Real Estate Sales Agents belong to the Enterprising Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory® Test. This Inventory classifies careers into six career Theme Code Categories based on the work preferences and interest configurations of Inventory responders while comparing these results with individuals who typically hold parallel careers. It then analyzes individuals’ interests as well as career ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ to identify the theme codes which best fit them. This process is designed to help individuals find a career which will be fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable. The Enterprising Theme Code Category centers around marketing, advertising, and related business practices, including sales and management. Individuals with a proclivity for Enterprising activities tend to enjoy human contact and interaction, and believe that their skills or products can benefit others and create material value.
Real Estate Sales Agents act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers as they negotiate purchase offers. This process may include compiling lists of potential properties and displaying or presenting purchasing offers to sellers and buyers for their consideration, as well as comparing properties with other similar properties to determine the demand for them and their market price. These insights are used to provide clients with advice relating to market conditions and prices, as well as any new developments or legal requirements. Throughout this process, they may need to confer with inspectors, lenders, pest control operators, and other home improvement assessors or professionals. Once an agreement is reached between the buyer and seller, Real Estate Sales Agents prepare required documents, including purchase agreements, deeds, leases, and closing documents, as well as coordinate the closings and signing of documents among all parties.
A major component of Real Estate Agents’ responsibilities is managing clients and answering their questions relating to multiple aspects of property renting, leasing, and purchasing. These questions may regard construction work, financing, repairs, appraisals, or generalities relating to the process itself. They may also need to help clients make their homes more visually appealing for photography or for showings. Successful Real Estate Sales Agents also promote themselves and their properties through advertising and by conducting open houses for the public. They may also find it helpful to develop and maintain networks of lawyers, lenders, and contractors to whom they can refer clients as is necessary.
Real Estate Agents do not use many kinds of specialized tools, beyond Microsoft Office Suite, computers, and personal digital assistants or smartphones. However, they need to be familiar with a broad range of software applications and platforms, including customer relationship management software (CRM) (e.g., Agent Business Builder; Databasix Technologies Lead Commander), Database user interface and query software (e.g., Front Desk, Yardi Systems Yardi Enterprise); financial analysis software (RealData Comparative Lease Analysis), and graphics and photo imaging software (e.g., Easypano Tourweaver; Panoweaver Panorama).
In addition to a detailed knowledge of real estate markets, including mathematics, law, and clerical procedures relating to real estate sales and marketing, Real Estate Agents need to have a strong background in sales and marketing. This includes a knowledge of best practices in promoting and selling properties, as well as maximizing return on investment in marketing materials and time spent in negotiations. Active listening, speaking, and persuasion skills, as well as a degree of social perceptiveness are highly important. Real Estate Sales Agents also need to be able to solve complex problems confidently, even when under pressure. 50% of Real Estate Sales Agents hold either a high school diploma or a post-secondary certificate. While it is still possible to obtain a real estate license with less than a high school diploma, this is not common, with only 29% of real estate agents being in this situation.
Real Estate Agents salaries vary nation-wide from below $20,000 to above $90,000 annually, depending on the local markets and the activity in local markets. New York leads the nation, with an average annual salary of $80,240 which is nearly twice the national average. The best-paid Real Estate Agents in New York earn $187,000 or more per year. The lowest Real Estate Agent salary in the Midwest or the Deep South can be under $20,000 annually. Most states are not experiencing significant growth in real estate, nor are they projected to do so before 2024. Utah, Colorado, and California all have projected growth rates over 20%, with California alone adding over 5,000 jobs in the next several years.
Below are some employment trends for Real Estate Sales Agents:
- Median Real Estate Agent Salary: $20.85 hourly; $43,370 annually
- Employment: 337,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2024): Slower than Average (2% to 4%)
- Projected job openings (2014-2024): 33,000
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org