It’s a given that when planning a career in real estate, you have to attend classes and pass a national/state exam. You will be fingerprinted and required to go through a background investigation. We anticipate all the problems we can and plan for managing them. But, the unknowns, the things that we are expected to do, to know and immediately be capable of, well, the list can be intimidating. Here are just a few that I’ve encountered:
- 1) Be a Gal/Guy Friday– This means that you will immediately need to be up and running, computer, your person, all necessary systems. It also insinuates that “you” will be the one who takes care of everything that needs attention. I suddenly found myself thrust into the role of a computer tech, student, chief critic, proof-reader, grout cleaner and much more.
- 2) Texting Lingo & Apps – It is essential that real estate agents learn (unless they are born knowing how) to utilize their smartphones to keep up and be available for clients and generations of clients that they serve. Communicating with clients to answer questions, capture leads or simply to let them know you are thinking of them requires skills many agents need to learn. Often, it’s not just the tools used for texting, but the language as well. For example, BTW (by the way), LOL (laugh out loud) and many others are commonly used by younger buyers.
- 3) Computer Systems and Programs – Each office has programs and systems they prefer and my company uses a multi-faceted program. In addition to those systems and programs specific to your real estate company, learning to use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the various programs within and used along with MLS is not quick-study.
- 4) Exploring your Way through a Transaction – Understanding and using the “official” contract is a necessity, but experiencing a problematic transaction can have a tremendous learning curve. Agents play a key role in holding a transaction together. A recent transaction lingered past several proposed closing dates even though the parties to the contract wanted to close. Agents must be prepared to massage the transaction to closing, no matter what skills they must learn or exercise along the way.
- 5) Resilience, Perseverance and Patience – These are attributes required for working with clients, particularly those to whom you show multiple properties, for negotiating the offer(s) to the point where all parties are satisfied and for working through the issues that surface during the period prior to closing. We often balance multiple offers/contracts at the same time and are expected to know the status of a given contract at any phase of the process-and to stay in regular contact with the clients under contract.