What Does a Real Estate Agent Job Entail? Information for People Who Are Interested in Real Estate Career
If you are a new to real estate please read the following job description. As a real estate agent you are responsible for assisting clients with services related to listing, sales and purchase of real estate. To work as a real estate agent you must be licensed. Every state has its own licensing requirements, in most states it is not mandatory to attend special courses and as long as you pass the written exam you can officially start your real estate career. There are many real estate classes in any areas, some of them are offered by colleges, universities and local realtor associations. There are many online courses as well.
As a real estate agent you can’t work on your own, you have to conduct your business under the supervision of the real estate broker. The conditions and compensation varies greatly from broker to broker and if you are looking for a job you will have to invest time and see which broker suits your best interests. You may establish your own real estate company and operate independently under the umbrella of Broker of Record which is a third party service that assists you with all real estate transaction processing details and ensures your compliance with state laws and regulations.
As a new agent you have much to learn about real estate business, sales, paperwork, lead generation, self-promotion and other factors which are critical to your income. The advantage of working in real estate is that you, in essence, are your own boss and your success depends entirely on you.
Your schedule will demand from you to work weekends and evenings because that’s likely will be the most convenient time for your clients and prospects to meet with you. Your first year will be probably the most difficult due to the lack of experience but that’s where support from an experienced broker could become essential to your success. The truth is that out of all people who pass real estate agent exam less than 20% are making a living as agents.
Keep in mind that real estate business and your income are very sensitive to economic conditions. Now we are experiencing a very tangible downturn in the economy and real estate market as a result is slow.
Qualities of Today’s Successful Agents
To be successful in real estate you have to possess certain personal qualities. Real estate business is a highly competitive environment and that’s why only about 10% of active real estate agents are in the highest real estate income bracket.
First, you have to be well organized. It is impossible to be a good agent and fail to keep track of all the tasks you have to do. If you are a successful agent it means you are busy agent. You have to assist various clients, you have to make sure that your documentation is properly filled out, you have to schedule and attend appointments, you have to follow up on your prospects and clients and you also have to manage/coordinate third parties which perform technical services related to real estate transaction and this is a just part of the tasks a busy agent engages in daily. Forget about 9 to 5 type job; real estate agent jobs don’t have a defined schedule and you have to be ready to put in overtime whenever it’s needed.
Second, you have to be great with people. That means that your personal communication skills, your sales skills, your willingness to assist and to help have to be on the level where your clients will start admire you and your work. This is the only way to build a stream of referrals – your clients have to be impressed with you.
Always look for clients. You have to continuously advertise yourself; otherwise your business will be quite slow. It’s 2011 and most people are seeking answers to their real estate needs online. It is very beneficial to learn as much as possible about online marketing and make your online promotional campaigns a daily routine. Online marketing is much more effective than print and even local advertisement through traditional marketing means and it takes less time and money to get adequate exposure.
Learn all the details about real estate transaction processing and requirements. In real estate paperwork and compliance are essential. You can’t close the deal if you have sloppy paperwork and if you can’t close it you are out of luck getting your commissions. Too many agents waste too much time on making errors or missing documentation and as a result their reputation suffers in the eyes of their clients, their commission checks are being delayed and valuable time wasted.
Know your local market. An expert realtor knows his/her area like the back of their hand. Educate yourself and continuously update your knowledge on local home pricing, neighborhood reports, school reports, types of communities you are serving, local employment stats, traffic conditions, access to shopping, recreational areas, entertainment and other. Think of yourself as a walking-talking encyclopedia of your local area. Your knowledge will pay off; people are impressed when an agent can provide accurate insightful information on all pros and cons of a particular neighborhood.
Never stop learning. In real estate this is especially true; even you think you know everything because of the ever changing landscape of real estate never stop polishing your professional skills. This includes your knowledge of real estate and documentation, local laws pertinent to real estate, your sales skills and latest real estate related internet technologies.
About Commercial Real Estate Jobs
Market condition is another important factor. When market is slow your income streams are slow too. Not all markets are the same; some are more active than others. For example, in the current market of 2011 more people are looking for a “practical” home purchase not a “dream house”. That should tell you as an agent what properties are most likely to sell faster.