Many wonder what a REALTOR® truly does. Finally the mystery is about to be revealed: real estate is about stories, people, and their lives.
We buy or sell properties at the most critical junctures of our lives. Marriages, divorces, new jobs, job losses, new babies, emptying the nest, moving, aging, dying, lottery wins, inheritances, investments, divestments, developments, business, bankruptcy, going to college, tired of renting: these are just but a few of the reasons that bring us to the decision to sell or acquire a property.
These events can be emotional, intense, and life-changing. Thus, a real estate agent becomes a client’s best friend. A caring and empathic friend who must fully embrace a client’s needs, and needs to understand the client’s available finances, timelines, and sometimes compelling issues. Clients open their lives to their agents as they would never dare with anyone else. Would we ever tell our friends how much money we have on our account and show them a bank statement to prove it? With how many friends would we share that our marriage is on the rocks and divorce might be nigh, with all the details that pertain to the property division? Our clients expect us to be caring, and to show empathy and consideration. Because it is through our service that people continue to pursue their dreams and their journey in life.
Yet, this week a curious story raised above others for its peculiarity. Events similar to the one below should not be considered the norm.
Thursday morning I was on a showing tour with a young couple. Among the properties we visited sat a vacant single-family unit that had been newly renovated. The listing card advertised all new stainless steel appliances, accompanied by a series of pictures. When I arrived on site – slightly ahead of my clients – there stood a colleague with his client in the front yard. Both were quite puzzled and wondering why, out of all the new appliances advertised, only the dishwasher was in place. In fact, when my clients and I accessed the property, no stove, refrigerator, or microwave could be found indeed! Undeterred, we carried our showing as planned, giving it thorough consideration, then left for the next property on our schedule. Although the lack of appliances did not seem a deal breaker, I felt that the showing was concluded below expectations, with the potential cost of new appliances looming on our mind. When… surprise! Later that afternoon GRAR sent an email to all agents. Apparently, the evening before someone with a van had parked in front of the property, entering undisturbed, and had loaded all the appliances onto the van leaving shortly thereafter. In full daylight. It was a theft!
Real estate is also a data-driven reality. Net to seller, property taxes, value, square footage, days on the market, HOA fees, are just a few of the elements involved in any transaction. Numbers are everywhere, numbers matter. Each address begins with a number. Parcel numbers, are in fact… numbers. Listings are defined by a MLS number and a listing price. Offers start with a date and a purchase price. Commissions, closing dates, EMD’s, possession: everything is quantified.
There are also numbers that do not appear in any deal or in any contract, but are still an essential part of it. If you ever wandered what a REALTOR®’s week looks like, this list below might help.
- 434 miles driven
- 130 significant incoming emails, countless the insignificant
- 81 phone calls, to or from clients, lenders, agents, FSBO’s, and floor (the technical term to indicate the agent on duty who answers office calls)
- 67 outgoing emails
- 41 car drives
- 33 separate text conversations with clients, agents, inspectors, office manager, FSBO’s, and unrepresented potential buyers
- 18 scheduling of showings
- 14 showings of in-town properties concluded
- 10 clients served
- 8 hours of floor
- 7 new real estate articles read, including: FHA minimum standards, HUD, and property taxes
- 5 comparative market analysis’ (CMA’s) completed and delivered to clients
- 4 contacts with rental property manager due to tenant eviction
- 4 new MLS automated searches set up
- 2 meetings with new clients
- 2 car drives with a colleague
- 2 days of negotiations on a submitted offer
- 2 meetings with current clients
- 2 collecting and reading of condo association bylaws and meeting minutes
- 2 real estate articles completed and published on blog
- 1 showing of out-of-town property
- 1 in-person meeting and negotiations with FSBO
- 1 out-of-town in-person meeting with clients to write an offer
- 1 cash offer submitted
- 1 offer accepted
- 1 referral from client
- 1 inspection set up
- 1 work with a client’s lender on VA loan paperwork for a pending property: termite inspection, invoice, addendum to purchase agreement (PA), and affidavit
- 1 work with a client’s lender on estimated closing costs and monthly payments
- 1 work with title company in preparation of a closing
- 1 inspection of an investment property
- 1 preparation for an upcoming open house: listing cards, business cards, signs, disclosures, and publicity
- 1 prospecting activity
- 1 contact with rental property manager for unit prep work
- 1 real estate article draft prepared for publication on blog
- 1 travel to inspector’s office to pick up an invoice
- 1 travel to client’s house to pick up an EMD check
- 1 travel to seller’s home to pick up Seller Disclosure and Lead-Based Paint forms
- 1 garage door repair
- 1 office business meeting
- 1 accounting
- 1 estate sale attended
- 1 outgoing referral placed
- 1 open house (almost 2)
These represent only some of the possible activities, which for example could include attending continuing education (CE) classes, taking pictures, closings, listing appointments, and offer presentations.
Pictures to follow in part two, for those curious… to see with their own eyes how fascinating and enticing this profession can be!
Happy summer everyone!