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      11-20-2017, 10:20 PM   #1
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Real Estate Agents, where art thou!

Hello everyone, was wondering if any of you on here are real estate agents or real estate investors? I'm thinking about getting my real estate license and working for a friend who opened up a real estate company. I currently have a job that is very flexible and thought I'd use my free time to set-up another source of income. Any advice or recommendation you could give to a beginner?

Any input is much appreciated.
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      11-20-2017, 11:08 PM   #2
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Take it online. Got my license through Allied Schools ($150). Read every day and it took 3-4 months from when I signed up for the classes until I took the state exam and passed earlier this year. I知 not practicing yet as I知 pursuing other things in addition to my day job but it痴 a good security blanket. From my research and talking to RE people, the lifestyle is nice but do expect to put in the work.
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      11-20-2017, 11:22 PM   #3
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Take it online. Got my license through Allied Schools ($150). Read every day and it took 3-4 months from when I signed up for the classes until I took the state exam and passed earlier this year. I知 not practicing yet as I知 pursuing other things in addition to my day job but it痴 a good security blanket. From my research and talking to RE people, the lifestyle is nice but do expect to put in the work.
Really? I heard its better to take in person classes, there is a community college near me offering 1 month program. I feel like I would like to eventually go full time into real estate. I enjoy working with customers, its a huge part of what I do now.

I also wonder if its better to start off with a big established brand or like my friends small company..
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      11-20-2017, 11:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BMW F22 View Post
Take it online. Got my license through Allied Schools ($150). Read every day and it took 3-4 months from when I signed up for the classes until I took the state exam and passed earlier this year. I知 not practicing yet as I知 pursuing other things in addition to my day job but it痴 a good security blanket. From my research and talking to RE people, the lifestyle is nice but do expect to put in the work.
Really? I heard its better to take in person classes, there is a community college near me offering 1 month program. I feel like I would like to eventually go full time into real estate. I enjoy working with customers, its a huge part of what I do now.

I also wonder if its better to start off with a big established brand or like my friends small company..
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Originally Posted by BMW F22 View Post
Take it online. Got my license through Allied Schools ($150). Read every day and it took 3-4 months from when I signed up for the classes until I took the state exam and passed earlier this year. I知 not practicing yet as I知 pursuing other things in addition to my day job but it痴 a good security blanket. From my research and talking to RE people, the lifestyle is nice but do expect to put in the work.
Really? I heard its better to take in person classes, there is a community college near me offering 1 month program. I feel like I would like to eventually go full time into real estate. I enjoy working with customers, its a huge part of what I do now.

I also wonder if its better to start off with a big established brand or like my friends small company..
I feel the same way you do and have all the qualities to make it in that profession. I've done sales for 5 years before so that would help. All that aside, it really is about the attitude and your determination to succeed. You'll be your own boss running your own business. If you can do that well then you'll be successful. Most RE agents fail because they don't know how to run a business. They expect someone to tell them what to do. A lot of the big names like Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker offer training and such but you're expected to put in the work.

Big name companies have the name recognition so that helps. They also provide training and such. You'll have to talk to a few people at various companies to get a feel for which you may like. Be sure to ask about commission %, training, monthly fees (desk fees, software fees, etc.), etc. Since I'm not currently doing it, I can't offer opinion on smaller firms.

Classes are nice in person if you have the time. It depends on what you look for. For me, since I was working FT, online was the best way for me. The live interactions would have been good but I felt I didn't miss anything (ignorance is bliss I suppose).
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      11-21-2017, 12:34 AM   #5
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Online or in person class make no diff, test are usually easy with tricky wording. Obviously location matters, state and city. I have my license for my own investments. if you wanna go fulltime, work as an agent for a few years and you will know by then if its for you, if so become a broker. Be prepared tho everyone is out for themselves. Listing agents will hate when you bring your buyers cause they have to split commissions. There is always lots of office politics. You will have to work hard in order to make it full time. Read alot, Google how to be an real estate agent, what to expect, daily life of, etc. Follow agents on I.G., check listings on zillow, lots of info on biggerpockets, check their forums also. Read more, ask an agent if you can follow them for a weekend, find a mentor. Commissions are the name of the game and listing agent will have all the power. Find an office with that has small fees and no commission spilt. Big name offices start you at 50/50 spilt, can u imagine a deal where u would get half of half of 5% of say 250,000 sale. Usually a buyers agent is involved so you spilt 5% with them then u spilt your 2.5% with your broker plus other fees and that 12500 commission check you were dreaming about comes around as 3125 after 2 months and thats if the closing takes place. Oh and btw uncle sam wants atleast 22% of that 3k and maybe more since you are running a small business.

