When I speak to my new clients, and even some prior clients many know Real Estate Agent job involves helping clients find or sell their home. Clients often have a shocked look on their faces when they hear what a real estate agent does on a typical day. The first thing a real estate agent never has the same typical day every day. The best agents give the illusions they have free time when in reality they don’t. The best agents always want to appear available to clients.
Agents who are experts in the field realize they are not just an educator but are providing a service. The best agents who are proactive thinkers are not only successful in the industry but often are the busiest.
The best agents will wear many hats. Buyer agents will be a cheerleader, psychologist, problem solver, scheduler, personal assistant. Agents who do the job right are viewed as your friend who happens to be a real estate agent.
An agent working with a seller doesn’t have it easy either. Seller agents have there own set of responsibilities. These include marketing and advertising the property, setting up vendors for repairs, staging, and photographs.
Once property on market coordinating showings, negotiating offers, attending inspections, and appraisals. Other responsibilities both sellers and buyers agents provide is being the voice of reason when no one will step up and be reasonable.
All Agents Expenses
Both Buyer and Seller Agents are running their own business which means they are collecting a commission. When representing a buyer or seller every agent needs to factor in the cost of doing business which includes paying taxes, health insurance, Retirement, office supplies.
Agent Commission Breakdown
One of the biggest misconceptions I find is clients think the agent is making out better than anyone in the transaction. Agents are asked many times to give on their commission to make a deal come together. Many agents are working for a brokerage firm and just because they sold $700,000 home direct doesn’t mean they are collecting that for a commission.
Let’s say that the agent was representing both sides of the transaction. Here is a breakdown of what your agent is actually making.
Total Commission $35,000
Broker Firm $17,500
Agent Side if there is not a license fee and based on 65% Split: $11,375
Agent Side with taxes: 11,375.00 which is about 30% is 11,375.00-3,412.50= $7,962.50
Take home: $7,962.50
Agents must not only pay taxes but they pay their office expenses that their firm doesn’t cover. Other expenses agents pay out of pocket is health insurance. The IRS views real estate agents as independent contractors.
If your agent has a licensing fee that can be anywhere from 5%-18% The example I provided earlier of $700,000. If that same agent has a license fee then the commission breakdown could look like this at 6% license fee :
$1137.00-$682.50= $10,689.50 and 30% of that commission is going towards taxes Agent would take home $7,482.65.
If the agent is helping you find a rental the commission is a lot smaller. Never think your agent is making what your monthly rent is. Agents who do rentals are taking home less than any sales agent and work twice as hard.
Real Estate in most major markets is all commission-based. Agents can go weeks before seeing a check. A Real Estate agent must be good at budgeting.
Both Buyers Agents and Sellers agents have to have strong emotional intelligence since all real estate is emotional.
Regardless if you’re a buyer or seller agent you still need to worry about daily marketing, responding to clients, vendors, and field new business.
Agents are always looking forward. Successful agents are always keeping an open mind and willing to try new things to their business.
COVID 19 Effect
Recently with Covid 19 has forced many agents, and city brokers were the first to adapt to the change using technology to keep real estate moving. Open houses were suddenly stopped, and if a home was occupied doing showings seemed to be a challenge. If a seller lived in the home I tried to get them involved by doing facetime tours or zoom town hall. Almost like a guided interview where the sellers show what they love about the home or neighborhood. If the home was vacant open houses went virtual and private showings were setup.
Forward Thinking Agent
The agents who have adapted quickly to change and thought of plans before taking on the listing have had a little less stress when listing a home, and quite possibly reached their seller or landlord goals faster without making to many adjustments on price on terms. Some of the new things that I and many other agents at Gibson Sotheby’s have been doing when the pandemic first happened we took out our phones and shot homemade video tours, and when we could we schedule professional video and 3-D tours. We learned how to conduct open houses virtually. If Zoom was not part of business practices we learned how to use Zoom for not only meetings but for first time home buyer seminar sessions. Facetime and Instagram which real estate agents never used to conduct open houses were suddenly using these tools to sell homes.
Additional Agent Responsibilities
So, what do real estate agents do all day? To put it simply, they play many different roles from day to day. Part of the real estate agent’s job is to balance various tasks while serving as an all-in-one sole proprietor, marketer, buyer’s rep, seller’s rep, and lead generator. Making all of these duties fit into a day—or a week—can be challenging.
When it comes down to a real estate agent’s day it is about the organization, prioritization, and some serious to-do lists. Many of my clients know free time is not something I see a lot of, and they know how hard I work for them every single day. I always say to clients you want an agent who is busy, but accessible.
The best agents make the job seem easy, but in truth, those agents give their clients the majority of their time.
Next time you talk to a Real Estate agent please realize there is more to a real estate agent’s job than opening doors, and making a few calls. The best agents are very hard workers that have an extensive network that they tap into to find a solution to a problem that is in front of them. Some will pass on listings when you call, and some will take a listing but give you a number you might not love. They want the listing but not willing to give you a price they can’t deliver on. The highest price is not always the best price, and unless you ask there might be alot of thought that went into a there lower number to get you to another number or to just get it to sell the property.
Agent Knowledge vs Market Knowledge
The best agents are honest with you and honest with themselves. When I got into real estate someone said never take a listing you really don’t feel you can sell or know the market or have the time to learn that market to do that listing justice. Market data is nice but the best agents dig in to learn the market they are working in and alot of it you can’t find online you have to experience it first hand. Some might accomplish more in one business day than someone working a salary job.
No Universal Standard
Real Estate agents have no universal standard on how to get the job done, and some agents just do it better than others. All agents go to Real Estate school but education doesn’t cover the challenges of the job. Training is hit or miss when an agent picks a company to work with. Agents are not told when they start there career they are interviewing firms and not the other way around. It costs firms nothing to hire an agent.
Challenge for the Public
The real battle is finding the right agent who delivers the best results every single time. They exist and often are the agents who won’t give on their commission and will give you true service from the beginning. Being an Agent requires a lot of patience and the ability to look at the big picture even if the big picture might affect the agent in a negative fashion.
Being a real estate agent is not a part-time job that anyone can do it requires many skills that the best agents learn over time. If you’re thinking about going into real estate or in need to find an agent who hustles contact me. Last I hope when you hear someone say anyone can do what a real estate agent does send them to this blog and hopefully they think again. The real estate agent is never a part-time job and its not for everyone.