How Important is Experience?


The San Mateo County Association of Realtors released their 2008 numbers regarding production statistics this week and I’ve got to tell you that I was astonished. Maybe the most astonishing thing to me was just how clearly I saw the value of experience for the public when it comes to selecting an agent to work with. Here’s what it showed:

* In 2008, 60% of the Realtors in San Mateo County sold one house or less. 60%!

* 86% did 5 or less transactions.

* Only 5% did 11 or more transactions (Yes, I was one of those). There’s 3142 Real Estate agents in Samcar.

2007’s numbers were pretty similar too. What this says to me is that, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the odds are pretty darn high that the agent you’re talking to or maybe even working with has very little experience at all in selling houses. I have to say in all honesty that the market right now bares no resemblance at all to the market of just a few years ago and I find myself in an almost constant learning curve when it comes to keeping myself current on what’s happening. Working with banks on REO’s and short sales is a completely different experience than it was handling multiple offers while working with regular old sellers just a few years ago.

If 60% of the realtors around here only sold one house last year (and maybe the last 2 years) your odds are awfully great that you’re working with someone very inexperienced. The simple fact is that there are an awful lot of agents with very little experience right now in this marketplace and I’m pretty darn certain that could cost a buyer or seller money.

Here’s a link to a samcar pdf on this topic:


Sorry, I ranted…again!


  1. Check your link to ProductionData. It comes up with a message saying: Expired

  2. Frances Rokicki says:

    Jim, We have a similar problem here in Connecticut. They are just hanging on. I don’t know how they can do it. No income, no business and still a Realtor? What is that? If you were not receving pay from a job, why would you stay with that job? I, seriously, do not understand it.

    You are correct about the consumer, too. Experience is definitely necessary in this market.

    People need to take a good long and hard look at their choices today.

    Thanks Jim,

  3. My experience is that the 80/20 rule does not apply to our industry when you are talking about production. In our estimation the real figure is 94/6. Or in other words, 6% of the agents do 94% of the production.

    This is yet another example of why most brokers will hire any agent that has a pulse. My hope is that this market will shake out the uncommitted agents and leave only those committed to the business and their clients.

    Thanks for the post. Too bad the numbers in your area supported our findings.

  4. Tina Johnson says:

    Good Point…I think sometimes the consumer focuses more on years in the business rather than transactions closed.

  5. Trevor Elliott says:

    Experience speaks volumes but it also speaks to the fact you can change and become what the market dictates. keep it up. Salem Oregon Real Estate reflects your findings as well.

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