What do agents really do all day?
By: Coral Dworaczyk
Real estate agents and realtors are often perceived by the general public to be mere “door openers” for potential buyers. And, from a distance, it can be difficult to see and understand the day-to-day actions and importance of a professional broker or agent. Real estate agents are appointed the task of assisting their clients (a “client” being a buyer or who is contractually represented by the agent) with what is usually one the more financially and emotionally significant transaction of their lives. This is not a task that a professional and dedicated agent will take lightly.
Because real estate brokers and agents are licensed and regulated by the State of Texas and the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), an agent’s minimal requirements are governed by these agencies. At the barest of minimums, agents are required to place their clients’ interest above all others, including their own, so long as the clients do not ask their agent to violate any legal or ethical standards of fairness and honestly. This includes working with title companies and lenders (if utilized) to ensure that a transaction is completed legally (especially considering the laws related to property condition and disclosure) and in totality (ensuring that the property ownership does successfully transfer between parties, without unknown liens or other potential future liabilities).
By law, agents are also required to inform their clients of any material information about the property or the transaction that is discovered and to answer any of their clients’ questions. Agents are also required to present all offers or counteroffers to or from the client unless the client directs otherwise.
In addition to the required standards set forth by TREC, a fulltime agent’s day is filled with a multitude of other tasks related to building a solid business. Several hours of each day are typically devoted to managing active clients. These clients may include those with a property for sale, buyers seeking a new property and transactions under contract. This time usually involves a lot of phone calls, emails and texts to line up showings (for the agent’s active listing and for buyers) or report feedback from showings, present and negotiate offers, answer or find answers for property questions, research neighborhoods and comparable properties to ensure clients are buying or selling for a fair value, evaluate property taxes and insurance and prepare market reports for buyers and sellers to confirm they are asking the best price supported by market activity.
Agents also work hard daily to coordinate the efforts of all the parties involved in a transaction, including other agents, lenders, various inspectors, contractors (for any necessary repairs or updates), appraisers, surveyors, insurance agents, residential home warranty representatives and the good folks over at the title companies. And then there are always signs to be placed, lockboxes to be installed, social media accounts and websites to be updated and a multitude of other marketing opportunities to explore or employ.
Although the activities directly related to the successful conclusion of transactions under contract are often a daily priority, agents must also prospect for future business to generate a consistent stream of business and income to support themselves and their families. The marketing of current listings not yet under contract is something that is often overlooked by the general public.
Some believe that an agent lists a home and markets it by putting a sign in the yard and entering the information onto the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It is true that some agents stop at that point; however, dedicated agents go far beyond these tasks. Many agents employ the use of professional photographers and many different online and traditional marketing tools to present their listings to the widest pool of qualified buyers. Agents must also employ a wide variety of strategies to generate business from new homebuyers and sellers, ranging from personally paid advertising to reaching out to friends and family.
Some of these responsibilities are the less glamorous part of an agent’s career, but pursuing future business is undoubtedly one of the most crucial, and often one of the most time consuming of an agent time. Keep in mind: Agents are typically independent contractors (not employees of their brokerage), and they must continually “shake the bushes” for future business just like other small business owners.
Due to the importance of always working in the client’s best interest, it is also very necessary for agents to dedicate themselves to professional development. Although TREC requires mandatory continuing education, many changes occur throughout a single year, so it is necessary for the dedicated agent to do go above and beyond the minimum to stay up-to-date with the changes and advancements in our industry.
Dedicated agents play a much larger role than simply showing homes – although that is often the most fun part of our day! When considering your next real estate transaction, make sure to keep in mind the importance of a well-qualified realtor and everything he or she can do to help you get to the closing table!
Coral Dworaczyk, M.S., realtor, is a real estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Bradfield Properties in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information on real estate in the Coastal Bend,
please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her cell at 979-229-2836. You may also visit Dworaczyk’s website at www.realestatebycoral.com.