When it Makes Sense to Sell Solo

Last Fall, I promised a newer agent who wanted to “learn the ropes” that I’d take them along on a listing presentation.

Three months later, I still haven’t brought them along.

ropesAnd it’s not because I haven’t been busy — or reneged on my promise.

The explanation?

There simply hasn’t been a good opportunity. 

“Sort-of-Listing Presentation”

Which, I suppose, simply begs the question, “why hasn’t there been a good opportunity?”

I come up with three reasons:

One.  Referral-driven business.  

After a decade-plus selling real estate, most of my listings (thankfully) now come from referrals.

So, the prospective Seller already knows of me through an acquaintance (or several!), and is ready to hire me once I’ve addressed a few, basic questions about the process.

I could bring the new Realtor along on one of these “sort-0f-listing presentations”/Reader’s Digest versions . . . but they wouldn’t learn much.

Client Confidentiality

Two.  On those occasions when I’m in full-blown competition for a listing, often times the Seller’s circumstances are private, sensitive — or both.

That can be the case when there’s just been a death or illness in the family, a divorce, or a yet-to-be announced job transfer — or one of those things is imminent.

After all, that’s why many Sellers  . . . sell.

Somehow, however, showing up with a “trainee” in tow just doesn’t fit in many circumstances.

Which leaves the third explanation . . .

Three.  Transactions per year.

A good year for an experienced Realtor in the Twin Cities not working as part of a team and not specializing in foreclosures would be 20-25 consummated deals a year (a great year would be more and/or bigger deals).

Even if those deals tilt towards representing Sellers rather than Buyers — typical for a veteran Realtor — that still means representing only 15-20 Sellers a year.

Of those, something like 3/4 would be “warm” referrals, and at least a handful of others would be one of the aforementioned sensitive situations where training seems inappropriate.

Bottom line:  pure training opportunities simply aren’t that abundant.  

Which is probably why, after perhaps doing more than 200 listing presentations spanning a decade-plus, I’ve never accompanied another agent on one of theirs (and at this point in my career, have developed my own preferred style, focus, marketing material, etc.).

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.

Leave a Reply