It's not the Agency, it's the Agent

Real Estate Agent with YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® MA# 9517963

YourStories Realty LLCIn real estate it is not the Agency it is the Agent you work with that makes the difference. There are many great Brand Agencies across the country and around the world. They provide the offices that you may or may not use, they provide training of various levels and they collect fees from you, the Agent, to deliver these services.  There are just as many boutique Agencies that don't have national brands but serve their local communities with care and quality, but is it the Agency or the Agent?  I contend that is the Agent who is either of high quality or not.  It is the Agent who is strategic and dependable or not.  It is the Agent who can lead you through all the myriad of pieces of a sale or a purchase not the Agency.

Agents will move from Agency to Agency looking for a better deal, a better split on their sales, more training, better support services or just because they think the grass is greener on the other field. The reality to that is that the grass is greener where the agent fertilizes and cultivates the grass no matter where the agent stands.  For me the key is not the specific agency, although I have had the fortune to learn and understand several brands over my years as the Director of Marketing for a couple of international brands and my work with the Greater Boston Association of Realtors (GBAR).  Surrounding yourself with good people is more key than the Agency coat you wear in my estimation. I have met great agents at almost every Agency I have had the opportunity to work with on deals.  The opposite is also true.  People who will lie and cheat you are out there and it is not the brand that is doing this to you, but the individual.

Back Bay Boston MAThe international Brands will constantly tout their best statistic to let you know that they are the best.  Statistics are one of the boldest forms of a lie you will find out there.  I have long been a fan of Mark Twain in this regard, "There are three types of lies; the lie, the damnable lie, and statistics."  Agents who gobble down these statistics and spout that their agency is the best because of the statistic are totally missing the point.  What really makes a difference in an agents life is being surrounded by other great agents who are willing to share information to help you grow.  Find a group of people who are not afraid of seeing you grow as they grow right along with you.  Frankly, Active Rain is a place like this, but they are not a brokerage.  I make it a point as an Ambassador here and in my office to be as open and caring about my fellow agents as I can. Each day growing in knowledge and experiences and not being afraid to share that information.  I truly do think that it is never the Agency, and always the Agent that makes a difference.

Posted by

Larry Lawfer, Realtor®YourStories Realty, It's all about you,

Larry Lawfer


Realtor®, Director of Marketing

YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®

837 Beacon St

Newton, MA 02459, 617-774-8292

Comments (23)

Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

Coming from a top agency agent, your post is right on point.  A good agent will strive to get through all obstacles for their customer. 

Happy Tuesday!

Apr 01, 2013 09:40 PM
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

You are absolutely correct!  Though the company that I work with boasts to be the largest in North America and we are first in JD Powers for buyer and seller satisfaction, it all boils down to your agent.  You could work with an agent from a very small office and if your service was great, then your impression of the company is that it must be a great company.  However, if you use an agent who makes it a bad experience, then your impression of the company is that it is a bad company.  It's the agent!

Apr 01, 2013 09:55 PM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS
Larry - great post. I have heard agents bemoan the split, the split, the split; there is SO much more a great broker/manager can offer than just the split.
Apr 01, 2013 09:55 PM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

What fun to come back from my exercise and this posting to see so many wonderful comments. Thank you.

@Wayne, coming from you this is high compliment.

@Grant you are so right that people work with a person the TRUST. So important

@Edward.  Leads coming through a national brand are really not great leads.  This is the first or second encounter a buyer, seller might have and they are really not looking to engage at all at that point.  To turn a lead into a listing takes a great agent who knows how to do this through engagement and delivery of important information.

@Deb, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Congratulations on your skill and efforts on behalf of your clientele.  You make the difference.

@Roger KW did recieve this award this year and RE/MAX got the same award last year and it is quite an honor, but the real honor goes to the individual agents who made it work for thier clients enough that they voted for them, not their brand.

@Carol There are a lot of average agents, we know.  Complaining and blaming someone else for your failures insures that failure I think.

Apr 01, 2013 10:11 PM
Marc McMaster
RE/MAX Centre Realty - State College, PA
Putting my clients before myself

For the most part I agree with what you're saying. However if you live in a transient area like a college town sometimes having that national brand and national website makes it easier to get homes in front of out of the area potential buyers.

