What Does A Realtor Do? | 290 Real Estate Agent Duties

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Monday, November 12th, 2018 at 2:25pm. 145,298 Views

What Does a Realtor Do? Listing Versus Buyers Agent

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REALTORS® are known for helping people buy and sell real estate, but much of what a real estate agent actually does happens behind the scenes. A good REALTOR® will make your transaction flow smoothly through each step of the process, leaving the impression that their job is fairly simple. The fact is - that couldn't be further from the truth.

This article is designed to put the real estate agent role into perspective. It's a brutal job that doesn't get the recognition that it deserves because most people don't understand how complicated and expensive it is.

Being a Real Estate Agent is Exhausting!

Being A Realtor is ExhaustingAs you read through some of the tasks on the 290 duties listed in the infographic above, it may seem overwhelming. That's because it is. Full-time REALTORS® who excel in their careers are high-energy, time-efficient professionals who know how to handle stress and responsibility well.

There are definitely REALTORS® out there who cut corners and do not take care of their responsibilities as well, but they should not define our industry. The real estate industry is loaded with very impressive professionals with whom I am proud to work with.

It's exhausting because real estate agents are constantly absorbing the stress and chaos of the real estate transaction, so that our clients don't feel the pressure. It's one of the main reasons why 87% of REALTORS® do not make it past their first year in the business. The workload is much more intense than most people are capable of handling.

Being a REALTOR® is Expensive!

Being a Realtor is ExpensiveOn top of the large list of responsibilities that REALTORS® carry, they also have many expenses to account for. When people see a REALTORS® commission check, they may feel like we are getting rich quick. In reality, the average REALTOR® earns around $46,000, after all expenses and taxes. This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the real estate agent role.

The typical real estate agent stereotype is usually of someone driving a high-end luxury car, playing on their yacht on the weekends, and occasionally showing up to work to close a big deal and collect a giant paycheck. After being licensed for 9 years, I've still yet to meet this elusive agent. I think they're a myth.

Much of the money from a real estate agent's commission check goes directly into their business and maintaining their licensing. Less than half of it usually goes into their bank account. Here is a list of some common REALTOR® fees:

Some Common REALTOR® Expenses:

Being a REALTOR® Can Drive You Crazy!

Working in Real Estate Can Drive You CrazyMany people try to start a career in real estate under the assumption that there is easy money to be made here. In reality, it is a brutal business with loads of competition. The paychecks are not large enough to keep people in the business, a fact that is reflected in the 13% success rate for new REALTORS®. Those who do survive usually do so because they have a passion for the business, and helping people make their real estate dreams a reality. It's a great business to be in, but it's NOT EASY!

So, the next time you work with a REALTOR®, remember that they are human just like you, and they carry a lot of burden and responsibility in their job. We work long hours for months on end for clients with no guarantee of a paycheck. When you understand these things about REALTORS® and let them know that you get it, you can be sure it will put a smile on their face. :)

Why Do People Think REALTORS® Have An Easy Job?

A Good Realtor Makes The Process Very EasyIf you've never spent much one-on-one time with a real estate agent, you may not understand how different their job is from the average everyday job. Anyone who has ever lived with a REALTOR® knows this to be true. They work crazy hours, deal with high-stress situations, never really know when they will get paid, and have to survive in an over-saturated industry.

In Colorado Springs today, we currently have 4,799 real estate agents registered in our local MLS. Last month, we only sold 1,320 homes for the whole area. There are 2 sides for each transaction, so that means there were potentially 2,640 total sides closed last month. If every agent was given one transaction last month, there would still be 2,159 agents who did not have a transaction for the month.

In 2014, the National Association of REALTORS® stated that 87% of new agents do not make it past their first year. This is a staggering statistic, but when you consider the cost of being a real estate agent mixed with the competitive environment and the amount of stress that comes from the job, it's really not that surprising.

It's a fun job with many moving parts, but it's very competitive and challenging. It's not for everyone, but for those who are successful at being a REALTOR®, our hats off to you. You're an impressive group of people!

What Does a Realtor Do? 290 Real Estate Agent Duties


(This post has been updated from our old post back in 2015. You can view our old post on The Lighter Side of Real Estate's page here.)

Andrew FortuneHi! I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.


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14 Responses to "What Does A Realtor Do? | 290 Real Estate Agent Duties"

Ryan Fitzgerald wrote: Andrew,


Love the high quality infographic, it makes it easy for clients to understand how a Realtor® earns their commission!

Often times clients choose a Realtor® specifically based on the commission % they charge, I've lost many listings to more experienced agents because of this. It's the toughest objection I've encountered on a listing presentation.

What are Realtors® sacrificing that allows them to be able to work for a smaller commission? On a scale of 1-10 how good are their negotiating skills if they're already lowering their own value? Imagine their negotiating skills for your home. Still it seems clients don't realize how Realtors® earn their commission.

Does anyone have good objection handlers for when clients say 'what commission percentage do you charge?' 'the other Realtor® is charging less commission'

Thanks in advance!

Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 7:31am.

Kieran Jackson wrote: Great article and infographic!


Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 9:43am.

Kim Mulligan wrote: Great images and concepts thanks for addressing some issues I have been up against lately.

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 at 11:12pm.

hometaurus wrote: We are sending some love to all Realtors. We are help to help too

Posted on Sunday, April 26th, 2015 at 10:19am.

Jose Miori wrote: Great real & funny content. Like your graphics too!

Posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 at 5:17pm.

bruno wrote: Love the article and your image very creative and fun

Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2015 at 8:04am.

Stavros Mitchelides wrote: Andrew, your posts are truly amazing. Thank you!

Posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 at 5:49pm.

Dustin Brohm wrote: Andrew this is an amazing infographic. I have struggled at times when friends or clients ask me what I do as a Realtor and someone even asked me "how can you justify such a big paycheck?" This article and graphic will now be my go-to resource whenever I need to lay it all out there for someone. When in the daily grind, doing all the little tasks we do as Realtors, it's easy to forget all that is required to get deals done. Most of it just gets taken for granted as "just part of the job." We do so much behind the scenes, and the fact that we make it look easy to clients or those not in the biz is actually a compliment! When our clients and friends are not exposed to the stress and workload that we have on a daily basis, that means we're doing it right.

Posted on Monday, December 28th, 2015 at 11:17am.

Lance Brown wrote: Good stuff. (Shared!).
Hey Ryan Fitzgerald (above), try this retort to your question: "How comfortable would you be with an agent representing you who so easily caves on their own commission? Who basically just bought the listing out of sheer laziness? I'm a seasoned negotiator and I earn every cent of my commission by helping my clients save money when it comes time for negotiating on their behalf, both on the sales price and for repairs."

Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 at 11:15am.

Brent Wells wrote: Andrew,

I can't imagine the time you put into this post. Really loved reading it and seeing the creativity you put into it. I was very powerful to see all the items, duties, jobs, responsibilities listed out like that. Great job!

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at 10:00am.

Laura Ludwig wrote: I love how this info graphic explain how the realtor works.

Posted on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 at 8:36am.

Susan Compagner wrote: Your articles are soooo true!!! Thank you for getting this information out to the public!!

Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2017 at 5:53pm.

Commercial Real Estate Broker wrote: We are starting a blog on our website for industrial real estate. I've struggled to inform clients what we do! I love the way you explain everything with the infographic and blog. This is inspiring :)

Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 at 3:31pm.

Office Space Lincolnshire wrote: I have struggled at times when friends or clients ask me what I do as a Realtor in commercial real estate. This is an amazing summary!

Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 at 5:12pm.

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