If you’re wondering what a typical day in the life of a real estate agent is like, chances are that you’re giving serious consideration to real estate as a career choice. If so, you’re not alone. The New York Times reports that “how to become a real estate agent” was the most job-related online search in 2021.
So, before we get into the details, here’s a little disclaimer: No two days in the life of a real estate agent are alike — and for many folks, that’s a real plus. Variety is definitely the spice of real estate life.
Additionally, your day as a real estate agent will depend on your chosen niche. Are we talking about residential real estate agents whose clients are individuals and families pursuing the American dream of home ownership, or are you a commercial real estate agent brokering deals between office space landlords and business entities? These are just two of an endless number of niches to choose from in the world of real estate, and the choice you make will influence what your typical day looks like.
That said, when most people consider real estate as a career choice, they’re thinking about residential real estate. So, we’ll focus on that.
What Does a Residential Real Estate Agent Do All Day?
To understand what residential real estate agents do all day, let’s start by identifying their primary responsibility: Helping individuals buy, sell, rent, or lease property.
Accomplishing that involves a certain number of predictable, ongoing activities, the order or timing of which can vary from day to day. Here’s a quick list of the major responsibilities a real estate agent will handle on a regular basis:
Let’s look at each of these a little more closely.
Every other item on our to-do list depends on having clients, right? So, lead generation is rightly considered a top priority for most agents.
For someone just starting out, this is accomplished by building a network through what is known as a “sphere of influence” strategy. The new agent focuses on the people they already know: friends, family, neighbors, and social contacts. Since most people will, at some point in their life, buy or sell a home, pretty much everyone can be viewed as a potential client.
Building and growing a network is a career-long effort. A real estate agent should continue to add to their lead files while remembering to nourish the contacts already gained. This is done with follow-up phone calls, emails, texts, newsletters, etc. — all done with the goal of keeping the agent’s name top of mind.
It would be rare for an agent to spend a whole day doing this, but it would also be rare for the agent not to dedicate some time to it almost every day.
When most people imagine how real estate agents spend their day, administrative duties do not come to mind. But because they are their own bosses (usually operating as independent contractors), agents have to literally “mind their own business.” And that means taking care of such things as:
These tasks can add up and take up a considerable amount of time. For that reason, one of the milestones in an agent’s career is when their business is going so well that they can hire support staff to handle much of this on their behalf. But until that day comes, a real estate agent needs to dedicate a certain amount of time each day to staying on top of these critical administrative functions.
Real estate agents operate as members of a brokerage, under the supervision or sponsorship of a broker. This is true whether the agent works primarily out of their own home or uses a dedicated desk at the brokerage office.
They attend regular office meetings, during which information is shared about new listings, changes in existing listing prices, and the needs of buyer clients — all of which is critical and timely information an agent can use to bring the right buyers and sellers together. This also helps the agent stay current on market conditions.
Meetings with clients are the heart and soul of life as a real estate agent. It’s certainly how agents prefer to be spending their time each day. What those meetings are about will depend on where the client is on the transaction timeline.
Are they a prospect wondering if you’re the right agent to be representing them in the sale of their home? If so, the meeting is likely a listing presentation where you lay out your sales strategy and describe where their home fits in the current market.
After you win them over, you’ll have another meeting to stage their home, take photos and video, and prepare for the marketing of the property. That meeting, hopefully, will be followed by more meetings to discuss offers from buyers, culminating in one last series of meetings that are all associated with completing a sales transaction.
If you’re working on the buyer side of things, the meetings you can expect to take will also travel along a transaction timeline.
First, you’ll meet to sell yourself to the buyer, explaining how you will make sure their best interests are represented throughout any transaction they enter into. Then, once that agency relationship has been established, your meetings will move to those involving educating the buyer on the market in general and accompanying them on tours of specific properties that might be of interest. Those events will be followed by meetings centered around the crafting of offers on a property, which, if successful, will lead to meetings associated with closing a sale.
In order to keep their license active, a real estate agent is required to take continuing education. While specific requirements and deadlines for this will vary from state to state, what remains constant is the need to be proactive about this responsibility so that income-generating business activity is not disrupted.
Beyond the state-required education, most agents will also set aside time to pursue certifications and designations that will enhance their marketability. Whether elective or required, continuing education will be an unavoidable part of life for all real estate professionals, usually handled not as a daily responsibility but as periodic tasks for which blocked-out time on the agent’s calendar is dedicated.
Tick-tock — It’s Real Estate O’Clock!
As previously stated, no two days are the same for real estate agents. And any plans they set for the day can change at a moment’s notice. Most agents understand this and are agile enough to respond as necessary.
Nevertheless, they usually do have some sense of a plan for how the day will go.
Here’s but one example of a day in the life of a real estate agent.
So, that’s the day in the life of a real estate agent. Is today your day to make that your life?
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