A Day in the Life of a Realtor
A day in the life of a Realtor is typically fast-paced, involves wearing several hats at once, and working nearly every day for both buyers and sellers. The best Realtors are the ones that make your life easy without you having to worry about a thing. A Realtors job is to make buying and selling real estate easy for their clients. Making a complicated process, easy is just part of what Realtors do for buyers and sellers.
Mornings may involve following up with former leads and prospective clients, afternoons may involve helping a current client stage their home to sell or touring buyers through homes that are on the market, and evenings may involve updating marketing and social media or completing paperwork. Often times educating clients on things like the hidden costs buyers will face when buying a home or the drawbacks of using an ibuyer company like Opendoor. This doesn’t even brush the surface of a Realtor’s many tasks.
Every day varies significantly, making the life of a Realtor fairly unpredictable. One thing is for certain: being a Realtor is not an average 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job. Most Realtors work different hours each week, sometimes starting early in the morning and ending in the afternoon, or beginning the day in the afternoon and working into the evening. There are many weekends Realtors may need to work, particularly when hosting open houses which are usually scheduled on Sundays. Especially in hyper-competitive real estate markets like we have here in Raleigh and Cary. Higher price points that have not been as competitive for buyers in the past are seeing even more demand. Spots like Chapel Hill or even on the western side of the state in Charlotte are seeing so much competition that Realtors are having to work tirelessly to find their client's great homes.
The life of a Realtor can be a bit of an enigma for some, as much of the work a Realtor completes happens while working from home, and often goes unseen by clients or other Realtors. For that reason, many may be unaware of the tremendous work and energy that goes into being a Realtor. Additionally, may folks are unaware that being a Realtor is expensive. As with any career path, a Realtor’s tasks will vary day-to-day. However, there are several tasks a Realtor typically completes on a daily basis.
If you enjoy having a predictable lifestyle and a 9 to 5 career, being a Realtor may not be an enjoyable career path for you. While there are many duties discussed below that Realtors manage on a regular basis, you may receive a phone call that will require your urgent attention or may have something come upon a deal that completely changes your plans for the day. Real estate is an emotional, unpredictable business and requires extreme flexibility on the agent’s behalf.
A typical day in the life of a Realtor may go as follows, but there are countless other ways Realtors may spend their days – from marketing to administrative tasks to attending networking events and so much more. We’ll delve into the many duties of a Realtor in further detail throughout this article.
A typical morning for a Realtor:
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Some Realtors may begin their morning by spending a few hours reaching out to prospective clients via phone or email. For many Realtors, this is one of the most important aspects of their career. If a Realtor does not have clients, they will not have income. The harder a Realtor works to earn client the more money they make. This is particularly applicable to those who are new to real estate, as those who have just entered the industry may not have a client base yet. Reaching out to prospective clients, which is called ‘prospecting,’ may involve contacting friends, family, or others you know personally who have expressed interest in buying or selling a home. Researching neighborhoods for clients is equally as important when it comes to finding great homes in top locations - areas like 12 Oaks or Preston. It may also involve contacting ‘cold leads,’ which means sending emails or making phone calls to individuals you have never met but who may be in the market to buy or sell a home. Realtors have also found success reaching out to homeowners who are trying to sell their home ‘for sale by owner’ (FSBO). Homeowners attempting to sell their home independently typically run into several problems during the sales process and often need the help of a Realtor. Knowing that those who prospect to FSBOs may find success in securing a listing.
A typical afternoon for a Realtor:
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
After spending several hours prospecting, a Realtor may spend their afternoon meeting with current clients. If a Realtor is working with sellers, an afternoon may be spent meeting with a photographer to take photos of a listing or may involve meeting with the sellers to assist them in staging their home to sell. An afternoon may also be spent meeting with prospective sellers to discuss the listing process, a sales price, and a projected timeline on when to put the home up for sale. If clients are selling their home for the first time, they may have several questions and need considerable guidance throughout the process. Other clients may have sold several homes over the course of their lifetime and will be more knowledgeable about the process and needless hand-holding.
If you are working with buyers, your afternoon may be spent researching homes for sale that are within your clients’ criteria, and then meeting with the clients to tour them through the homes for sale. This typically involves researching the homes you are bringing them to ahead of time or speaking with the listing agent to ensure you know as much as you can about the property before bringing your clients to the property in the event that they have several questions about it. Depending on the state where you live, some states allow buyer’s agents to tour buyers through the home on their own by obtaining a key from a lockbox. Other states may require the listing agent to be present for the property tour, which involves additional scheduling on your behalf to ensure you, your buyers, and the listing agent are all available on the same day/time to tour the home.
A typical evening for a Realtor:
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The end of a Realtor’s day may involve spending time promoting yourself on social media or updating your real estate blog or website. The vast majority of prospective clients find their Realtor through the internet or through word of mouth, so having a strong online presence is an important aspect of being a Realtor. Marketing takes several hours of consistent maintenance each week – so much so that many Realtors choose to hire marketing agencies to assist them in running that aspect of their business. That comes at a considerable cost, however, so those who are just starting out may choose to market themselves on their own.
In addition to marketing, a Realtor may spend the end of their day taking care of administrative paperwork (as real estate comes with a tremendous amount of paperwork) or following up with clients regarding listing appointments, open houses, and answering their questions about the buying or selling process.
