A real estate agent or realtor is an individual that helps people buy property, sell property or rent property. This could be a plot of land, condo, multi-family home, single-family home or commercial property. Aside from that brief description, what does a real estate agent do exactly? You should have a good idea before getting started as there is a lot to it!
The good news is that a real estate career is relatively easy to get into. You can get a real estate license even if you don’t have a college degree. Before we take a look at what your day to day will be like, let us quickly look at the steps to becoming a real estate agent:
- Understand your state’s requirements – Before working as a real estate agent, you need to be licensed. Carry out an online search to find out your state’s unique licensing requirements.
- Take a pre-licensing course – Find a recognized real estate licensing school that offers pre-licensing courses. The number of hours you need to complete vary from one state to another.
- Take the licensing exam – Each state has guidelines on how to schedule, register, and pay for the licensing exam. Once you have passed the exam, you can then send an application for your real estate license certificate.
- Join a real estate brokerage – Such brokerages usually pay a percentage of the commissions earned from your real estate transactions. After you have gained significant experience, you can then start your own brokerage firm.
After getting a real estate license, you could also consider pursuing other more specialized certifications related to commercial property, residential property, appraisals, mortgages, and property management. Such certifications can boost your career as a real estate professional and enhance your earning potential.
Besides having the necessary qualifications, real estate agents should have the right personality for the career. An investor agent, for example, needs to be optimistic, confident, enthusiastic, energetic, extroverted, assertive, ambitious, and adventurous. In addition, he/she should be motivational, persuasive, and dominant.
So, what does a real estate agent do every day? A typical day in the life of a property agent involves the following tasks:
1. Administrative Duties
Many agents spend a lot of time handling administrative real estate agent duties such as:
- Completing, filing, and submitting real estate agreements, inventory, and lease records
- Creating and distributing MLS listings, newsletters, flyers, and other real estate advertising materials
- Creating and implementing electronic and paper filing systems for correspondence, records, and other material
- Creating budgets for annual, quarterly or monthly operations
- Maintaining and managing a property buyer and property seller database
- Coordinating meetings, open houses, showings, and appointments
- Developing real estate marketing plans for listings
- Researching sold, pending, and active listings to create comparative market analysis (CMA) reports
- Updating social media profiles and websites
- Responding to phone calls and emails
Since these administrative tasks can be very time consuming, it would be advisable to hire an assistant to deal with such day-to-day duties. This allows the commercial or residential real estate agent to manage time more effectively, thus boosting productivity.
2. Lead Generation and Qualification
Real estate lead generation is essential for the success of a real estate agent. Without sellers or buyers, no transactions would be completed, and therefore, no commissions would be earned. The real estate agent can generate buyer leads and seller leads through people they already know such as friends, family, classmates, social contacts, business associates, and neighbors. Real estate leads can also be generated through paid online ads, social media posts, email newsletters, and video marketing. Offline real estate marketing strategies could involve radio and TV ads, distributing flyers, and handing out business cards.
When making contact with leads, the real estate agent should capture their contact details and create an email list for follow up. Regular follow up of this real estate pipeline can be done via text messaging, emails, phone calls, and even snail mail.
To ensure you work with quality leads, you’ll have to spend time each day on qualifying as well. Agents will have to set aside time to talk to leads and ask questions. Others use automation tools like Mashboard to quickly qualify leads.
3. Working with Clients
Being a real estate agent means spending a large portion of your day working directly with customers. For instance, a buyer’s agent may spend time looking through relevant listings, sending the listings to potential buyers, and taking prospects on property tours. On the other hand, a seller’s agent’s day could involve taking photos of the property, preparing a listing presentation, and staging the home. Agents also accompany customers to closings, inspections, meetings with loan officers, and other activities where they are required.
4. Negotiating Offers and Managing the Sale
Negotiating offers is a process that can go on for weeks or months. As a real estate negotiator, the responsibility of an agent is to ensure that everyone involved does their job. If a lender is involved in the deal, the agent engages in regular communication with them to ensure that the loan process is completed. Agents also follow up with the attorney’s office or title company to ascertain that all the details are being adhered to. In addition, real estate agents are responsible for other tasks such as reminding customers about utility transfers, as well as ensuring sellers have moved out before buyers move in.
5. Keeping Up with Education
Continuous learning in order to keep up with the changes in the industry is a major element in the life of a real estate agent. In fact, many states require agents to attend ongoing refresher courses in order to maintain their license. Besides taking courses, real estate agents also learn through reading industry blogs and magazines, as well as attending seminars and conferences.
Related: 12 Best Books for Real Estate Agents
If you have been wondering ‘What does a real estate agent do?’, you have your answer now. However, the fact is that the real estate agent’s job doesn’t have a ‘typical’ day or work hours. Every day varies depending on the demands and needs of the sellers, buyers, and other professionals he/she works with. With all the effort and time spent showing properties, giving information and advice, hosting open houses, and following up with leads, the real estate agent career can be very tiring and frustrating. The good news is that you can use tools such as the Mashboard to make your work easier. This tool can be used for real estate lead qualification, finding off market properties for your customers, and sharing predictive analytics reports.
To learn more about how we will help you make faster and smarter real estate investment decisions, click here.