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A Real Estate Agent’s job description may be very surprising. They do a lot more in fact, than drive people around looking at houses and opening doors. If you have wondered what does a real estate agent do, this article is for you.

Real Estate Agent Salary

Well, there isn’t one!

Real Estate Agents are not paid by the brokerage they hang their license with. Rather, they are paid a commission at closing.

While there are a few real estate agents that collect marketing fees or concierge fees in advance, most do not.

The consequence of not charging up front means that if they transaction does not close, the real estate agent does not get paid.

There is no hourly wage for the activities you will see listed below.

There is also no set task list or requirement of the agent outside of providing their duties and care to the client in an agency relationship or to the transaction in a transactional contract.

Most often, a real estate agent earns 1-3% of the closed purchase price. From that 1-3%, they also are sharing that back with their office and often, their teams.

From that collected amount, they also have insurance, and other business fees.

Some real estate agents have administrative team members or virtual assistants to pay either hourly, salary, or at the time of the transaction.

Then, they have all of their other standard costs of doing business from auto fuel to insurances to occupancy, phone, marketing etc.

And then they pay their taxes.

The idea that real estate agents are getting rich opening doors is a false assumption.


Real Estate Activities

Keep in mind that while many of these things that are done by real estate are not tasks as part of a contract or job description, but “extras” that the agent just does because they care about the client, community, and industry.

  1. Negotiates Offers
  2. Negotiates Repairs
  3. Negotiates Appraisals
  4. Schedules Inspections
  5. Attends Closings
  6. Attends Final Walk-Through
  7. Connect with Lenders
  8. Connects with Title Company
  9. Negotiate with Other Agents
  10. Sets up Showings for Buyers
  11. Requests Showing Feedback on Listings
  12. Reviews Documents for Clients
  13. Prepares CMA’s (Comparative Market Analysis) for Listings
  14. Prospects for New Leads [Generates Leads]
  15. Set Appointments
  16. Prepare Client Events
  17. Send Monthly Emails
  18. Plan VIP Giveaways
  19. Take Classes
  20. Contracts and Documents
  21. Host Open Houses
  22. Preview Homes
  23. Monitor the Market with MLS
  24. Calls whoever is needed for whatever is needed to get a transaction closed.
  25. Buyer Appointments
  26. Listing Appointments
  27. Presents Offers
  28. Contacts and or Contracts Vendors like Painters
  29. Cultivates and Converts Leads
  30. Meets with Builders
  31. Orders Yard Signs for Listings
  32. Social Media Management
  33. Answers Client Questions
  34. Advises Clients
  35. Manages the Database
  36. Negotiates Price Reductions
  37. Stages Homes
  38. Emails Properties to Buyers
  39. Sets and Measures Sales Goals
  40. Helps Clients Through the Due Diligence Process
  41. May hire and Train Assistants
  42. May Hire and Train agents [Builds a real estate team]
  43. Help Clients Move (not a task but agents jump in sometimes)
  44. Gives Back to the Community
  45. Does Research (such as wells, zoning, solar panels)
  46. Assists in office growth and leadership
  47. BPO’s (Broker Price Opinion) for banks
  48. Connects Buyers and Lenders for Financing
  49. Collects HOA Documents (Home Owners Association)
  50. Assists in Relocation
  51. Sends and Receives Agent Referrals
  52. Helps procure Rentals
  53. Property Management (when licensed to do so)
  54. Creates Content (blogs, videos, ebooks, social posts, newsletters)
  55. Bridal Expos (Lead Generation)
  56. Hold Buyer and Seller Seminars
  57. Takes Photos of Properties for buyers and Sellers
  58. Creates Virtual Tours
  59. Markets Listings
  60. Oversees projects such as repairs, new carpet, paint, roofers
  61. Helps with Communication during a divorce.

Ballen Real Estate Websites were built to resolve common pain points in the real estate industry. Without any contracts, these websites are able to go with you wherever your business journey takes you.

These websites are custom built with call to action solutions, navigation elements, and more based on years of testing and measuring what works in the real estate industry so that you can get more leads online… and best of all, you own it!

A Day In The Life Of a Real Estate Agent

I asked my colleagues to describe what they did today just so we could take a peek into the the the life of a real estate agent.

If you really want to gain insight on what a real estate agent does every day, hearing it from them directly is very enlightening!

Shirley Coomer REALTOR®

Shirley Coomer is a professional real estate agent for the Ahwatukee and the Phoenix East Valley area.

Called sphere to invite them to my client appreciation. Wrote up a counteroffer on a listing. Met carpet folks at a house to get measured for new carpet as this one smelled like DOGS and sellers are out of town, attended an amazing Command Webinar by Lori Ballen. Added more folks to Smartplans. Followed up with buyers on mscl documents for their COE. - Shirley Coomer

Called sphere to invite them to my client appreciation. Wrote up a counteroffer on a listing. Met carpet folks at a house to get measured for new carpet as this one smelled like DOGS and sellers are out of town, attended an amazing Command Webinar by Lori Ballen. Added more folks to Smartplans. Followed up with buyers on mscl documents for their COE.


