Defining Success - It's Pretty Subjective Don't You Think?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors


One of the sites where we have a profile sent out an email today prompting us to answer a question posed by a marketer.  Here is the question. 


"I speak to a lot of Realtors and brokers every week. Most are closing 20-40 transactions/year, while some others close 80-100+. What makes these higher closers more 'successful' - is it a certain approach, work ethic, tools/resources? Definitely interested in hearing what you guys think!"


We're fairly certain the individual who asked the question has a lead generating system he hopes to sell. 

Here is our answer to the question.


Why do you think the number of transactions translates into success? That's a more interesting question to me, Mark. To some agents, 20-40 transactions a year is a respectable number of transactions to manage, and at the same time,  deliver excellent customer service - always our priority. Everyone is on their own path, and success is quite subjective. 


It was also quite interesting to read the variety of responses.  Naturally, there was the usual chest beating, "I'm the greatest and do 100 plus a year, no problem." However, most who responded suggests it takes a team to close more than 40 transactions a year - and still have a life.  

In my opinion, our goal should be focused on the quality of service we provide, rather than the number of sales notches we have on our belts.  Plus, our own desire to spend time with family and friends factors in to our business choices. 

More importantly, since we have great respect for our peers in Active Rain, we're curious to hear your take on the question. In addition, do you think it's possible to be a top producer and still have plenty of time to enjoy your life? 

Posted by


ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.

314 NE Cedar Street
Camas, WA  98607





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Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

It is funny because Debe Maxwell's featured post ended with what motivates you. I will say the same thing here as i did there, it is not trophies, number of sales, or even money. It is helping others achieve their goals without drama and having an enjoyable fun time doing it as well. I think my definition of success has nothing to do with numbers but relates to being the best agent you can be for your clients, be they a seller or a buyer and helping them deal with a transaction they handle only occasionally whilst we do it regularly.

Feb 09, 2018 01:34 PM #13
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Thanks Nick and Trudy. You have a similar philosophy. And I too thought it was interesting when I read Debe's post. Ha. 

Feb 09, 2018 02:00 PM #14
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Carol Williams  might be too late for this week, but a suggestion for next week for your Second Chance Saturday post. Have a great weekend.

Feb 09, 2018 03:13 PM #15
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Are you happy? Until you can answer this nothing makes any sense

Feb 09, 2018 03:25 PM #16
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Success really depends on what you want in life.  If it is free time, then it may not take as much money as one thinks.  But, ultimately, any work activity which you are happy at each day, is a form of success.

Feb 09, 2018 03:43 PM #17
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Success is clearly subjective.  I would like to increase my production over time (I do about 20 transactions a year,) but the trick is putting together a system to do that.  I haven't found the right people at the right time yet.  I do think that top producers with teams have more of a life, and I would like that.

Feb 09, 2018 04:43 PM #18
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Feb 09, 2018 04:44 PM #19
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

What does it take to make you happy? Then set your sights on that and go get it.

Feb 09, 2018 07:14 PM #20
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good evening Debb and Bernie - rather than subjective I would say it is defined by the individual.  Also, if you are top producer but screwed up your personal life to get there what have you gained?

Feb 09, 2018 07:56 PM #21
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I feel exactly as you do, Debb! It was totally a sales pitch waiting to happen in that post! LOL

As for success - for me, it's only about customer service. If I can't provide world class customer service to each and every client, then I need to refer business out. I do have help with every bit of the 'back-end' part of the business so that I can be in front of my clients and available to them, to move them seamlessly through their largest expenditure/purchase they'll ever make. To me, that's FAR more important than being 'top producer' and that is the measure of success in my opinion.

Raving fans = referral business and that is what I live on! I don't buy leads so, without the raving fans, I would not be able to employ my own staff...or stay in business!

Another note, average sales price (times the number of units) would be more of a factor than simply the number of units. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Feb 09, 2018 08:59 PM #22
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to define success!!!

Our goal should be focused on the quality of service we provide, rather than the number of sales notches we have on our belts.  Plus, our own desire to spend time with family and friends factors in to our business choices. 

Feb 10, 2018 04:25 AM #23
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Debb,  What a great blog and one I hope lots read and comment on.  Success is important to all of us but success is not how many transaction a Realtor does a year.  I feel it has more to do with what makes you happy, I want to make money to help my grand kids when they get older for their college.  To do this, I want to take care of my clients because I know that is how I will get more clients and referrals.  I am proud getting phone calls from past clients that has some for me that may just need some real estate advice.

I think the guy had something to sell for sure.


Feb 10, 2018 09:09 AM #24
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Success IMO is measured by the lifestyle and freedom that's comfortable, exciting and rewarding. Some people are content with their lifestyle while others would abhor it, so, it depends, doesn't it? IMO, we all have our own comfort zones, so, while I might consider someone else as being successful, they may not. The value of success is determined by the beholder and not by witnesses. 

Feb 10, 2018 10:13 AM #25
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Debb & Bernie,

I am with you about getting to enjoy life. What are we doing this hard job for, if not to get to do some neat stuff that we enjoy from time to time?

Feb 10, 2018 11:18 AM #26
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I'd much rather close 20+ deals a year than be a Top Producer.  I like to spend time one on one with my clients.   I handle every part of the transaction from start to finish: attending inspections, stting in signings, handing over keys, and then adding them to my follow up to stay in touch with greeting cards, phone calls, etc.  I don't care about awards or anything else as that's no my game either.   Great question! 

Feb 10, 2018 12:17 PM #27
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

For those agents who actually set goals, success could look quite differently.

I am of the belief that I will at all times provide quality service to the consumer.

If quantity hinders my goal, I will always stick with quality.

Great post and thanks.

Feb 10, 2018 01:24 PM #28
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

It really depends. If success is dependant on the quantity and not quality, that can cause major problems. Thank you for sharing. 

Feb 10, 2018 05:45 PM #29
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Isn't that what it's all about; having a career and a life at the same time? I call that success Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD 

Feb 11, 2018 02:00 PM #30
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, I think that is what makes real estate a great career choice, you can do as little or as much as you want.   It is all up to what your needs and desires are!   I know I could never handle 100 transactions, and never has been my goal.   I would prefer to give excellent customer service to each and every client, and personally - not through a TC or an assistant.

Feb 12, 2018 06:58 AM #31
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I got a similar email then a call. The lady quoted the word successful and listed what some of my comptitors are doing. The funny thing is i know they are groups or teams of 4, 8 or more. So i told her, one group she named sold 80 homes, there are 8 of them, that is 10 per person which is failure in my book. She was speechless Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD and that ended that call

Feb 13, 2018 05:58 AM #32
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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