The simplest job description of a real estate agent (REALTOR®) is to “assist clients in buying, renting, and selling real estate properties.” However, this is barely scratching the surface of the myriad responsibilities involved in the job. Indeed, there are a lot of times when a real estate agent is not closing a new deal with a client. One work day may be full of paperwork, while another may be full of meetings.
To give you a better picture, we’ve compiled the list below to illustrate the responsibilities of a real estate agent:
Generate Client Leads
As earlier mentioned, real estate agents help their clients buy, rent, or sell properties such as houses, empty lots, offices, or buildings. In short, they need clients. This makes lead generation one of the biggest responsibilities of a real estate agent. With a healthy database of potential clients, real estate agents can quickly find buyers and sellers.
Lead generation is usually conducted through networking, although technology has also opened up new avenues such as online advertising, real estate software such as Brokerkit, and more. Technology has also made it easier to manage hundreds of leads at a time.
Provide Client Counsel
There are times when a client only has a vague idea of what they want in a house or an office space. In this case, it’s a job for a REALTOR® to guide the buyer or renter to find a suitable property. Real estate agents also provide advice regarding prevailing market conditions and prices. In addition, they also give clients several options that meet their requirements.
A REALTOR® can even suggest to their clients not to buy a property if the timing isn’t right or if the neighbourhood isn’t ideal. Indeed, the goal of real estate agents isn’t just closing a deal. Rather, they have to ensure that their clients find the best possible property for their needs.
Create a Property Database
Real estate agents are also responsible for creating real estate information databases. These should include information about the properties’ location, square footage, features, and price. There should also be descriptions of the property and its neighbourhood, along with other relevant details that will help sell the property. Larger real estate centres will have a Real Estate Board which handles these duties, but individual REALTORS have to fund such boards.
After creating the database, the next step is to promote the properties. This can be done through online and offline ads, listings, as well as open houses. No two properties are alike, so an agent must be well-versed in developing unique marketing plans. It’s a huge plus to be knowledgeable in making promotional materials such as posters and newsletters, although there are also apps that can make this task easier.
Plan and Coordinate Property Showings and Other Meetings
Another responsibility of a REALTOR® is to arrange showings for potential buyers or renters to view the property. Staging, or the preparation of a property before it gets showcased or sold, is also often a part of the job. Real estate agents are also tasked to plan and coordinate various kinds of appointments such as client meetings, negotiations, and consultations.
Maintain Client Relationships
Part of a real estate agent’s job is to facilitate negotiations between the buyer and the seller of the property. They’re also responsible for maintaining client relationships, keeping in touch with them until after the property has been purchased or sold. There’s even some level of after-sales service expected from agents, especially if the client is a first-time buyer.
Prepare Various Paperwork
The real estate industry inherently involves a lot of paperwork and real estate agents should know how to handle them. Such paperwork includes purchase agreements, rental agreements, purchase offers, purchase contracts, deeds, and the like. It’s to be expected that clients, especially first-timers, won’t have any idea about these documents. Therefore, a REALTOR® should be prepared to hold the client’s hand, so to speak, and guide them from start to finish. After everything is signed and sealed, the task of submitting and filing the paperwork with the proper agencies.
Keep Abreast of Latest Trends
This is not necessarily part of a real estate agent’s job description. However, continuing education and keeping up-to-date with the latest real estate trends and market activity is an important part of the job. Without sufficient information and knowledge about industry news, real estate agents will be quickly left behind by their fellows. By staying abreast of the latest updates in the industry, real estate agents can be better positioned for career success. It will also be easier to renew their license.
Real Estate Agent Commission
An additional responsibility of a real estate agent is to discuss how much they charge for a real estate commission. Many people do not realize that a commission is negotiable. While a real estate agency may choose to charge a specific rate it does not mean that you can’t deviate from that.
Professional real estate agents will always discuss the commission they charge as a regular part of their business. An integral part of that conversation will include how the fees are being split.
For example, are the listing and selling agents getting the same amount of commission? Most of the time commissions are split equally but that is not set in stone.
Sometimes agents will try to discount the buyer’s agents fee which can put a home seller at a disadvantage in the market if every other seller is offering a higher commission split. Savvy consumers should make sure that does not happen.
When working as a buyer’s agent, the commission should also be discussed if the buyer will be charged any kind of fee.
As you can see, being a real estate agent has a lot of facets. There will be slow days and there will be action-packed days, too. It can be a difficult job, certainly, but it’s certainly a fulfilling one.