What would you say is the most difficult part of being an agent?

Asked by Jon Scalet, Chicago, IL Wed Dec 7, 2011

I am taking my licensing exam soon and wanted to get some feedback from other agents. What do you think is the most difficult: finding buyers (marketing/building your pipeline) or selling a listing?
Thanks everyone.

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28
Danielle Lon…, Agent, Blue Bell, PA
Tue May 29, 2012
I would have to say the hardest part of being an agent is starting up. In the beginning you have to build up your clients while learning the ropes. Once you get going word of mouth will be your best advertisement.
2 votes
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John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Wed Dec 7, 2011
The most difficult part of working in real estate is suffering the constant whining from other agents. I can put up with problem clients, survive economic downturns, and work with properties that just aren't competitive. But I can't take agents who constantly complain about how hard this business is. Sometimes I want to tell them to put a sock in it and go find life elsewhere. This business is really not that difficult. Sure, there aren't enough transactions available to support half the licensed agents who are trying to make a living (at least not in my area), but less than 1 in 1,000 college athletes who try to make it in professional sports ever get a contract. Aside from whining agents, I really like the industry and look forward to each new day that I get to work in it.
2 votes
Summerville-…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Honestly, those are the things you already know about. A million real estate books and trainings teach you those things. The intangibles are the most difficult part. Things such as managing your money between closings, keeping your positive attitude in difficult situations, and staying consistent are much more challenging.
That being said, it's a great profession! Over the past 13 years I've met the best people and had some good times through real estate.
Good luck!
2 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Tue May 29, 2012
Dealing with other agents that let their ego get in the way of what's best for their client.

Chris
1 vote
Deborah Smith, Agent, Oak Forest, IL
Tue May 29, 2012
Finding qualified buyers for my listings in areas with so many foreclosures and short sales.
1 vote
Michael Vrie…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue May 29, 2012
If you're going to be selling in your zip code (and surrounding area) then the most difficult part is staying on top of the inventory in your market. Downtown Chicago is an incredibly challenging market due to the non-warrantable condos competing with the financeable ones. Having to know the nuances and specifics of hundreds of condo buildings overwhelms most agents.
1 vote
Donna Ferrell…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Keeping my options to myself, the overwhelming need to speak my mind.....really hard :(
1 vote
Sarah Goulart…, Agent, Plymouth, MA
Wed Dec 7, 2011
I love Allie's answer. It's such a rewarding career, but to work in an industry where you may not know when you next paycheck will come (and don't count on it even if you DO have a closing scheduled), to deal with the volatile market along with that unknown is where I think a lot of agents struggle. Those of us who are lucky to carry things like insurance and benefits through our partner may be able to weather the storm a bit more smootly :-).

Good luck in your new career! I have found tremendous personal success in 18 short months. The drive to create my own business is both rewarding and challenging and I love that I never know what is coming next.
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
In Pinellas County Fl the number of transactions in 2011 have reached 87% of the 2005 levels! There is a LOT of real estate changing hands. In 2005 there were 9,200 real estate professionals participating in the local MLS. Today there are almost 4,000. There is a lot of real estate changing hands and there truly is a shortage of agents to meet the demand. So where is the disconnect? Why are so few agents carrying the bulk of the business?

Jon, the most difficult part of being a real estate agent is the last 5%.

Understanding that to have what others don't have you must be willing to do what others will not. Agents find themselves encumbered with an acute case of IDWDT.For whatever reason, (usually pride, ego or guilt) agents have reached the conclusion that in the pursuit of business opportunities they have created a conflicting purpose in the creation of their 'I Don't Want To Do That" list. This list is defended, nurtured and even promoted by those who tend to its safe keeping. Take great care not to create false obstacles in your business development.

In so doing, keeping yourself apart from those afflicted with IDWDT, you will realize that it is the last 5% of effort that delivers the gold. You must tend to a program to it's conclusion, not just to the point it has momentum. and reap the benefits like those whose eyes do not stray from the goal.

It is not one thing that will spell success or failure. It will not be one activity that will be the epicenter of frustration, but the accumulation of things half done that result in confusion, depression and poverty.

Have a plan, modify the plan when needed, stick to the plan and execute it 100%. It is the last 5% of effort that distinguish the champions.
1 vote
Deborah Smith, Agent, Oak Forest, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Since this is a buyer's market the most difficult would be in selling listings. Due to the market over flow of
short sales and foreclosures the home that is not in this category has a harder time in selling,because of the market being overly saturated and confusing the buyers. The best of luck to you. Debbie Bergthold-Smith Classic Real Estate
1 vote
Joe Schiller, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
the most difficult thing is that you have to do all those things together.. your swimming with sharks ..this is a commission business and the best agents do 70% of all the business.. that leaves 30% for the other 80% of agents... it really depends what your goals are.. do you want to be the richest agent, do you want to be the best agent, do you want to be a part time agent..it depends what you want- you should consider working at Koenig&Strey in Lincoln Park regardless- Darleen Little is the manager- call her
Web Reference:  http://www.joeschiller.net
1 vote
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu May 31, 2012
Managing your time properly and staying focused on your business are probably the two hardest things for new agents to master.

