Career Development

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

Find out what a real estate agent does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a real estate agent.

Real estate agents help buyers and sellers with the process of buying or selling a home. They are paid by commission, meaning they only get paid when they successfully complete a transaction. This creates an incentive for real estate agents to do everything they can to ensure their clients have a positive experience.

Real estate agents may specialize in certain types of properties or markets. For example, some focus on residential homes while others specialize in commercial property or even land. Regardless of what they specialize in, real estate agents must be knowledgeable about all aspects of the real estate market—including local laws, regulations, trends, etc.—in order to provide quality service to their clients.

Real Estate Agent Job Duties

A real estate agent typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Negotiating purchase prices for homes with buyers’ agents, using knowledge about current market conditions to help clients make informed decisions
  • Helping homebuyers with the purchase process by providing information about available mortgage products and services from lenders
  • Listing homes for sale and showing them to potential buyers
  • Marketing homes for sale through multiple channels such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, social media sites, mobile apps, and virtual tours of homes via computer
  • Conducting inspections of properties to determine if they are suitable for purchase
  • Communicating with clients throughout the buying process to answer questions about contracts, home inspections, title searches, appraisals, insurance requirements, closing costs, etc.
  • Negotiating with sellers on behalf of buyers to come to an agreement on price, terms, and conditions of sale
  • Arranging for repairs or improvements to be made to the property before it goes on the market to ensure that it will sell quickly for the best price
  • Recommending mortgage brokers and financial planners who can help buyers with financing, closing costs, and other post-sale transactions

Real Estate Agent Salary & Outlook

Real estate agents’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $95,000 ($45.67/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $195,000 ($93.75/hour)

The employment of real estate agents is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need to find new ways to market properties and to provide information online will likely result in continued demand for real estate agents. However, technological changes have made it easier for consumers to access information about real estate on their own, reducing the need for some types of real estate agents.

Real Estate Agent Job Requirements

In order to become a real estate agent, you will likely need to meet the following requirements:

Education: Real estate agents typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Many agents also choose to pursue a two-year associate’s degree in real estate or a related field. These programs provide agents with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the industry.

Training & Experience: Most real estate agents will receive on-the-job training from their employer. This training will typically include instruction on the company’s policies and procedures, as well as instruction on the company’s real estate software. The training may also include instruction on the company’s listing presentation and marketing strategies.

Certifications & Licenses: To work in real estate, you will need to get a license. Each state has different requirements for getting a license, but they typically require you to have some post-secondary education or training and pass an exam. The exam is typically the Broker’s License exam.

Real Estate Agent Skills

Real estate agents need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to another person. As a real estate agent, you must be able to communicate effectively with your clients, other real estate agents and the people you work with in the real estate industry. This includes being able to communicate in writing, verbally and through body language.

Marketing: Real estate agents use marketing skills to advertise properties and attract potential buyers. They may create advertisements, design flyers and post listings online. They also use marketing skills to promote open houses and other real estate events.

Negotiation: Negotiation is the ability to persuade others to agree with your ideas. Real estate agents use negotiation skills to convince clients to accept their offer on a property and to convince sellers to lower their asking price.

Time management: Real estate agents often have multiple clients and appointments throughout the day. Having strong time management skills can help you prioritize your tasks and ensure you meet your clients’ needs. For example, you may need to make sure you have all the information your client needs to make an informed decision about a property.

Customer service: Customer service is the ability to understand and meet the needs of your clients. Real estate agents use customer service skills to build trust with clients, communicate effectively and help clients find the right home.

Real Estate Agent Work Environment

Real estate agents work in an office environment, but they also spend a great deal of time traveling to properties that are for sale or lease. They also meet with clients, potential buyers, and other real estate agents. Some real estate agents work for a broker, and some are self-employed. Real estate agents usually work a forty-hour week, but they may work more hours to show properties to clients or to attend evening or weekend open houses. They may also work more hours during the spring and summer, when the demand for housing is higher.

