Agent Performance and List/Sell Ratios…Small Coffee Shops and Big Burgers

List to Sale Percentage 7 Year History Amelia Island NCMLS 4/19/2017 List to Sale AVG Percentages

I care about clients.  Their homes, future, savings….every penny they spend…I care.  It becomes personal when you care.  Years ago, I started in the industry with our family business.  Our motto at one time was “Think Pink”…changing to “Quality Service from People Who Care!”.   The first got attention, but the second meant something to me.  To this day, I care about clients and try to give more than expected.

I have a theory.  Every broker has a finite capacity to manage active residential listings.  Too many residential listings means I would have less time for each client.  I might not be available when needed or have the time for each client.   Even if I wanted to manage that many residential listings, I would begin to turn down added work at around 8 or 10.  Homes take more work and more “hands on” time to schedule, show and promote.  It seems logical to think there might be a best performance number, hypothetically between 5 and 10 active residential listings per agent.

T-Ray’s Burger on South 8th Street

Recently, I took the time to look at listing percentages for a number of top producing agents.  Some have absolutely amazing sales figures and tend to focus on the sheer number of sales.  I tend to look at a different statistic.  At random, I compared 5 high production agents in the area.  I looked at several indicators of performance, but finally focused on one measurable number…the original list price, compared to the sales price.    I rarely have more than five active homes listed.  Because I own the location and have a small office in a great location, I make enough with a mix of homes, land and commercial property listings.   Depending on the property, I sometimes aggressively price and sometimes price to sell quickly.  However, I think my average number should fall in a general range near the average list to sell ratio for the area.

Surprisingly, the agents I compared ranged from 69% to over 97%  in average list to sell percentage.  Now, the kinds of listings and price can change the percentage, but we’re also talking about averages and reasonably representative numbers.  97% is impressive, but 69% tells me the original listing might have been high or the prices dropped substantially for another reason.  My advice would be to consider the experience of the agent “AND” the List/Sell percentage, when selecting representation.   Ranges a little below average aren’t necessarily bad, but consistent numbers far below list price, should prompt questions.   Higher volume isn’t necessarily better or indicative of superior “single listing” results.

What does sales volume mean?  With teams of agents often attributing all sales to a single agent, the volume means less, but I see it another way.   Listing simply based on volume is like choosing a coffee shop based on square footage.  The single agent, in my opinion,  carrying a mobile office 24 hours a day, is often as or more effective than a team, formed to handle a  high volume of listings.   I am a little biased as a one man shop for the last 15 years,  but I even like smaller coffee shops.    What about hamburgers?  The chain with drive through might boast billions served, but the best burgers on Amelia Island are still at T-Rays….an old gas station converted into a restaurant years ago.   All things equal, where would you choose to buy a coffee or burger?  What about choosing a broker to sell or for advice when buying?

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