By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
Covering real estate issues for REALTOR® Magazine is fun, rewarding, and challenging. I love talking to members and capturing their story. So when I was offered the opportunity to shadow the Reuter Team real estate office in Geneva, Ill., I jumped at the chance. Coming from a journalism background, I thought it would be a great educational benefit for me to experience the day-to-day business of a REALTOR®. It’s one thing to hear someone talk about their job, it’s another to actually watch them do it.
In full disclosure, the Reuter Team consists of my co-worker YPN manager Rob Reuter’s family members, including his dad Wayne, mom Teresa, and sister Mary. Rob asked his family to host me last Wednesday and they graciously accepted me as their tag-along.
If I had to sum up my take-aways from the day in five keywords, it would be…
After I arrived at their RE/MAX Professionals office, Wayne Reuter walked me through his daily tasks, checklists, and appointments planned for the day. I quickly learned that one of the keys to success in real estate is organization. Track everything. What do you need to get done today? Who are you going to call? What research do you need to accomplish for your clients? Pricing presentation? Walk through? Marketing a new listing? Get it organized. Everything is written down, everything is recorded. When you have 50-some listings, it can get a little overwhelming.
Once I met the entire team, we headed out on REALTOR® caravan to preview other listings in their market. It’s a great way to check out the competition, to verify that your listings are priced well, and to network with other practitioners. In your market, you want to be all-seeing and all-knowing. You want to be the go-to expert who knows first-hand what the competition is selling. To do that, you have to do the leg-work.
In the afternoon, I shadowed Wayne on an initial walkthrough of a potential client’s home. Selling a home, especially one that’s been lived in for several years, is a very personal (even sensitive) matter. Watching the dynamic between REALTOR® and client, it’s apparent how important honest and sensitive communication really is. There’s no room for disingenuity in this business – especially if you’re looking to set a realistic price and complete necessary home improvements. As Theresa Reuter says, she sees her job as a service provider rather than a sales person. It’s evident in how their whole team does business and how they’ve garnered success. It’s how clients are kept in the long-term.
I appreciate the opportunity the Reuter Team gave me to check out the daily grind of our members. Visits like this allow us to create a magazine and Web site that reflects who our members are, and provide resources to meet their business needs.