This is one of the most frequent inquiries we get. Before I answer that excellent question, a little background is in order.
How TAN Started
20 years ago, as a very active real estate agent and broker myself, I assembled an email list of the top real estate agents in my local market. I figured that efficiently communicating with the most experienced and successful agents in my area would help me find any information my clients might need. And it sure worked! In fact, it worked so well that these same top agents started begging me to allow them to send emails to agents on the list so they could help their own clients.
Since then, TAN has become an online members-only website where we are continuing to learn how to make TAN more and more valuable to members and their clients. Today TAN has 30 chapters in 7 states with almost 5,900 top agent members. More join every day.
Why We Limit TAN to Top 10%
Our team rigorously reviews membership requests. Before an agent can join TAN, we ensure that they are in the top 10% of the area covered by their TAN chapter based on past 24-month closed home sales. This top 10% requirement unfolded only after many years of experience in creating truly valuable real estate networks.
Optimal Group Size
As in the Goldilocks story, the size of a TAN chapter has to be just right. Too small a chapter and there is not enough activity. Too big a chapter and it becomes an overwhelming mess. Little did we know that there is even scientific research that comes to the same conclusion!
The Top 10% Agents Do Over 90% of the Business
In any given market area, by connecting with the top 10% producing agents you effectively reach over 90% of the real buyers and sellers. These top agents are vastly more successful than other agents, earning on average 14X of non-members in their market. Connecting all the most experienced local agents in one virtual “room” creates a powerful exchange. By giving up less than 10% of the true market, TAN members and their clients gain greater professionalism, discretion and control. The exclusivity gives members and their agents a competitive advantage.
Trusted Community = Valuable and Exclusive Information
Agents are bombarded with email pitches from other agents both in and out of their market area. The vast majority of these promotions offer nothing exclusive and are ignored or spammed out. Conversely, TAN’s right-sized chapters of experienced and trusted agents result in email unique open rates often in excess of 50%.
Members Kathryn and Bob Bedbury of Bedbury Realtors describe it this way:
(TAN’s) Direct-to-agent emails that feature your listing earn especially high open and click-through rates since the email is coming from a reputable source and agents are genuinely interested in the content shared on TAN.
A High Barrier to Entry Increases Quality
According to the DANGER Report issued in May, 2015 by the National Association of Realtors, the #1 threat facing the real estate industry is “masses of marginal agents destroying the reputation” of all agents. The report states:
The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.
Limiting TAN membership to the top 10% creates a trusted community of experienced agents who have dedicated themselves to the profession. It also gives a way for true top producers to meaningfully distinguish themselves from all the agents who falsely claim to be ‘top.’
Solves What Off-MLS Sellers are Looking For
One of my previous blogs address the question: Why Would a Seller Choose Not to Go on the MLS? To summarize:
- Avoid unnecessary showings
- Keep the process professional
- Market a house that does not show well
- Test a price
- Adapt to special circumstances
There are lots of off-MLS systems out there (we don’t believe in secret pocket listings). Most are open to any and every agent regardless of experience or performance. Isn’t that just another form of MLS? And many MLSs themselves now have their own “Coming Soon” category. But if it’s on the MLS for every agent to see, then it’s on the MLS! And most importantly, do either of these approaches solve clients’ unique needs?
I’m networking all the time, mostly on Top Agent Network. All the key players are on it. It’s where the real business gets done.
Limiting membership to the top 10% is what makes TAN work. Gathering the right group of highly experienced agents together, and giving them a way to easily share exclusive information with each other, makes their jobs easier and their clients happier.