I met some friends at a local watering hole recently and people were talking about old acquaintances and what people were up to these days. One had made mention of a guy who was a Realtor and worked for Century 21. The conversation progressed and I listened to some pretty ridiculous notions about Realtors.
What struck me most peculiar was that this person actually thought that the title Realtor was an employed position. I assume most people know that when one "becomes" a Realtor, it's not a job. It's a business.
The fact is, Realtors are small business people. It's a career opportunity, yes, but you are pretty much accountable for your own success. You get the benefit of being under a National brand that helps lend credibility, provides recognition, and most importantly, training for your new venture, but a a professional, you are your own boss. Your revenue (and income) is determined by your abilities, effort, and knowledge.
Just as any other business owner, it's up to them to put forth the plan, the effort, and the resources to obtain whatever level of success they desire.
Local Realtors understand their communities. A good one will know the laws, the zoning, the properties up for sale, the school districts, the tax base, the bank rates, which banks are actively pursuing lending money, re-fi rates, etc. How is the housing market? Is it trending up, is it trending down, where can you get the best deal, what is the worst deal.
All of this can be found via an internet search, of course, but the local Realtor has it at their finger tips, AND has it locally. They aren't dealing in industry or national estimates. They have real time info directly related to your needs within your area. Having a friend in the Real Estate business is a huge advantage for anyone. You never know what opportunity will come their way, and by you being their friend, could ultimately come YOUR way.
The good ones are some of the hardest working people I know, and they deserve the recognition for going out of their way to attend to every single request they get. Some think it may be glamorous, some think it may be easy. I know from talking to these people that neither apply.
"The best part of my business is when I actually get to a close and the people who thought that owning a home would be impossible, finally realize their dreams", said Bill Frederick, a Realtor with Keller Williams in Horsham. "It makes all that data gathering, site visits, and conversations with banks all worth the while"'
Being a Real Estate agent is a tough business. There is a lot of turn over in Realty. You probably know someone who "tried" it, or someone who hinted at maybe giving it a try, but excuses such as, "it's not a good time to get in the market", or "there are so many of them to compete with" fly around as reasons not to. The truth is, Realty is a tough a job as any out there. Talk to any Realtor you know, and you'll soon find out what it takes.
They certainly aren't employees. They are truly, some of the best small business people around. They know that they can't sit and wait for someone to come in and buy something. It's not a waiting game like many businesses that sell goods. All someone like that can do is stock the shelves, put a marketing plan in place, and open the doors. Realtors have to go out and get their business. And they do it well.
So go pat one on the back next time you see them. They deserve it.
disclaimer: I am not a Realtor :)