Fewer Agents... More Business.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Center

We recently had a staff meeting in our office and were given the statistics from RE/MAX regarding the staggering number of real estate agents that have thrown in the towel.  While I feel bad for these individuals who couldn't or just didn't want to continue in real estate, I look at the opportunity that this is presenting to those of us who, for whatever reason, will continue to move ahead with their career. 

Opportunity is all around us.  Working smarter and not harder is where all of us should be going. This is true in any profession at this time.  Everything is changing and I think is changing for a very long time.  Maybe forever.  Nothing we did before can be looked at as what we should do today.  Nothing.  Clients are extremely knowledgeable today and know what they want in many cases.  We need to listen to them when we are fortunate enough to have a prospective buyer.  We need to once again, look like the professionals that we should be.  Dress for success.  Look the part of someone who knows what they are doing.

Granted, certain markets are tolerant of certain styles of dress.  Jeans, boots and the like. But other markets require a well dressed agent presenting themself professionally at all times. 

Learn to read the buyer.  Find out who the decision maker is within the family.  Try to determine their personality type as this will help you to really understand what they want from you.

Most importantly, answer you phone.  Or, if not available, call them back within an hour or so whenever possible.  Nothing worse than someone never answering their phone.  I was given a referral from an Illinois Realtor last week. When I answered my phone and discussed the prospect with her, I asked how she found me.  She replied, "I am a Re/Max agent and looked on line.  But after 18 phone calls within your market, you were the first one to answer their phone."  What a statement...  Isn't the call important?  It should be.

Let's all reexamine our performance.  Look at ourselves from the eyes of a client.  Remember, you may have done this job for years, but for that client who is looking to you for guidence and comfort, it may be the first time they are going through this process.  Don't you feel good when your Doctor tells you everything in language that you can understand.  Is there for you when you call.  Think about it.


Larry Stanul

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Larry Stanul


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  1. Sheri Spain 02/23/2009 02:56 AM
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Bill Blair
Coldwell Banker Realty - Covington, GA
Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes

Larry....  Good post, and good advice about "being there" for all your potential clients.  I'm glad the ranks are thinning, and hope it continues.  Now if we could only get rid of some of the telemarketers who think they're going to sell us email campaigns, guaranteed leads on sellers, buyers ready to buy, bogus software and SEO, etc., etc., etc.  Hopefully those of us left are the ones who know better!

Feb 23, 2009 07:46 AM #40
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Larry - It is possible that the previous 18 agents that she called had either left the business entirely or they are now working part-time at another job. I hope the referreal works out for all concerned.

Feb 23, 2009 08:09 AM #41
Larry Stanul
RE/MAX Realty Center - Oconomowoc, WI
Larry Stanul

George, I hope so too.  This would be a better reason for no answer.  But,  somehow, I just feel that agents still don't answer for a variety of other reasons.  But, you are correct to think more optimistically about the others.

Thanks for reading.


Larry Stanul

Feb 23, 2009 08:17 AM #42
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Better informed buyers are a blessing and curse at the same time, but that's a topic for another day.  I LOVE a tough market because that's when buyers and sellers turn to old pros like me.

Feb 23, 2009 08:20 AM #43
Shelby Kyle
Texas Country Properties - Fulshear, TX

I don't really look down on the part time agents. If they can provide good service, and get business. Power to them. Maybe they have to work to keep food on the table and the lights turned on, but they are still trying to make it work. The future will be interesting for sure!

Feb 23, 2009 09:06 AM #44
Shelby Kyle
Texas Country Properties - Fulshear, TX

Answering the phone is a MUST! I have answered it while in the powder room and asked if I could call back in 5 minutes. And.... I actually called back in 4 minutes!

Feb 23, 2009 09:08 AM #45
Sean Dreznin
NAI Tampa Bay - Sarasota, FL
Commercial Investment Real Estate Agent


What are the stats??


Feb 23, 2009 10:08 AM #46
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Larry...Personally I believe that some buyers and sellers have not only information but also knowledge about real estate in their area.

If we think they only have information we may be short-changing them and why would they want to work with us.  Sure we may have more information and more knowledge but that does not mean they do not have more than we did before we became REALTORS.

There are times some REALTORS surprise me with their lack of "knowledge."


Feb 23, 2009 10:12 AM #47
Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

This is a windfall for those of us that are full time professionals.  The downside of the roaring market is the appearance of easy money and the overwhellming amount of new agents it led to.  With these agents gone it makes it much easier for the rest of us.

Feb 23, 2009 10:23 AM #48
AMBER NOBLE GARLAND - Top Real Estate Expert, Property Tax Appeal Specialist & Author
Strategic Marketing Expert & Relocation Specialist Serving New Jersey and nationwide! - Marlboro, NJ
- The Agent You Can Trust To Deliver REAL Results!

You are so right Larry...opportunity truly is all around us. It's a matter of each of the "survivors" recognizing it, and taking hold of it!

Feb 23, 2009 12:30 PM #49
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

In Detroit it is the same amount of transactions but fewer agents.  Of course lower commissions too

Feb 23, 2009 12:33 PM #50
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Larry - Rock on !  Hard work breeds success.  This opportunity will be the one of the best times to gain market share in all of our respective regions... maybe once in a lifetime !

Feb 23, 2009 12:35 PM #51
Larry Estabrooks
Independent Real Estate Agent - Moncton, NB
100% representation means NEVER DUAL AGENCY !

It took a member of the remax tribe 18 calls before another tribe member answered?
Someone should be voted off at the next tribal council.

Feb 23, 2009 01:32 PM #52
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

I just picked up a listing last week due to an agent (a friend of the sellers) who decided to leave the business.  The agent decided she would stay on as a referring agent, but the clients didn't want to be referred.  If they couldn't work with her then they decided to work with the #1 listing agent in their market area (that would be me).   I've already had two closings this year and am in the midst of four more transactions. 

I wrote a post last year called "First You Must Survive" and I meant it.  That was my game plan.  We sold our 24' sailboat and our larger Mercedes, and tightened our belts.  If you haven't tossed all the dead weight off your lifeboat, now is the time.  There will be a tremendous opportunity for those of us who are able to make it through this downturn.

Feb 23, 2009 02:11 PM #53
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

there are many part time agents and others who were just in the business for the so called easy money.... those are the ones who are dropping like flys

Feb 23, 2009 02:42 PM #54
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

It's a good thing that the agents who were not in the business for the long haul are leaving -- many honestly never should have been here to begin with . Our 2 cents.

Feb 23, 2009 02:57 PM #55
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

It is tough and it is sad.  It is a time to cut out the garbage and get back to basics to what works and do it more than ever.  I have been through this 3 other times......so use this as a time to grow and learn..........

Feb 23, 2009 04:04 PM #56
Cathy Turner
Solid Source Realty, Inc. - Jonesboro, GA
Realtor, Associate Broker, ABR, CDPE- Short Sales

Excellent post and I totally agree with you.

Feb 23, 2009 04:20 PM #57
Tom Ikonomou Vancouver
RE/MAX City - Vancouver, BC
Pro-active Real Estate Marketing

As a Restaurant owner for many years, I've seen many open and close their doors. It's the same in any business. some because of the terible food, others for the lousy service and others for not keeping their hours consistant. If you snooze, you lose!

Feb 23, 2009 07:04 PM #58
Benjamin Clark
Homebuyer Representation, Inc. - Salt Lake City, UT
Buyer's Agent - Certified Negotiation Expert

When I began my career an old timer told me that there is always enough business for the professionals.


Feb 24, 2009 04:43 AM #60
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