Special to California Business Journal.
Real estate agents have varied and often exciting working lives that are the envy of people in other professions.
If you are thinking about becoming a real estate agent, here is a quick look at what day to day responsibilities are involved and what skills and training are needed to work in this sector.
Research comes first
When it comes to getting the edge over the competition, agents need to be proactive in their approach to research.
This is something that is taught in detail on the pre-licensing training courses that most states require prospective agents to complete, and according to Rethority the costs of formal school education for trainees comes in at anywhere from $100 to $900, depending on your location.
Market research is essential since it is only by knowing the ins and outs of a particular region’s peculiarities that agents can provide realistic valuations for vendors and balance this against securing the highest level of interest amongst buyers.
Checking for new listings every morning, matching new properties to the needs of known buyers and scouring industry databases for juicy titbits of information will all be done with a cup of coffee and an agent’s game face engaged.
Appointments are essential
While agents can work effectively in the office, they will also spend much of their day on the move, setting and attending the various appointments in their diary.
These appointments can vary wildly, from meetings with fresh clients looking to buy or sell homes, to open house events where a day-long presence of an agency representative is required. They may also need to visit properties alongside maintenance teams to oversee work, check the quality of repairs and administer to the needs of other contractors.
Document handling & administration will be necessary
Real estate transactions involve a whole heap of paperwork, and in many cases it will be the agent’s responsibility to keep a firm hand on the tiller to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
From drafting the contracts involved in a purchase deal to arranging leasing documents, updating relevant company records, entering data and even addressing budgetary issues on paper, agents need to be well organized and prepared to focus their attention on tasks which can be taxing.
Furthermore there will be lots of phone calls to make and receive, as well as emails to respond to over the course of the day. It makes sense for top agents to factor these responsibilities into their schedules at fixed times, rather than tackling them on an ad hoc basis, otherwise admin can end up eating into other tasks.
Ultimately the day of a real estate agent involves a surprising mix of activities, meaning that it is necessary to be both an effective administrator and organizer as well as an individual with impressive interpersonal and communication skills. Working as part of a team as well as operating alone will be required at different times, so it is important to develop and maintain a flexible approach to the challenges thrown up each day.