The 95%-ers


Boy do I understand that old cliché, a few bad apples spoil it for the bunch.

I’ve never been able to understand the phrase in terms of the apples because after all, how many of us can actually picture a bushel of apples and see what happens when a couple of them rot?

But now I know what it means in relation to people.

In the real estate industry, a few agents pulling fast ones or deliberately manipulating sales to their own benefit make the rest of them have to work twice as hard to debunk a bad rap that they don’t deserve.

I recently attended a pre-launch meeting of a new software company designed to disrupt the real estate industry in a way similar to what we’ve done here with OfferSubmission and VerifiedShortSale.   I got to speaking with a respected colleague who informed me that 7% of the real estate agents in the country sell 83% of all residential real estate and that the average agent sells less than one house a year.

While I haven’t been able to verify his statistics they can’t be too far off; the adage that 20% of a sales organization is responsible for 80% of a company’s sales seems to have been true in every company I’ve ever been a part of.

That’s an awful lot of power in the hands of a relative few, which exposes the potential for misrepresentation, fraud and other shady dealings.

But it’s always like this – and not just in real estate. In every industry, 95% of the people are stand-up, by-the-rules, character-driven folks. They do the job right and with integrity. They want to be there. They believe in what they’re doing. They’ve read the rule book. They are in it for a higher purpose.

The 5% spoil it for the rest.

Most customers don’t steal. Most employees don’t take copier paper home. Most people don’t call in sick when they just want to spend the day at an amusement park. Most teachers love children. Most athletic coaches love the sport.

It’s a small percentage that ruins it for the rest.

In housing, not all agents are bad apples. Don’t let the bad ones paint a false picture.

In fact, most have a deep desire to change things for the better and see houses sold and inhabited. They aren’t in it to pull a fast one; they’re in it to rebuild America.