Real estate is an incredible industry to work in with never a dull moment. A real estate agent is always on the go, and even when they seem to be taking a break, they are likely still checking emails on their phone or thinking about a showing later on in the day. For people who like to be a busy bee, where two days are never the same, and have a sales spirit driven by commission goals, this is a great career that can be lucrative and fulfilling as you help others find their dream homes to rent or buy.
Eric Opoku of SellRent Ghana has been a real estate agent for almost three years, after leaving a job in Finance. He says, “A desk job was just not for me. I needed something more thrilling.” He loves it mostly because it’s one industry where your hard work impacts your income; you get the chance to meet lots of different people from various walks of life and he finds it rewarding to assist property seekers. Before he entered the industry as a professional, he read up a lot about it and spoke with other realtors. When he finally started his property career, this is what he presented as what a “typical” day looks like:
First thing, a real estate agent checks his emails and text messages for any client leads. Leading online real estate search portal, meQasa.com, offers registered agents great tools to help manage interested property seekers. Agents can register to market their properties online and log into their dashboards to see messages from potential clients about particular properties.
The agent follows up on all leads by responding to emails and making phone calls to speak with the seekers. Some of these calls are simply to answer questions or they may actually schedule dates and times to meet the seekers to show the property. In addition, they confirm previously scheduled showings.
The agent attends meetings with developers and property sellers/leasers to see their offerings and propose their services. This is lead generation and the bloodline of their business. In Ghana, most agents work both as buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents. They discuss terms of working together to find or let a property, including goals and commission. Ideally, the agent strikes an exclusive deal to represent the property. He/she takes the time to take good and varied photos of different parts of the place, using the top tips for taking great real estate pictures that attract home seekers. This is time to also take note of all pertinent property details as well like the square footage.
The agent may have a property showing. They whip over to the property and meet with the client. They create small talk with the client and try to build a rapport. Together they walk through the available home or office and the estate agent shows each room while highlighting top desired key features and amenities like a stainless steel kitchen, beautiful P.O.P ceilings, modern bathrooms, and also, outside property facilities like cabanas, gardens and swimming pools. They listen to the client’s needs and desires in an ideal home and answer any questions.
In between showings, the agent stops for a quick lunch during which he/she may take a look at all social media profiles and meQasa dashboard to see if there is any interest in listed properties. Agents take the time to call other agents to say hello, see how business is going and explore split-commission opportunities. This is also a perfect time to relax a bit and enjoy industry resources like meQasa’s weekly DREAM HOMES e-newsletter, which might feature a few of their properties and offers stellar advise on how agents can succeed.
The agent, likely, has 2-3 showings in a day, so makes his way over promptly to each to show various clients the properties they expressed wanting to see.
The real estate agent returns to the office or settles into an internet café to do some marketing. If he/she has a website, this is a time to upload photos, update/input property details and descriptions and mark sold/rented out properties. If there are particular residential or commercial properties up for sale and rent that he/she really wants to move, social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be used for posting in particular groups that will increase the chances of reaching potential clients. An hour or two is spent doing some administrative work – checking emails, SMSs and WhatsApp. Then, again, making calls, following up on any commissions to be collected, etc.
This is wrap-up time. It’s been a hectic yet fulfilling day. The agent may jot down goals for the next day or “to-do’s” for the remainder of the week. If exhaustion has not taken over, a quick drink at a bar or lounge somewhere is a great idea to network and meet people to exchange business cards and let people know what you do and how he/she might help. The agent then heads home to relax and await another exciting day.
There is a lot that real estate agents learn as they face the excitement and challenges of their work. Some of the tougher aspects of the job are TRUST – trying to gain trust from seekers and other agents. Financially, it can be a little risky as well, as it is hard to predict how much they would make in any given month. Of course, agents project based on how close they are to closing on certain properties but it’s not like receiving a guaranteed salary. Regardless becoming a real estate agent is a fantastic sales-driven career and soon Ghana is likely to see implementation of regulation in the industry where people interested in being real estate agents must be formally educated and licensed before they can practise.