Traditional vs Flat Fee Real Estate Round 3: Turnover vs. Training

When I turned 30, my life was very much in order. I had a steady job in retail and was moving up the corporate ladder quickly. I was making more money than I ever thought I would at a job I absolutely loved. I had a company car, a beautiful house, and three adorable children. 

Then, in classic Glen fashion, I decided it was time for a change. Apparently, radical shakeups are in my blood, so when I say change, I’m not talking about a new throw rug or hairstyle. We’re talking “let’s take it to the ground and start all over again” change. I know…fun.

So, with about a month of planning, I put in my 30-day notice, put the house on the market, and moved a quick 500 miles away. I then immediately enrolled in real estate school and started my career (in the dead of winter) at Remax in a town where I knew exactly four people outside my house. Basically, I cannonballed off the cliff and hoped I could fly. 

Thanks to my lifelong habit of leaping before I look, there were a few things I didn’t know. 

  • Turnover for new Realtors is extremely high: 50% in the first year and 75% in two years. 
  • Training for new Realtors is extremely low: 120 hours of school (aka three weeks), 10 hours of post-licensing, then 30 hours every three years. 
  • The average Realtor only closes four deals a year. Almost half close 0-2 deals a year.
  • It’s a REALLY tough business to get started and survive.

The result is that brokers, who are ultimately responsible for recruiting and training new agents, are faced with a dilemma: 

  • If I don’t train my new agents, they will circle the drain until they quit.
  • If I invest time and money training new agents, they will likely quit and go to another agency or start their own.

Welcome to Flaw #3 in the Traditional Real Estate model: The Turnover/Training Paradox. By the way, we also have a video version of this topic if you’re so inclined. In previous installments, we covered Flaw #1: the 6% commission and our Flat Fee solution. We also covered Flaw #2: The One-Size-Fits-All service approach and our Unbundling solution. 

Now that you have an overview of Flaw #3, you may be wondering how our firm, The Ohio Property Group, has solved it. We solved this issue by focusing on the following: 

  1. Family:
    • Everyone who works here is related, which makes this a very hard club to break into.
    • As family members, we know each other very well and share the same values. 
    • Bottom line: We work seamlessly together and our turnover is 0%.
  2. Niche:
    • We specialize in residential Ohio sellers. Most agents try to do everything–buyers, sellers, commercial, multi-family, you name it. 
    • Beyond that, we only handle marketing, offers, and navigating the closing process (inspections, appraisals, title issues, etc.) 
    • With our hyper-focus and low turnover, we can train every phase of our narrow business far deeper than any other brokerage. 
  3. Commitment:
    • Beyond the initial training, we never stop learning.
    • We have weekly 90-minute and quarterly all-day training sessions where we pitch new ideas, solve issues, and develop tools for our sellers.
    • We take courses, hire coaches, attend seminars, read books, listen to podcasts, and engage in growth wherever and whenever we can. 
  4. Volume:
    • When you combine low turnover, high training, and a narrow niche, you get very good at what you do, and people talk about it
    • We handle 100X the volume (not a typo) of the average Realtor. Agents brag about having “million-dollar years.” We have million-dollar Fridays.
    • Because of our volume, we gain far more experience and spot trends light years faster than our competitors, so we have more to offer our sellers. 
ohio mls flat fee realtor broker book you can sell it book for helping people sell their home how to

Just the opposite of the terrible results from the Turnover / Training Paradox, our model has led to a much better experience for our sellers. There is almost nothing we haven’t seen, solved, and diagnosed in our practice. Our playbook is hundreds of pages and growing by the week. 

Add that to our Flat Fees and Unbundling services and you have an extremely successful model. That’s not talk. Since 2003, when we first started, we have sold hundreds of millions in properties, helped thousands of clients, and saved them millions of dollars in commissions. 

The Traditional real estate model has been largely intact for over a century. Recent lawsuits, the advent of the internet, and exploding home prices are bringing sweeping changes to a stale industry. Home sellers want alternatives. Many literally can’t afford to pay 6% to sell their home because of shrinking equity due to rising interest rates. 

We are that alternative and there are many other brokerages breaking into the market with different approaches. There is room for all models in this business, but it seems likely, at least to me, that the old model is broken and doomed to retirement. But don’t take my word for it. Check out our Better Business Bureau reviews from real sellers who got real results. 

And if you want to see our 300-page playbook, we made it available to you for downloading. Happy reading.  If you want to know a little more about our Flat Fee system, check out the videos on our “HOW IT WORKS” page, or if you want more personal advice, schedule a Free Home Selling Strategy call with me. That way, we can go a little deeper. 

In the meantime, keep sending your questions. Your best bet is to send me a message at I read and respond to every email…eventually.

glen whitten ohio mls flat fee real estate broker
Ohio Property Group, LLC
Author: “You Can Sell It”
Host: Talking Realty Podcast

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