Q: “Denise, I have been mailing to a farm area now for years and another agent has begun sending postcards to the same area. One of my clients collected a couple and gave them to me. I was shocked! The cards blatantly said she was #1 in sales for the last year. I don’t know where she could have been #1 as her stats do not support that claim. What would you suggest I do?”
A: I assume that the postcard doesn’t give you any clues as to where that number came from. I always suggest leaving what we call “breadcrumbs” that allow someone else to arrive at the same numbers you do and it may even be required by the DOL or the MLS.
For example, it’s not enough to say an agent was #1 in sales for the last year without indicating in fine print:
- The specific MLS-defined area
- The time-frame
- What you are quantifying (number of sales, sales volume, listings only, listing and buyer side, residential, condos, residential + condos, etc)
- If it pertains to the individual agent, a team, an office, or a company
Remember, when you make a strong statement like #1 in Sales, more than half the personality types are going to categorize this as hype unless it is quantified. So it actually doesn’t serve this agent well in my opinion.
Based on this, the first thing I would do is determine your own stats for the area. This way if you go on a listing presentation and someone pulls out that card, you can easily show them where you stand. This might include number of sales, days on market, price per square foot, list to sales price ratio, etc.
The second thing you can do is go to your managing broker and see what they suggest be done about challenging the claim or asking the agent to verify her information. The managing broker may make a call to her managing broker, the MLS, or the DOL if there are requirements for that type of documentation on a marketing piece if she has not supplied it or if it is inaccurate.
Believe it or not, this is actually a gift to encourage you to get your own stats in order so you can be even stronger in your marketing message or when you are working with a client. Factual information is powerful!