We find many agents get into the business not really understanding what it takes to be a Realtor, and sometimes even clients say "you have such an easy job and you can work whenever you want". Our job is most often fun and fulfilling because we are helping people with one of the biggest decisions of their life, but there are also a lot of challenges.
I would guess most people will think that Realtors just sit around and wait for someone to call them to buy or sell a home, Well that is far from the truth for most of us. Our day usually starts by being in the office between 9-10 AM. The first order of most days is to touch base with your current clients, then to touch base with some of our past clients, and then work on marketing for our future clients. If you are not always keeping in touch with your past, present, and future clients your business comes to an abrupt stop.
For our past clients, we sometimes touch base by phone, by mail, and sometimes we try to visit them and see how everything is going in their new home. Since referrals are a large part of our business we always need to be working with our past clients, Maybe a phone call, maybe an item of value ( Some people enjoy a magazine every few months, something they will like about traveling, interesting article's, and good recipes), every month we send market information so they can see how the market is going and the current home value of homes in the area, We also try to get some kind of news letter out each month with market information, calendar events for the area, recipes, and fun items. We develop each and everything we send wanting to make it unique, different, interesting, and of value. We also once in awhile stop by to see them with maybe a small gift. All we are hoping is that they find value in some of the things we send and think of us in the future if they need anything. Yes, we love the referrals, but we also love staying in touch with you.
From time to time we call all our clients on our data base just to see how they are doing, if they have any questions, have friends or relatives that need any real estate help, or perhaps their real estate needs have changed.
For future clients we have to always be marketing, developing fliers that we think may be of some interest or value mailing them or going door to door with them hoping to meet new people that we can add some value to. Relators are a great source of information for people, we have lists for all kinds of trade people that
homeowners may need from plumbers, handymen, tax people, home warranty company's to lawyers, and everything in between. These are people that we know to be honest, reputiable and fair priced based on what our clients have told us about them. So when you need any kind of service about your home, home loans, or almost anything else you can think of, call your Realtor first for a good referral.
We have what is called a (farm) of 700 people who we hope to have as our future customers and we mail or walk the homes and provide information so people in the area will get to know us, like us, trust us, and hopefully use us in the future if they need a Realtor.
Then we have our current clients where our first priority needs to be each day. We have clients wanting to go out and look at homes, clients who want a proposal for selling their home, and clients we currently have in contract. Most of us have transaction assistants who help us with the timelines and accuracy of our paperwork. Once in contract paperwork must move through the process on a very timely schedule so it is important to have someone who is always in the office that can move that paperwork when it needs to move on to the next person.
As Realtors we handle the negotiations with other Realtors, title, and your loan agent that are involved with the closing process of your home. We also handle, schedule, and attend the inspections and appraisal. We are the person that is working on your behalf through the entire process of you buying or selling your home. (Short sales take very special handling so a good Realtor that has been trained and skilled in this area is very important). We also need to be trained and skilled in land sales, mobile or modular home sales, and commercial property. Each and every sale is different so we need to know all the answers, and when we don't have the answer we have a group of skilled people we rely on to get them.
Usually, our mornings and mid-afternoons are spent Monday through Friday on the above clients, and the 3-4PM to early evenings are left open for new client appointments (Buyers or Sellers). Of course those times are often suffled around to mee the needs of our clients.
Our Wednesday mornings are spent in meetings, training , and tours of the new homes for sale. We also have floor time 3-5 times a month where we are scheduled to be in the office available to answer phone calls or help walk-ins needing help and information about possibly selling or buying a home.
All of the above is our only resources for new clients, and referrals and must be worked almost daily to keep up.
Weekends are great times to show homes so we often find ourselves working 6-7 days a week. Our schedule is always changing so we can accomendate our clients. Real Estate is not for the faint hearted as it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to even get to the point of getting into contract on a home. Then during the 30-45 day escrow period on a home a lot can go wrong, the home doesn't pass an inspection, the appraisal doesn't support the sales price, people change their minds on the home, can't get their financing, have emergencies, etc. Somethings can be worked through and the sale continues and others can't. Since Realtors only get paid when the sale closes (and should be that way), it leaves you having to be able to handle disappointment and loss of income at every turn of the transaction.
As a realtor you always have to have a back-up plan for a payday, and a sufficient amount of money on hand to cover your marketing, business, and insurance costs.
We are also required to do a certain amount of on going training to stay on top of market changes, legal changes, new paperwork, and basic real estate practices.
If anyone thinks it is a part time job or that Realtors don't work I am here to tell you that only the unsuccessful Realtors don't work, the rest of us do a lot of work behind the scenes that the buyer or seller never sees.