I am a Realtor and have been for over 30 years. The industry is changing; here in Naples, we have over 10,000 Realtors in Naples, agents with licenses. By any stretch of the imagination, that is an awful lot of people vying for business. There are many different reasons for becoming a Realtor. Mine was because of my father. He was in Real Estate for over 20 years and grew up helping him. Some people get their licenses so they can save money on their home sale. Others are from out of state and hold two licenses, one where they work full time and one down in Naples to pick up extra work while they vacation. The successful ones are full-time career Realtors.
So what do Realtors do? I mean, what do full-time professional career Realtors do. One misconception is that we show a few homes, then sit back and wait for the money to come in, oh how I wish that were true. My wife, bless her heart, is used to keeping meals warm or spending her weekends helping me with clients; being a Realtor is a full-time job. I usually am at my desk and available for clients around 7 am. My phone is on 24-7. I always answer, which means I could be talking to clients late into the evening. There is nothing more frustrating to me as a consumer when I cannot get the answers I want right away. So answering my phone is a top priority, and I often hear, "I didn't think you would pick up." I firmly believe many real estate agents let their clients down by not responding instantly to their clients. Even a text would be helpful if they cannot pick up the phone. When setting up homes to show potential buyers, I am frustrated when I cannot get the agent to answer to confirm a showing appointment.
My day will inevitably involve searching for homes; the MLS gives me multiple search criteria and allows me to pinpoint properties to show my clients. To make sure my clients get to see only the homes that fit their needs and tastes—checking schools, HOA pricing, flood zones, and more. I want to be confident that I am presenting my clients with the best possible selection of homes.
Once clients find a house, Realtors are involved in putting together contracts clearly and concisely to ensure everyone understands what to expect. Negotiating is a massive part of property transactions. How you present the offer and keeping lines of communication open can make all the difference. I have known buyers losing their dream homes simply because the agent they used did not know how to negotiate.
Realtors do other things during a typical day, including hanging around for home inspections, previewing homes, writing up counteroffers, and making sure everything runs smoothly; title companies, lawyers in some cases, plus buyers and sellers they all have lots of questions. I need to have the answers; buying a home is emotional; when you have your heart set on the perfect home, anything may interfere with the sale can cause heartache. Clients need assurance that they are in good hands and that their Realtor has the experience and knowledge to handle any issues.
Good marketing takes time and money, prospecting and keeping in front of leads that may or may not buy, giving each one your time, from a first-time buyer to a multi-million dollar prospect, its a juggling act. Giving time, listening, and making sure I follow-through is essential. And it all starts with simply picking up the phone when it rings.