As a Real Estate Agent, I have found that many people perceive agents in my profession as sleazy salesmen one step above selling used cars. Many people think all we do is drive around in fancy cars, make tons of money, talk on the phone all day, and hardly do any work. I have also discovered, people don’t believe we should be paid for what we do, for some reason they would like us to be available 24/7 by phone, text, email, and carrier pigeon while selling their house for free. Can you imagine putting in a 40+ hour work week at your job and having the possibility that you may or MAY NOT get paid for your work? So to clear up the confusion, let me tell you the truth about real estate agents.
1. We Work On Commission – This is not a bad thing, by contrary belief of the general public. Yes, this does mean that the more expensive house you buy, the more money we make. But this also means that we may show you countless houses for weeks on end and then you decide to rent instead and we make a whopping total of ZERO dollars. Also good real estate agents make it their mission to sell you the house you want so that you will be happy with their service and use us for all of your future transactions. Good agents have long term relationships in mind and their clients interest at heart.
2. We Have Huge Legal Liability – Agents have to keep their files for 7 years and keep perfect documentation as a licensed professional. We got to school, pass national and state tests, get fingerprints taken, and we are held to a very high standard. Every transaction takes loads upon loads of paperwork, sometimes so much so that we have to hire someone to do it all! We can even loose our license in a lawsuit if we do anything against our code of ethics. Driving around in a nice car is only the very tip of the iceberg. It’s kind of like saying all cops do is eat donuts.
3. Not All Agents Are Equals – Just like any other profession, there are people who are really good at their jobs and then there are people that put in the smallest amount of effort possible. Some agents really make us look bad, but good agents really care about their clients, their reputation, and how well they do. Just because you had an agent who works part-time and never answered the phone, does not mean we are all like that. Believe me, we hate those agents just as much as you do!
4. We Don’t Keep All of Our Paycheck – When your houses closes and you are looking at the closing statement you may think, ” Wow she is getting a huge check!”. But let’s break that down…. first off Uncle Sam will take 25%-50% of the paycheck right off the bat, so if we are making 10k, we are down to 5k, then we have marketing expenses which are at least 10%, down to 4k, then we have brokerage expenses that we pay to our companies and our brokers, next up is team expenses paid to your team manager, so realistically we may only have 25%-30% going into our pockets! Not to mention we may be working with the same clients for months at a time including in person showings/ appointments, communication via phone, text, and email, around the clock, and managing paperwork behind the scenes.
5. We Work All The Time – My mom has been a Real Estate Agent for 30 years…. I have seen her take phone calls at 11pm on a Wednesday, I’ve seen her go to 8am listing appointments, I’ve heard her answering emails and text messages at 2pm on a Sunday, I’ve seen her take a call in spin class, and I’ve seen her show 15 houses on a Saturday. WE WORK ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Agents cater to the clients schedules, meaning we have to work when you aren’t working.
6. Real Estate Is Highly Competitive – Even though having people think you aren’t worthy of their money is bad enough, there are 10 other Real Estate Agents competing for the very same client. This means we have to be on our A game all the time. A missed phone call can mean another agent getting paid instead of us. Right now their are more agents in real estate in Las Vegas than their are available houses on the market!
7. Agents Double As Life Coaches – I have seen my mom help others in ways you could’t imagine. I’ve seen her be the first person someone calls when they found out their husband is cheating or when a parent passes. I’ve seen her rush over to a clients house to take care of a puppy, be a shoulder to cry on, and play barbies with kids. We do a lot of hand holding, cheerleading, and negotiating, and fighting for you and on your behalf.
So if you think I got into real estate for the money, you are wrong….it really isn’t as glamorous as you think. But it can be very rewarding helping someone get the keys to the first house, downsize to have a better life, or make investments to plan for their future. I love my job and hope I was able to shed a little light about what it’s like to be a real estate agent.
Keller Williams Southern Nevada
Hali’s Angels – The Hali Gillin Group