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Ask McEnearney: Have You Wondered What It’s Like to be a Real Estate Agent?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a real estate agent?

Answer: Over the past few weeks, two of my neighbors have asked me about getting into the business.

They were interested in exploring the types of skills and experience required. How to get started? How to build their business? And, of course, the big one… what sort of income should they expect?

In my case, I had wanted to be an agent right out of college, but my father said something like… “Absolutely not! No one is going to trust a 22 year old to help them buy or sell a house!” At that time, he was probably right, but now we are seeing more and more students majoring in real estate and using their technology and social media skills to market their services. It’s a good thing the excellent training at McEnearney has helped me keep up with the times!

Having been in sales, service and marketing for my entire career, the transition into real estate was natural for me. As an event planner and a promotional products consultant for many years, I am skilled at managing multiple projects simultaneously, tight deadlines and developing creative ways to achieve my clients’ desired outcome. Some of my colleagues were bankers, lawyers, dog trainers, travel agents, teachers, nurses and contractors before hanging up their shingle and have successfully brought those experiences to the field.

I will be forever grateful to a number of agents and brokers who took the time to discuss the business in length before I took the class to get my license. Their guidance was tremendously valuable in helping me determine what type of business model would work best for me. I went to open houses every Sunday for six months to learn about the types of homes available in various neighborhoods. Not only was I able to learn from the agent holding the open house, but I  experienced what it was like to be a potential buyer in that situation.

Developing clientele has been extremely rewarding for me. My first year, I held open houses 39 out of 52 Sundays. Some were for my own listings, however, a large percentage were for other agents at McEnearney. I met potential buyers that became clients, received referrals from my friends and neighbors, and remained active in my neighborhood, my volunteer organizations and throughout Alexandria.

I am honored to say that referrals from my past clients, friends and neighbors continue to be my number one way of growing my business, and I am grateful for the trust that has been placed in me.

Annual income is the question that is the one that is best answered by… “It depends!” Do you want to work part or full-time, during the evenings or on weekends? Would you feel more comfortable being part of a team or as an independent agent? Would you rather be paid a salary or on commission? What is the price range of the homes where you are best known? How far are you willing to drive to show or list houses? Would you prefer to work with a full-service brokerage or one offering limited services?

There are many variables to creating your business model. My suggestion would be to sign up for a class and see how you like it. If you do… start talking to people and develop an initial game plan. The good thing is… you can always change it!

Good luck!

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. As a resident of Alexandria since 1989, Lisa is thrilled to introduce her clients to such a dynamic place to live, and to market homes based upon their unique features, communities and neighborhoods. Having had seven Golden Retrievers, she is also dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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