What Do Realtors Do All Day Anyway?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs 475.122155

I've heard from some people lately who think that the "glamorous" part of real estate -- you know, the part you see on TV -- is all we do all day long.

Show a luxury home, get our nails done, have lunch with girlfriends and go to closing to pick up a big, fat commission check and a Martini.

Pardon me while I laugh out loud.

That thought prompted me to keep a log -- for just one day -- of the dozens of tiny details that buzz around in a Realtor's head throughout the morning, afternoon and evening hours.  Here's a recap of many -- not all -- of my real estate-related activities over the past 24 hours:

  • Checked to see if a buyer's lender can fund earlier than our contracted closing date.
  • Called a buyer's agent to check on her buyer's inspection response.
  • Communicated with my transaction manager about a pending short sale listing awaiting lender approval.
  • Talked with a customer who wanted to know why a big, national lender hadn't listed a home it acquired via foreclosure several months ago. Called the REO office of the lender. Transferred around only to find out that the asset was no longer in their system. No advice about where to check next. Told the potential buyer the bad news. Added the property to my watch list.
  • Sent a new buyer to one of my favorite lenders for pre-qualification.
  • Texted a seller just to say "hello" and keep in touch.
  • Chatted with another good, local lender about a buyer I sent to them last week. Yes, they got the pre-qualification letter! Now we can look at houses.
  • Added showings on one of my listings to our online feeback system so I can tell my seller anything significant about the showing if the buyer's agent responds.
  • Chatted with a buyer about her intentions related to a listing we've shown her twice. Explained the comps we gave her on the home so that she could discuss a potential offer price with her spouse. (Hope I don't see the house go pending today while they're still mulling it over.)
  • Emailed an agent with buyer's feedback on a showing.
  • Emailed yet another agent with another buyer's feedback on a showing.
  • Watched more CDPE course sessions streamed on my ROKU at home.
  • Received my new Illinois Broker's License in the mail. Turned it in to Managing Broker.
  • Designed and ordered new business cards.
  • Caught up on communications with expired listings after last week's vacation.
  • Talked with an agent from Central Illinois about a referral he is sending me for a seller in my territory; called the referred seller to set an appointment to see her house.
  • Added summer images of the exterior of one of my listings to the MLS and other sites to freshen it up visually.
  • Sent "Happy Anniversary in Your New Home" cards to last May's buyers.
  • Re-aligned the prices on a client's automatic MLS listing cart to reflect his new, lower, price range.
  • Added new customer names to my email newsletter list.
  • Bought St. Joseph real estate kits at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.
  • Designed a new direct mail piece focusing on Just Sold listings.
  • Received shipment on my new Buyer Agency brochure for use at open houses.
  • Added MLS photos to a new listing. Planted a "For Sale" sign in front of the new listing and put a lockbox on the door.
  • Created an address-specific website for new listing.
  • Checked the MLS for new listings, closings, pendings to keep up to date on the market.
  • Visited with a couple who want to sell their home and move to a villa near relatives. Prepared comps and am headed out tonight to list the home.

Wonder when I'll find time to have that Martini and the cucumber spa treatment we lazy high-end Realtors get every Tuesday?

Friends, THIS is the typical day of an active Realtor.

And how was your day?

Posted by

Enjoy life in the (618) area code in Southwestern Illinois, St. Louis' Illinois suburbs. SEARCH FOR HOMES HERE.



I help good people buy and sell good homes in St. Louis' Illinois suburbs, with special emphasis on the Metro East communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy and surrounding areas in Madison County, Illinois.

Are you a teacher, firefighter, law enforcement officer, medical professional or active duty or retired military? Then ask me about Homes for Heroes, offering substantial savings on home purchases. Learn more at Homes For Heroes.

For more information or to search for homes, visit my sites at NancyMilton.com618Life.com, or GoshenRealtyGroup.com or send an email to me at Nancy@GoshenRealtyGroup.com. Text or call Nancy Milton Holtzscher, your Edwardsville Realtor, at 618-791-8007 any time.

REMAX Preferred Partners is located at One 157 Center, Edwardsville, IL 62025, 618-791-8007 (direct) 618-655-1188 (office). We're easy to find on IL-157 in Edwardsville between Pasta House Co. and Shenanigans. Each office is independently owned and operated.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Pamela Seley 05/17/2011 01:20 PM
  2. Praful Thakkar 05/18/2011 09:28 AM
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Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc. - Kitchener, ON
Quality Home Staging

I totally get what you're saying - most people have a very distorted view of what I do during a typical business day as well. And I feel a blog post coming on .. lol .. thanks!

May 18, 2011 06:33 AM #72
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Nancy, I didn't see lunch on there.  Did you skip lunch?  If people only knew what we do!!

May 18, 2011 06:34 AM #73
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Nancy,  Terrific post.  If people only knew.  Your schedule is even more loaded than mine !  Good selling to you !

May 18, 2011 06:46 AM #74
Rich Gaasenbeek
IXACT Contact Real Estate CRM - Toronto, ON
Real Estate CRM & Marketing Made Easy!

Wow Nancy! Realtors definitely deserve more credit than some people give them. But, people just don't realize. I can definitely empathize with you - one of the reasons we created IXACT Contact was to ensure that Realtors have a system for organizing their time and simplifying their day-to-day life as much as as possible. We also wanted to automate some of the marketing Realtors have to do so they can focus on other things like face-to-face meetings and relationship building. Thanks for the post!

