If you can accurately answer these questions, there’s no need to read this article.

  1. What percentage of your listing presentations did you win last year?
  2. What percentage of the buyers you worked with purchased a property?
  3. What is the breakdown of all sources of your business?
  4. What’s working for you and what isn’t?

So, how’d you do? Okay, you’d better keep reading then!

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Don’t feel bad. Ninety-nine per cent of all real estate agents already know they should be tracking this information, but don’t. It’s because they spend too much time reacting and not enough time being deliberate.

But think about this: how are you supposed to make sensible business decisions without accurate data? If you make your business decisions by the seat of your pants, remember which body part fits inside the seat of your pants.

But, seriously…You don’t need any fancy-schmancy software to do this, and it won’t take more than two or three minutes a day if you do it consistently. Even when I was doing over 100 transactions in a year, a simple, sortable spreadsheet is the only business tool I ever needed to provide a clear picture of where to spend more (or less) time and energy, allowing me to run my business more efficiently.

It’s not only the four simple questions above. You’ll be able to answer numerous other critical questions about your business, and you’ll wonder how you ever survived without this level of insight.

All you have to do is write things down. In a simple spreadsheet. Consistently.

Think about your last two or three interactions with clients or potential clients and start a spreadsheet with all the pertinent information, including the date, business source, names, address of the property and notes about what worked well or what you could have done better.

Add a new row every time you have a new potential transaction, whether it results in a sale, or not. Recording missed opportunities are just as important as successes.

I urge you to set up a Simple Business Tracker Spreadsheet now and start using it. Then set yourself a daily alarm at the same time every day that says, “update business tracker.”

You won’t start to see the real benefit of this until you’ve recorded several entries, but believe me, once you realize the power of this simple tool, you will no longer need a daily reminder.

There’s a bigger picture to this. When you start taking care of business deliberately, rather than in reaction, you become more aware of all the moving parts of your business. When you feel on top of things, it reduces your anxiety and you’ll understand better where you need to spend your time and energy.

If you feel anxiety because you’re unorganized, stop running your business by the seat of your pants.


  1. What this article—along with Ted’s history as a Realtor—reveals, is that he is smarter and more forward-looking than most Realtors. He learned during year-one in the business what worked and what didn’t, adjusted his behaviour accordingly, and moved forward. Most newbies don’t have that kind of mental discipline, because they’re desperate to avoid bankruptcy, so they flail about looking only at short-term goals. They lack the confidence to do what should work over the long haul in pursuit of short-term survival behaviours. That’s because they shouldn’t be in the business in the first place; they are simply trying out as broke amateurs—who often can’t find a decent job elsewhere—instead of adopting a professional mindset. They can’t adopt a professional mindset because they aren’t professionals…and they don’t have the financial resources behind them allowing for a gradual path to success as they use up their dollars quicker than replacing them with closed transactions. It’s a recipe for failure, and Organized Real Estate continues to feed the wannabes to the wolves, all the while collecting their dues. If all Realtors were like Ted, i believe there would only be ten percent of the number currently in the field. Thus, dues would have to be increased on a scale untenable for wannabes to give ‘er a try, or, dues wouldn’t be increased, and the bureaucrats who feed off of the system would disappear. They wouldn’t be needed. So then, it’s patently obvious that here-today-gone-tomorrw ‘Realtors’ exist to support the comfy, cosy bureaucracy. Kind’a ass-backward, don’t’cha think?

    People like Ted will always be outliers in this business. But at least some consumers will get to work with a pro.

    • Brian some good points. I understand there are over 100,000 + Realtors in Canada. In Toronto there are approximately 40000 Realtors or approximately 40% of all Realtors in Canada. In December 2020 I read that the Toronto Board had approximately 7000 sales or one sale for every 5 to 6 Realtors. No wonder many brokers want to have hundreds or even thousands of agents on their rosters so they can receive a monthly rental fee. Are there enough brokers in Toronto to supervise 40000 Realtors? I expect the situation will only get worse over time since it is far too easy to obtain a real estate license. Real estate is obviously a part time job for most Realtors. Today a broker’s profit depends on the number of desks they rent rather than the number of properties sold.

      • Hi David:


        Are you situated in Canada, and if so, what region? (no exact area need be divulged)

        I’m a born-in-Toronto-guy who moved out to the hinterland—Peterborough/Kawartha Lakes region when I was in my mid-twenties—in search of freedom from the madding crowd. Best move I ever made.

        I believe Toronto is the root of all outward-reaching amateur-hour tentacles in Canada. Until the T.R.E.B. accepts its position as the standard-bearer of the “Let’s-give-real-estate-a-try” wannabe-rich crowd, nothing will change. Words, not action, are the by-lines of ineffectual gas-lighting of wishful thinking. There’s just too much money to be continued to be raked in via the never-ending stream of failures-in-waiting. It all reminds me of pictures of trawlers winching in ginormous nets full of hapless fish, the sorting out of the ones with financial benefit, and discarding all of the rest…dead already…the latest flotsam on the sea of destruction. The T.R.E.B. is the trawler. All other, smaller boards, Canada-wide, are but mini-versions of the mother ship. It’s a good gambit…for the bureaucrats…’er, captains of the sort-‘n-sift industry.

        It’s oft’ said that the cream rises to the top, which means therefore, that the sludge, by default, drops to the bottom. Apparently there has to be much more sludge to support the cream—to form a foundation (the money tree)—‘else all will sink. That seems to be the only way the folks at the top believe the system will work. It’s quite a system.


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