What it's Like to be a Realtor
I am a full-time Realtor that makes a living by helping people buy and sell real estate. It is not rocket science but is complex and requires care; however I am professionally trained and maintain my educational requirements to stay on top of the latest and greatest topics within the real estate industry in order to provide my clients with the utmost service. All of this takes a lot of time and money.
IF I do not get to the closing table with a client, I do not receive any compensation whatsoever. I do not get paid a “draw” nor do I receive a “salary”, I don’t even receive a food basket, nothing, nada, zilch, unless I am able to get my client to the closing table. At that point, my brokerage receives the check for the services that I performed and they in turn will issue me a commission check for services rendered.
Most Realtors will work 7 days a week in order to be available for a client’s needs at any given time. I am no different. A typical work day for me is approximately 10-15 hours. I have my cell phone at my side at all times, I am on the computer as often as necessary doing research, locating potential homes for my clients or advertising my listings for my sellers, contacting buyers, contacting sellers, contacting other Realtors, etc, etc.
I am very vigorous about maintaining contact with my customers/clients. I do my best to answer every phone call or email as quickly as possible, usually within minutes. There are occasions when I am out in the boon-docks showing homes and have poor cell reception, so those emails or phone calls might be delayed until I get back to civilization.
Occasionally, I will sneak in a few hours off to do household chores, spend a few hours with my grandkids, etc. I might even take a whole day off (rarely) just to be human.
2012 was my most productive year so far since being in the business for 8 years. In 2012, I personally (without a team or any help) closed 43 real estate transactions. In addition to that, I helped run and operate a business that I share with my business partner, Greg Hancock. We were both largely responsible for building and growing a brand new brokerage as well as being in charge of training and assisting Realtors at the company, some of them ended up becoming very good Realtors.
In 2013, Greg and I switched brokerages in order to help Prudential One Realtors (later re-branded to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty), grow their online and offline presence in order to become a household name in Ohio and beyond. Our task is quite time consuming and can at times be considered cumbersome, but we both love what we do!
We are both responsible for helping to coach and train our Realtors that are on our Internet e-lead team. We coach them on our systems, software, and verbiage to use and so on and on. There is hardly a day that goes by that we don’t receive at least a dozen calls asking for some form or another of help from our e-agents. That’s cool, that’s fine, and that’s what we do! We love helping others succeed!
It's Work People, Work & Ethics ...
I wanted to give you a little bit of insight about my background before I spoke of my intention for the post that I’m writing about and here is the primary reason for my story.
Mr. John Consumer- when you go to work, do you or do you not go to work with the intention on receiving compensation for services rendered? As a matter of fact, would you agree with this statement? “I am not going to work unless I get paid for doing so:”
If anyone goes to work without the promise of pay, they are either ignorant or a volunteer, plain and simple.
“Commission only” sales people are somewhat different. Yes, we do go to work in “hopes of getting paid.” To be clear; we don’t go to work with any “promises of pay”, but “hopes”.
Most Realtors do not charge their clients a fee for their services, period. However, there are some that do. There are also some brokerages that have an “additional commission” that is paid by the client at the closing table.
Some Realtors even charge a “retainer fee” which in some cases would not be a bad thing to do. The retainer fee works like this; client provides Realtor with $500 (or something else) to retain his/her services. Realtor then performs the necessary services to help client locate and find/purchase the best home for the client’s needs. As long as the client stays the course with the Realtor and they get to the same closing table together, the $500 is applied to the purchase. But, if the buyer client decides to purchase their new home with a different Realtor, the $500 is kept by the Realtor for “time spent”.
There are also some Realtors that use an exclusive agent/buyer agency agreement. This document guarantees the Realtor will receive 3% commission (paid to the brokerage) no matter what home the buyer purchases within a certain timer period, this could even include a FSBO.
I personally do not use any “exclusive agency” agreements nor do I charge a retainer fee. I feel that as long as I maintain complete and professional service to my clients, I will retain them without the use of said documents.
The Client Comes First
Please keep in mind, helping a client find and purchase a home can be a very tasking ordeal. Often a buyer will want to view anywhere from a few homes to perhaps several dozen of them. With gas at $4.00 a gallon, that alone can cost the Realtor a lot of money when showing multiple properties. The time he/she spends on the computer searching for homes. The time spent away from family and friends, this should all account for something, right?
So, WHY do some buyers decide to work with another Realtor when it comes down to making the final purchase? Why do some people forget all about being respectful of others? Was it because the Realtor was not available on the very day the buyer just “had to see” their dream home? Couldn’t the buyer have waited a day for their Realtor to be available again? When the buyer contacted the next Realtor for a showing request, did the buyer have the decency to let them know they were working with another Realtor already?
Was the other Realtor professional enough to ASK if the buyer had not brought it up in the first place? Each and every time I receive a new customer/client, one of the first questions out of my mouth is, “are you already working with another Realtor”? I would like to think that most Realtors will show the same kind of respect to their colleagues, but I also realize that many are only concerned about themselves and not with “doing the right thing”.
A few years ago, I personally showed some clients over 35 high-end homes. On more than one occasion, they “had to see” a particular home on a specific day and if I was not available, they would call the listing agent to tour the home with them. They had no decency about them; they did not take into consideration the countless hours that I had spent driving them around and helping them with every question, setting up the showing appointments, helping them get pre-approved for a mortgage, etc. It was very clear to me; they were in it for themselves and the heck with everyone else. After they had disrespected me a few times, I finally told them that I was done being “used” by them and for them to find another Realtor.
Recently, I had another very high-end buyer come in from out of state to tour several homes. I cleared an entire weekend from my schedule, moved a few other client’s around, cancelled a birthday party with a family member, etc. I did all of this because the buyer was on a very tight schedule and we had several homes to tour together on their chosen weekend. (By the way, this person also works on a commission only type of job too). Well, you guessed it. I haven’t heard a peep out of them for a few weeks. They stopped returning my phone calls, they stopped returning my emails, and they put a block on the property listings that I was sending to them. Not one word back from them, no explanation for the desertion, nothing, nada, zilch!
Last story about this topic; another client that I showed several homes to (drive time was 1 hour each way to the property showing areas every time) stopped all communications with me too. (I maintain consistent and frequent follow-ups with all of my customers/clients) I finally found out what had happened. Her son informed me that his mom had purchased a home through a “friend of the family” that had just got their real estate license. Apparently, all of the time and gas that I spent was all in vain since this person had no sense of loyalty or respect for me. The lady wasn’t even kind enough to let me know, she simply chose to ignore my attempts to reach her.
I realize this is a very lengthy article and hopefully you hung in with me until the end. I merely wanted to share some true life stories about life of a commission salesperson. Show some respect people. Realtors like me will give you the utmost attention and service and all of this is done with the “hopes” of a commission check at the end as well as getting the satisfaction of knowing that we helped you with the most important financial decision of your life!
I absolutely love the moment when I get to call a buyer and say, “congratulations, the seller has accepted your offer” and then the other joyous moment of handing over the keys to their new home!!!
I love my job! I love helping other people succeed, whether it is agent training or helping someone with the purchase of their home. And I love some R-E-S-P-E-C-T in return!