Fewer, More Seasoned Realtors

It’s more anecdotal than scientific, but a useful insight into exactly how many Realtors are out there chasing business at any given moment is what I’ll call the “Need an Open/Have an Open” index (“open” as in “open house”).

If you didn’t know, holding (Sunday) open houses is a time-tested way for new(er) Realtors to find clients, and generally establish themselves.

Unbeknownst to the general public, most of the time, the Realtor hosting the open house is “pinch hitting” for the listing agent, who is representing the Seller. The hosting agent only gets a commission if someone coming through the open house — and who doesn’t already have an agent — decides to buy it. Or, more realistically, hires them to represent them and ends up buying another house at some later point.

A few years ago, when the market was at its frothiest, the open house “ratio” was heavily lopsided in favor of Realtors seeking open houses.

Today, it’s the reverse: many established agents can’t find enough less experienced agents to hold their open houses.

So exactly what does that mean?

My read, at least, is that the real estate downturn has now winnowed out a big chunk of newer Realtors (which I define as having less than two years experience). Too, there have now been enough stories about Realtors eking out a living, pulling their hair out handling short sales, etc. that the industry hasn’t attracted much new blood the last 2-3 years.

That leaves the “survivors”: experienced, more seasoned Realtors, who are accumulating listings and are finding themselves spread too thin on Sunday’s.

Or, maybe the newer Realtors just took off most of August . . .

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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