As a new agent unless you have deep connections through your local community, I would highly advise you to focus exclusively on building your business on the internet. Understand that to be successful in real estate you will need to spend money. Many people believe that one of the benefits of starting a career in real estate is that it is a low overhead business, and 10 years later their income matches this false premise. Real Estate is like any other business, "it takes money to make money" and as a new agent you should have enough money set aside to carry you comfortably for 6 months on no income while spending an additional $1000 - $1500 per month to build your presence and generate leads online.

I would also suggest you may want to find an older experienced agent to mentor with as a method of insuring your future success.

I wish you the best of luck in your new career.
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Thu May 31, 2012
Nothing is easy in this field. But hard work and dedication to detail will prove to be most successful. You will find your niche and best of luck
0 votes
Bobby Woofter, Agent, Boston, MA
Wed May 30, 2012
The tough parts are the ups and downs of commission only sales and the fact that any work life separation goes right out the window. The first year I worked I was so hungry I swear I slept with my phone under my pillow. I've backed off quite a bit since but customers expect a quick response and picking up the phone at 8pm whenever can make the difference between landing a new client who is surfing the web and missing out.

As to selling a listing or finding buyers I would say so much has to do with the market you are in. Beyond that, if you properly qualify people up front, neither should be too bad.
0 votes
Fred Yancy, Agent, Woodstock, GA
Wed May 30, 2012
Working for six months with a client trying to find them a home, spending many many nights and weekends, spending hundreds in gas. You finally find them their dream home. You work tirelessly to get the deal to closing, work through the countless issues that come up along the way and then on the way to closing, the client announces that they have changed their minds and refuse to close. All that work and all you got was a "thank you".
0 votes
Juan Espinosa, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed May 30, 2012
Dealing with banks, short sales. I think the rest was covered. Other than that I love my career!
0 votes
Akil Walker, Agent, Upper Marlboro, MD
Tue May 29, 2012
Dealing with clients that do not know what they want i.e. today I want a 3 BR 2 1/2 bath townhouse in this part of town, next day I want a sprawling single family on the other side of town. Don't get me wrong, I believe everyone has the right to change their mind, especially dealing with the biggest purchase of most peoples' lives, but they is always frustrating. Just another part of the business and evolvement of a buyer.
0 votes
Jeff Smith, Agent, Poway, CA
Fri Dec 9, 2011
Right now in San Diego, selling those listings in tough locations.
Tomorrow, finding buyers.
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Fri Dec 9, 2011
Getting the experience to handle all questions, concerns of Buyers and Sellers. Patience is a virtue!!!!
0 votes
Shawn Ryan R…, Agent, Belleville, NJ
Fri Dec 9, 2011
getting sellers to understand their home value is lower than they think

getting buyers to understand what they can expect in a home in their price range
0 votes
Mykael Marin…, Agent, Islamorada, FL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Jon,
After 16 years in the business, I find the greatest and most immediate hurdle, is gaining your customer's trust and developing that "Real" bond where they KNOW that you are working to assist them in the most professional manner possible. Once that Trust is earned...everything else is gravy, because you are now a team working TOGETHER on those other obstacles that every transaction will throw at you. The Buyers and Seller are out there..in good markets and in bad, so when they see a TRUE professional...well as they say..The Cream Always Rises! Good Luck!
0 votes
Suzanne Hami…, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Banks - whether they are lenders or sellers - banks are the most difficult part of the real estate equation right now. They are so picky and just don't want to lend money. It is getting ridiculous.

My advice to someone just starting is to just jump in there and don't pick and choose clients. In this market, if you sit around for the big paydays, you will do just that - sit. It is great experience to deal with a lot of people and kinds of transactions. And that is how you build a referral network. Also, be accessible to your clients and communicate with them.
0 votes
Shawn Ryan R…, Agent, Belleville, NJ
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Dealing with seller who are unwilling to accept the fact that their home isn't worth what they think it is.
0 votes
Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Greetings Jon,

Never stop learning - especially at the beginning, be like a sponge and consume as much info as you can. Don't worry about the money initially - if you can put yourself in a good situation where you you have 1 or 2 mentors and make less, this is probably better than going off on your own. Mistakes will be made but the goal is to continue learning and minimize them over time. Let people know what you do - become an expert of a certain area or type of sale (residential/commercial). Ask questions. Communicate with your sphere of influence. Don't waste money but definitely budget some over the course of the year for marketing yourself. Keep learning. Over time, become the trusted source of Real Estate knowledge so that when your sphere of influence thinks of real estate they think of you. Good Luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.BJDHOMES.com
0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
All of them together. You get what you put in. I would start shadowing a top producer. Learn from them. Then take it from there.
Web Reference:  http://AmericorpRe.com
0 votes
Steven Glick, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
I have been an agent since 1993 and would say the biggest challenge is to develop a solid client base. I have trained agents and have asked them to do an exercise where they write down at least 50 to 100 people they or their sphere of influence know. Then with that information you build your client base. The market at present is challenging but there is selling and buying activity going on and there is no reason a new agent can't do well. The other advice is to go with a company that has some training program that will allow you to do your work and learn at the same time.


Good luck to you in your new career.


Steve
0 votes
Jon Scalet, Other Pro, Chicago, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
What would you say is the most time consuming part of your job as an agent though? Obviously this is a buyer's market so I would assume it would be prospecting and marketing to buyers? Is there increased pressure and competition for buyers due to the large supply of homes?

Thanks for the help!
0 votes
Summerville-…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Dec 7, 2011
Lol Joseph!

Call Jameson Sotheby's! 3127510300
0 votes
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