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7 Jul 2013
If you ask who the No 1 Sequim real estate agent is, you would get a number of answers, depending on whom you ask. You might ask even before you hear the answer, “Who cares?” I like that kind of skeptical question. I’m one of those people who doesn’t put much stock in statistics, because I focus on giving each of my clients the best possible customer service first, and I let the statistics fall where they will. But I’ve learned that many people do want to work with a Sequim real estate agent they know is successful, and one of the obvious measures of success is who is the No 1 Sequim real estate agent.
A mathematician, a politician, and a statistician are each asked how big the federal debt is. The mathematician says it is over $16 trillion. The politician says that depends on how you define debt. The statistician replied, “How much do you want it to be?”
In sales, statistics are abused all the time. Here is what the public probably does not know about Sequim real estate agent statistics. An agent might claim to be the No 1 Agent, but that could have three meanings. First, an agent might be the No 1 agent for total dollar volume of sales (but maybe he only listed and never sold any properties himself). Second, an agent might be the No 1 agent for the number of properties sold (but again maybe he listed and other agents sold his listings). The misnomer here is that agents who have a listing that is sold by another agent typically claim that as their own sale. In plain language, it was a listing sold by another agent. Third, an agent might be the No 1 agent for selling properties (i.e. as the selling agent) by volume (or number). Only one of these statistics really answers the question that most people are really asking, and that is the third one, which more articulately would ask, “Which Sequim real estate agent was hired by more buyers and closed more transactions than any other individual Sequim real estate agent?” This would be the agent who acted as a selling agent, and I think we could all agree that selling is far more impressive than just listing. Anyone can list, but it is hard work to actually sell homes.
If you enlarge the above image, you’ll get a better idea of what I’m about to explain. You’ll see that I am listed as the number 2 selling agent in all of Clallam County, which includes Sequim, for the first six months of this calendar year as of July 4th. There is someone ahead of me apparently in first place, but not really. Realtors play games with statistics all the time in the sales industry. I’ve blocked out the other names to protect the guilty, but the name in first is really two full time agents plus a full time assistant. That’s not one agent, that’s a team or group of people, so when everyone else on the list is listed individually, you can’t put multiple agents under one name and claim to be No 1. We need to look to see which individual Sequim real estate agent is next on the list. That would be me, and while I’m uncomfortable writing this about myself, that makes me the No 1 Selling Agent by volume in the county.
A word about what a “selling agent” is. Some agents just list a lot of properties, and other agents, like me, sell those properties. I call agents who list a lot of properties but don’t sell a lot of properties to their own buyer clients “listing agents.” Yet when those agents’ listings are sold by other agents, the listing agents always claim that they sold the properties. It’s a claim that most consumers would object to. The agent listed the property and another agent sold it. Do you see the important distinction between these statistical claims?
If you read my Sequim real estate blog articles, you’ll see that I want buyers to know the truth about how things really work. I dislike games that are less than honest with consumers. I don’t use gimmicks to sell properties. I don’t misrepresent facts to impress clients or to make them think I’m doing something I’m not. And I don’t distort statistics to get more business. I included the actual statistics above from the Olympic Listing Service to show you that regardless of what any other agent or agents may claim, so far this calendar year I am the No 1 Selling Agent by volume in Clallam County, and that is a fact. No one else can claim to be the No 1 selling real estate agent by volume in Clallam County so far this year.
Having said all this, my business is not built on any lofty goal of being the No 1 Sequim Real Estate Agent. My goal is to serve each of my individual clients faithfully, with everything I’ve learned in three decades in real estate, including 20 years as a real estate attorney. Honesty, integrity, professionalism, and bringing all the knowledge and experience to the table for my buyers is my first priority. While I am the No 1 Sequim Real Estate Agent in Clallam County, that’s not what is important to me.
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