What does a REALTOR do all day?
Many people wonder what it's like to be a REALTOR and how we serve Buyers and Sellers. They probably assume we wake up at 10am and spend an hour getting dressed in our $3,000 business suite, 30 minutes shining our Bentley (it's the driver's day off, we're not monsters!), 15 minutes writing a multi-million-dollar contract, five minutes at the bank to deposit our $75,000 commission check, and then back home to drink wine in a hot tub full of gold coins.
Truth is, I make a decent living but it comes with a lot of hard work, long hours, and sacrifice. My "routine" is always changing and depends on the season, the market, the local economy, and many other factors. The one constant? I am too busy to play Candy Crush or lounge on the beaches of Portugal!
Even on a slow day, I handle dozens of phone calls and emails. Some require a few minutes and others demand a half hour or longer. I have hundreds of tenants, around 100 owners, dozens of contractors, and whoever happens to walk in my door.
My life is a constant stream of interruptions with abbreviated moments of concentrated focus! Let me share a little taste of my insanity.
Buckle your seatbelts because it's going to be a bumpy ride!
I slept in until 6AM, 90 minutes later than usual. I caught up on activerain and email before getting the kids ready for school. I headed in to catch up on paperwork before the weekend but before I could get a cup of coffee in, life happened.
1. We picked up some new rentals to manage, six of which are vacant. We had someone with an approved application that wanted to move in right away so I had to run to the apartment and take my inspection photos before they occupy. While there, I took pictures of three other vacant units and the common areas so we can start marketing them.
2. Met with my lender to discuss the purchase of an investment property. My coffee mug leaked all over the front of my pants, but we were approved for our first commercial purchase so it was a good meeting! We also got the news that one of our buyers was approved for a large loan so now we just have to find the right property.
3. Returned to the office and helped my other Property Manager with some new owners. Loaded properties into our management software, verified settings, and handled emails and phone calls. A couple people walked in, submitted a work order or two, and stood at my wife's desk while discussing work and eating the leftover half of her chicken wrap. I washed it down with the last of my cold coffee from a couple hours ago. It wasn't good...but it was good enough.
4. Raced to show a listing outside of town to Buyer #1. Big investor, very interested, but there were a lot of questions. I told him about two other investment properties I have listed and he asked to see those. I set an appointment with him for later in the day made the arrangements while driving back to the office.
5. I received a call from Buyer #2 that wanted to see a commercial listing. I called the listing office to confirm availability and arranged to pick up keys. I called Buyer #2 and confirmed the show time then called my wife to confirm the time and complain (slightly) that my life is crazy.
6. I meet with Buyer #3 and showed him two houses. I also talked about some other listings on the market and he wanted to see them. I arranged the showings with the listing office and then called Buyer #3 back to confirm times.
7. Race back to the office to make a few phone calls, answer emails, and shuffle a couple pieces of paper. 15 minutes later, I'm back out the door to meet with another REALTOR that is transferring some properties to me for management. I collect 30 keys tangled in a web of string, rubber bands, and key rings and then run back to the office to throw them on my desk for the detangling process later.
8. Just 10 minutes later I'm grabbing my wife (not in the fun kind of way) and heading out to meet with Buyer #2 to show him a commercial property. Good showing and he's seriously considering an offer but I have to run to the next appointment.
9. Meet with Buyer #1 to show him a second investement property. It goes well but he still wants to see my third listing the following day. I arrange that showing and then race to meet with Buyer #3 again.
10. Meet with Buyer #3 and show him the third listing. It's a looooooong showing but he loves it and will meet with his lender on Monday to finalize financing and make an offer!
11. I get home at 7:30PM. The world's greatest mother-in-law had stopped by earlier and brought pizza for dinner (now cold). I eat some between talking to my wife, checking email, and making phone calls.
12. I find an email (four hours old) from an out-of-state buyer that is coming to town and wants an appointment for the following day to see a motel I have listed! I make the calls and set it up. He's already seen the financials and pictures so I'm excited to hear he is traveling all this way to see it in person. Motels are not easy to sell, even if you've stayed at the Holiday Express!
13: I get a response from an agent I had contacted the day before about an expired listing that Buyer #4 is interested in. I call and speak with Buyer #4 about it.
14: It's 8:30PM and I am finally done. I play Cribbage with my wife (one win, one loss) and then head to bed at 9:30 and am asleep within minutes.
I made 25 phone calls on my cell phone and at least that many in the office. Dozens of emails. I coordinated seven showings with six different agents for five different buyers and I'm confident three of them will be making offers soon (paperwork!!!). I talked to five different contractors for various work orders and forgot to follow up with a couple more. I answered multiple emails from prospective tenants, updated an owner on the tenant's barking dogs (the collars are working and neighbors are happy), told a tenant that the owner wants to sell and will not be renewing their lease in six weeks, printed my plans for a chicken coop to build with my son, arranged three different contractors for the landscaping work needed at my house while researching trees, reminded an HOA that they need to send out the newsletter and notice of an upcoming membership meeting, and answered a couple questions from fellow sales agents and property managers I network with online.
"Yes, Virginia, there is a REALTOR."
I'm a Property Manager and sales agent, so your mileage may vary. The day I describe above is not typical, but it's close enough to demonstrate that I go the extra mile for my clients and customers on a regular basis.
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