Real Estate Agent Trends

Here are three trends influencing how real estate agents work. Real estate agents will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Real Estate Broker

The real estate industry is changing rapidly, and one of the most significant changes is the rise of the real estate broker.

As more and more people buy and sell homes online, the need for a real estate agent will decrease. This means that real estate agents will need to find new ways to stay competitive, such as by becoming brokers and specializing in specific areas.

Real Estate Agents Will Need to Be More Tech-Savvy

The real estate industry is quickly evolving, and agents who are not tech-savvy will be left behind.

Real estate agents who are able to use technology effectively will be better equipped to serve their clients and find success in the industry. This includes using social media platforms to market properties, using apps to track leads, and using software to manage client relationships.

More Transparency in the Industry

The real estate industry is becoming increasingly transparent, which is having a major impact on the way that agents do business.

Agents are now being held accountable for their actions, and they need to be careful about how they conduct themselves in order to avoid any potential problems. In addition, buyers and sellers are looking for agents who can provide them with information about the current market conditions, which requires a deep understanding of the data.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

When starting your real estate agent career, it’s important to consider the type of real estate you want to work in. Do you want to specialize in residential real estate, commercial real estate, or both? Do you want to work with buyers, sellers, or both?

Once you’ve decided on a specialty and a direction, it’s time to get started building your network. Attend local real estate association meetings and events, connect with other agents on social media, and reach out to past clients for recommendations. The more people you know in the industry, the better prepared you will be when opportunities arise.

Advancement Prospects

The most successful real estate agents are usually those who have been in the business the longest and have the most experience. They are also usually the ones who have the best relationships with their clients. The most successful agents are also usually the ones who are the most knowledgeable about the real estate market and who have the best marketing skills.

The best way to advance in this career is to get more experience and to build up a good client base. The more experience you have, the more likely you are to be successful. The best way to get more experience is to work for a successful real estate agent or broker. You can also take courses to improve your skills and to learn more about the real estate market.

Real Estate Agent Job Description Example

As a real estate agent at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for helping clients buy, sell, or rent properties. You will work with clients to understand their needs and wants, and then help them find a property that meets their needs. You will also be responsible for negotiating the sale or lease of the property, and for helping the client through the closing process. In order to be successful in this role, you must be knowledgeable about the real estate market, and you must be able to build relationships with clients. You must also be able to work independently, and you must be self-motivated.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Find potential clients through a variety of methods, including but not limited to networking, referrals, open houses, and online research
  • Understand the needs and wants of each client and work with them to find the perfect property that meets all their criteria
  • Educate clients on the current real estate market, trends, and prices to help them make informed decisions
  • Stay up-to-date on new listings and changes in the market to ensure that clients have access to the most current information
  • Negotiate on behalf of clients to get the best possible price and terms for their purchase
  • Manage the entire home buying/selling process from start to finish, including but not limited to paperwork, inspections, appraisals, and closing
  • Maintain regular communication with clients throughout the process to keep them updated and answer any questions or concerns they may have
  • Advertise properties using a variety of marketing techniques, including but not limited to print, online, and social media
  • Hold open houses and other events to generate interest in properties
  • Work with other real estate agents, lenders, home inspectors, and title companies to ensure a smooth transaction
  • Stay up-to-date on industry news, trends, and changes to better serve clients
  • Complete continuing education courses to maintain licensure and stay abreast of latest industry developments

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Proven experience as a real estate agent or real estate salesperson
  • Proven track record of successfully closed deals
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills
  • Outstanding organizational and time-management abilities
  • Aptitude for problem-solving
  • Thorough knowledge of the real estate market and trends
  • Valid real estate license

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, economics, or related field
  • MBA or Master’s degree in real estate
  • Active participation in real estate professional organizations and associations
  • Extensive network of industry contacts
  • Experience with real estate software programs and applications


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