Erica Stietenroth

Erica Stietenroth is a Real Estate Agent in Katy, TX with Promethean Realty Group (PRG).

Erica Stietenroth is a Real Estate Agent in Katy, TX with Promethean Realty Group (PRG).

Successfully negotiated and closed out four due diligence periods totaling $1.8 million in sales and leveraged my assistant to secure a new listing that found me online and needed to get her house on the market by this Friday; all while on vacation.


Marilyn Richesin

Maryilyn Richesin specializes in military families who are PCSing to or from Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News). She is an active duty spouse and area native.

Maryilyn Richeson specializes in military families who are PCSing to or from Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News). She is an active duty spouse and area native.

Ratified a contract, two closings, negotiated a price reduction so my seller will reach his goals faster, lead generated, bought staging items, sent buyers listings, met a colleague for dinner, practiced affirmations… and it’s still early !!


Bethany Olson

Bethany is a real estate agent with Experts Realty Group in Corvallis, OR.

Experts Realty Group in Corvallis, Oregon

Today, I Negotiated contracts. Connected with lenders and the title company, as well as other agents.

I Set up showings for clients, requested feedback for showings, went through docs for my clients. Worked on a couple CMAs (Competitive Market Analysis to price a listing), lead generated, set appointments, worked on client events for this year.

Worked on my monthly email, worked on my VIP giveaways.


Ruth Frey

Ruth Frey practices real estate in Chicago, Illinois.

Ruth Frey is in Chicago, Illinois

I took a class about Command, I did CE (Continuing Education), I filled out documents to cancel a contract, planned out my next open house availability, talked to other agents from other brokerages, checked the MLS, and literally prayed for business.


Jody Siano REALTOR®

Jody Siano services residential real estate throughout central New Jersey

Jody services residential real estate throughout central New Jersey. Her focus is on buyers and sellers. East Windsor, Robbinsville, West Windsor, Princeton and Monroe are her areas of concentration.

I called a survey company to get an “As built” survey that wasn’t done. We’re closing in 3 weeks. The township is requiring this. The pool permit was still considered open because of it. So, we can’t close without it.


Randy Lewis

Randy Lewis has successfully helped over 2,000 homeowners and investors to buy and sell property in the Metro Phoenix area.

Randy Lewis has successfully helped over 2,000 homeowners and investors to buy and sell property in the Metro Phoenix area.

Contacted local painting contractors on behalf of a client getting ready to sell their home. They were frustrated trying to find someone reliable. Because we do this all the time or able to screen contractors better than the average person.


Jenna Dixon

Jenna Dixon works with real estate buyers and sellers in Cobb, Paulding & Cherokee Counties in Georgia.

Jenna Dixon works with real estate buyers and sellers in Cobb, Paulding & Cherokee Counties in Georgia.

Negotiated a binding contract for a lead generated off my real estate website.

Scheduled a showing for a lead generated from my niche real estate website.


Ginna Smith

Ginna Smith is a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Austin, TX.

Ginna Smith is a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Austin, TX.

Had a conference call with out of state buyers regarding their inspection. Got quotes for repairs. Showed property. Met with a builder and went under contract with client. Ordered signs. Did a social media post for coming soon. Answered agents questions regarding my listing that went under contract. Did a CMA. Followed up with people I met at an open house. Entered them in Command.


Angela Thompson

Angela and her real estate team are in Southern Pines, NC.

Listing appointment of a home built in 1945, then KW cares red day planning meeting, then virtual listing appointment with a deployed soldier, then helped my 76 year old seller move belongings out of her furnished townhome that the buyer didnt want after walk thru.
Now to get dinner, kids to bed, 3 CMAs and prepare for tomorrow


Did research on solar panels for a client that is interested in looking at a house that has had them recently installed. – Angie Paredes

Ran BPO numbers for a bank I work with and attended the ALC meeting. Planned my education calendar – Kimberley Black Hurlburt

Broker Open, Negotiated credits and repairs, worked on command, scheduled a showing, onboarded 2 buyers, and connected two homeowners to a lender to get a refinance. – Vanessa Jimenez Montiel 

I contacted a VA lender to partner with me on a “Pets for Vets” event at our local Humane Society. Christina Cash 

Ballen Real Estate Websites were built to resolve common pain points in the real estate industry. Without any contracts, these websites are able to go with you wherever your business journey takes you.

These websites are custom built with call to action solutions, navigation elements, and more based on years of testing and measuring what works in the real estate industry so that you can get more leads online… and best of all, you own it!

