing something other than skewed numbers or lil' white lies to the public.
So, have yourself a great new year! Sincerely, Jim Ludes "Grundy/ Will County's #1 REALTOR between February and September of 2009 under the age of 40..............wearer of shirts with sleeves slightly rolled up, husband to a little wife, Katie, and children named Gabe and Dylan, owner of a beagle, Priscilla, standing over 6 feet tall and driving around in a Cavalier or minivan (sometimes scooter)."
**Got the pooch pic from http://jaggedsmile.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/top-dog/ don't know him, but his sketches are cool and his sketches and artwork are hip.**
Also, my apologies to used car salesmen...I know you're not all scheysters- just exaggerating a sterotype.