The work of a real estate agent

the work of a real estate agent

The work of a real estate agent is not hard work but it is a lot of work, some of it frustrating, most of it rewarding.

Mental labour and manual labour

The saying in the industry is that working with sellers is mental labour whereas working with buyers in manual labour. It is easy to have a preference but it is best to have a mix.

The best Realtors, I think, live and breath real estate. We see each other. We are the ones showing up to compete on offer night. Our cards are the ones stacked up in the kitchen after a few days of showings. We have a listing (or three) and a dozen buyers at various stages of buying.


I sometimes meet home sellers or home buyers who want to take a short cut or think there is a better way. There should be a better way, but so far no one has found it yet. There are simply too many moving parts, like a Rube Goldberg contraption, if you skip a few steps, the whole thing falls apart.

How do a successful agents do the work?

Communicate. They call or email consumers back and answer their questions. The consumer may be sending all the signals that they are not ready buyers (or sellers) but maybe someday they will be and that relationship starts now.

They don’t ask them if they are pre-qualified for a mortgage. Not yet. Not on the first contact. They wait a while. Good agents get to know the consumer before they start asking about their ability to pay.

Great Realtors take the time to meet new clients face to face. They don’t invite them to their weekend open house. They sit down over coffee, relax, share information, answer all of their questions.

Good Realtors give their clients what they want. I asked a successful agent I know what the secret of his success was. He said, “When a client asks for something, I give it to them. They asked for a reason, I don’t need to know what it is. I don’t hold back.” That includes referring them to my trusted mortgage brokers, real estate lawyers, home inspectors, contractors…anyone they may need. That means sharing spreadsheets and neighbourhood histories, anything that will help them to eventually make good real estate decisions.

A good agent will send their client all of the listings that match what they are looking for, not just listings from their own brokerage.

A good agent is available.


So many agents spend so much time and resources chasing after business but when it appears in front of them they instantly go into “qualification mode” or worse, “sales mode”. It’s a shame. People just want to be treated like people, not customers and not clients, at least not yet.

More from Keith Marshall
Victor Hussein – What does a real estate agent do that I can’t do myself?
QUESTION: A while ago, you wrote an article outlining the pros and...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *