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Career Story: Residential Real Estate Agent

Residential Real Estate Agent

Job Title: Administrative Assistant

Type of Company: Two different real estate agencies.

Education: BA, Science, University of Nebraska

Previous Experience: I worked for a law firm that specialized in mortgage banking. I also worked in research for a chamber of commerce.

Job Tasks: In the real estate business, client communication is critical, so the first thing I do every day is to check my e-mails and phone messages. After I've dealt with any issues that arise out of those, I'll pick up work I hadn't finished or attempt to place some ads.

For new clients looking to sell a home, we often do a market analysis to see what kind of price the house might bring. Using detailed information on the state of the market and a list of "comps" -- prices that similar homes in the same area have brought in recent months -- we try to gauge what the sale price should be. This introductory market analysis is also a chance to make a good "first impression." If it turns out to be sloppy or inaccurate, the agent risks losing the client.

For clients who are buying a home, we comb the current listings to see what's available in the price range they've chosen, and then we try to sell them something more expensive.

Once a home is in contract, there are all sorts of details we have to take care of to ensure that the purchase goes through.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: It is crucial that all the requirements for closing on a home have been completed before the contract gets signed, and these are numerous: termite inspections, appraisals, work to be done, etc. Otherwise the client will be major PO'ed.

In the field, you are highly dependent on technology - computers, printers, home lock boxes, and web sites. When any of these breaks down or fails to work, it reflects poorly on the agent and wastes everyone's valuable time.

Job Tips:
1.) You must be able to multi-task and determine what's important and what can wait.

2.) You must be able to work with people who are highly sensitive: selling or purchasing a home is very personal and emotional.

3.) You must be detailed-oriented: there is a lot of technical paperwork that is involved with real estate.

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