Once upon a time, I thought Realtors had it easy- they could nap, golf or eat whenever and wherever they wanted. At one time, I believed they simply collected commissions for attending closings. But that was when I was really stupid (and I wasn't married to a Realtor). We hear it all the time- our spouses are among the "get rich quick schemers" in America... but anyone who says that is a moron, and here's why:

Full time Realtors are just that- full time as in ALL THE TIME. Realtors are more than simple transaction hosts- they market your home, host open houses, attend Realtor tours, continually educate themselves through classes and seminars, many of them blog (endlessly), network in person and online at any given chance, protect your interests prior to a contract by negotiating terms to most closely match your wants and needs, participate in inspections, home stage, open homes for vendors when a seller/buyer is at work, often do their own accounting, follow up on any tour of your home, commit to endless thank you notes, involve themselves in committees for local Boards or NAR, explain closing terms prior to closing in case any questions come up, are on call 24-7 for calls from other agents about your home, tour homes with buyers often with only minutes of notice, thus providing years of experience, knowledge and expertise on their given area of specialization, but most importantly- they advise their clients (sorry y'all for the tasks I omitted).

As if all of these tasks combined don't take up 100 hours a week, Realtors are often therapists. People move cross country, because of new children, divorce, house fire, empty nest, etc. and usually need a counselor because of what they are going through ADDED to the stress of home buying/selling.

Take for example, a client of my husband's, we'll call him Spike (I like that name). Spike is a rough NY/Italian guy we had known for a while who struggled through a messy custody battle and divorce. He was such a sweet guy and he was ready to provide a stable home for his teenaged daughter- he wanted to move out of his apartment. We knew he was excited when he called three times the morning my husband was preparing to show him homes. But hey- everyone likes enthusiastic buyers, right? YAY!

In typical Single Pointe Realty fashion, the Austin market had nothing on my husband- Spike contracted that very afternoon on the second house he looked at (the one my husband told him he would love the most, by the way). The terms that were negotiated were awesome, and it was a gorgeous, brand new house- one he never dreamed he would have been able to afford (and he SO could).

That same night, he called twice- once to vent about his psycho ex, and another to vent about his daughter's attitude problem- neither of which had to do with the house. But, as a good Realtor, my husband listened and consoled, knowing that he just needed a shoulder to lean on during this process.

The phone calls to my husband's cell and to our home became increasingly frequent, and my husband was very patient. Because of the stress of buying a house post-divorce, he needed someone to constantly coddle him by telling him how to express issues to underwriters, how to hire a mover, where to put his furniture, what to do about the cable in a new subdivision (tricky), and the list goes on. After closing, the time spent on the phone with Spike equated to a part time job.
But, my husband was so patient and understanding with this overly demanding (sometimes inappropriately so) client. Spike moved into the house, painted accent walls and has since referred a number of people to my husband (nice benefit of being the counselor). Many Realtors ignore these calls, and in any other profession the calls would most certainly be ignored.

BUT THAT IS WHAT REALTORS ARE FOR! Advising the buyer or seller in the transaction process, and to hold their hand- even if that means spending countless hours consoling them through their life changes. So, for those who don't think Realtors deserve their commissions for the business reasons above, they most certainly earn them in numerous other ways.

So if you haven't yet, HUG a REALTOR today!!!!


Jeff Brown said...

Thanks for the reminder. It's always a good thing to occasionally remember why I got out of home sales. :)

Your husband definitely has the genes I didn't. I'll bet he gets more referrals than almost everyone.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I if I were paying 6% I would want some psycoanalysis and life coaching included so I don't feel completely gypped.