Monday, April 18, 2011

And the Top Producer award goes to 80% of our firm!

Kenneth Schnitzer, the man who the New York Times called a “visionary” and whose buildings make up our distinctive Houston skyline, was my mentor in the real estate business. When I was 27, he gave me a promotion, and I became the youngest vice president that the company had ever had. I was happy, of course, but I just kept on doing the same work I had always done. One day Kenneth came over to me laughing, saying, “Sissy, you are so different than anyone else! You couldn’t care less what we call you. You just want to get the job done.”

It’s true! Titles are just titles. And I think there are a lot of real estate agents who think in just the opposite way. I was recently looking at the Chronicle real estate section and noticed a bunch of quarter-page ads by real estate firms advertising their "top producers."

It seemed strange to me. How could so many firms have so many top producers? I called my sweet friend at a large firm, and I asked her, “What makes a top producer?  Is there some sort of standard guideline that top firms adhere to?” I had to laugh thinking of a secret meeting of all the biggest real estate firms in Houston, in which they’d get together in some conference room and agree on the very important definition of a “top producer.”

Well, I laughed even harder when my friend told me that there’s no definition at all! Each firm defines what a top producer is for themselves. A top producer could be somebody who’s listed four homes at your own firm, or it could be somebody who’s sold four homes at another firm. It could simply be the number of years that they’ve been in business! Some firms give 70-80% of their agents the top producer title! These words are just totally meaningless. Just goes to remind you that titles don’t mean anything—it’s the work that counts.

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