KIM COOPER: Another one bites the dust

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Friday we received a call from an old friend who works in the title insurance business. It seemed as though she had dropped off the face of the Earth about a year ago when she left that business to pursue other endeavors. The other endeavors turned out to be a career as a real estate agent. She should be well suited to this career she thought since she had worked on hundreds of transactions and with dozens of Realtors over the course of her employment at a local title company.

When asked what it was that caused her to quit her pursuit of the listing and selling of real estate she explained that, “I never realized how hard it is. I didn’t know how hard you guys work.” We asked her to elaborate. What specifically was it? It turns out that she found the logistics overwhelming. “I didn’t realize there was so much to do. Handling lockbox inventory and making sure they get on the houses, making sure the for sale signs get up and the paperwork, my gosh you guys have so much paperwork and it has to be done with precision.”

She is not alone. Statistically 87 percent of people who become involved with a real estate career find it is unusually demanding. After all we are dealing with the largest investments most people will ever make. Certainly it is nothing to be cavalier about as many agents who have failed have discovered. It only takes one mistake to impact an agent financially and some never recover. Even more, like our friend here, find the pace too demanding.

Like regular hours? Forget about it. Evenings and weekends become your regular hours as you make sure you are available to clients when they are not working to be able to afford property. Still, many newbies attempt to maintain a 40-hour work week by hiring others to do the mundane tasks like managing lock boxes and making sure signs are up. Oh and don’t forget the photography, open houses, office tours and listing appointments as well as weekends and anniversaries spent showing a family that is suddenly homeless — because of your sale of their home — new homes they may want to purchase.

Certainly, you can blow off answering the phone by forwarding it to an assistant who may or may not answer their phone leaving customers and cooperating agents a bit more than miffed at your level of communication. Or you can be one of the 13 percent who make personal sacrifices and budget their time around their clients’ schedules to make it easier for them to find and buy the right property. This type of dedication pays dividends and in 10-15 years you can actually make a decent living off the referrals you get because of your dedication. It ain’t for everybody, but then neither is sitting at a desk at a title office.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

• • •

Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling (208) 667-0664.

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