If you’re not a cheeseburger, don’t pick a #1 agent

I just got back from vacationing in Florida.  Just about anytime I go anywhere, I always pick up those free real estate booklets.  I like to see what houses are worth and see what the local realtors do. 

What amazed me about this trip is how many of them claimed to be “The #1 Agent in this or that town, suburb, neighborhood, condo complex.”  What they are talking about is how much property they have sold.  See, we  call that “Volume.”  You just take the sum of all the sales you have made for a given time frame.    I guess where I am going with all this is that you, as a buyer or a seller, DON’T want this kind of agent!

Why?  The simple reason is that they don’t have time for you.  I’ve worked with some of our big producers here in Lex.  Only two of them are worth anything in my opinion.   When you are closing a deal a week, and are listing houses left and right, you are basically the McDonald’s of real estate.  May as well paint the golden arches on the side of your car and write “Billions and Billions Served” under it.  When you go to McDonald’s, lets face it, it isn’t about getting the best burger you have ever had  prepared just the way you want it.  McDonald’s is about efficiency.  They are cooking multiple burgers at a time.  Look in the kitchen.  They have an assembly line going.  Put 12 buns on a tray.  Toast them.  Drop the meat on the bottom buns.  Squirt ketchup and mustard on each one.  Throw 2 pickles on each.  Add a slice of cheese.  Bam!  12 identical cheeseburgers ready to go. 

Ever go to McDonald’s and ask for something like a plain double quarter on a Big Mac bun?  And if you have, what percentage of the time was it accurate?  My wife always gets a plain Filet O Fish.  She even goes as far as saying “ONLY THE BUN AND THE FISH!!!!”  Still sometimes she’ll open the box and there is a regular one with the cheese and tartar sauce.  Sometimes it will only have the cheese.  Only occasionally is it right.  Why is this?  Because McD’s is about volume.  To get volume, you need to standardize procedures.  You cannot take the time to slow down, yet alone stop to do something different.

A friend of mine worked with one of the top producing agents in town a while back.  I thought this was really funny, in a sad way.  The agent has a team to do flip all their burgers….I mean take care of all their clients.  Seems nobody on the team bothered to tell the seller that the home inspection was scheduled.  The seller was pretty shocked when the inspector showed up.  I’ve had similar experiences with this team before.  I’ve asked them questions my buyers have had after viewing their listings.  They don’t have time to bother with a reply.  I’ve also made courtesy calls to let them know when they have entered the wrong subdivision on a listing. They always appreciate that, but I do it for their sellers, not really for them.   Again, when you are juggling so much work, you just don’t have time to be accurate.  Real estate deals aren’t all identical like McD’s cheeseburgers!

So, I will probably never be able to say I am the #1 Agent in Lexington for my sales volume.  Sure, it would be nice more than double my income, but I’m not gonna treat people like a cheeseburger to do so.

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