May 18, 2011 07:20 AM #75
Nancy Milton Holtzscher
RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs - Edwardsville, IL
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR

Kathy -- Love your shoes rule. True dat.

Elizabeth -- You are so right. My Buyer Board in my office is titled "Behaving Buyers" and it outlines all the steps they need to take to keep their heads in the game.

Adam -- Me too. We are too much like Rodney Dangerfield right now.

Heather -- Blog it, girl. Tell everyone the hard truth.

Hey, Mike -- Lunch was a salad at my desk. I figured that was too mundane for the list. Stress snacking later was mixed nuts.

Hey, Bill -- Loaded schedule not always translating into big sales. Bon chance to you too.

Thanks, Rich.

May 18, 2011 07:42 AM #76
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Nancy - People really do think we have so much on our hands...

May 18, 2011 07:51 AM #77
Tricia DeSouza
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Selling Scottsdale Luxury

I love the flexibility of being an agent but it has it's downfalls too. #1 being, you only make as much as you are willing to work. We have flexibilty but if you don't buckle down and put in the hours, there is no money flowing in! Also, there are so many things to keep tabs on and all transactions are at different stages so you have to be very organized. I am dying to see Mimi's post when it is done!

May 18, 2011 07:52 AM #78
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Great list!  You had a busy day.  It's articles like this that really spell it out for people who think all we do is make a few calls, sign some papers, and sit around surfing the net.

May 18, 2011 09:18 AM #79
Nancy Milton Holtzscher
RE/MAX Alliance in St.Louis' Illinois suburbs - Edwardsville, IL
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR

Gay -- We all need bigger hands!

Tricia -- I think the old saying, "You only eat what you kill" is appropos. Also can't wait for Mimi's post.

Bryan -- Yeah, I'm reading PerezHilton right now!

May 18, 2011 12:15 PM #80
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

And all this time I've been trying to figure out how I can "fit in" as an agent and just drive expensive cars and golf all the time!

May 18, 2011 12:31 PM #81
MeLisa Minter, Realtor
Minter Real Estate Services - Taylor Lake Village, TX
Bay Area Houston Real Estate Agent

I've found myself having to really just be blunt with some buyers and their perception of how easy they think our job is.  They don't factor in the time it takes to make phone calls, research listings, schedule showings, do previews and then call them to see when they're available.

Not to mention the driving around to those listings and them not seeing anything they liked and having to start the process all over. All of this can go on for months without us even collecting a penny!

May 18, 2011 02:39 PM #82
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

A former broker, who is now retired, called me today and wanted to chat for over an hour.  Has she forgotten what our days are like?  I kept telling her I had to go and she just kept talking.  How quickly they forget! 

May 18, 2011 04:22 PM #83
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

There's a misconception we wake up mid-morning, put on designer clothes, drive in a new luxury auto to the office, take long lunches, and go home early.

May 18, 2011 07:56 PM #84
The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties
Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville - Lansdale, PA

Hi Nancy,

You are just doing it all wrong!  JK, so accurate - every newbie to the business and many of our clients should read this.


May 19, 2011 12:40 AM #85
Don Black
RE/MAX Patriots - Manchester, PA

You sound pretty busy Nance.  Maybe you could fit the martinie in after your last apt and before finishing up paperwork.  :-)

May 19, 2011 03:58 AM #86
Roseanne Campagna
John L. Scott RE Maple Valley, WA - Maple Valley, WA
Kent/DesMoines/Blk Diamond/Renton/Maple Valley, WA

Just heard about your blog post after reading Alan May's subsequent post. I am still building a young business, so I can't say I do as many things each day, but I do all of them nevertheless. So mostly I engage in new ways to find leads via networking activities.

Thanks for a hectic agent to do list for when I am on my way to more closings! ;o)

May 19, 2011 02:13 PM #87
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

Now do all of that AND be a full time mom raising an almost 10 month old...I am in such need of a massage and pedicure. I'm sitting here on the couch with a rice sock over my shoulders trying to get them to relax. Who's got the time(and right now maybe the disposable income at over $4 a gallon, it's almost $80 to fill up my car.  There's my massage and pedicure...)

May 19, 2011 05:40 PM #88
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Yeah and some folks think we're salaried.  RE/MAX pay me? Nope we pay to have these glam jobs!

May 22, 2011 08:30 AM #89
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Nancy, no business is as 'glamorous' or vapid as outside observers think. When I was in the film business, after a 12-14 hour day on location in someone's home or business, we would invariably get the comment, "Gee, I didn't know there was this much work in filming a commercial." There is. Same thing with doing a quality job in real estate. A lot of work. A lot of follow through. Great post!


May 22, 2011 04:18 PM #90
Dawn Nuzzi
'Til Dawn Real Estate - Raleigh, NC

THANK YOU for a wonderful, honest post!! I've had so many people say to me...it must be nice to just take off from work any time you want. Um....sure. I don't answer to anyone. Well, except my mortgage company, utility companies...no work, no pay. Call me crazy but I enjoy trivial, materialistic things such as a roof over my head, electricity and running water. :)

May 22, 2011 11:48 PM #91
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Nancy Milton Holtzscher

Edwardsville/Glen Carbon, Illinois Broker, REALTOR
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