Most of us have heard the lessons: get up early, invest in yourself and don’t watch too much TV (among others). While there are many professional elements that go into achieving the number on your group certificate – such as customer service, technology and branding – we wanted to find out about personal factors, the ones we can control like sleep, exercise, marketing and home life and how they may or may not impact GCI or gross earnings. We surveyed more than 200 agents and here’s what we found.
THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES ENDED IN NO CONTEST
Of the respondents we surveyed, men and women earned roughly the same numbers spread across the different GCI brackets.
Survey Takeaway: Gender presents no barrier to income potential.
WHICH IS A BETTER PREDICTOR OF EARNINGS – AGE OR EXPERIENCE?
For the most part the under-25s, being the new entrants to the industry, were the group most likely to be building a profile or working as assistants. Their GCI results reflected this compared to the other age groups.
The highest earners in our survey were the 25 to 35 year olds, with 70 per cent of them being in the 350k to 500k bracket. This group also had the highest number of respondents in the million dollar-plus GCI category. See the graph for the average commission for each age group.
But age wasn’t the only factor in income success. Respondents who have been in the industry for more than 10 years generate roughly 50 per cent more GCI than those in the one-to-five and five-to-10 years of service brackets.
Survey Takeaway: Age is no barrier to income potential, but experience can make all the difference.
IS THERE AN OPTIMAL AMOUNT OF EXERCISE FOR EARNING?
Both men and women in our survey exercised roughly the same number of times per week, but interestingly we found that women exercised three times longer in the gym than their male counterparts.
In terms of GCI, the $500k to $1m category averaged five to six exercise sessions per week, but those who said they exercised more than seven times a week were in fact in the lowest GCI category (less than 200k). This could mean there is a diminishing return or more of a focus on work-life balance.
Survey Takeaway: Five to six exercise sessions per week of around 60 minutes’ duration appears to be the optimal exercise range for earnings.
IS SLEEP AND THE 5AM CLUB A FACTOR?
By far the most successful agents in terms of earnings are those who get between five and six hours of sleep per night and start the day between 5am and 5.30am.
The survey found that late risers or those who get more than eight hours’ sleep per night are the worst-performing people from a GCI perspective.
Survey Takeaway: Tom Panos has been telling us to get up early for years; turns out he’s right.
WHAT YOU WATCH ON TV
Keeping yourself informed is an important part of being able to hold a variety of conversations with your clients and prospects, although many coaches will stay away from too much TV in preference to podcasts and self-education. But how much is really OK?
The highest GCI bracket responded that they watched between three and five hours’ TV per week. We’ve made a mental note for next year to ask about the type of TV being watched too.
Survey Takeaway: We think this means some TV is good to relax, but too many hours in front of the box won’t do much for GCI.
COACHING AND TRAINING
The agents surveyed who have a coach generated about 50 per cent more GCI than those who don’t.
Additionally, agents who practised their scripts and dialogues at least once a day were generating on average 50 per cent more than those who didn’t.
Survey Takeaway: Get a coach. Practise before game day.
PROSPECTING AND FOCUS
Our survey found that agents who maintain a chase or hot pipeline list generate almost 70 per cent more GCI than those who don’t. Similarly, agents who followed a strict ideal day or ideal week were 30 per cent up on the income of those who didn’t. Significantly, clarity of goals resulted in a 45 per cent higher group certificate than those who didn’t have such clear targets.
Survey Takeaway: Those who practised all three things generated 50 per cent more GCI on average than those who only did one or two.
PERSONAL MARKETING AND BRANDING
It was extremely clear that investment in personal marketing delivered almost linear results in any of the categories in our survey, meaning that additional spend in marketing correlated directly to an increase in GCI.
Staggeringly, those agents who said they were investing $10k or more per year in their own personal marketing were generating on average twice as much GCI as those who were investing zero.
Survey Takeaway: Spending money on marketing and personal branding increases your earning potential – but we suspect that comes with a caveat of ensuring consistency and ROI.