What does the average Toronto real estate agent look like?


She or he, sells on average, 6 homes a year. This is based on stats that other real estate agents tell me. I don’t have any research to back it up because, well, I don’t care.


I don’t care what the “average” real estate agent does or doesn’t do in terms of volume or, in realtor speak, number of ends. I’ll give you an analogy comparing the average agent to one the the big time real estate agents. But first, let me give you some insight into the mentality of the “big time” agent.


The big timers believe they are the Wizards of real estate. God’s gift to home buyers and home sellers, the Salt of the Earth types, the cat’s meow, etc., etc. To them, the average agent is getting in the way of 6 more “ends” they should have. “What does an average agent know about selling real estate” they like to post on secret FaceBook groups.


They also harp on the average agent when deals don’t go as smoothly as they think it should. “This part-timer (average agent) is clueless and is making this deal difficult”. To the big timers, it’s all about the numbers baby. Getting the properties listed as soon as possible, and getting them sold. They see real estate simply as a business.


Oh, I’ve been involved in many deals with big timers who have messed up royally because they tend to be lazy and generally don’t give a shit if the deal doesn’t pay more than $20,000. I had one big timer tell me he couldn’t deal with an offer because he had just returned from vacation. Douche says what?


Back to the point of this post… I see real estate as a time when people, whether selling or buying, are the most vulnerable. Their emotions are raw. They are highly suggestive to advice; which can be bad if they are receiving poor advice. The big timers will pounce on the emotions of people the instant they smell blood.


Churn and Turn Baby


Now I’ll get into my analogy. Bare with me on it as it may take a while for it to all come together.


In a previous life, I was in the restaurant industry both as a line cook and as a bartender. My first go ‘round in a restaurant was as a line cook at Kelsey’s and within 5 months, I was placed into their “Devo” program. I can’t remember what Devo was short for but, essentially I was being taught to become a kitchen manager.


One of the most important areas of the back of house, that’s restaurant speak for kitchen, is the ability to have the proper quotas of food prepped. It’s a critical point as restaurants like Kelsey’s are part of a corporation. Those restaurants are not in the business of providing you with an unforgettable dining experience. They’re in the business of getting you in the door, upselling you with gravy and dessert, getting you fed and getting you out.


“Let’s churn out the food and turn the tables three times tonight!” the GM would exclaim during our pre-dinner pep talks. You see, get the people fed and get them out so new people can be sat and fed. Rinse repeat.


This is the mentality of the big timer agents. Get the house listed, get it sold, on to the next one. They are profit driven. Greed driven. The average agent is cutting into their profits by taking 6 ends away from them.


Let’s compare another restaurant experience. Maria and I had the opportunity to dine at Canoe. The atmosphere was amazing. The decor, impeccable. But the one aspect of my one and only visit to canoe, aside the amount of the bill, was the service. From the moment you check in, the hostess was attentive, warmly smiling and addressing you as Mr. and Mrs. At Kelsey’s, the hostess will likely be miserable, counting the time down before she can leave to chill with her friends.


Our server, even though he had a full section, treated us like we were his only table. Water was topped up. Cutlery was replaced after each course. At one point, I went to the washroom. When I returned to the table my napkin was folded neatly and my dinner had been served. But, because I wasn’t there when it was brought to the table, they placed one of those chrome dome things over the plate so my meal stayed warm.


Looking over the dessert menu, I was really into creme brule at the time, Maria said to me, “I’m surprised they don’t have creme brule for you.” I wasn’t really disappointed because the desserts were amazing. I forget what I ordered for dessert because when it came, it was a creme brule. Apparently, our server over heard and had a creme brule brought in from one of their other restaurants close by.


That meal was more than 10 years ago but I still remember it like it was last night. Why? The experience.


Now, let’s think of the average agent. What if all of his or her 6 deals provided a great experience to their client? Do you think their client cared that they “only” do 6 ends a year? Me either.


When agents advertise about how they’re in the top 1% of selling agents or how they “outsell the average agent 100 to 1”, all they’re doing is showing you how they really could give two shits about you. They’re simply in it to make the most amount of money, in the least amount of time, with the least hassle.


Churn and turn baby!