While I wish I could lay out a beginning-to-end program for increasing your average sales price in this short article, a full-length book might be required. If you’re asking why you should care about increasing your sales price, keep in mind that you’ll earn the same amount selling 10 homes at $300,000 as you would selling 20 homes at half the price.
Here are five basic concepts I believe are required if you’re looking to start growing your average commission income per sale:
- Focus on listings. It’s easier to control the average sales price on the listing side of the business than it is when working with buyers. When we connect with a buyer, we don’t have much influence on their price range. When we focus on getting listings in higher-priced areas instead, we have much more control on the average sales price. Additionally, the buyer leads we generate from higher-priced listings are looking for more expensive homes, which is a double win.
- Know your numbers. You must start by knowing exactly where you are currently. To do so, answer the following questions:
- How many listing and buyer sales did you close in the last 12 months?
- What was your average sales price for listings and for buyers?
- How much did you earn on your average closing for listings and for buyers?
Put these numbers into a spreadsheet, then set goals for increasing each number.
- One step at a time. Many agents attempt to jump all the way to the million-dollar market in one giant step. The problem is the learning curve involved. It’s easy to feel like you’re in over your head with your first few million-dollar listings. A better alternative is to follow the 50 percent rule. If your average sales price is currently $200,000, try to increase it by 50 percent to $300,000. Believe it or not, you’ll get to the million-dollar market in four short years following the 50 percent rule. And you’ll gain valuable experience along the way.
- Research the market. Pick a neighborhood that provides the best chances for success by digging up the following information:
- Total number of homes in the neighborhood
- Number of homes sold in the last 12 months
- Turnover rate
- Marketshare of agents in the last 12 months
You’re looking for the turnover rate to be 7 percent or greater, and for no single agent to have 25 percent or more marketshare. If the neighborhood doesn’t meet these criteria, find another.
- Don’t believe the myths. I speak with agents every day who don’t believe they’re good enough or smart enough to work with higher-end clients. All these clients want is an agent who will work really hard, be 100 percent focused on their interests, and have confidence in their ability to get the job done. While you might want to upgrade your car and wardrobe as you work with more affluent high-end clients, if anyone has the ability to move on up in average sales price, it should be you.
Cleve Gaddis of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now his real estate team closes $60 million in sales annually in Atlanta, Ga. He loves to share his sales strategies and to see others succeed. He’s the host of the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show which can be heard on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO every week. Contact him at Cleve@GoGaddis.com.
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