Currently in Arizona, 1 out of every 110 adults is a licensed Realtor
(1 out of every 157 people in Arizona, but I'm going to exclude children and the elderly.)
After years of being the most densely Realtor-populated state in the country, Arizona now has the second highest Realtor population density in the nation, according to numbers released by the National Association of Realtors. (thank you Florida for licensing 45,000 new Realtors over the last few years to take the top spot.)
It's an interesting fact, but what does it really mean?
Part 1 - the numbers
Let's take a look at the numbers and think about how we can use this information to do better work.
Number of Realtors by State
Here is a list of the top 10 states with the most licensed Realtors:
The top spots are held by the obvious states - California, Florida, Texas, New York. Obviously the states with the most people, and the most homes, should have the most Realtors. But after that it gets a little cloudy, as I don't really know which states should come next off the top of my head.
Total Population by State
Since I don't know each state's population, I went ahead and pulled data from the US Census Bureau.
Here are the top 10 states by total population:
Most of the states are the same as the previous list, which makes sense - the more people in the state the more Realtors you would expect to find in that state.
Realtor Population Density by State
Dividing the Number of Realtors into the Total Population figure gives us the Realtor Population Density.
Here are the Top 10 most Realtor-populated states:
There sits Arizona - the 2nd most competitive state to work in, where 1 out of every 157 people who live in the state is a Realtor.
But wait - it gets worse
We divided the number of licensed Realtors above into the Total Population figure, but that doesn't really make sense considering not everybody who lives in Arizona is a potential customer or referral source.
Anyone under the age of 20 is more likely to have their parents help them if/when they want to buy a house, and anyone in their eighties or older is probably going to have their children or financial advisor help, so we're really looking for the number of people between the ages of 20 and 79.
Fortunately the US Census Bureau breaks this data out for us.
From the link above, we can see there are 1,819,641 people under the age of 20, and another 221,678 who are 80 or older. Let's remove these 2 million people who aren't likely to buy, sell, or refer business and re-calculate a more accurate population density number:
There is realistically 1 Realtor for every 110 people in Arizona between the ages of 20 and 79.
And you already thought the market in Arizona was competitive!
Part 2 - What does this mean for you?
Who Knows Whom?
It's been reported that the average number of friends on Facebook is 338, while the median number is 200. Let's take a very conservative number, somewhere between these two numbers but closer to the lower end, and we'll assume an average person will know 220 people.
In a husband and wife scenario, this would mean 440 people. EXCEPT some of their friends will be mutual friends - people both the husband and the wife would consider friends (or at least acquaintances.) Let's assume half of the husband's friends are mutual friends with his wife's, while the other half are people he knows outside of their relationship (office friends, high school friends, whatever.) Let's also assume the same thing for the wife's circle of friends.
This means the husband's 220 friends break out into 110 shared friends and 110 independent friends. The wife's 220 friends break out into a similar group of 110 shared and 110 independent friends.
Together, they know 330 friends.
- 110 husband friends independent of wife
- 110 wife friends independent of husband
- 110 mutual friends shared between husband and wife
If they know 330 friends, and 1 out of every 110 of their friends is likely to be a Realtor, it stands to reason the average couple has 3 friends who are licensed Realtors!
This doesn't even include the other Realtors who are trying to win their business:
- The "neighborhood specialist" who mails to them every month.
- The guy who advertises on the tv or radio.
- The website they found online which lets them search the MLS.
- The random advertisement they happened to pick up one day.
- The open house down the street they stopped by because they always wanted to see what that house looked like inside.
- Etc., etc. - there are dozens of other Realtors out there who want to "meet" your friends!
Part 3 - How to win when there is so much competition!
Communication - is the most important word.
Communication, and Consistency - if I could pick a second word.
Well... Communication, Consistency, and Competency are the most important words. And Character - gotta have good character.
But after Character, Competency, and Consistency, it all boils down to Communication.
Eliminate the opportunities of "outsiders" by being a real friend.
If our average couple know three different friends who are Realtors, it would be an absolute failure from all three of them if the couple decided to work with a Realtor they didn't previously know.
You should be able to eliminate these outsiders from the competition simply by being a true friend. Stay in touch with your friends - not just by spamming advertisements at them, but by participating in conversations with them (you know - that communication thing again.)
If they know you're in real estate (communication), and they know you're active (competency), and they know you're a good person who will take good care of them (character), why on Earth would they call someone they don't even know?
Beat the other friends by being better.
You're not going to win them all; it's simply not possible. Sometimes the other Realtor is a sibling, or was the Maid of Honor at the couple's wedding, or is the best friend since elementary school - whatever the reason, sometimes the other friend is simply more of a friend.
The trick is to win more than your fair share.
You need to be a friend, but you need to also be a Realtor - a diligent, hard-working, knows what she's talking about, professional.
Sharing high-quality information with your friends on a regular basis is a great way to establish yourself as the "pro they know." Decorating ideas, market trends, personal "in the field" stories (as long as you keep the stories professional) - share topics and stories which build credibility with your name.
I've found that once you start sending out good information consistently, your friends will start bringing up real estate as a topic of conversation more frequently when you're together in person. This gives you the opportunity to be the professional, and to seal the deal. Once they think about real estate whenever they think about you, you're very likely to be their Realtor-friend, regardless of how many other Realtors they know.
Of course, I would be happy to help you get your email newsletters sent out to everyone you know - just give me a shout.
- Chris Butterworth