How do you measure your success in real estate?

Denver broker-owner shares his thoughts on running a winning business

Since the beginning of the year, I have had a lot of brainstorms about my business model, my role in the real estate community and my future. As I look over these factors, I always ask what would make each new idea a success. I spend a lot of time thinking of the next thing, but today I was thinking about my current role and how I measure its success.

Currently I am a broker-owner with no agents, by design, and I have closed nearly 200 transactions in my 12 years in the business. I feel I have been successful as a business owner and consultant. Would others feel I’m successful, and if so, how could that be measured?

With sellers, the results are short-term — I can see when the house sells if my advice rang true and if it was valued.

Over the long term, I feel this can be measured best with buyer clients. Did they enjoy their home? Was their home a good investment? Are they able to buy their next home based on proceeds from the current home?

There are many more questions; these were a good start — but how do I really know the answer?

When I’m working with buyers, I focus on how “liquid” a house will be over the years. Stock portfolios are easy to sell, but how easy is your home to sell if you need to get out in a hurry? In real estate, I define liquid as the ability to sell quicker than most others in any market: a home that appeals to a large audience, has modern updates, can fit varying family sizes, and has a price at or below the average for the area.

Since the beginning of the year I have met with past buyer clients looking to sell and move again. Most of these families have been in their homes about three or four years. As I prepare for these meetings, I ask myself the above questions and feel good about my internal response, but the true test is the response of my clients.

Although I didn’t ask the specific questions to each client, I have been making an assessment of each as we progressed. In a few cases, clients paid less than $300,000 for their home and in three or four years will profit over $100,000, have the ability to move into their next home and in one case pay cash for their next home in a different city — a couple that has yet to turn 30. Another client of mine was able to break even during their sale, which took place just seven months after their purchase.

I can’t take full credit for these profits, and let’s be honest, the market has been crazy good, so maybe I can’t take any credit. I just feel that looking out for the buyer and the future has paid off, and being a quality adviser helped prepare these buyers for their future in real estate.

Greg Eckler is a former computer programmer who brings a fresh, analytical perspective to real estate. He founded Denver Realty Experts LLC in 2013.

Email Greg Eckler.