"To what extent is the number of businesses on an agent's books a reliable indicator of their reputation?"
Interesting isn't it?
So, if I Sell Em Quick Limited has 250 businesses on it's books and Sold Within 48 Hours Limited has 2,500 businesses on it's books, would you assume Sold Within 48 Hours Limited to be the better agent?
Here's what some of the UK's leading Business Transfer Agents had to say about it:-
"It's not the number of listings an agent has that's important; it's his track record on the number of businesses he's sold.
"You could have an agent with 100 listings but who's sold 90 of them. Or you could have an agent with 1,000 listings but has only made 100 sales.
"It's not the volume of listings, it's the back-up service they're able to provide.
"If an agent has 7,000 businesses on their books, how many days are they actually devoting to each client? That works out at about 10-15 minutes dedicated to each client every year, and if they have a sale going through they won't be devoting any time.
"It's always an issue with agents: they want enough businesses to sell to give the buyer choice, but eventually the workload can become too much so they have to start employing people to deal with it."
"The advantage of having a lot of listings is that it tends to attract a lot of traffic, so it's like the circulation of a newspaper: if it has a lot of readers it improves the business' exposure and I think that makes a big difference. It also means the agent has the financial strength to advertise more widely and expose the business to the widest audience."
"In my opinion the more listings a business broker has can often mean the less they care about individual owners and selling their business. Some large business brokers only sell a small percentage of the businesses they list, and it can be the case that one 'negotiator' is handling the sale of 100 or more businesses!
"On the other hand, some one-man band operators offer a very poor quality of service.
"The number of listings has nothing to do with how effective an agent will be in selling a business and should not be a consideration for a business owner looking for an agent."
"You can look at it both ways. Some agents have pages and pages of listings, which looks impressive, but how many do they actually sell?
"Conversely, it can look like you're a big player in the market if you have lots of listings. For anyone looking for an agent, it's not the number of listings they have, but comparables on what they've sold recently.
"If I came across an agent with thousands of businesses I'd think I'm just another number to them. How much attention are they going to pay me?
"If you go with an agent with a manageable number of listings, you'll have some personal attention – which is what vendors like."