Are There Downsides to ‘Top Producer’ Status?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The ‘Top Producer’ status is the sacred cow of real estate, but are there downsides to the distinction?


The “Top Producer” label is one that quite a few real estate agents aspire to, and for good reason – you get a fancy plaque from your Realtor association, bragging rights on your website and a very impressive marketing tool for attracting new clientele.

But could there be downsides to the “Top Producer” label, implicit drawbacks that are not quite as obvious as the aforementioned benefits? Here are three things to keep in mind while scaling the mountain of real estate success:

1. “Top Producer” status is based on numbers, not service – An agent is a top producer for one reason, and one reason alone – they put up sensational sales numbers. Though there likely are other, complementary factors that accompany those high sales numbers, the fact remains that the official “Top Producer” titles are handed out based on number of closings and sales volume, not on the quality of service that you apply to your clients. Our point, obviously, is not to knock top producers and accuse them of faulty service! Rather, as you build your business and approach those heights, do not let customer service diminish in favor of numbers.

2. You have how many listings again? – Apropos to our earlier point on numbers, make sure you’re growing your business carefully; we often see top producers’ names coincide with dozens of listings, but the truth is, unless you have a team working for you, it can be mighty tough juggling many active listings, particularly when it comes to scheduling showings and meetings with other agents. So again, don’t get caught up in the numbers game; instead, focus on knowing your listings inside and out, and providing the clients associated with those listings the absolute best service you can.

3. Conflict of (Clientele) Interests – As noted agent and real estate blogger Gary Lucido put it, “This is a subtle point that should not be missed. The more clients that one real estate agent has, the more likely it is that there will be conflicts between the competing interests of these clients.” Think of it this way – two buyers from competing law firms or advertising companies hiring the same top producer. That may sound petty, but it can open up a can of worms for you and your real estate business.

Of course, we’re not suggesting you should not become a top producer! Rather, keep in mind that while success, and the “Top Producer” status that comes with it, is certainly a darling distinction to aspire to, it can create new, unanticipated problems as well.

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