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I’m a big fan of productive agents and great brokers, so I really enjoy RISMedia’s Power Broker Report. Not only does it recognize the amazing accomplishments of top brokerages, but if you dive a little deeper, it also shines a light on how different companies approach things.

For example, the 2016 report illustrates the contrasting strategies brokerages use to reach the upper levels. One approach requires an extremely high number of agents. Another focuses on maximizing agent productivity. Most companies fall somewhere in the middle.

Let’s jump into the numbers and I’ll show you what I mean.

A Deeper Dive
When the Power Broker firms are ranked by total transaction sides, only two of the top 25 brokerages have fewer than 1,000 agents. Two out of 25! Those brokerages are worth a closer look.

The first of these “small” firms ranked No. 23, with 14,436 sides closed by 837 agents—a per-agent average of 17.2 sides.

That’s a solid number, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that agents at the brokerage ranked above it at No. 22 averaged 7.5 sides, and those right below at No. 24 averaged 6.8 sides.

These three brokerages, 23 to 25, all closed a similar number of sales. But No. 23 had agent productivity more than double the other two. There must be underlying differences in their values, right?

Hold that thought while we visit the only other company able to crack the top 25 with fewer than 1,000 agents.

This brokerage ranked No. 10, with 21,744 transaction sides closed by 930 agents. That’s a per-agent average of 23.4. Major results! Clearly, this company focuses on productivity and supporting agents in a way that helps them close more sales.

One spot higher, the No. 9 firm took a different path. It closed 21,985 sides—a huge total, to be sure—but needed 6,107 agents to do it, averaging 3.6 sides each. It’s safe to say agent count was a higher priority than agent productivity at this brokerage.

Divergent Styles
Two companies, side by side in the top 10 of a major industry ranking. Very similar sales totals. Wildly different agent performance. Based on nothing but the numbers, it’s easy to see a difference in style. There are probably contrasts in vision, values, structure, support, services and culture, as well.

To each his own, but if I were an agent, I know where I’d choose to be—with productive agents. I want to close 17.2 or 23.4 sides, not 6.8 or 3.6. Yes, these are just averages, but they say a lot. Even if I were relatively new, I’d want to be in the more productive environment—listening, learning and using it to my advantage.

Better Golfers
Working alongside capable, experienced peers can make a big difference. As they say, you play better golf with better golfers. They teach you, motivate you, push you to be your best. It happens to agents every day in offices all across the country.

It’s more likely to happen, of course, at a brokerage where every detail is designed to help agents close sales. Why? Because at offices like that, agent productivity—and agent success—is the clear top priority.

Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC.

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