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How hustle hides a multitude of sins in real estate

Profile photo of Zoe Pointon

The concept of 'hustle' has long been a religion in real estate circles. The thinking goes that if you're behind on your listings or numbers, you just need to 'get your hustle on' and smash out the activity to touch more leads. By definition, you'll convert more of them and your revenue problem will be solved.

But is this really true?

Mathematically the idea is sound. Increase the volume of leads going into a pipe and the volume of successful listings will also increase.

But such an approach requires you to work harder - often at a level that is unsustainable over the medium to longer term. And often at a level that means other parts of your business - like delivering an excellent service to your existing clients - suffers, hurting referral business longer term.

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Data from OpenAgent's Behaviour report shows that hustling harder to get more leads does not equate to improved agent performance.

The data from the Behaviours of Top Performing Agents Report recently conducted by OpenAgent reveals conclusively the weaknesses in this approach and provides insights into how working smarter with leads is more effective than just hustling. 

As part of the research, OpenAgent examined the behaviour of 2049 agents towards the leads we sent them across 12 months, looking at how quickly they contacted their leads, how many leads they contacted, the number they appraised and the number listed.

We broke the data into deciles (groups of 10 per cent of respondents) and sorted the data to compare the top 10% of performers against other groups. 

What we found was that top performing agents behaved consistently in key ways that gave them a significant advantage against other agents, and it helped them convert leads to listings at much higher levels.

These behaviours included contacting 100% of their leads (not just most of them), contacting their leads quickly (within 98 minutes) and having extremely strong appraisal skills. The data shows the top 10% of agents win 63.7% of all their appraisals and 41.9% of all leads that go to market. 

This compares to average agents who take 148 minutes to contact their leads, reach out to only 96.7% of them and list just 42.6% of those they appraise, which represents just 18.5% of everything that goes to market. 

So how do agents who receive the most leads perform? 

"If you're an agent who wants to grow your revenue and lift your performance, don't just work on your hustle - work on your behaviour!"

Well, we can see in the data that regardless of how many leads the agent received, their conversion levels were unchanged. Agents who received the most leads took 165 minutes to contact their leads (so perhaps having so many leads in itself slows them down). They sought to contact 97.3% of them, appraised 22.4% of them and won just 20.2% of all listings that went to market.

This compares to agents who received an average number of leads who had only marginally better attempt times and won just slightly fewer with 18.8% of listings that went to market. 

What this demonstrates is conclusive: If you're an agent who wants to grow your revenue and lift your performance, don't just work on your hustle, work on your behaviour. 

Get back to all your leads, put processes in place to contact your leads as quickly as possible, and improve your appraisal skills. Improving your game across these three key behaviours by even just a small amount has the power to significantly amplify your performance. 

The data shows that hustle for hustle's sake is really just a grind!

Want to read more about our analysis? Our Behaviours of Top Performing Agents Report is available and free to dowload now.