If you’ve never worked for a real estate agency, then you don’t know some of the drama that goes on there. I’ve been working for one for over twenty years now. In that time I have sold thousands of houses, made millions in commissions, and have thought about quitting numerous times. Even with all the money, sometimes the drama isn’t worth it!
First, you have to understand that almost every agent in an office is working on commission. What does this really mean? It means we’re all trying to get a chance to sell a house every day. When we sell a house, we get a percentage of it. Many of us don’t get paid much of a salary otherwise. Sure we get benefits, but most of our money comes from the house sales. Even if all we wanted was the benefits, we could still get axed if we didn’t sell enough. But I’ll get to that later.
Anyway, commissions. Commissions are evil. They turn agents against each other and create an atmosphere of backhanded behavior. I’ve seen agents lie to clients about a certain agent being out – when they’re right there! This way the answering agent can snipe a big number house from someone else. It’s pretty much stealing their paycheck. You think this only happens on TV? Ha! Honey, I’ve seen it happen at least once a month. You can’t make this up. I’ve also seen agents mess up other agents’ open houses so they won’t make a sale. This one guy in particular unleashed a bunch of squirrels into an open house and had the other agent fired! Now that’s cutthroat.
There’s also the general manager, who is usually the lead agent, who breathes down your neck and tries to get you to sell as much as possible. See, they get a cut of all the sales beneath them. That sounds okay, but usually this means so much pressure is on your butt. In general, I was expected to sell a house a month. There were a few times I just could not make that happen. Each time I was called into the manager’s office and informed that I had to “clean up my act” or I would be out of there. Can you imagine what that did to me? I was a nervous wreck! This in turn just made me make more mistakes. Somehow I managed to recover every time, but I always had a heart attack.
These days I am a manager. I try to be easier on my agents. I do this by creating different “departments” that my agents are in charge of, or partner in if they have less experience. I don’t want them competing. We sell more houses when there is no pressure. My agents can’t snipe from each other, and when they don’t sell, I don’t hold it against them unless I think an agent is really slacking, which has only happened once. I’m proud of the business I own today, but there was a lot of drama to get here.