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It's Not Always Sales

To have a career in real estate, you are required to take 135 hours of classes ranging from Real Estate Practice and Principals to Finance and Ethics, all of which can be completed in a matter of months. Once you complete the requisite courses, you schedule your exam with the DRE, and if you get 70 questions right out of 100, they give you a license. So far so good, but I have always been bothered by fact that they call it a “salesperson’s license”. 

To me, calling someone a salesperson implies that they make their living solely by selling things. Granted, an agent doesn’t get paid until money changes hands, but when you think about it, this is true for anyone who provides a product or service in return for compensation. Whether you get paid by the hour or get an agreed portion of the total transaction as a fee or a commission, the product or service isn’t really the thing being paid for, rather it’s the benefit that the person received by getting it. 

This holds true whether it’s a massage, a meal, a legal settlement, or for that matter, the sale or lease of real estate—in each instance, the provider of the product or service is getting paid because they were able to identify and satisfy the wants and needs of the client who found it worthwhile. 

And in order to make sure they don’t fall short of meeting that standard of getting their needs met, more often than not I find myself talking clients out of a property, rather than talking them into a place that just wasn’t the right fit, instead keeping the faith that they can do better by staying the course.

As for a job description, the range of tasks and services that a real estate professional may perform during the course of a typical day may include one or more of the following, just to name a few:

  • Helping in their clients’ searches, 

  • Researching property attributes, 

  • Doing valuation analysis, 

  • Providing support or perspective as needed,

  • Coordinating pre-marketing preparations,

  • Designing and handling the marketing,

  • Negotiating and writing contracts, 

  • Assisting with due diligence,

  • Facilitating repairs and solutions, and/or

  • Addressing other logistical and transactional details 

As well, there are many other licensed activities such as leasing and property management that don’t even involve the sale of a property. And when you consider there are 365 days in a year, while most agents would consider themselves fortunate to sell a property on even 10% of these days, it helps us better appreciate what a real estate professional does on those many days in between that makes what we do worthwhile.

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