What do I know about real estate sales people? First of all I used to be one. I was 21, single, living in Portland, Oregon, and my dad was a broker in Indiana. I had to show him that anything he could do, I could do also. Not better, mind you. Secondly, I am married to one. Yes, V is a realtor, and a good one.
Realtors are busy folks. You might think it is easy money being a realtor, but I assure you that it is not. Just the opposite. First, sales is a difficult art. A sales person is not only selling property; they are selling themselves, and constantly having to remind people how capable they are in a humble way. Next, realtors need to know how to coordinate between buyers and sellers,and the myriads of people who are involved with real estate: loan, title and escrow officers, county and city officials, inspectors, repair people, builders, and many more. Next, to do all the piles of paperwork involved in each sales transaction takes a working knowledge of computers and specialized real estate software programs. Finally, realtors interact with families in stressful situations such as divorces, marriages, loss of income, and any number of other life changing issues. They have to be able to solve problems and help make bad situations better. A good realtor balances these activities and attributes to perform the service and make a sale.
Often, after spending days or weeks coordinating all the efforts to make it possible for people to purchase a house, the sale falls apart. This means that the realtor earns nothing for his or her time, and can’t even recoup their expenses. In addition to keeping their license active by taking classes and paying fees, realtors spend quite a bit of their own money advertising, They create brochures, and even portfolios for houses they sell. Many realtors have their own websites, which either has to be maintained by employing someone, or by the realtor during his or her off time. Selling real estate requires a big investment of capital with no guarantee of a return. Realtors really are in business for themselves.
Some realtors are obnoxious about making it obvious that their main goal in life is to sell property, and that’s all you think about them. Others, like my husband, spend more time behind the scenes working hard to get the job done. People that know him well often forget that he earns his living by selling houses because he doesn’t mention it constantly. Then when someone in the family needs to buy a house, his name is not the one that necessarily comes to mind.
I say this because you may also know someone who is a great realtor, but you forget about them when a friend or relative mentions that they want to buy a home. You might even forget about your friend yourself. When you are driving around town and see a sign, who do you call? Do you call your friend, or the number on the sign? Most people call the number on the sign automatically, without thinking that their friend can get the same information, and will better represent their interestes. I know because V and I did this to a friend of ours accidentally when we were first married. That friend was kind, but plainly told us, “You know I can sell you a house even if it is listed by someone else.”
Buyers, like we were, don’t often think they need a salesperson like a seller does, but they do. A good sales person save the buyer, as well as the seller, a lot of headaches. The listing salesperson must first represent the interests of the seller. Sometimes those interests are not the same. V has represented many, many buyers. Many are investors who come to him time and time again because they know he will not try to sell them something they don’t want or need. He will make sure they are qualified to buy any property he shows them.
The bottom line for a realtor is that to make ends meet, realtors need referrals. If your friend is a realtor, and your cousin is looking at house, your realtor friend can help them, and make a little commission on the sale even if they are in another city, by referring them to a respectable realtor they know. It doesn’t cost you anything to refer a sale to a friend who is a realtor, and the friend that you trust can save you or your friend hundreds of thousands of dollars with their good advice.