Before discussing the lifestyle and day-to-day tasks agents face, let's first discuss what a real estate agent actually does. In short, they help individuals through the buying, selling or renting process of residential homes, commercial properties or land. They must constantly stay up to date with market trends, new and changing laws, and the updates to technology that affects their work. Real estate agents are tasked with such duties as marketing homes, monitoring lead generation, holding open houses, and closing properties. To many people the most appealing part of being an agent is the fact that each day is different. They are consistently shifting gears to suit different tasks at that moment on that day. Overall, these different tasks are the same tasks, they just take place at different time and for different reasons.
Against popular belief a real estate career does come with administrative duties, which includes sitting behind a desk at times. These desk duties could include:
- Responding to emails
- Updating and maintaining client databases
- Updating websites and posting to social media
- Coordinating appointments for showings, open houses, meetings, etc.
- Creating marketing plans for listings, including creating flyers, newsletters or other promotional items.
- Researching current, sold and pending listings to create market analysis reports.
- Completing, submitting, and filing agreements, offers, leases, etc.
Some of these administrative duties can be time consuming, so agents must manage their time wisely in an effort to get it all done. Often, real estate agents will hire a full or part time assistant to handle tasks like this.
There is one main component of a real estate career; that is finding clients. Without clients there is no work to be done, transactions to complete, and no money to be made. The common term for finding clients is lead generation and there are a few ways to do it. One is for the agent to use their sphere of influence (SOI). This tactic means generating clients through the people they already know, like family, friends, neighbors, social contacts, and business associates. Agents have to think of every person they meet as a potential client, since most people will buy, sell or rent a home at some point in their life. So passing out business cards to everyone they meet, keeping detailed records of these individuals and talking to people is all part of building their SOI. The second step in this tactic is keeping in touch with these people. Either giving them a quick call, sending a quick text message, or a friendly email, anything to keep to the agents name in their mind.
Another way of generating leads is by paying for leads. There are multiple websites on the market that will build agents a website, help them market on Google to drive traffic to the website and then capture the visitors information. Then real estate agents take that information, contact the lead and determine if they can help them buy or sell their house! The cost comes in with keeping the website up and running, and paying for the online marketing.
Once agents have the leads, it becomes time to turn them into clients. Depending on if the client is buying a home, which would make the agent the buyer's agent, or selling, making the agent the seller's agent, will depend on the tasks that need completed for the client. For example, the buyer's agent will spend time on the MLS searching for homes that will fit the client's needs, then these have to be sent to the buyer for review. If the buyer likes any of the homes, then scheduling showings comes into the picture and meeting the buyer to present the property to them. Guess what! They love the home. Now the agent must write up an offer and send it to the seller's agent. Once the offer is accepted, tasks like scheduling inspections, communication with the lender and other activities come into play.
What about the selling agents duties? These could include, preparing a listing presentation, taking photographs of the home, staging the home, marketing the home on social media or other outlets, helping the seller choose a offer, and all the other tasks required to sell the home and get it closed
Real estate agents work under a designated broker who owns a brokerage, or real estate company. Often these companies will hold monthly meetings that need attended or they will sponsor events that agents can attend to generate more leads. Some will schedule times for agents to share their listings with each other and help to improve their methods. Ultimately the broker and brokerage are there to help the agents work smarter, not harder. Agents will also find opportunities to tour new construction communities, and attend trade shows or other realtor centric events. All of which are great networking opportunities.