What are the good and the bad of being a real estate agent?

Asked by Patti Pereyra, Chicago, IL Wed Aug 29, 2007

When I first thought about pursuing a career in real estate, I actually asked a broker I intereviewed these questions:

What are the 5 best things about being a real estate agent?

What about the 5 most challenging aspects being a real estate agent?'

Help the community by answering this question:

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Web reference:


Paul Slaybau…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Sep 18, 2007
The standard answers (and best) have been given, so I'm going to have a little fun. Feel free to flame away.

The Good:
1. Title company sponsored lunches at the end of tour.
2. The female sales team at any new home subdivision. I'm married, so the less I say about this, the better.
3. Office banquets. How is it possible that even the guy who hasn't sold so much as an encyclopedia this year walks away with a plaque? It's like Little League for adults!
4. Walking into multi-million dollar homes and seeing the same $99 Home Depot ceiling fan that
I have in my family room.
5. Last week was slow, so I packed the family into the car on a whim and drove to San Diego.

The Bad:
1. Agent that provides cold cuts or sections of sub sandwich at the tour wrap-up. You all know this guy, and want to strangle him.
2. The fresh-out-of-school kid that I get stuck with on the other end of a new build transaction.
3. Vendors. I'd probably attend more office meetings if we didn't have 62 vendors lined up to speak to us about the tremendous opportunity to grow our business through ... proven sales techniques, or the latest agent software ... or sea monkies.
4. Is there any particular reason why some of you insist on NOT putting the lockbox on the front door? Do you have hidden cameras installed to record, for your later viewing enjoyment, agents fumbling behind bushes and under water spigots, looking fruitlessly for said box?
5. Last week was slow, so I packed the family into the car on a whim and drove to San Diego.
4 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Wed Aug 29, 2007
A new answer for both good and bad is Trulia Voices.

The good is community, education and giving back.
The bad is addictive, time consuming and getting publicly corrected if you're bad.

I think every pro will have con:
Happy people vs Unhappy people
Lots of money vs Little money
Freedom to set your own hours vs Always working
Gratitude vs Scorn
Knowing you did a good job vs Getting in trouble for making a mistake

But the number one reason I got OUT of real estate was the same as why I got OUT of the corporate world - Office Politics.

So why am I spending so much time on this forum? Because of just the opposite: Community Support.
3 votes
Ken Pujdak,…, , Greenville, SC
Wed Aug 29, 2007
Good Day: At the closing table the client thanks you for a a job well done and the attorney passes you a check. : )

Bad Day: You are standing in front of a house in the pouring rain waiting for your buyer to show up and you are still waiting...still waiting...still waiting... : (
Web Reference:  http://www.sellmyhomeken.com
3 votes
Steve Ostrom, Agent, Roseville, CA
Wed Aug 29, 2007
Best things:
1. Friends and family trusting you to work with them.
2. Meeting new people that are excited to work with you and want success.
3. A wave in the grocery store and a smile from a client you helped.
4. Bringing a quality of life back/into to a person's life.
5. Working with agents and customers that perpetuate positive behavior and never stop striving for a good solution.

1. No-shows
2. Blanket comments about anyone
3. Refusals to counter an offer
4. Hang-ups mid-conversation
5. Belittling of a place where someone may call home
2 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Aug 29, 2007
1. Very rewarding to see a happy buyer get in the home of their dreams.
2. Rewarding to see people financially either getting started or getting rewarded, or helping them when times are tough.
3. Every deal and every day are different.
4. Your rewards are a results of your efforts.
5. Flexibility to take care of the important parts of your life. When you absolutly need to see your kids 1st baseball game or take your spouse to dinner on that special day....all you have to do is tell your clients who want to see you at the same time is that you have an appointment. No boss telling you your kid will understand and that the success of the company depends on you getting on a plane to meet X client at X time for X deal.
1. Getting blamed when things that are not under your control....for example buyers not closing on time when X mortgage company goes out of business.
2. Having a friend or family member tell you about a deal after it happens.
3. Working with other agents who either have huge ego or don't care about education.
4. Competing in an industry where some people want to give away their service and make it up in volume.
Invarably some sellers want to try the list for $395 program or 0% program.
5. Working an indusrty where there's so much fluff thrown around. I can only imagine one down on the totem pole is a traffic officer or a judge.
2 votes
#1, , San Francisco Bay Area
Tue Sep 18, 2007
Whoah Nellie!

All awsome answers!

Bottom line is... we are all here to make a living. We are not here to impress anyone.

The satisfaction of our profession is one thing. It can not be explained... totally.

At this point... this place is really a touchy - feelie Realtor place... and hopefully...eventually... buyers and sellers will catch on and we'll all realize a return on our investment.

Right now Trulia is in it's Philanthropy stage. But is has a shot at changing at any minute! So keep your answers coming :)
1 vote
Amy Wengerd, Agent, Canton, OH
Wed Aug 29, 2007
As agents we are, in my opinion, very blessed to have this job. I think the perks definitely outweigh the negatives. Of course, I don't live in "la-la land" and to have rewards there will also be challenges.

1. Flexibility-I am the manager of my time. If I choose to buckle down for a season and take it easy the next I can do that.
2. No 2 days alike-New clients, situations, houses, markets, trends, laws, regulations (Oh, I better stop-I may be getting into a negative)
3. Fulfillment-The realization you are helping people with most likely the largest investment of their lives.
4. Being a "go to" person. Everyone likes to talk real estate (Trulia is the perfect example). Having the knowledge and expertise to educate and guide people in their best interest.
5. Who would I be kidding if I didn't mention the PAYCHECKS! Hmmm...would it still be as rewarding and fulfilling if the pay was bad???

1. The flip side of no 2 days alike is not having a set schedule. You may think you are done working for the night and 1 phone call can change everything.
2. Client Unloyalty-thankfully, this does not happen often but it sure stings when a client you have invested time and energy with buys something without your involvement.
3. Ever changing industry and market-keeping your competitive edge is a full time job in itself.
4. Agents who don't respect the industry. You know, I should've put this as number 1. Agents that slash commissions, act dishonestly, unethically, and will do anything to get the deal are doing all of us a disservice. We need to hold ourselves to a much higher level. Value your job, education, experience, and commitment. Stop selling yourself, other agents, and this profession short.
5. Ups and Downs--This just takes time to adjust. One month 10 closings, the next 1. You have to learn to hit while it's hot and appreciate the slower time to either spend with family, tackle a few items on the to do list, or strategize your marketing plan.

REAL ESTATE--It may be crazy but what would we do without it??!!
Web Reference:  http://www.amywengerd.com
1 vote
Bridgette Ko…, , Florida
Tue Sep 18, 2007
I wasn't going to respond because everyone else already gave you such great answers, but I had to tell Paul publicly that he made my evening!

Thanks for the LOL! I gave you a big TU (along with the rest), even though you slaughter me in the "thumbs" ratings ratio according to Jim Walker! Kudos for clever!
0 votes
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