A day in the life of a real estate agent

Francisco Lopez
Francisco Lopez
Published on March 23, 2020

Some jobs look so easy, don’t they? Take writers, for instance. They not only work when they feel like it, all they do is sit at a keyboard and kick out words. And, they make the big bucks for this life of leisure.

Many people feel the same way about real estate agents. Most misunderstand how little we actually earn out of that commission check for the work we do. In fact, let’s clear that one up right now.

The commission check for real estate agents is typically split in half, with 50 percent going to the buyers’ agent’s broker and 50 percent to the listing agent’s broker.

All agents negotiate what is known as a “split” with their brokers. This split can range anywhere from 20 percent of the broker’s half of the commission up to 100 percent in some cases. Most, however, range from 50/50 to 60/40.

Assume your agent has negotiated a 50/50 split with his or her broker. This means that the agent will receive half of the broker’s commission. Or, 25 percent of the total commission.

From this amount, the agent deducts his or her costs of the transaction, such as gas, wear and tear on her vehicle, marketing costs, MLS fees, lockbox fees and more.

In the end, we receive a far smaller piece of the pie than the general public assumes. Especially when one considers what a day in our shoes involves.

Here’s a list of what we do in a typical day at work:

  • Check the MLS every morning for new listings that fit buyers’ criteria
  • Preview new listings in person
  • Consultations with new clients
  • Set appointments to show homes to clients
  • Show property to clients
  • Navigate the purchase agreement with buying clients
  • Present offers to purchase to sellers and their agents
  • Schedule inspections (whole home, pest, etc.)
  • Analyze inspection reports
  • Negotiate contracts, repairs, etc. with listing agents
  • Schedule repairs
  • Meet service technicians at homes, wait while the technician inspects a system and while the technician writes up a price quote.
  • Inspect repairs
  • Shepherd transactions through escrow to closing
  • Attend the final walk-through with buying clients
  • Analyze the market for sellers to determine a likely market value for their homes
  • Navigate the listing agreement with selling clients
  • Schedule for sale sign installations
  • Install lockboxes on listings
  • Schedule photography session for listings
  • Create and execute a marketing plan for selling clients
  • Find buyers for listings
  • Plan, schedule and execute open houses
  • Plan, schedule and execute broker’s open houses
  • Compile pro forma financial statements for income property sellers and buyers
  • Attend broker’s open houses
  • Attend broker’s sales meetings
  • Attend MLS meetings
  • Coordinate closing with title companies and client
  • Attend closings with clients
  • Coordinate simultaneous closings for clients who require them
  • Make phone calls

Calls are a big part of a real estate agent’s workday. In fact, a typical day in the life of a real estate agent will include phone calls to or from:

  • Lenders
  • Inspectors
  • Appraisers
  • Clients
  • Other agents
  • Title company representatives
  • Escrow companies
  • Repair people
  • Pest control companies
  • Contractors
  • Vendors

Then, there are the phone calls related to marketing our services, to prospect for new clients and to follow up with leads.

Finally, we must set aside time each day to return the many voicemails, text messages and emails we receive.

Yes, these tasks make for long days. But, we wouldn’t trade what we do for  any other job.

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