Duties and responsibilities
A realtor operates as a Licensed Real Estate Agent. They are responsible for representing buyers to find the best properties that meet their needs at the right price. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Developing a marketing plan for clients that is designed to attract and address the needs of buyers
- Working with clients to gather information about what sort of home they are looking for and their financial status
- Presenting properties for sale to buyers/clients
- Pre-screen and qualify all potential buyers before allowing them onto a client’s property
- Assisting buyers as they explore their financial options
- Presenting the buyers offer to the sellers and presiding over negotiations.
To become a realtor, you do not need a degree. However, you will need to complete some real estate courses and pass licensing exams. Realtors are different from estate agents because they need to be members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Like with generalised real estate agents, the specific requirements for a Realtor vary from state to state.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as a genuine interest in houses and architecture, realtors need skills such as:
- Interpersonal and communication skills, as realtors will spend a lot of their time interacting with clients and writing and maintaining documents
- Sales and business skills, as they will need to reach out to prospective clients, handling their finances and advertise their services
- Organizational skills, as realtors must be able to work independently, managing their own time and be able to prioritize their work.
- Problem-solving skills, as realtors need to be able to quickly address their clients concerns and will need to mediate negotiations between seller and buyer
- Negotiation skills, as realtors will need to come to agreements with both buyers and sellers in order to make commission
Despite the fact that realtors, in theory, get to control their own schedule, many realtors work more than 40 hours per week. Often, realtors will have to work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients’ schedules.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for real estate agents (which includes realtors) in the United States was $48,930 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,930, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $111,800.
The income of a realtor often depends on economic conditions, their individual motivation, and the types of property available. Therefore, the average annual income of a realtor is likely to vary each year and usually increases as they become better and more experienced at sales.
Realtors can progress, with more experience, to becoming managers, brokers or to owning their own real estate company.