Sometimes I feel like I am in the most misunderstood industry. I have to admit that before I became a Realtor, I probably didn't understand what a Realtor really "did" to earn their commission either. I think many see the images on TV (HGTV to be specific) and think "hey, that's a pretty easy gig". An article written by fellow Realtor Kris Berg http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2011/04/28/news/142064 magnified a point I have known for a long time. A good Realtor works really hard!
Often the public thinks a Realtor simply puts a sign in the yard, a home on the internet and waits for buyers to spot it, fall in love and make an offer. In fact, some think it is so easy, they decide to do it themselves OR pay a firm to list it on the MLS. The folly in this is A. if you just stick a sign in the yard, the person across town or across the country will not know your home is for sale even if it is perfect for them and B. you could be like a recent For Sale By Owner I came across. The sign stated it was on the MLS, but I knew all the homes in that neighborhood and had never seen it. After specifically putting in the address there it was - with the wrong information for its location, city and any other factors someone desiring that neighborhood might use to look. Once again, you get what you pay for.
For buyers, I remember seeing a House Hunters on HGTV where the young couple chirpily states "we've seen over 100 homes, we're not going to settle no matter how long it takes". In the background their diligent Realtor, in amazingly good spirits, who will not be reimbursed for his time, gas and expenses until they close on their dream home. I know I have been showing homes to a family for a year, and I don't want them to settler either. I want them to find the house that says "this is home!"
I'm not sure the point I am trying to make except to say I work hard in Real Estate (as do most of my fellow Realtors). I read, and read, and read articles and legislation that affects Real Estate. I study market trends in neighborhoods, I continue my education to be the best and informed I can be. I try to stay current on technology and marketing trends. I work tirelessly for my buyers and sellers - usually on weekends and evenings to accommodate their schedules. I fill the gap when they can't be present. I communicate, communicate, communicate so nothing is missed and everyone is informed.
Yes I work hard. Why? As a recent string of conversations of Realtors on Linkedin state - it's because we love serving people and find great satisfaction in helping our clients achieve their goals whether it's a home sale, investment property, or the perfect home. Seeing the smile on someone's face when they realize "yes, this is it!" is amazingly gratifying and it's what I do.