Being a real estate agent looks fun and glamourous on T.V., but it might not be the career for everyone. Real estate agents manage their own small business, which means a lot of work and responsibility. Success depends on how much time and effort they put in. Agents aren’t working 9 to 5 in an office, but they often have to be available for questions and showings evenings and weekends.
The flexibility, control, and unconventional challenges are exciting for some people, scary to others. Real estate agents love real estate, promotion, and helping people. That enthusiasm keeps them going through months without a sale and all the ups and downs. Real estate is a career determined by individual hustle and perseverance, so you’d better get into it with your eyes open and the right personality.
The Good and the Bad
Real estate agents are some of the happiest professionals. Some of the reasons agents are so happy include:
- Freedom: This isn’t a typical office job. Agents are out in the field meeting with clients and showing property. You’re your own boss, so you control the growth and direction of your business.
- Creativity: Agents design marketing materials like flyers, websites, and emails, implement social media promotional campaigns, offer curb-appeal advice, and stage houses.
- Variety: Agents aren’t doing the same thing all day long. You may be an accountant, promoter, counselor, negotiator, and interior designer in one day.
- Helping people: The real estate business is about building relationships. Agents develop and maintain connections with customers, clients, real estate professionals, and competitors. Their central role is helping clients.
- Solving problems: Challenges and problems arise in every transaction. Agents gather the information and tools necessary to resolve issues. Clients expect their agents to have the solutions or know how to find them.
But there are a few downsides, such as:
- Location and market forces: Sales and prices can depend on the property location and the current market conditions. You can do everything right to prepare and market a house, but if the market is down, it’s going to be tough generating many offers and great prices.
- Slow or irregular income: It could take several months before you see income. Also, you’ll have to pay for a lot of your own business expenses. This requires reserve funds, a business plan, and careful budgeting.
- Handling clients: Clients expect you to solve every problem and blame you for many of the setbacks. You’ll also deal with a lot of emotions.
Being a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents represent property buyers and sellers throughout a sales transaction. Because of the important position of trust and responsibility agents hold, state real estate regulatory agencies require licensees to pass real estate courses and licensing exams and commit to a high level of ethics and accountability.
When you become the agent for a real estate consumer, you are required to provide fiduciary duties. These essential duties include care, confidentiality, obedience, accounting, loyalty, and disclosure. It is easy to see why the four traits below are so important to being a great realtor when you understand the pros and cons and the central relationship involved.
Essential Personality Traits
Many in real estate have been using a four-trait profile to determine who will likely make great real estate agents. Brokers sometimes use this profile when hiring new agents. Important characteristics in real estate agents include:
- Dominance: This confident person emphasizes results and the bottom line.
- Influence: A person scoring high here is more outgoing and friendly, a people person. She is great at developing relationships and persuading people.
- Steadiness: Steady people can handle the uncertainty of the real estate business and don’t allow external forces to blow them off course.
- Conscientiousness: A person scoring high here cares about accuracy, quality, and expertise.
Ideal buyers’ agents will likely score high in Influence, Steadiness, and Dominance. The rock star sellers’ agent has a lot of Dominance, Influence, and Conscientiousness. A person with high Steadiness and Conscientiousness will probably be great at understanding and harnessing technology, developing online leads, and closing sales.
The freedom and responsibilities of an agent can be freeing or frightening depending on your personality. If you have the passion and the right disposition, real estate will be a fascinating, rewarding career that lets you help people, explore your interests, and make good money.