It’s easy to generalize about what real estate agents do. They hold open homes, plant signs in front yards, earn sales commissions from selling home, and mail out mini calendars and other tchotchkes.
In reality, a property agent is the quintessential multi-tasker, working on behalf of the seller or buyer, marketing his or her real estate business, developing marketing strategies for clients, completing administrative work, and maintaining industry knowledge.
Start with Knowledge
An agent’s career begins with completion of a course of study in real estate. Successful agents become career-long students of the estate industry. They take seminars and courses to stay current with evolving business practices and legislative changes. Many agents also participate in organizations that influence real estate-related policies and practices.
One of the more important responsibilities every estate agent has is to market clients’ properties for sale. A successful marketing campaign is built on an in-depth knowledge of the local property market. This knowledge is developed daily as the agent peruses the multiple listing sites (MLSs) to identify which properties are for sale and what are current listing and selling prices.
The agent is responsible for listing clients’ properties with relevant listing services, taking digital photos of properties for listing presentations and advertising collateral, staging homes to optimize their sales appeal, and holding open houses for realtors and prospective buyers to view the home.
Although it is an “unofficial” role, estate agents often function as therapists and educators who walk their clients through the home selling process and counsel/comfort them over often unsettling stages before the sale is completed.
Property agents also represent buyers looking to purchase a home. Responsibilities to the buyers include researching listings of potential properties that match the client’s needs and interests, planning property showings, and setting appointments for clients to view homes.
Once clients have decided on their ideal home, the real estate agent becomes the chief negotiator throughout the purchasing process.
Nothing is done in the real estate business without paperwork. There are a multitude of real estate documents, agreements, and records to be filed with various financial and state agencies. The agent often serves as his or her own admin, making appointments, creating marketing collateral and newsletters, responding to email and phone calls, and updating websites, blogs, and social media profiles.
The agent must research each client’s public record information for lot size and dimensions, verify legal description, land use coding, deed restrictions, verify the legal owner(s) names, and review current title information.
Above and Beyond
Above and beyond all those responsibilities, modern real estate agents must become and remain knowledgeable in the successful use of technology. Social media and the Internet have changed how people search for homes, how agents market properties, and how they market their real own estate businesses. To become and remain successful in real estate, agents must be able to successfully use the current tools of communication and marketing.
Working in Your Best Interest
Perhaps the greatest opportunity (and challenge) for a realtor is to successfully represent the client’s best interest whether it is negotiating the purchase or sale of a home. Not only is the agent the chief negotiator, he or she is also a disciplined diplomat navigating the complex waters of the real estate transaction.
Consider how many questions you will ask your next realtor (whether you are buying or selling), and all the information you will expect to receive from that agent. The agent does so much to provide service value to you before, during, and after you sell or buy your home.