Other duties of a Realtor:
While this is a snapshot of what a day in the life of a realtor may look like, this is by no means a 100% accurate portrayal of what every day involves. As mentioned above, there are so many aspects of a Realtor’s duties that vary from day to day. Below, we’ll delve into other tasks Realtors complete on a regular basis.
Marketing takes on several forms in real estate – from signage to social media to website content.
At Raleigh Realty we use our website to help people find great homes for sale. We make it easy for folks who are searching the web to find homes for sale in our local areas like Holly Springs, Durham, Apex, Wake Forest, and more. All of these towns are areas we serve as Realtors helping buyers and sellers.
It is imperative that Realtors maintain a strong, consistent marketing presence online, as most prospective clients begin their search for a Realtor online. If you have worked with former buyers and sellers in the past, reach out to them and ask if they can write a review about the quality of your services on your website or on Google reviews, as positive reviews are typically the first detail prospective clients will consider when researching a Realtor.
Prospecting can come in many forms. Some find certain lead generation tactics to be extremely beneficial, while others find them not to work at all. This varies from agent to agent. Common prospecting tactics include making “cold calls,” or calling a list of individuals and asking if they have interest in buying or selling a home. Others have found that writing hand-written letters or sending a digital mailer to prospective clients’ email inbox is an effective way of finding new leads, particularly when targeting an older demographic. While this isn’t as common anymore, some have even found that going door-to-door in neighborhoods and passing out business cards is another helpful tactic.
When helping a client buy or sell a home, there is significant paperwork that goes along with the process. As a Realtor, you will most likely be responsible for drawing up contracts, drafting leases, updating listings on the MLS, entering data, budgeting, ordering office supplies, and various other administrative duties. While these tasks certainly aren’t glamorous, they play an important role in determining the organization and overall productivity of your real estate business.
Career development and market research
The real estate industry is constantly changing, and those who stay up to date on industry trends and market research are in a far better position to serve their clients. Realtors who stay ahead of the market and consistently research industry trends, houses on the market, houses that have recently sold, rental prices, etc. will not only be a valuable resource to their clients but will also be in a far better place in their career.
The more time Realtors spend in their communities engaging with others and getting their name out there, the more likely they are to be contacted by prospective buyers and sellers. Being involved with charity events or neighborhood outings are impactful ways to connect with others while demonstrating your commitment to your community. If you have the funds, hosting an event such as a Thanksgiving ‘turkey trot’ or an Easter egg hunt are great ways to give back to the community and pass out business cards. Of course, while generating business from these events is an added bonus, that should never be the sole purpose of hosting a community or charity event. Rather, the intent focus should be helping others in your community and giving back to those around you.
Attending networking events
For many Realtors, especially those who live in cities, there are countless networking events they can attend each month. Some Realtors enjoy attending networking events and find them extremely beneficial, while others may not find them to be the best use of their time. Most brokerages send out daily or weekly emails with information regarding networking events so Realtors can pick and choose the ones that may be helpful for them to attend.
What hours do most Realtors work?
Realtors typically work varying hours beyond the normal 9 to 5. Some days may go later and end earlier, and vice versa. Some weeks may be a bit slower while others will be filled with tons of appointments. Many Realtors work weekends as well – sometimes using Saturdays to show buyers homes for sale and Sundays to host open houses for sellers. Your brokerage cannot enforce specific hours because you are an independent contractor, so it is up to you to maintain your schedule and stay on top of your appointments.
What is the job description of a Realtor?
A Realtor advises clients on how to buy, rent, or sell a property. They provide assistance through the home transaction, from walkthroughs to market research to help secure a buyer. What Realtors do for their clients many times goes unnoticed especially if the Realtor is good at what they are doing. Their role is to make a real estate transaction as simple as possible for their client. The top Realtors will find ways to ensure you have an incredible experience even if behind the scenes they are working tirelessly to keep the deal together and the client happy.
Is part-time real estate worth it?
Due to the demanding nature of the real estate industry, it is extremely difficult to spend less than 40 hours per week as a Realtor. Clients may call at all hours of the day, making it challenging to balance a second job that requires your full attention for most of the week. At the same time, it can be challenging to make a consistent income in real estate in the beginning, which leads many agents to work a second job.
While this is easier said than done, those who have money set aside to sustain them during their first few months as a Realtor are typically far better off than those who are accustomed to working paycheck to paycheck. It may take 6 or 7 months for a property to close, so having an account to live off of will make you far less likely to have to pursue a second job and lose focus in your real estate career. Becoming a Realtor is not an easy endeavor and requires some money down for licensing and the required classes, so it is always best to be 100% invested in the business vs. juggling a real estate career with another job.
Where do Realtors work?
Some Realtors may choose to work from home rather than work out of their brokerage office. There are many reasons for this, as some may find an office setting to be a distracting environment or they may not want to pay a desk fee, which some brokerages charge agents to use office space. Others may find an office to be an invigorating environment where they can focus without distractions from family or household duties.
Being a Realtor is an excellent career choice. It is extremely fulfilling to help families and individuals find the home of their dreams or assist them in expanding their investment portfolio. Realtors get to know their clients on a personal level and sometimes will become close friends with them. While real estate certainly has its ups and downs, as does any industry, it is a very rewarding career path for many. Watch this video below to learn more about the keys to becoming a successful Realtor.
Hi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for technology, sports, and people. Would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below and feel free to share this article socially!