Sometimes people ask if a real estate agent “has a lot of listings.” And it always strikes me as kind of a funny question.
I guess we all assume that the question is shorthand for something else (like, “do a lot of people respect you and trust you and want to work with you?”) because it is hard to imagine how a simple quantitative answer to the original question would be helpful. What would be a comforting quantitative answer to the original question? 5? 18? 33? 1268? Hard to say. Because a numerical list of an agent’s listings hardly tells one anything at all. Which is why I find it a funny question.
To me, the list of my listings is my “TO DO LIST,” and it would be hard to imagine how letting the To Do List get longer and longer would be good news for anyone. A long list of unsold properties does not sound encouraging to me. A long list of still-unaccomplished work does not seem like the way one would want to judge an agent.
If the real question were, as we were guessing, “do a lot of people respect you and trust you and want to work with you,” there are more direct ways of saying that. Like…you know, just saying that. Or one could ask the agent for some references. Or one could ask how many homes the agent has SOLD in the last year, or in a particular community. To me, it would seem more useful to know what the agent has actually accomplished…as opposed to how long his To Do list is.
So I suppose it is Full Disclosure time. I don’t have 1268 listings. I don’t want 1268 listings. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do an excellent job for 1268 homeowners all at the same time. I would need to hire an army of assistants, and I don’t want an army of assistants working with my clients…because I LIKE WORKING WITH MY CLIENTS, directly.
My style is to have a handful of listings at a time…and sell them. My goal is not just to LIST them, but to get the job done for my clients…and SELL them. That might sound obvious, like it is to be assumed. But some folks do like to build up long To Do lists. (Is bigger really better if we are talking about a To Do list??)
I believe my clients like a “DONE” list much better than a To Do list. So I like to work with a small-ish group of sellers at a time, WORK HARD on the project of selling their homes…and indeed sell them. This means acknowledging that I cannot do an excellent job for 1268 sellers at a time. There you go, I’ve admitted it. And since I have this permanent, enduring commitment to really take care of my clients, my model is to work with this limited number of sellers at a time, and be sure they are all getting heaping portions of my attention and energy.
That means that if you look at the list of my listings at any given moment it may look (dare I say?) kind of SHORT. I’m good with that. But if you look at the list of my listings at any given time it will almost always also have a large percentage of them marked “pending.” I’m good with that, too, since I think that’s what my clients hire me to do. I believe my clients are comforted by the fact that the list of what I’ve SOLD is lots longer than the remaining To Do list of houses to sell.
And that is where I will stop the discussion for tonight, because now I need to negotiate the offer for one of my client’s homes. And I’m good with that. I really like this family, and this is their future we’re talking about, and I don’t think they’d want to be #1268 on my To Do list.
On Facebook: Laurie Simon Goldman, Sibcy Cline Realtors