The Virtue of a Well-Stocked Pipeline

“We will sell no wine before its time.”

–Ad campaign for Paul Masson wine.

[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

If you’ve never made a living 100% on commissions ” and not selling apparel or widgets, but big-ticket items like homes ” it can be terrifying.

Not only are the paydays few and far between, but, especially in today’s housing market, there seem to be more steps along the way, and more things that can go wrong.

Right up to and (sometimes) continuing through the closing.

Virtue of Patience ” and a Big Customer Base 

It’s also the case that agents feeling financial pressure can succumb to the temptation to pressure clients.


There are two reasons why good agents never do that:

One. It doesn’t work.

Clients sense that, and (rightfully) react badly to high pressure sales tactics — usually by getting another agent.

Two. It’s a violation of Realtors’ fiduciary duty, which requires that they put their client’s interests ahead of their own.

Called the “duty of loyalty,” it assures that — along with the “duty of care” — agents both know what they’re doing, and use that knowledge in service of their clients.

That’s in marked contrast to the finance industry, where many advisers are (still) held to a lower “suitability” standard when they make investment recommendations.

Full Pipeline

Of course, the more established the Realtor is, the easier it is for them to be patient.

I like to tell slower-moving clients that the reason I don’t “need” them to do deals this year or even next (and they don’t need to feel guilty about it) is because  . . . . I’m busy working with clients now that I said that to three years ago. 🙂

Client’s Timetable

None of which is to say I can afford to work with unmotivated Buyers or Sellers.

It’s just that, many Buyers and Sellers take a long time to get to the starting line, and how long that takes is (properly) up to them.

See also, “Serious Home Buyers: Top 10 Signs“; “Professionals Subject to a Fiduciary Duty: Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants AND REALTORS(!)“; and “The Right House at the Wrong Time = the Wrong House”.”

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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