A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Listing Agent
Listing agents must be flexible and able to think on their feet
Listing agents specialize in helping owners sell their homes, although they often have many years’ experience working with both buyers and sellers. Agents frequently specialize in listing properties when they have an in-depth knowledge of market conditions in a particular neighborhood or region.
Some listing agents get listings because they market their services to homeowners through advertising while others gain listings exclusively through referrals and repeat business.
The most successful listing agents have strong interpersonal and multitasking skills. No two days are guaranteed to be exactly the same. Listing agents must be able to think on their feet and juggle multiple responsibilities in addition to the usual tasks that you might expect—everything from scheduling repairs to properties to attending appraisals.
Listing Agents Deal With Administrative Tasks
Offices don’t run themselves. While some brokers hire and maintain assisting staff, a lot of administrative duties can still fall to agents. Some agents even hire their own assistants. Regardless, documents must be completed and filed, and events and meetings must be scheduled and organized. Agents are ultimately the ones responsible.
Websites and social media must be kept current. Someone has to answer those telephones, and the best agents tend to be peppered with emails that need immediate responses—or as close to immediate as possible. An agent without an extra pair of hands available to help out must perform all these duties on her own.
Checking MLS Activity Reports
Whether it's in the office on her laptop or on the go via smartphone, a listing agent typically checks recent Multiple Listing Service activity reports at the start of every workday. Knowing about new listings can help him advise homeowners as to the best listing prices for their homes for sale.
Some agents take it a step further and participate in scheduled MLS tours so that they can actually see newly listed properties. Of course, this can be most advantageous for a buyer’s agent, but listing agents can benefit from assessing the competition, too—and then watching to see if any of these listings expire. These expired listings can provide an opportunity for new business.
Generating Those All-Important Leads
An agent without leads will soon find himself out of business, and leads must be generated. An agent might network among family, friends, and business associates. There’s an old saying that everyone an agent crosses paths with is a potential client. Eventually, a time might come when that individual needs to buy, sell, or lease a property. Many agents make it a habit to regularly collect business cards. All this information must be centralized somewhere in a working database, such as a customer relationship management system, so he can periodically follow up.
Social media is key in this area, too: maintaining a presence on the internet and following up on queries and contacts that happen there. Ongoing office meetings allow listing agents and buyers’ agents to compare notes and contacts and identify potential clients.
Preparing for Listing Presentations
Listing agents spend time putting together presentations to make to prospective clients. Although a listing presentation is usually an informal affair, the agent must still be prepared to discuss past and present sale prices, times on the market, and comparable home features. Doing that homework often requires time and a bit of research.
Listing agents usually print client copies of the neighborhood's market analysis as well as the listing contract. They have information ready to share on their computing devices.
Scheduling and Holding Open Houses
Listing agents typically hold open houses on Sundays, and these events involve a good bit of preparation in advance. A listing agent with an open house on her schedule might meet with her client two times or even more during the week leading up to the open house.
A listing agent must make sure that the seller's or client's private and personal items are properly secured and that the home is clean, tidy, and ready to show. Listing agents also print copies of brochures to distribute to visitors during the open house.
Qualifying Potential Buyers
Homebuyers often hire their own agents to represent them, but a prospective homebuyer might occasionally call a listing agent directly to arrange a viewing. Listing agents typically make sit-down appointments with these buyers first to qualify them. They want to determine their ability to purchase before they spend a lot of time showing their listings.
Following Up With Clients
Listing agents usually set time aside for regular follow-up sessions with their clients. Contacting clients on a weekly basis gives listing agents an opportunity to hear their concerns and address any complaints.
Continuing Education Requirements
Some states require that agents regularly earn continuing education credits to maintain their real estate licenses. Other agents enroll simply to increase their knowledge and marketability. While classes might not be a daily challenge year-round, these hours can add up for periods of weeks or even months at a time.
Agents Are Multitasking Experts
Listing agents work side by side with their clients throughout the process, from getting their homes ready for sale to contract negotiations. They do everything in their power to represent their clients' best interests from the listing agreement to the date of closing.
The most successful listing agents have a professional and helpful demeanor in handling their clients whenever their services are needed.