Why Become a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agents are essentially small business owners who set their own hours, do their own marketing and lead generation, pay their own taxes, and grow their business. That’s a lot of responsibility. Not everyone is cut out to be a Realtor.
The Role of the Real Estate Agent
New salespeople are sponsored by an established broker who’ll provide office space, equipment, training, and some supervision. Most new agents start out in residential home sales. Some specialize in buyers, sellers, or both and some agents act as a property manager for owners of rental properties. Agency between an agent and a buyer or seller is a fiduciary relationship, built on trust. The agent owes specific fiduciary duties to the client, such as loyalty, obedience, and confidentialy.
A buyer’s agent helps the client find the right house for the right price, handles negotiations with the other agent, and manages contract contingences and duties. A seller’s agent, also called a listing agent, is responsible for marketing the property, conducting open houses, providing advice on staging and pricing, handling offers, and managing negotiations.
The real estate agent profession is rather unique. It combines elements of a broker, counselor, educator, accountant, appraiser, and interior design consultant. You’re dealing with big, expensive transactions with lots of moving parts, all while managing clients’ expectations and emotions regarding the acquisition or sale of a personal element: their home.
As a real estate agent, you could potentially play a pretty big role in your clients’ lives. So, you’d better be getting into the business for the right reasons:
You Like Houses and People. As an agent, you’ll learn a lot about sales, house styles and construction, appraisal principles, and real estate market factors, so you should really love real estate.
A successful realtor is likely a people person. Agents love talking to people about real estate, their lives, and family. They love meeting people, bringing people together, and getting people what they want. The real estate business involves lots of negotiation and relationship building.
Flexibility and Variety. Agents aren’t stuck at their desks. These days, an agent’s “office” is mobile with most of the necessary tools on a tablet or iPad. Agents also aren’t working strict 9 to 5 shifts. Their hours are often influenced by the needs and availability of clients and customers.
You won’t be doing this same thing, or even working on the same transaction, all day. You might be an accountant, promoter, counselor, and interior designer in one day. There’s a lot of variety.
Helping people. Buying or selling a house is one of the largest financial transactions most people will encounter. Many real estate consumers don’t know much about the industry. A sales transaction involves packing and moving, cleaning and repairs, inspections and appraisals, financial assessments, and property analysis. Basically, its stressful, and exciting, for both the buyer and the seller.
An agent helps to ease those challenges and calm nerves. You get to help families through a traumatic time of upheaval and change.
Be Your Own Boss. The growth of your business is in your hands, however big or small you want it to be. Your broker will provide tools and guidance and review your contracts, but for the most part you’re on your own. You decide how many clients or transactions you want to handle, how to market yourself and your listings, and how to server your clients.
Solve Problems. As a real estate agent, your job will be to solve problems, big and small. You effectively communicate with clients, customers, and other agents and access the information and tools needed to resolve issues and clear challenges. Your clients will expect you to have the answers and solutions or know how to find them. If you love being a trouble shooter and problem solver, realtor may be a great career for you.
Lots of Learning Opportunities. Markets, tastes, trends, demographics, and industries are constantly changing. The real estate profession isn’t just about real estate. It also involves economics, regulations, construction, design, psychology, strategy, appraisal, environmental issues, marketing, and negotiations. Realtors are always learning new things and improving their skills and processes.
Creativity. Real estate agents often design their own marketing plans and materials. They use print advertising, internet ads, photos, social media, and virtual tours. Sellers’ agents give advice on repairs and staging and buyers’ agents help clients envision how to transform a house. If you enjoy internet promotion tools and interior design elements, you’ll probably have fun as a real estate agent.