Dick McKenna: ‘You must massage your numbers until they throb’

Dick McKenna was my favorite real estate guru.  A degreed Industrial Psychologist who, early in life did Peace Corp type work in Latin America, he gravitated to real estate where he became intellectual conscience of Century 21.  Dick knew more about the business side of our business than anyone I’ve known before or since.  He was the first person I recall being alarmed when traditional brokers began paying higher and higher commission splits.

‘You don’t understand!’ he’d squawk, ‘It is virtually impossible to make a profit if you’re paying more than 68% on average to your agents!’  And he had the numbers to back it up.

Oh, how right he was.

Dick was really big on Marketplace Intelligence.  He wanted us to discover and dissect every morsel of information we could find about a market and then use what we learned to drive our business.  It was all very Help-U-Sell (we’ve always embraced market data as a decision making tool).  That’s where the quote in the headline comes from:  he said it once in a meeting of about 1,000 brokers.

One Help-U-Sell Broker who’s been massaging his numbers recently is Jeff Braun from Union Grove, WI.  Working with his production numbers and those of his MLS for calendar year 2010, Jeff learned the following:

In his local market, he has a 39% MARKET SHARE!

  • When he was the Listing Agent and NOT the Selling Agent, he got 102.30% of list price as sale price
  • When he was the Listing Agent AND the Selling Agent, he got 103.97%
  • When he was the Selling Agent and NOT the Listing Agent, his buyer clients bought property for 94.30% of list price.

Do you think anyone trying to decide who to work with in Union Grove, WI would be interested in these numbers?  Of course.  Obviously, working with Jeff is one sure way to ensure you do okay buying or selling a home.

My message is this:  it’s January, a great time to review stats from last year.  Get your numbers together in the following categories then compare your results with the MLS.  I promise you, you will almost always beat the MLS and sometimes you will beat the MLS by so much, it’s worth crowing about!  Check:

  • % of listings taken that sell
  • Days on market (listing to pending – from that point on time frames are largely out of your control)
  • Sale price as a % of list price for properties where you were the listing broker only, the selling broker only and both the listing and selling broker
  • Fall out rate on pending transactions
  • Anything else you can think of

Then (assuming you are better than the average bear in your area — and you are),  create a one page summary of what you find to use in your Listing Presentation.  Heck, if the results are really good, why not include them in your advertising? It’s information like this that will make your marketing throb.

Jeff Gets Brawney

Jeff Braun, Help-U-Sell broker in Union Grove, Wisconsin, has been in coaching with Ron McCoy for more than a year.  The weekly sessions last an hour, max, and are intended to give Jeff an ear and an opportunity to think through the challenges he faces in his specific marketplace.  Those challenges include a smaller market, lower average sale prices, and fewer transactions than many Help-U-Sell brokers enjoy.

Last month, Jeff and Ron decided a price reduction campaign was in order.  Jeff had the listings — more than 30 — but they weren’t selling.  So he systematically went to each seller seeking a reduction . . . and was successful with nine.  Today, as a direct result, he has 10 pending transactions and is on cloud nine.  His plan is to now go back to the many who resisted the first time around and show them what happened with those who did reduce their price.

In this case:  Better Prices = More Sales = Better Market Visibility = More Listings = More Leads = More Sales.  It’s a great snowball effect.  Congratulations, Jeff!