The million dollar myth: Caroline Bolderston

It wasn’t that long ago that achieving $500K in sales commission was a big deal. Earning elite status didn’t mean writing one million, but many agents now set their sights on a big round number they may never be able to achieve. Caroline Bolderston investigates.

As a coach, I constantly hear agents talking about the Million Dollar goal, almost as if it is expected and that anything less is not a worthy pursuit. I have seen firsthand what chasing the million-dollar dream takes and, in many cases, what it costs.

Here’s the bottom line: most agents are not cut out to be million-dollar writers.

I am the first to applaud million-dollar writers; I appreciate the hard work, determination and commitment that is required. Let’s not forget, however, the journey and milestones achieved along the way. Many of the robust and sustainable businesses I see are not filled with million-dollar writers; instead they are a collective of agents writing anywhere from $300K to $600k consistently.

The definition of success is a very personal thing. As we work towards our goals this year and achieving a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment, have you truly thought about your own version of success?

Follow these five steps to determine if the ‘one million’ target is your dream or potentially someone else’s:

1. Define what you value in your career

Is it just about the goal or is it how you get there? In what areas of your business would you feel a sense of achievement if you mastered them successfully?

2. Create a clear and simple plan 

Work out your average gross commission income (GCI) per sale and how many transactions you need to write to hit different commission targets.

Then work back through the number of appraisals and listing appointments you will need in order to ensure you list enough properties. Is the ‘one million’ target even possible for you this year, given your personal business structure, time in market and skill level?

3. Don’t compare 

Look at your own marketplace. What is realistic for you? Transactions versus GCI is a distinction that you must be very aware of in the pursuit of success.

I have long had my focus on number of sales versus GCI, as it takes serious skill to sell 50 properties in a year at a lower average sale price or commission versus selling 20 properties at three times the selling price and fee.

4. Scalability 

You will need to have replicable and repeatable processes in place so that you can scale your transactions and run a parallel open house schedule, ensuring it all doesn’t completely rely upon you.

Having to be the gatekeeper and final decision-maker on everything does not give you freedom; instead it delivers more pressure and responsibility.

5. Profitability 

Take the time to look at the numbers behind the ‘one million’. As your overheads increase – wages, business expenses, client gifts and insurances – are you actually earning more for the extra responsibilities, time and pressure that come with the territory?

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Be careful what you wish for’. In the case of the million-dollar dream, take a good look at what truly matters to you in your version of success; and it may just start to look like the million-dollar myth.

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Caroline Bolderston

Caroline Bolderston heads up Being Bold Coaching and training, which provides coaching and support for Sales Agents, Sales Teams and Principals. For more information visit beingbold.com.au