Focus On Quality, Not Quantity

It seems that some REALTORS® focus on quantity rather than quality. They go after the most amount of business, not the best type of business. This seems to be more so the case these days due to the tough market conditions. But taking the “quantity” approach may not be the smartest thing to do despite it seeming ludicrous to some.

That’s where the phrase “quality over quantity” and the other definition of the “80/20 rule” come in to play. You’ll find that 80 percent of your clients make you 20 percent of your income while taking up 80 percent of your time. You’ll also find that the other 20 percent make you 80 percent of your income and only take up 20 percent of your time.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

Imagine all of the “cool” and “great” clients you’ve worked with (or are currently working with) this year. Why are they “cool” and “great” (let’s call them “A” clients from now on)? Is it because they listened to and took your professional advice to heart; respected your time and efforts and they didn’t jerk you around or use you and then leave you out to dry?

You probably spent less time on the last three “A” clients than you did on the one that is still making you drive around in circles looking at houses that they’ll never buy or who’s property is listed for $50K more than market value and doesn’t want to ever adjust their price.

Do you get upset at those “non-A” clients – the ones who don’t listen to you or value your time? Then why do you still have them as clients and spend time and energy acquiring more of them?

Once you’ve established a core group of past “A” clients, focus on getting referrals from them and attracting the same type of clients. Remember…”birds of a feather, flock together”.

If your “A” client was a referral, make sure you thank the person who referred them to you and keep that relationship alive and well and ask for more referrals. And make sure that keep the relationship with your “A” client healthy and ask them for referrals.

If your “A” client found you online, make sure you ask them exactly where and how (e.g. Google search, keywords, blog post, social media site, etc). Then focus more of your energy on that medium so that you attract more of the same types of clients in the future.

And don’t be afraid to speak up! Don’t hesitate to say things like, “You guys were really great to work with. Thank you for trusting me and listening to my advice. I wish all my clients were as cool as you”.

Is it cheesy? No. Because it’s true and your clients will sense that and know you’re not blowing smoke… In fact, they will appreciate your comment (and compliment) more than you know.

Just imagine all the time you’ve spent on clients who fought you tooth and nail on everything you advised them on. Now take just half of that time and apply it in ways such as the examples above. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to respectfully decline those clients who don’t appreciate your time, energy or opinion and you will have a full book of those that do – the “A” clients.

Once you realize that focusing on acquiring the best type of business is better than acquiring the most amount of business, you will find yourself happier, less stressed out, wealthier and perhaps even with a day or two off to enjoy life.

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10 Responses to Focus On Quality, Not Quantity

  1. Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker says:

    Best VARBuzz post I have seen to date. Great stuff. Ben, do you have a “best post” contest?

    My initial model was the high volume. How about $75 Million… in my first year. Can you say Quantity?

    This is a REALLY hard concept for agents to grasp. I even train my agents by giving them a task to turn down a client. Don’t say yes to everyone and you will make MORE money, in less time, and less stress.

    Also I believe in trying to be at 80% capacity. If you are overbooked and running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you will miss out on “A” clients.

    I need to go thanks some clients,


  2. Dave Phillips says:

    Good stuff. This is easy for me to say, but I think the entire industry would be well served if agents turned down over-priced listings. It might be helpful if folks shared thier scripts for how to turn down an over-priced listing or fire a buyer client who was not worth the trouble.

    I know one agent that refers non-A clients to her competitors. This keeps her competitors busy so they do not have time to pursue A business. Brilliant!

  3. Ki says:

    This is a great post. I have always found that my best clients take less time and are more enjoyable to work with. I should really start looking at where those people came from (I am pretty sure it was referrals) and start trying to increase that side of the business.

  4. Very good information, this has been my experence as well. I have been blessed this year in having more “A” clients this year than “d” clients and it has been really nice.

  5. Jeremy Hart says:

    One of the things I’m working on right now, Danilo, falls under this umbrella of “work with the A clients”. My focus group questions – or rather, the answers I’m getting from my focus group – are revealing exactly who my Team’s “A” clients are. The questions aren’t fancy, they’re taken directly from the book Duct Tape Marketing, and in some ways the answers they’ve given have reinforced what we already knew, but in a few cases they’ve completely surprised us. Those surprises have given us insight into exactly who we should be pursuing.

    I read stories of agents just pursuing everything they can, trying to be everything to everyone, and it’s a really difficult model to sustain, much less master. Thanks for putting this to print …

  6. Thanks everyone.

    J – Glad to hear it. It’s been a mostly “A” client year for me too. I knock on wood often.

    Ki – Care to share your results with everyone down the road? Would love to see a case study involving an agent that implemented this into their business practices and what the outcome was.

    Jeremy – Thanks for the tip on the questions. I’ll have to check them out and see what they reveal.

    Dave – I like to refer the “give me all your time and expertise, but rebate me” people to Redfin.

    Frank – That was a great email you cc’d me on! Let me know how that works out.

  7. Lorin Martin says:

    Thanks for the little tid bits. I’m new to real estate and any encouraging words really helps.

  8. Lorin – Welcome to real estate! It can be a very rewarding profession if you put your full time and heart into it.

  9. I agree with making certain that your clients are taken care of and they are not just looking. It is hard to determine if this client is worth your time until you’ve spent time on clients that weren’t worth your time! It certainly is a “live and learn” business.

  10. Justin Dibbs says:

    My tip for turning down a listing (for what it’s worth)…

    If I’m in a listing appointment where I can tell the client is not an “A” client and is fighting me on price back and forth ect ect, I finally say something like…
    “Danillo, I understand you want to get $350,000 for your house. I’ve brought you all the evidence to show you that the house needs to be priced at $319,900 in order to sell. So, if you still want to list at $350,000 all we need to get started is a check for $3,500 made out to ….”

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