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What’s it like to be a Realtor?

The highs, the lows, the creamy middles…what a rock & roll lifestyle!  This morning as I got up after an appointment that lasted until almost midnight last night, I casually thought about what life might be like if I had a “regular” job.  You know, the kind where you are paid a regular salary and work regular hours.  The kind of job where you have happy-go-lucky colleagues instead of kind but tired clients, struggling under the stress of a once or twice in a lifetime upheaval…

Here are difficulties of being a Realtor:

Financial risk: This is the obvious difficulty! Realtors are not paid until their clients buy or sell a home.  Quite often we dedicate months or years of evenings and weekends – missed soccer games and family reunions- for clients who never end up moving after all.

Long hours: Lots of people tell me that I’m lucky because my job is flexible.  The actual truth is that I need to BE flexible and available whenever clients need me – which means I might be gone night and day for two weeks and suddenly spend a lonely Thursday with absolutely nothing to do!

Emotional toll:  The real estate profession is more like matchmaking or social work than it is like sales.  Who among us can really afford what we want?  Buying a home requires compromises no matter the price range.  And selling in the era of HGTV can make sellers want to pull their hair out – not to mention the loss on most investments made in the last few years.  Any Realtor who is truly putting their clients’ best interests first is going to feel the pain right along with them and question every step of the process. (Yes, my clients, I do sit up nights strategizing on your behalf – and my poor husband has to listen to me pace long after he would like to be asleep!!! 🙂 )

Here are the wonderful perks:

The People:  I have the good fortune not only to see my clients under moments of great stress but also to note that in even the most dire circumstances, over and over again they show their kindness and determination to do the right thing.  My faith in humanity is renewed often in this wonderful business!

The Reminders of Success: There is no feeling better than a really happy customer who has made a major life change and come out on the other side feeling confident that they made all the right moves. I have the privilege of seeing families in my community every day who are here in part because of my help!

The Amazing Houses: Yes, in two weeks I will be at the beginning of my tenth year as a full-time Realtor and, shallow as it is,  I STILL adore going to see houses! We live in an area with a wealth of home styles and it is a pleasure to explore them all!

The Lack of  a Cubicle: Okay, so this is not me boasting about my beautiful new corner office with two windows (thank you, Judith Cadigan, for bequeathing it to me in your retirement!) This is really about the fact that no two days are the same!  When is the last time you climbed a ladder or learned something new about cave crickets or radon gas?  How often do you learn oddities about tax laws or discover boundary disputes older than the houses?  I love that I spend most of my time out and about and that there is something new to learn in every transaction!

So… I have finished my cup of coffee and once again, I can’t really imagine any other job!!! Bring on the late nights – I’m a Realtor – I can handle it!!!

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