3 things that might surprise you about being a REALTOR®
Being a REALTOR® is not what most people think … there’s so much more to it than meets the eye!
Here are 3 things you may not know about the life of a REALTOR®:
1. It’s not about selling anything.
The truth is, you can’t sell someone something they don’t want or need. Well, maybe you can try, but that’s not exactly the best way to create a reputation to build a business on. Of course we do a lot of work to help our clients get their homes ready for the market. And once all the prep is done (staging, photos and more!) we have to know how to get the word out to buyers and other agents. The goal of marketing is to reach the ideal buyer for each home… the buyer that truly wants and needs a home like the one we’re helping our clients sell! That best buyer will also pay the best price! That’s the win we’re looking for – Happy buyer! Happy seller! The key is to cut through all the noise online to attract the ideal buyers. Then we don’t have to sell them on anything! At that point, our role becomes coach and advisor to our sellers to ensure they end up with an offer that protects their interests and meets their needs.
Perhaps our most important and least understood role is as a coach to our clients. Let’s face it, moving isn’t fun, and the stress of buying or selling can wear a person down. Sometimes our clients are ready to throw in the towel just to end the stress! It can be tiring going through the negotiation process, especially if you find yourself competing for a home and you lose out. Or what about when you find your dream home only to discover on inspection that there are some significant issues you aren’t willing to deal with. The thing is, the reason you decided to move probably hasn’t gone away. If you’re feeling crowded in your 2-bedroom condo with one child and you’ve got another on the way, you’re still going to need to move. The REALTOR®’s role here to is remind you of your WHY…the reason you embarked on the buying process to begin with! And help you stay on target to reach your goal, keeping your eye on the prize! The same goes for sellers. It’s a lot of work keeping your house show-home ready for buyers, and it can be annoying to do all that work and not have an offer in hand. But just like that buyer who needed more space, your new job in Calgary still requires you to move. Our job is to help you understand the psychology of the buyers, and give you feedback so you can make adjustments to find the right buyer. Tempting though it may be to just “rent it”, especially in today’s market, that might mean you can’t buy in Calgary which means you’re renting and not getting settled as permanently as you’d like. More often than not, sticking with your original plan is the better course of action to get where you want to go. Enter your REALTOR® Coach…we’ll keep you focused on the end game!
2. How we really spend our time…
Contrary to popular opinion we don’t spend all our time showing properties! For every hour of meetings there’s probably two hours of preparation and research behind the scenes. Of course, we spend time showing homes to buyers and evaluating properties for sellers, that’s the most fun part of what we do, but you might be surprised to learn how much behind-the-scenes work goes on!
When we’re working with buyers, long before we get in the car to view properties, we’ve prepared for a Buyer Consultation by researching the market for our clients based on their initial description of what they’re looking for. After what’s usually a 2-hour consultation, we go back to the MLS system to refine the search. We compare our clients’ expectations with the market, and by adding our experience and local knowledge to the mix we often come up with options they haven’t even considered! Then it’s a daily update and search to seek out new opportunities, track properties they’re considering, and getting more information from the listing agent so they are well informed to make a smart choice.
And when we’re representing sellers, there’s even more behind the scenes work to be done. Frequently we’re gathering information months in advance of putting a home on the market. The more we know the better job we can do to present the property to the market and find the best buyer for that specific home. Helping our sellers navigate the complicated world of building permits and surveys, as well as researching the market and advising on the optimal pricing strategy all takes time. And it’s not a “do it once and you’re done” kind of job. This is ongoing. Constant monitoring of the market is required to keep our listings priced strategically compared to the competition and getting feedback from agents and monitoring what else is selling also keeps us at the keyboard for hours a day.
3. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be an excellent agent.
While it’s true you have to enjoy people to enjoy a career in real estate, you don’t have to be the life of the party to be a successful agent. In fact, studies show that more introverted agents are most often better listeners, which makes them excellent REALTORS®. Real estate agents are professional problem solvers, and to understand the problem your clients want to solve. Here are some of problems clients frequently bring to the table:
- What type of home should I buy based on my budget?
- When should I buy based on my long-term goals?
- Should I sell first or buy first if I need more space for my growing family?
- What’s the first step to help my aging parents downsize?
The best way to ensure that your clients end up with the best result is to ask the right questions, then listen carefully. Listening also builds trust, and trust is the currency of business! So, just because you’re not the most outgoing person you know doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful agent! In fact, your ability to listen might be your best business tool!
So, there you have it! Being a REALTOR® is definitely not what most people think. Every situation is different, and there’s always a new problem to solve or challenge to help our clients overcome. If you or someone you know is thinking about real estate as a possible career, why not pop into one of our regular Saturday morning info sessions! Click here to find out more!
PS Another surprising fact is it can be lonely being an agent… It’s one of the many reasons I enjoy working in a collaborative environment. There’s always someone to share stories with, someone who needs my help and someone ready to assist me when I need it! It’s how we do things at Schmidt!
By Kathy Schmidt