Contacted buyers agent whose client has a contract on my sellers’ house to send them info on inspection objection and confirmed signatures done for that agreement. Contacted seller to have them give title company HOA info to get HOA docs for the deadline. Talked to a person about buying a home and am connecting them to my preferred lender. – Kay Richards

Finalized a contract on Homepath, scheduled inspections, worked on the commercial listing, spoke with two new commercial clients to start the search, spoke with the lender to review residential buyer file, spoke with the new buyer and set up a search, followed up with two listings, scheduled showings, answered a million phone calls. – Lisa Rabe

Masterminded with an agent peer about ROI on FB ads, Met a KW friend for late breakfast, spoke with an accountant and filed Scorp taxes, coached a buyer’s agent to provide pre-approval before I can present his offer on one of my listings, communicated with attorney’s office on behalf of a buyer under contract and also a seller under contract, consulted an out of state seller about timing to list the condo for sale, visited with a seller to update staging…..chatted with an agent who has a buyer referral for my area – Anne Rosen

Listen to a webinar that describes branding yourself on the internet; sent a list of homes to show Thursday to a new home buyer couple, search for land for a buyer to build a house, follow-up with a seller I presented a listing presentation to Monday – got the job, sent to the listing agent to see if their buyer needs any more information – commercial deal $1.1M – a while card deal. – Jean Hudson Thrasher

I led a training for the agents in my brokerage, showed two resale properties to a client, and also brought that client to meet with a builder. Then I negotiated the return of a lease application fee for one of my agents’ clients and made sure my client understood the terms of the lease she was about to sign. Also working to mitigate the problems caused by my buyer client switching lenders partway through the transaction. Oh, also arranged 3 separate minor repairs on properties I manage. – Theresa Bastian

 I connected an agent on my team to another agent halfway across the US all through Social Media! – Rachel Adams Lee

Graduated from BOLD 2.0 – Dan Desrosiers

Called past client and text with this message: This is your realtor keeping you updated. Now is the greatest time to buy and sell a home. The interest rates are the lowest ever! If you are not selling please look into refinancing asap to lower your term and save thousands. Call me for more details. Always here to save my clients money. Keep me in mind if you know of anyone thinking of buying or selling a home! You can always text me or call me. Here for you! – Debbie Flowers

Helped a few Co-workers create their first FB Paid Campaigns. Worked on a listing under contract morning towards closing next week. Schedule a few showings and an appraisal. Finished a PowerPoint on using Opportunities at a high level for a class in my MC and then a few of us went to Happy Hour at 4:30 to enjoy the ocean view and nice weather. Had a jalapeño Margarita for the first time. Yum!! – Liz J. Holterhaus

I participated in a [Lori Ballen] webinar on lead generation today. Donika Piper Richardson

Today I worked with an attorney on an easement for a shared road. There is an easement in place but no maintenance agreement. I negotiated a new roof in exchange for minor repairs on another property. We ended up ratifing a contract for my buyers under OUR terms 2 days after seller came back with a hard no. Landed a listing 2 weeks after the listing presentation, set up a video conference showing for friday, sent 2 off market listings to clients, and added 2 new clients to searches. And I worked my downline!
WHEW! – Stella McGehee Tuten

Client appreciation! I have a few Girl Scouts that deliver cookies to my clients every year. They all look forward to it and I get to support the local Girl Scouts. *what I did…met with the girls and divided territory. Sent each out with a list, a nice note/gift bag and a script. – Katie Aaron

I did an excel sheet to compare my 11 offers on a new listing in 2 days !! I wrote an offer, I followed up with leads and I took a 2-hour webinar with the famous Lori Ballen. It was tops 👍- Mariejosee Trincaz

Sent texts to my Sphere telling them about low mortgage rates with my new app! 💥- Holly Brumm Furdo 

I reached out to all the brides I met at the expo on Sunday and invited them to my Buyers Seminar. My lender partner was assisting me. Also entered their info into Command. Reached out to clients that purchased last year and spoke about refinancing. Had a home inspection this afternoon. This evening I worked on a listing presentation for tomorrow and did some social media marketing for one of my listings. – Elizabeth Delrose Siddiqui 

Negotiated negotiated 5 offers and got acceptance. Went to my Netwoeking on Fire meeting and gave the mentor moment to further enhance my commitment to bring value; shared a meal with my assistant and had planning time with her.

Sent photos of new construction progress to a buyer under contract. Consulted with new seller on staging. Got both a pedicure and a massage – taking care of the Realtor who takes care of my clients is Important. Had great real estate conversation with my nail tech about her house value and how appraisals work.

Checked in with seller under contract and made arrangements for meeting to sign close documents. Watched a Zoom webinar. Much to be thankful for in this day! – Donna Clayton Lloyd 

Negotiated and got a counteroffer signed, had a handyman take pictures of work he did for a buyer so that the buyer could get their maximum insurance discounts, met with a seller regarding possible termite damage to their home, spoke with a new buyer, and set up a showing for them, as well as an automatic search for new listings, took my car over for a window decal to be installed for advertising, worked on a project that I am doing with another agent for some marketing – Cheryl Henszey

Made my 20 contacts and then went out to stage a new listing! – Rachel Cooper Lewis 

Created several home searches for one of my sellers, suggested another seller check with insurance about a new roof, offered a few suggestions of lenders for a buyer, gave a few home warranty recommendations for an acquaintance, and followed up with the estate executrix on the status of some documents. – Diana Proctor-Saufley 

Reaching out and thanking everyone who came to our Wine Tasting/Food Pairing appreciation event we had last week! We have 1 new listing and buyer from the event! David Schoenbrun

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