What Is a Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent Like?

Some jobs look so easy, don’t they? Take writers, for instance. They not only work when they feel like it, all they do is sit at a keyboard and kick out words. And, they make the big bucks for this life of leisure.

Many people feel the same way about real estate agents. Most misunderstand how little we actually earn out of that commission check for the work we do. In fact, let’s clear that one up right now.

The commission check for real estate agents is typically split in half, with 50 percent going to the buyers’ agent’s broker and 50 percent to the listing agent’s broker.

All agents negotiate what is known as a “split” with their brokers. This split can range anywhere from 20 percent of the broker’s half of the commission up to 100 percent in some cases. Most, however, range from 50/50 to 60/40.

Assume your agent has negotiated a 50/50 split with his or her broker. This means that the agent will receive half of the broker’s commission. Or, 25 percent of the total commission.

From this amount, the agent deducts his or her costs of the transaction, such as gas, wear and tear on her vehicle, marketing costs, MLS fees, lockbox fees and more.

In the end, we receive a far smaller piece of the pie than the general public assumes. Especially when one considers what a day in our shoes involves.

A typical day might involve spending time at the office, meeting with clients, staging and showing homes, and scheduling appraisals and inspections. Other tasks include generating leads, researching, marketing, and accompanying clients to property closings.

REALISTIC Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

Daily job duties of a real estate agent

The daily job duties of a real estate agent can depend on where they work. Real estate agents can work in a property management business, brokerage or independently. Daily responsibilities for real estate agents can involve a variety of administrative, marketing and communication tasks. Those that have their own real estate business might delegate some responsibilities to other real estate professionals and manage negotiation or transaction processes.

Common daily duties include:

What is a day in the life of a real estate agent like?

A day in the life of a real estate agent begins with checking and replying to emails, voicemails and other messages for appointment confirmations or updates. After verifying their appointments, they can rearrange their schedule to accommodate updates and plan out their routes to meet with clients or show properties. Real estate agents might prepare the necessary paperwork for their day, such as marketing materials, property reports or property purchase agreements. Around the afternoon, when clients have lunch breaks or free time, real estate agents might have several properties to show them to meet their needs.

Real estate agents allow enough time for their appointments to see potential property options and discuss the sale process. They can advise their clients on available lending or brokerage services to help them negotiate a mutually beneficial deal. In the evenings, after completing their appointments, a real estate agent might create summary or market reports to follow up with clients and inform them of property updates. They may also allow time to check recent property sales, or listings to gain an understanding of market trends and update their industry knowledge.

Real estate agent salary and job outlook

As a real estate agent, you may have the qualifications to work independently, which allows you to manage your prospects, commission pricing and workload. Real estate agents within a brokerage or property management company may have different requirements for sharing commission along with additional health insurance plans, spending accounts, reimbursements or retirement plan benefits.

Real estate agent skills

Consider developing these skills to help you develop a real estate career:


Real estate agents conduct appraisals, negotiations, reports and transactions, which require detailed accounting and specified pricing figures. A real estate agent drafts purchase agreements that list deposits, payments, down payments, taxes and other fees. As clients submit payments, a real estate agent updates purchase agreements to reflect remaining balances.


An important part of maintaining a client base and negotiating deals is communication skills. Real estate agents respond promptly and thoroughly to inquiries and questions. A real estate agent also makes sure to provide frequent and relevant updates to keep clients engaged in the buying or selling process.


A real estate agent is able to develop marketing plans to gain new clients and sell properties efficiently. Marketing can involve outreach campaigns or designing advertisements for properties. When listing properties for sale, a real estate agents marketing skill allows them to write attractive property descriptions.


Real estate agents represent a buyer or seller through a purchase agreement and negotiate for them to receive a beneficial deal. A real estate agent understands how to mediate between two parties and resolve conflicts. Well-developed negotiation skills can make the overall negotiation process go smoother and quicker.


A real estate agent researches market information from selling, pending or sold properties to understand market trends. These trends allow them to forecast their own sales and set appropriate prices to sell their properties. Understanding comparable properties can also inform a real estate agent on how to advise their clients when deciding on a purchase.


A majority of real estate work requires adequate scheduling to meet with clients and show them multiple properties. Scheduling skills can help them plan their day and travel routes. Real estate agents understand how to prioritize items in their schedules to manage their workload.


Real estate agents use technology and software to manage property listings and client information. Some software and applications can help automate lead generating and market reporting responsibilities. Technological skills ensure that real estate agents can optimize their work processes and keep their information organized.

Job requirements for real estate agents

The job requirements for a real estate agent include obtaining a real estate license. Real estate licensing requirements depend on state regulations and often involve pre-licensing coursework hours, an exam, a license application and an application fee. The exam features state-specific multiple-choice questions. Once youve passed your exam, you can apply for a license with your exam score, a background check, fingerprinting and state dictated fees.

Benefits of being a real estate agent

The main benefits of being a real estate agent involve the flexibility you can have with your schedule and workload. Real estate agents can manage how many clients they represent and when they make appointments for property showings and negotiation. A real estate agent can also conduct independent work or consulting services, which allow them to manage themselves. As a real estate agent, you can even choose to specialize in different property types, such as commercial, industrial or residential.


What hours do most real estate agents work?

A real estate agent’s daily schedule will look like this: Wake up early (before 7 AM), working out and your morning routine (until 8 AM), lead generation and prospecting (8-11 AM), lunchtime and a mental break (11-12 PM), appointments and meetings (12-4 PM), and the rest of the day is yours!

Do real estate agents have a work life balance?

That’s why most part-time real estate agents tend to work roughly 20-30 hours per week, with very few working less than 20 hours. Free Report: Download our free California Real Estate Income Report for more tips and insights on how to maximize your earning potential.

Can you survive as a real estate agent?

It is very important to achieve balance in your work life and your social life, especially when you have many tasks to do and you have less time for entertainment, friends and family. Real estate agents, brokers and simply professionals definitely need work and life balance.

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