What’s this Realtor really doing all day?
30 years ago most real estate agents were woman, over 50, with husbands that had great jobs…. as long as they made enough money to pay for their lunches and real estate expenses…and were home with dinner prepared most evenings….things went fine. The office kept half their commission…but in exchange for half their commission the office did all of the marketing for homes for sale, paid for all the business cards, paid for any folders and flyers that went with the agent when the agent was being interviewed for a possible new house listing….the Realtors expense was: gas, a nice car, lunch money in case they had to pay for lunch while showing homes and their real estate dues to the local board of Realtors.
Today it’s a lot different. But a few agents still think the above is still happening and it’s hurting the industry…..as the old saying goes….”One bad apple spoils them all”.
I meet a lot of people who tell me when they retire they are going to become an agent and housewives who tell me they love to look at pretty homes so once the littlest is in school they are going to become a Realtor….and sometimes I have time to tell them what I really do…and sometimes I just move on….let them learn the hard way.
A Realtor that makes enough money to pay for the expenses of their job works somewhere between 50 and 60 hours a week. I’ve had many years of working 70 to 80 hours a week. 2017 finds me somewhere between 50 and 60 hours a week. I sometimes feel guilty……I am not used to having any free time….which is why I have several blogs and am constantly researching new ways to advertise the homes I have for sale.
If you’re used to working 50 plus hours….this is the job for you.
A Realtor can’t commit to picking the kids up from school or watching every baseball game your son is in…..some say they can….but let’s discuss this. If you have buyers in from out of town to look for a house….count on being with them from 9 in the morning to sometimes 9 at night. Your commitment to your family can’t be while a buyer flew in town for their home search…..they will find another agent if it is.
Dinner every night ready for your family? Don’t count on it. The phone call you get a 4:30 asking to see the house you just listed means you go open that house. Sometimes you don’t even have time to put up what you got out to cook.
Weekends off? Ha, ha, ha. That’s when sellers are off work and can meet with you to discuss what they need to do to get their home on the market. Weekends are also when buyers are off work and can go see that home.
So… based on that….you think you can be a Realtor working just nights and weekends? Ha, ha, ha. Monday through Friday I am at my computer placing my ads, researching the next place to drop an ad, analyzing the different programs I pay for to make sure everything is working properly, negotiating offers, calling sellers to tell them what I am doing for them, calling buyers to tell them what I have found for them, picking up signs, getting keys, putting out signs, designing ads, talking to title companies, checking to see that the settlement statement is correct, going to closings, calling lenders for updates, calling agents for updates, cleaning my yard signs, making sure I have enough yard signs, designing new marketing material….and more.
If you want to be a great agent (meaning; make enough money to justify working 50 and 60 hours a week) you need the following;
- You have to be internet savvy and like to learn new programs on your computer…not games…software. The internet has changed this game and I am constantly changing with it.
- You have to be available Monday through Friday 8 to 5 and after 5 and on the weekends…..and be happy about it.
- You should have good grammar and great writing skills so you can write ads for yourself and homes you are selling.
- You have to know how to take great photos and have a great camera. Sellers want to see their homes on the market and may not want to wait for your photographer to show up a few days later and then send over photos a few days after that. And you can’t put a house in the computer for sale without great photos…shame on you if you use your cell phone.
- You have to be willing to spend hours researching neighborhoods, viewing homes to see what the competition is for your sellers and learning everything you can about the area you sell in…on a weekly basis. Things change quickly….and you need to know what the latest change is.
- You have to be a great negotiator….or you will never get the SOLD sign in the ground or through inspections and appraisals so you get a paycheck.
- You have to be able to pay for all the expenses the broker used to pay for….you still need a nice car with a big enough trunk for several signs, money for lunch or dinner if you are caught away from your desk or have buyers in from out of town, money for your board dues, your Realtor.com dues, your website expenses, your FACEBOOK ads, your camera, your printer, ink for your printer, folders for buyers and sellers, business cards, name badges, signs, sign riders, ………..Count on spending $50,000 a year before you make a dime. And that doesn’t include self employment taxes or the additional expense I pay to have private health insurance.
If you’re willing to do all the above…..I welcome you to our field.