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 Interesting Real Estate Statistics... Hours an Agent Works
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Sun, Nov 12th, 2006 2:20 pm

Last month I wrote a series of blog article on real estate commissions explaining how the industry works, how agents are employed, and how commissions are paid out.

Although I tried to remain neutral and not interject personal opinions in that article, one of the things about real estate that has always intrigued me is the attitude most new agents bring into the industry (i.e. it’s a get rich quick gig where the work is easy and the payout is ridiculous high). In my opinion, this mirrors the difference between perception and reality in the way the general public views real estate agents as well.

In researching for that article I found some very interesting real estate industry statistics that paint a very interesting picture about what it means to be a real estate agent which I would like to share here (and this time interject my own personal viewpoints). I apologize in advance for not saving the web links to the sources (I didn’t intend to add this piece). However all my sources were found with some simple Google searching (and a lot of it comes from the National Association of REALTORS at

What it is like to be an "Average" Real Estate Agent…

- The average full-time agent works 46 hours a week. 1 in 5 agents work 60 or more hours per week.

Part of the perception problem- even with agents within the industry- is that all an agent does is show homes. (A mine-numbingly simple task that can be argued is obsolete thanks to the internet.)

Yes there are a lot of internet search tools available to today’s buyers, but if you don’t have a strong understanding of the real estate industry or the local market, it doesn’t mean you know how to interpret the data. A good, knowledgeable agent (and let me add that I fully understand many agents don’t fall into that category) will spend time on every transaction crunching statistics trying to interpret the data to make sure their buyer doesn’t get burned (this is a whole blog article on its own).

Suffice it to say, this is hours of office work that a lot of new agents don’t realize exists.

Then there are the inspections- a good agent attends them with (or on behalf) of their clients. Plus there is the negation process after you receive the inspection report, working with the lender, inspector, appraiser, other agent and title company, as well as all the paperwork required by the state, broker or lender to get the deal to close. On the selling side, a good agent spends time helping a client stage their home, offering advice to make it show better, holding open houses, soliciting other agents for feedback (which is a full time job itself), providing feedback to the client and of course marketing.

I should also note that each transaction is its own beast. For every “easy” deal there is another client that has three contracts die before things work out, a difficult or emotional client that defies logic and consumes an agent’s time, or another agent whose lack of knowledge, arrogance, or apathy for their own client quadruples the amount of time it takes to make a contract close.

All said I would estimate for every hour an agent spends with a client there is 4-5 hours of administrative work to manage the client/contract and another 4-5 hours of marketing to bring in the client.

More important, in residential real estate weekend and evening work is quite common since you have to work around the schedule of the buyers- so the fact that the agent may be at home at 2pm on a Wednesday doesn’t mean the agent isn’t working their fair share of hours.

More on this subject tomorrow...

[ Next Article: << More Statistics about Being an Agent (Part 2) ]
[ Previous Article: >> How Agents Get Paid: The Summary ]

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Darin 'Sid' Cameron, CRS

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in tech sales which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director. In 2011, he launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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