It’s that time of year again…the time for the announcements and excitement amongst brokerages across the land of their “Top Producers”. Those two words send shudders down the spine of many Realtors as they conjure up thoughts of, “I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.” Given last year’s real estate environment, “Top Producer” status is being touted even more now as a reason to work with one Realtor over another, because if you made it in 2009, you must be a rock star.
We’ve always had a bit of an issue with the whole “Top Producer” thing. First of all, every real estate company has different thresholds that put their real estate agents on that pedestal. For example, a brokerage with two agents that each sell one property per year could call those agents “Top Producers”. Some brokerages determine “Top Producers” on the amount of commission earned (could be $50k, could be $150k). Still others determine their “Top Producers” on the dollar volume sold (could be $2 million, could be $20 million.) There is no industry standard, and the criteria change every year. Certainly a “Top Producer” in Kansas is selling less (or maybe more) real estate than a “Top Producer” in California. So you see, it’s a bit misleading if you ask us, and frankly we don’t think it carries much weight with buyers and sellers. We would be happy doing away with the whole thing altogether.
So why then is it such a big deal amongst agents and their brokerages? We tend to think it’s that old competitor in every agent that is striving to outdo their colleagues, and it’s just another way to say, “I kick more ass than you, because I sell more real estate than you.” Reality is, the buying and selling decisions aren’t up to the real estate agent, and if you’re being pushed into a deal in this environment by a “Top Producer”, especially if you’re buying, there might be some ulterior motives to “getting you in the home of your dreams”.
Bottom line, “Top Producer” in our eyes isn’t something that should carry as much weight as it does and you (the buyer and seller) certainly shouldn’t base your decision on working with an agent on whether they’re a “Top Producer” or not. You’re going to need to like the person first and foremost, because you just might be in that relationship for quite some time before you “close the deal”. ;-)
[Editor's Note: I am a Top Producer.]