It wasn’t too long ago when I’ve decided to become a Real Estate agent, 10 months, 12 days and 3 hours ago to be exact and I must say; a real estate career is one that is extremely tough and terribly unforgiving.
When I was younger, I’ve always looked at real estate agent s through eyes of admiration and often wondered to myself how nice it would be to put on a suit and sell houses for a living. It sure looked easy enough. More than 10 months after I’ve started on my real estate career, I still look at successful agents with admiration but after going through what I’ve been through, the thought of it being easy vanished.
Over the past 10 months, I have looked at houses that cost more than what a typical graduate makes in 15 lifetimes and met people who are rich and powerful. This exposure has enriched me in many ways that few careers in other professions can. I’ve learn that not all rich people are snobbish and not all snobbish people are rich.
A typical morning Now, to give non agents a perspective of what a morning in the life of a Real Estate Agent entails, allow me to tell you how my typical day unfolds. I wake up at 7am in the morning every day, weekends included, to plan for the day. The viewings I have scheduled for the day, the reconfirmations I have to do for both my buyers and other seller agents. I flip open the newspapers to check the latest news and switched on my computer to check my emails. I use RSS feeds to stay in touch with the latest news, I’m also subscribed to the many feeds this site has, so that whenever there are latest news, or properties, I will receive these updates on my computer. I would leave the house before 8am on weekdays to begin my prospecting. Depending on what properties, I may be found walking between factories, shops, or houses looking for a lead. When I was younger, I had a phobia towards dogs, after being a real estate agent; I no longer have that fear.
Before beginning this ritual of “walking the grounds” I’ve always thought that it would not be very effective to gather good quality leads this way, but after doing this for a month, it is very tiring but the result is not too bad after all. A typical afternoon In the afternoon, I can be found in the office. The afternoon is time to make all the necessary reconfirmations for the viewings in the evenings and it is always great to see other agents hard at work.
One thing I’ve learnt is that, despite reminding people of the viewing days in advance, people always forget. For every 10 viewings, there will be at least 3 viewings (excluding HDB appointments) that will be rescheduled on the day of the appointment.
I detest making phone calls in the beginning because I find some agents difficult to speak to, they always seem to be insulting you. It could be one’s intelligence, experience or simply anything they fancy. Some of them are impatient, very rude and always seem to be in a rush, they are also very eager to put down the phone.
I once asked myself, when was the last time I’ve spoken to an agent for more than 3 minutes and the answer to that question was “a long time ago”. Agents don’t treat other agents well for a reason and I only come to learn about this when it happened to me.
Evenings, viewings and undercutting. Evenings are mostly spent making phone calls or bringing clients for viewings. When I began my career as a real estate agent, I’ve always looked forward to viewings because both my clients and I can get to see the properties that I’ve lined up for them. These viewings are valuable because they bring my clients one step closer to buying. However, after more than 10 months in the business, I have come to learn that viewings are not as simple as they seem. I have experienced some seller agents slipping their name cards to my buyers and trying to undercut my services totally. My advice is to always prevent and avoid this from happening. Always follow where your buyers go. Bring them to see the ground floor together as a whole party and then move upstairs, do not allow them to stray because the other agents may purposefully leave his/her name cards lying around the place.
If you are bringing buyers to see homes that are currently occupied, owners themselves may try to undercut the services of agents totally. I’ve experienced my buyers directly going to the HDB flat to negotiate, cutting my services out totally. My buyers ultimately still had to pay commission to the other agent. The result of this is that my buyers did not get proper representation, because the agent will try to fetch the best price for his client and commission. So if you are looking for a property, use a buying agent, like myself or so many of my other colleagues, not just from Dennis Wee. A buyer agent can and will negotiate the best price for you, he/she has the duty to do so. Share your stories too so that we can all hear about the various lives we are leading. I have to attend a viewing at east coast at 8pm, so we’ll continue more blogging another day.