Monday, 27 January 2014

What do real estate agents REALLY get up to?

If I told you the answer was, "nothing much" you would probably nod and whisper, "I knew it" under your breath and move on to the next blog.

But if I told you what real estate agents really get up to you your big toe may fracture from the weight of your falling jaw.

It's true most of us have this hazy idea that agents drive cars with bigger price tags than their homes; roll into the office late every day following a quick nine holes and a latte and then spend their morning doing nothing more creative than planning their lunch.

Collectively we also have this vision of property buyers turning up at open homes with bulging chequebooks and a burning hunger to buy every home they inspect leaving the hapless agent with nothing more to do than collect the deposit, fill out a few forms and collect a whopping commission.

What a great job!  So, how come more people aren't lining up to be real estate agents?

Because it's not really that easy.  But, you probably guessed that bit.

Most property salespeople work 50 to 70 hours every week.  They often start before 8.00am and many don't get home until 10.00pm on some nights - too late for tea and long after the kids go to bed.

Unlike most people in the workforce they are paid on results, not by the hour.  On some days they could spend hours showing homes to a buyer only to have them purchase another property from another agent. Ouch - payment, nil!

Or they could be invited to inspect a home hoping to list it for sale. These appointment often take place after hours when the property owner gets home from their job.  They could spend 2 hours discussing the market and a plan for selling the client's property only to be told at the end, "We'll call you". Great - payment, nil!

Property managers are in the same boat. They arrive at an open home for a rental property only to have themselves for company.  Prospective tenants who promised to turn up sometimes forget, are distracted or simply find another property.  And then forget to cancel their appointment.  Again - payment, nil!

Good agents spend hours phoning buyers hoping to find "the one buyer" who is a match for their client's property. They write reports, attend meetings, provide feedback, advice and counselling to their clients. They network with others on their team, with solicitors and conveyancers, with mortgage brokers and banks, with strata managers, tradespeople and many more.  Just to get into a position where they can negotiate a great deal for their client.

So, why do we keep doing it?  It sounds a little like banging your head against a wall, doesn't it?

We keep turning up every day because we love helping people.  We love helping them find a new home. We love helping them sell or rent a property.  We love the people we meet (well, most of them anyway) and we love to work with them as they achieve their goals.

And although we spend a lot of time getting paid nothing for much of our efforts we get enormous joy when we are able to score a win for our clients.  The look on their faces, the thank-you's we get when all our efforts pay off are simply priceless.

One day, you may need a real estate agent.  To help you buy, sell or rent a property.  When this day comes I hope you will think of Prudential, we would love to help you.

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