“I keep seeing some agents publishing statistics and charts claiming their success and market share etc. How reliable are these figures and statistics?”

Statistics can give such a distorted picture of the true situation and they should only be relied upon once they are viewed in their whole context.
For example, some agents will use statistics as a measure of success to claim a whopping market share or level of sales success in their market. They dazzle home sellers with bar charts and pie charts showing dominant market share, or to show that they are No.1 (whatever that means). Most of the time, they cherry pick a timeframe where they had a successful run of sales and use that time period to broadcast their success.

It is just simply misleading. I remember about 8 years ago in Yass, one of the websites we were advertising on showed 15 properties as sold in the last month, and 8 of those were ours. What fortunate timing!! We could have used that cherry pick to spruik that we had over 50% market share in Yass, which was garbage, neither we, nor any agent had 50% market share in Yass. The agent’s true measure of success is their long term track record over 10 or more years.

Some agents will use their average days on the market as a measure of success, which is really meaningless because as agents, we don’t have control over the time that a property is for sale. Look at this example. Let’s say I had 10 listings and I sold them all after just 30 days on the market. I could beat my chest and say list with me – my average time on the market is only 30 days. Now let’s look at the same scenario, except one of my properties takes over a year to sell. Look at the numbers now. 9 properties sell in 30 days, so that’s a total of 270 days on the market. Add on the 10th property and that’s a total of 635 days on the market, which equates to an average of over 60 days on the market. See how rubbery those figures have become? One property which took a year to sell, has more than doubled the average days on the market.

The message is this – don’t be bluffed or hoodwinked by cherry picked statistics and grandiose claims by agents. Look at their long term track record, their marketing, their proven ability to negotiate and their selling fees.

Daniel Gilbert has a B.Comm (Accounting) from the ANU and is one of the most experience agent in the region with over 23 years industry experience.