What Real Estate Agents Do vs. What People Think We Do

If there is ever something that all real estate agents can agree on, it’s that being a real estate agent or salesperson is nothing, NOTHING, like the stereotype. The stereotype is that all agents drive nice cars, and all they do all day is look at homes, and go to swanky lunch meetings. Not true at all—although we have all seen a lot of homes and been to a few swanky lunch meetings.

What Real Estate Agents Do vs. What People Think We Do


Truth: Most people get into real estate with the expectation of having a lot of free time.

One of the most common reasons that new real estate agents get into the industry is the promise of making your own schedule. There is a false image that as a real estate agent you wake up and bum around all day until your showings in the evening. 

If you are in the industry, you will know that if you want a lot of time off, you can have it, but you better have another job because you will make little to no income. 

Most successful real estate agents work hours that would drive most people up the wall. You could be working on real estate marketing in the morning, contracts in the afternoon, and showing properties all evening. 

“No worries”, you say, there is always the weekend. If you are a new real estate agent and you are taking weekends off then you may want to start looking for another job soon. You will be grinding long hours for very little pay off in the beginning. 


Truth: Most people expect to be making a lot of money when they get into real estate.

Thanks to TV shows and movies depicting real estate agents as ultra-ballers, many REALTORS® think they will be making big bucks before they know it. They think of their last real estate agent and how she/he drove a BMW and always had a nice watch on. 

What they didn’t see was that the car was leased and buying the watch meant making cuts in other areas just to maintain appearances. Now, don’t get us wrong, there can be great tax advantages to leasing and there is an element of appearances that are important in real estate, however, not every real estate agent is making the money that would be reflective of another person with a new BMW and an expensive watch. 

You don’t make any money if you don’t sell any homes and most real estate agents sell very few homes each year. Some reports suggest the average REALTOR® sells fewer than 6 homes per year. 

If you are thinking, “well that isn’t too bad” don’t agents make like $10,000 per house sale?” Read on.


Truth: You don’t keep all of your commission

As noted above, many people have the impression that the commissions go fully into the agent’s bank account. The challenge here is you are running a business. When you buy groceries the store manager doesn’t clear out the tills every night and fill his pockets with the revenue. 

In real estate, you are running a business and like any other business, revenue and net income are very different numbers. 

Real estate agents only make a portion of their commission; another portion is paid to their brokerage. From the agent’s portion, they have all the general expenses you can imagine PLUS additional taxes since they are independent contractors.


Truth: People will not just start calling you and hiring you to sell their house.

As a new real estate agent, you might think that once you get a website and social media handle, leads will start pouring in and you will be moving and shaking before you know it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You will be working long hours prospecting for new business. Calling for-sale-by-owners, door knocking, sitting open houses, talking to people you know, calling expireds, before you see any business. 

If this industry was easy then everyone would do it and be making a killing. This industry is hard and you need to work for every deal you get. The challenge is business will not fall into your lap without grit and perseverance. 


Truth: Working with a team helps.

Since real estate can be overwhelming, it helps to have a team behind the scenes—especially once that frees you up to show homes, make phone calls, and hold open houses. That’s where Transaction 911 can help. We help our agents with all the paperwork for their real estate transaction, so that they can focus on what they do best—list and sell property.