Scaling up—Set yourself apart from the competition!

Jennifer Wehner
Associate Real Estate Broker, eXp Realty


The National Association of Realtors just released their annual report, and despite rising home prices Realtors did fewer deals and made less money in 2017. The Median Gross income for sales agents was $29,440 in 2017, down from $33,750 in 2016—a 12.8% plunge! The median number of transactions also went down from 12 in 2016 to 11 last year.

While NAR credits this to low inventory, I see a lot more going on than that. First, we have a lot more agents! Over 8,000 new agents got licensed in 2017, and we now have over 50,000 licensees in our state. Competition is fierce, everybody living here in Phoenix with any kind of social circle knows or is related to a licensee. I remember in 2008-2010 seeing the opposite trend happening, with my office slowly emptying out.

Another huge factor in creating more competition is the D word, that’s right—Disruptors! It’s now a word we hear daily as they become a more significant portion of our market. The consumer now has a viable option to avoid home showings and repairs and sell to an iBuyer—OfferPad, Open Door, and Zillow. It used to be frowned upon to sell to an investor, almost like it was a strategy only desperate people used. Now it’s accepted as a viable option to avoid the hassle of the home-selling process. In addition to the iBuyers, we have flat-fee brokers who have entered the market backed by Wall Street including Homie and Purple Bricks. These companies have millions of dollars to market themselves and are also gaining market share. Technology and the need for the consumer to have more choices has spurred a huge movement that is changing the real estate landscape.

With all of this competition—agents, iBuyers, and flat-free brokerages, commission compression has never been more real. It is imperative to level up your real estate business, your value proposition must be compelling enough to win amongst the many options a consumer now has available to them. Here are the top 3 strategies that I suggest to Scale-up:


  1. Determine what your Unique Selling Proposition is. What sets you apart? What do you offer buyers and sellers that other agents don’t? What is your value proposition as an agent? Does your marketing plan blow others out of the water? Are you a neighborhood specialist, Military specialist, First-time homebuyer specialist? Whatever your unique selling proposition is—know it, be confident in it, and let the people you want to do business with know about it!
  2. Have a Solid Business plan and keep it with you where you go. On our team, we utilize a business plan called the 1-3-5. I wish I had invented it because it is brilliantly simple. After you determine your big goal for the year you will list the top 3 priorities to achieve your goal. For each of your priorities, you will have the top 5 strategies that will help you accomplish your priority. One of the biggest mistakes I see agents make with their business plan is to have a fantastic business plan and never review it. I have also been guilty of this. Review your business plan weekly at a minimum, and set benchmarks throughout the year on when you commit to achieving your goals.
  3. Make a commitment to personal development. One of my team’s core values is to never stop learning and growing. Read books, listen to podcasts and audible when driving, attend masterminds and conferences, and surround yourself with people who have high goals like you. You are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with, be aware of who those people are. Some of my favorite books I suggest is the E-myth revisited (in book form), the 5-second rule (in audible form), and Fanatical prospecting (both audible and book are great).

If you would like a copy of the business plan I use or a copy of my full recommended books, you can reach me at