Real estate agents assist people through the process of buying, selling and renting land, homes and other properties. In addition to staying current with real estate laws and trends, real estate agents are tasked with a multitude of daily duties and responsibilities, from lead generation and marketing, to open houses and property closings. One of the appealing aspects of working as a real estate agent is that each day is different, and responding to the changing needs of buyers and sellers often means shifting gears at the last minute. Although every day is unique, there are some activities that may be typical in a day in the life of a real estate agent.
On any given day, some of an agent's activities will be income-producing while others will be strictly administrative. Administrative duties include tasks such as:
- Completing, submitting and filing real estate documents, agreements and lease records
- Coordinating appointments, showings, open houses and meetings
- Creating and distributing flyers, newsletters and other promotional materials
- Creating and implementing paper and electronic filing systems for records, correspondence and other material
- Creating budgets for monthly, quarterly and annual operations
- Data entry
- Developing marketing plans for listings
- Maintaining and managing client databases
- Researching active, pending and sold listings to develop comparative market analysis (CMA) reports
- Responding to emails and phone calls
- Updating websites and social media profiles
Because administrative duties can be very time consuming, many agents hire an assistant to handle these day-to-day tasks. This allows the agent to leverage his or her time more effectively and to ultimately be a more productive real estate agent.
Finding clients is central to a real estate agent's success; without buyers and sellers there would be no transactions and, therefore, no commissions. A popular way to build contacts and generate leads is through a real estate sphere of influence (SOI) strategy that focuses on generating leads through the people the agent already knows, such as family, friends, neighbors, classmates, business associates and social contacts.
Because most people will sell, buy or rent property at some point in their lives, every person that an agent meets is a potential client. That means that a real estate agent's day often includes meeting and speaking with lots of people, giving out business cards, and keeping track of contact information for a growing sphere of influence. Meeting people and handing out business cards is only one step in cultivating new leads, however. After the first contact is made, it is important to follow up with periodic phone calls, emails, snail mail or text messaging to keep the agent's name fresh in the minds of all potential clients.
Working with Clients
Whether working on behalf of buyers or sellers, real estate agents typically spend time each day working directly with clients. A seller's agent, for example, may spend time preparing a listing presentation, taking digital photographs of the property and staging the home so it shows well. A buyer's agent, on the other hand, may spend time combing through the MLS to find appropriate listings, printing or emailing the listings to the potential buyers and showing the property to interested buyers. Real estate agents also accompany clients to inspections, meetings with loan officers, closings and other activities where their presence is either required or requested.
Meetings and Tours
Real estate agents work for and under the umbrella of designated brokers, and as such, typically work in an office with other real estate agents and brokers. Regular office meetings allow agents to share their new listings, update other agents on price reductions and discuss buyers' needs, and can help agents line up buyers and sellers.
Some agents participate in MLS tours to view a number of new listings each week or each month. This can help agents narrow the search for a buyer since they have seen the properties firsthand and can share detailed information with buyers. Likewise, an MLS tour can be beneficial to agents who are working with sellers: after seeing the competition, it may be easier to determine a good listing price for the seller's property.
Continuing Education, Certifications and Designations
A real estate agent must be licensed in the state in which he or she operates, and is required to earn continuing education credits in order to maintain an active license status. In addition to these requirements, most agents pursue real estate certifications and designations to improve their credentials and marketability. Although earning and maintaining a license, certification and/or designation will not be a part of an agent's daily schedule, it is part of many agents' overall plan for improving skills, proficiency, knowledge and marketability as a real estate professional.
The Bottom Line
Real estate agents balance their time between daily administrative duties and income-producing activities. Often, this means spending time at the real estate office (or a home office), meeting with clients, staging or showing homes and traveling. Most agents have a long and varied list of daily duties and responsibilities that can change with little or no notice. As a result, there may be no such thing as a typical day in the life of a real estate agent – an aspect of the job many agents find attractive.
ProfessionalsThe e-PRO® curriculum focuses on the most recent developments in real estate technology. Here's everything you need to know about it.
ProfessionalsThe real estate industry offers a wide variety of career opportunities and dozens of designations to increase your skills.
ProfessionalsHere are a few ideas that will help you advance your career as a successful real estate agent.
Home & AutoTake these steps seriously, and you'll have your first "sold" sign up with your savings account still intact.
BrokersIf you're considering one of these careers, this article is designed to help you make a logical choice between the two.
Personal FinanceWhat does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
InvestingBulge bracket banks offer higher salaries and prestige. But boutique banks are rapidly gaining market share and may offer better work/life balance and job security.
Investing BasicsDiscover the best websites for finding valuable properties that can earn you income.
Personal FinanceEquity research is sometimes viewed as the unglamorous, lower-paid cousin to investment banking. In this article, we compare the two careers.
InvestingMany seek at the door of investment banking, but few can enter. Possessing these seven traits will help you land a job and succeed in investment banking.
A loan that lets senior homeowners retrieve the equity in their ...
A financial tool that lets senior homeowners retrieve some of ...
A short-term loan used to finance the building of a home or another ...
A qualification earned by insurance professionals and conferred ...
A designation earned by professionals looking for training in ...
Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes ...
Many real estate agents are able to set their own hours, but they work on the weekends, because it is a convenient time for ... Read Full Answer >>
Anyone who has ever tried to purchase or sell a home has probably heard a lot about the property's fair market value, or ... Read Full Answer >>
While regular funds from operations measures the cash flow generated by the operations of a real estate investment trust ... Read Full Answer >>
It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
Opinions vary based on which publications you consult, but the best MBA programs for a career in corporate finance are at ... Read Full Answer >>
In the financial industry, corporate finance jobs are often contrasted with investment banking jobs. The traditional view ... Read Full Answer >>