Southern Maryland Best Buys


The Realities of Realtors' Unpaid Hours

Loreena makes some really thought provoking points here. A Realtor works immeasurable hours. A Realtor takes on lots if responsibility. A Realtor learns and does every facet of running a business. But as I say this I hear Paul Harvey in my ear saying that we's get up and do it all over again.

A client reached out to me recently asking me if I could represent him and his family in an area I've never sold real estate. Back up 2 months prior to this conversation, I met with this family and we had a great rapport. So much so that he wanted to reach out to me to see if I could help in areas I typically do not sell real estate.

When we first met, I mentioned that I keep my geographical area small (only in my comfort zone, explaining how I wouldn't serve my clients well if I sold real estate in areas I have no knowledge and expertise in. I could learn about an area much faster than a "typical" consumer, I have data of sold comps. But that isn't really enough for a good viable representation, in my personal opinion).

If I didnt know much about the zoning laws, what a city government typically expects in its government issues, etc. how could I be well-versed to protect what they would entrust me with over several hundred thousnds of dollars. The Dallas metroplex certainly can spend over 100 miles in radius. And our MLS runs over several large counties.

What I'm going to share isn't really important if this client asked, but the fact that many consumers think alongside this way so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to clear up, just some issues that lay heavy on my heart:

"Since we found this community, and you didn't bring us there, can you give us back part of your paycheck?"

So, this is the realities of a real estate business:

(1) Successful realtors have many un-paid hours. Perhaps as much as 3-5 times more than appointment hours. Realtors do not work only when we meet with clients. During our "off" or "non-appointment" hours, we could be working on marketing, coordinating paperwork, negotiating, handling inspections, reviewing reports, visiting with builders, previewing properties. 

I can only speak from my experience: Sometimes I could have back-to-back 3-6 appointments a day. Sometimes I have none. But at an average, my work days are 12-16 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. When people say, It's so awesome that you get to be a Realtor.... You have flexible hours so you can spend time with your kids.

I can tell you that a realtor that only works during appointment hours are not producing much. The only flexibility successful realtors have is the control of how we many our children's and family's schedule during work hours. But my God, I work 2-3 times more than I worked in corporate America as a structural engineer.

(2) Simply because we didn't bring a client to a community, how about the 3-5 days that we spent, blocking off a week of schedule to spend with relocation clients that didnt pan out? Isn't that work too (asking very respectfully)?

A salaried worker can easily count your hours. Hourly employees are even easier. You get paid every dollar you work. But not self-employed people. If I get paid minimum wage on every hour I work, I'm completely okay with some giving money back.


Most consumers only see that we work 1 Saturday, showed 6 homes and the buyer picked one. Write a contract, negotiate the contract and bam, 30 days later we collect a "what seems to be a huge paycheck" for very little work.

I could talk until I'm blue in my face about what goes on behind the scenes and consumers will still look at their Realtor only working at most 5 hours on a transaction.

- How about the transactions that never pan out?

- How do you think once you google something real estate in an area, our name or information pops out? We cant pay Google on the organic search results even if we want to....

- I spent the last 6-7 years putting myself on 1st page of Google so that many consumers who want to buy/ sell and relocate to Frisco TX find me easily on Google. Every waking hour (besides spending time with clients, my family and at church volunteering) I'm learning, working or putting information out onto the world wide web. As I type this, my 16-month old is taking a nap in the car, waiting for my son to finish his swim lesson and I'm blogging, educating consumers how Realtors work.

So, the next time you think it's easy, remember that it's always greener on the other side. Sure, we may make it look real easy, but guess what? When problems come your way in a real estate transaction, you'd wish you worked with an experienced Realtor, smooth sailing into the closing table. I promise you that you wouldnt want any hiccups.

Real experienced agents face hiccups too. It's in evitable in this business but a good experienced agent takes you through it, producing an end result you want.

So, the next time you consider taking a bite at someone's hardwork, think again. 

Very respectfully, I'd say - if you would like a part of my paycheck, I would very politely ask from you the same percentage of your paycheck (remember you work for every hour you are paid) that month. We will donate both the portions to a charitable organization of your choice! After all, I'm all about giving back and I believe this society will be a much better place with philanthropies around instead of people who just suck!



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Comment balloon 2 commentsCheryl Ritchie • June 29 2013 03:56PM


WORKING SMARTER is WORKING BETTER * Technology and Education are keys to working less hours for more money

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

If we broke down the hours we spent on every detail folks might see things a little different.

Posted by Charles Stallions Property Manager, Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services) over 7 years ago