The best of the best

Kylie Davis looks at a recent evaluation of every real estate agent in Queensland, soon to be rolled out across other states.

Nominating yourself for a real estate award for sales performance may become a thing of the past with a new dataset from CoreLogic RP Data.

The A-List event held recently by Ray White identified the top 148 real estate agents in Queensland.

CoreLogic RP Data did the statistical analysis of the sales and listings of every agent across Queensland to come up with the final 150.

I’m going to be honest and confess it was a hell of a job.

How do you compare the agents in more than 1900 suburbs across Queensland in a way that is fair? Every suburb is a different size. Every suburb has a different median price. Should you analyse it by how many sales an agent had? Or how much in dollar terms they sold? Or should it be by commission?

Our analysts quickly realised that neither volume nor dollar value nor commission was fair. Cheaper homes sell in greater numbers than more expensive ones in most markets. Using dollar value disadvantaged affordable and country areas especially and advantaged agents in high net-worth suburbs, as did a commission model.

So our data scientists scratched their heads, fired up their data processors and started writing some highly complex algorithms and crunching some very big datasets. Did you know that, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia, there are more than 16,000 individual agents in Queensland alone?

The A-List identified the ‘addressable market’ of every agent in Queensland, based on the suburbs where they made 70 per cent of their sales and listings. We chose 70 per cent because, in statistical terms, it’s one standard deviation from the mean. It meant that agents who sold in just one or two suburbs were on the same footing as agents who had a broader catchment area. This allowed us to compare apples with apples.

We identified how many sales were made in each suburb, how many agents serviced that suburb and the standard performance of all agents within those markets. Then we identified how much better the top performers were against the rest of their market.

The results were extraordinary. Here’s what they revealed.

A-Listers sold more than $2.9b in property across Queensland in the 12-month period we assessed – that was six per cent of all residential property sold in the state that year. To put it another way, the top one per cent made six per cent of sales.

Across the top 150, A-Listers had an average sales performance that was 12 times better than that of other agents in the markets they served. Their average listing performance was 15 times better.

And when we analysed the top 20 on the list, this band of elite performers were 19 times better than other agents in their market at selling, and an amazing 24 times better at listing performance.

We were also pretty gratified to know that 79 per cent were CoreLogic RP Data clients, although we surveyed the entire market.

Looking into the data, some of the behaviours that made these agents A-Listers became clearer too.

A-Listers are almost always champions of vendor-paid advertising; they are always looking for ways to improve their processes, do business more efficiently, offer a better customer experience, and service new markets.

At CoreLogic RP Data, we’ve launched three new products over the past few months: Media Maximiser, which provides data to fuel vendor-paid advertising conversations; DocuSign, which streamlines forms and contracts through delivering electronic signatures, allowing them to be turned around in hours, not weeks; and our Chinese language reports which can translate a suburb or property report into simple written Chinese.

We know from experience that it is always the top agents that adopt these new products and services first. They understand that doing so helps them create a competitive advantage and differentiate themselves in their market.

So what can you take out of this?

One of the simplest things that any agent can do to lift their performance is to be an early adopter of technology and processes that will improve your business. Don’t wait until everyone is doing it before you justify spending the time to get your brain around it. By then, the competitive advantage is gone and the best performers have moved onto the next thing. Seize the opportunity.

Our new top performers’ dataset is now analysing the A-List of every state and will shortly  be available nationally.

Will you be on it? You can’t nominate yourself; your results will speak for themselves.


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Kylie Davis

Kylie Davis is the head of content and property services marketing at CoreLogic. She spent nearly four years as Network Editor of Real Estate at News Corp Australia, creating a national desk of real estate reporters across more than 100 titles and training them in the use of data and market journalism.