Job Title: Real Estate Broker
Type of Company: I work for a family-owned real estate company in our town.
Education: BS, Human Sciences and Services, University of Rhode Island
Previous Experience: I had always worked in retail because my major was Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management. When I married, however, I went into the family real estate business.
Job Tasks: As a real estate broker I'm involved in assisting clients with the biggest investment of their lives, a home. I also handle residential rentals and temporary housing.
A typical day consists of office time, called "up-time" which involves taking calls from clients and "prospecting" them about their decision to buy or rent. A buyer must go through a process referred to as pre-approval with a bank or mortgage company. This step gets them ready for a home they can afford to purchase. The lender will check credit, employment and verify bank statements, debt history and pay stubs. After this process, the client is ready to go out and look at property. I then sit with a client and go over what he's looking for: what town, what style of house, how many bedrooms and bathrooms... specific criteria that help to search for houses he might be interested in.
Years ago, we had huge booklets that were published every two weeks which we read through. Now computers have made it much easier to navigate current daily listings, price changes, back on market and under agreement listings. After looking through the listings we select maybe four properties to view. The brokers are called, appointments are set up and we go out to have a look. Once the client decides on a property, we submit an offer to purchase with a bid and any conditions the buyer insists on. Once a selling price has been negotiated and both parties accept, we conduct a formal inspection of the property and order an appraisal. A purchase and sales agreement is signed and we then wait for a commitment on the loan. Once that is issued a walk through of the property happens and a closing takes place.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love my job because I enjoy working with people and making them happy on the biggest investment of their lives. The job offers much flexibility. I get to see beautiful homes and many different decorating styles.
The worst part of the job is the indecisiveness of certain customers. You can work for months and see no return on all your efforts. This becomes a disappointment because you have worked for so long with no pay. Real estate is 100% commission which means you only get paid on something when the sale closes. You must be prepared to work nights and weekends.
Job Tips: Keep in mind that real estate is a very rewarding career. It gives you great people skills and shows you how to interact with many different personalities. It makes you patient and understanding of others.
Try and get as much experience at the beginning by viewing as much property as possible. Learning directions is key and being on time is very important.
Listen to your client's needs and desires. This is critical, since to show them property you have to understand what they really want in a home.
Additional Thoughts: Real estate is a wonderful career for the right person. At first you need to have someone back you up financially. Your pay comes a few months down the road after your first sale. You also need to know that nothing is final until the closing date is scheduled. You must have an outgoing personality and be a good listener. You must enjoy driving and being very patient with clients. Have fun and you will love your career as I have.
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