Have you ever stood waiting in line with people around you talking so loudly you can’t help but overhear their convo?
It was obvious the couple in front of me was upset, so I don’t count it as eavesdropping. They were loud enough for the whole store to hear. Seems they were trying to purchase a home and things weren’t going their way. It is an understatement to say they were angry. I could understand that, even empathize with them. It has been a volatile real estate market and plenty of buyers find themselves in a bidding war or just losing out to all cash offers made by investors. Causes... trouble.
So then they started bad mouthing everyone in the industry. I found myself reminded that the misconceptions this couple had were actually shared by many others. One of their claims were that “any idiot can sell real estate. You’d think being so completely overpaid; they could at least do the job right.”
Wow. Can we say unfair generalization!? Any idiot can sell real estate? So completely “overpaid”? Now, I didn’t know what the particulars were they were dealing with, maybe a bidding war that went against them? How easy it would have been for me to be offended by their accusations of those in the real estate industry. Because I am a Realtor. I’m committed to my career and work very hard to succeed at what I do and truly help the people I work with.
Thankfully, the ending was a happy one, as the woman noticed my eyebrows raised and my failed attempt to look off in the distance. After assuring I was alright, she started a conversation with me. Yip. During this conversation I was able to express why I was dismayed by their accidentally overheard conversation and change the perception theyhad of real estate brokers. It turned out I was also able to suggest a home just about to list for sale that perfectly fit their needs and price range.
So, what did I share with them? GLAD YOU ASKED!
On the education front, not only did I take initial classes and have to pass an intensive test, but every year I take 30 or more additional hours of continuing education classes; most at my personal expense.
Once licensed, I then need to educate myself not just on the real estate market, but loans and mortgage packages, as well as the contracts involved in the process.
To succeed in my chosen profession I needed to develop a number of skills which included diplomacy, negotiations, business administration, marketing to include both print and internet, accounting and money management to name just a few.
With the legal standards and responsibilities I am held to, I constantly need to upgrade my knowledge in the areas of zoning laws, taxes, city and county ordinances, changes in the school systems, not to mention staying current on my fiduciary responsibilities to the clients I represent.
Concerning being “overpaid”; I shared just a few of the many expenses I personally incur in the course of doing business, including:
License & business fees; insurance fees; membership fees in organizations such as the National Association of Realtors
Brokerage fees; Office fees; office supplies including computer equipment and paper, business cards, brochures, flyers, handouts, contracts and software services that enable me to conduct business and offer the most up to date conveniences to my clients.
Automobile costs such as maintenance and upkeep, insurance, registration, gasoline and cleanings. (Can’t have the next client subjected to the foul smell the previous clients sick little darling left in the back seat!)
Unlike most who work hard all week and collect on Fridays, I don’t get a weekly paycheck, even if I work 50, 60 or 70 hours or more. I get paid when I successfully close a sales transaction. In the meantime I still have to pay all the fee’s involved, even if I don’t do any business. Plus, just like them, I have a mortgage, food bills, doctor bills, and all the rest of the costs of living. I was able to share with them that precisely because I want to “do the job right” I go the extra mile and do what it takes to stay current on my market, stay educated about the ins and outs of the business and do what I need to do to meet my clients’ needs. That often means I go to work nights and weekends, when it’s convenient for them to look at homes or write contracts or talk about selling their property. I take calls all hours of the day and night, and sometimes at some of the most inconvenient times to ensure clients’ questions and concerns are addressed.
They asked me one last question, and I hope it’s one you are asking yourself right now.
WHY do I remain in this business that’s actually quite difficult and often doesn’t pay as well as most believe it does?
That was an easy answer. I love the challenge of the real estate business and the opportunity to help people realize their dream of home ownership. This couple was so pleased with the manner in which their ultimate purchase was handled, they sent their best friends to me when they wanted to sell and move up to a larger home. Clients for life. Friends for life. That’s just one of the great perks of this business!