Apr 02, 2013 05:25 AM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

@Mark, All real estate is local.  You are right the name brand is attractive to people and because of the incredible national adverstising paid by the Agents through the Agency there will be a higher visability. But if visability is sales, then I am confused.  It is the good Agent who sells the property through social media, direct contact, signage and events...this is all Agent driven.

Apr 02, 2013 05:47 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

I love your post, especially the Mark Twain quote! Folks do recognize brand name, and because I am in a small real estate brokerage I spend time explaining who we are because we are not a well-known brand. My focus is on the customer and client and finding out what their needs are, and that will never change, whether I'm in a small brokerage or nationally recognized one. Thanks for your post today,

Apr 02, 2013 05:53 AM
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker - Naples, FL

Great Post Larry.  I could not agree with you more, just like it is the doctor, not the hospital.  I also agree with your statement about the statics any numbers can be slanted.  Thanks for the great insight.

Apr 02, 2013 06:04 AM
Todd Bellhorn - Oviedo, FL
Upix Media Group

Yup, it's not the arrow it's the Indian!

Apr 02, 2013 06:18 AM
Marilyn Messenger
Andrew Mitchell & Company - Wayland, MA
Marilyn Messenger, Real Estate west of Boston

Great post Larry! The bottom line is the agent; especially with designated agency the client has only one person representing them, not the company. The internet and technology has made all of the tools we need available to any agent who is willing to learn; it is no longer company-centric. For me it's about being treated with respect and having the freedom to act in the best interest of my client.

Apr 02, 2013 06:33 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

So very true.  A good agent will be good no matter where they hang their license, and if they are connected with a good company they will really shine.

Apr 02, 2013 07:54 AM
Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area

Being a boutique agency in our area, we absolutely love the idea of this whole post! We work very hard to get our name out there and let people know that they will be in good hands with us, even if they may not have heard of us.

Apr 02, 2013 08:43 AM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

@Pamela I have great respect for small agencies who are doing great work.  Part of me wants to say don't worry about the big brands, but I know that is a tad naive.  Best thing to do is build the reputation one family at a time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

@Christine  I often say not all agents are created equal, but that is another post later.  I do think that we can individually make a difference with our community. Let's wake up and do it again tomorrow.

@Todd This is a funny quote that I have never heard, but fits. Thank you for the smile.

@Marilyn, we have shared an agency and we work in the same neighborhoods and I have always enjoyed your committment to being the best agent for your clients. Thanks for posting here, hope to see you in the neighborhood soon.

@Georgina You have proven this statement through the time i have gotten to know you these past couple of years.  You would be great anywhere.

@ Trisha  Fear not, friend.  Go out there and show your community that there isn't a better agent available.  I am rooting for you. Thank you for posting.

Apr 02, 2013 11:39 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Larry, The right match makes it so much easier but a hardworking agent can be successful pretty much anywhere because the prospecting is the same everywhere.

Apr 02, 2013 11:41 AM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Right on, Larry! I profess this all the time.  There is such a disparity between how agents do business. I find this especially true in how listings are presented and the extent of the marketing and communication. Most brokerages provide similar services; agent services can vary wildly.  Excellent post.

Apr 02, 2013 01:01 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

So very true and as a solo practioner, even more understood by me then most.  This a good feature and I've thought the same thing as well, it's the agent!

Apr 02, 2013 01:41 PM
Larry Estabrooks
Independent Real Estate Agent - Moncton, NB
100% representation means NEVER DUAL AGENCY !

In MA, "salesperson" would be correct. Not "agent". Why is it that real estate licensees don't accurately describe how they are licensed? Not every deputy is a sheriff.

Apr 02, 2013 09:54 PM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

@ Larry Estabrooks, Hey Larry, chill out dude, we are on a platform where people understand what I am talking about. Actually I am a Realtor® and because of that I am held to a higher standard.  Yes I did not use the correct term here in MA which is Sales Associate by the way, not 'salesperson".  Broker is used in MA for all Sales Associates as well, and we are not all that either.  If it walks like a get my point as did many others

Apr 03, 2013 01:31 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Due to your feature, I came to check out this post as well. Nice read.

Apr 03, 2013 01:55 AM
Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

Great post Larry! I strongly agree with you. No matter how reputable the agency is, if the agent is not reliable then it's not gonna work. But if an agent is naturally good, he/she will always be good regardless on what the agency is. 

Apr 03, 2013 03:53 AM