There are new brokers that offer just a monthly fee plus a closing fee per transaction. PM if you want more info.

Its a new world, you are competing with zillow and lots of for sale by owners, but if you have a buyer they usually will give a 2% commission. Rentals are grunt work but can be lucrative as not many realtors want to do them. Again competition with likes of Craigslist, facebook market place, trulia and many others.

- Learn how to farm a certain area
- get to know everyone
- Spark real estate conversations
- you will have to advertise but there are rules (national, state, county, board, office)

That's just off the top of my head, good luck.

Last edited by f8xdct; 11-21-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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      11-21-2017, 04:28 PM   #6
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      11-21-2017, 07:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BMW F22 View Post
I feel the same way you do and have all the qualities to make it in that profession. I've done sales for 5 years before so that would help. All that aside, it really is about the attitude and your determination to succeed. You'll be your own boss running your own business. If you can do that well then you'll be successful. Most RE agents fail because they don't know how to run a business. They expect someone to tell them what to do. A lot of the big names like Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker offer training and such but you're expected to put in the work.

Big name companies have the name recognition so that helps. They also provide training and such. You'll have to talk to a few people at various companies to get a feel for which you may like. Be sure to ask about commission %, training, monthly fees (desk fees, software fees, etc.), etc. Since I'm not currently doing it, I can't offer opinion on smaller firms.

Classes are nice in person if you have the time. It depends on what you look for. For me, since I was working FT, online was the best way for me. The live interactions would have been good but I felt I didn't miss anything (ignorance is bliss I suppose).
Very good point about why RE agents fail, it is like running your own business, building your name/brand, as well as advertising. I'm self employed right now and it is pretty much like owning your own business, sometimes you feel lazy to do the work because technically there is no punishment. I push myself with the current job I have, but I feel like its becoming a skill that I can be a self starter/self-motivated individual, which is number one rule in business world. I'm talking to a few people and family members that do real estate to get as much info as I can before I dive in. I was told that even if you work part-time there is still money made, granted some of that money is easy, some take a lot more energy.

A community college has a program that is like 9 to 6 on Saturdays, so I think I will be doing that this upcoming January.
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      11-22-2017, 05:02 PM   #8
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I know lots of realtors and the ones that are successful put a lot of time into the profession. It's not something you can do part time for a side income in my opinion unless you have been in the business for years and scale back. You need to be an expert at marketing yourself, have project management skills to facilitate the deal, have the flexibility to meet buyers, inspectors, etc. on their schedule. You are also self employed so you need to know how to run a business.

I would think there would be far easier ways to produce some side cabbage.
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      11-22-2017, 05:33 PM   #9
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Slightly off topic? Would it make sense to get a RE license before you buy a new property? 1M purchase will be 50k total commission, so we are talking about 25,000.

How long are the online classes? The test must be pretty easy.
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      11-22-2017, 05:40 PM   #10
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Always felt i'd be excellent at this profession but the hours are just brutal with a family, you need to be willing to drop everything at any time, every fucking time.
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      11-23-2017, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by qba335i View Post
Slightly off topic? Would it make sense to get a RE license before you buy a new property? 1M purchase will be 50k total commission, so we are talking about 25,000.

How long are the online classes? The test must be pretty easy.
You don稚 really need a license to buy a home. It痴 just a lot easier if you have an agent to walk you through things. Also, if you get a license, you値l need to work under a broker for 2 years (at least in California) when doing any kind of deals. You can represent yourself as long as you disclose it.
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      11-23-2017, 12:26 PM   #12
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Always felt i'd be excellent at this profession but the hours are just brutal with a family, you need to be willing to drop everything at any time, every fucking time.
I think the open homes on weekends are what takes up the most free time. I feel that once you get things going, it could be a nice lifestyle since you池e your own boss and can start the work day whenever you want. As long as you池e hapoy with the productivity, you could be playing golf (by yourself or with clients) in the middle of the day and nobody can give you crap about it.
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      11-23-2017, 12:37 PM   #13
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I think the open homes on weekends are what takes up the most free time. I feel that once you get things going, it could be a nice lifestyle since you池e your own boss and can start the work day whenever you want. As long as you池e hapoy with the productivity, you could be playing golf (by yourself or with clients) in the middle of the day and nobody can give you crap about it.
Nah it's the "people want to see the house on smith st" , you cannot say no, you gotta go, you need to sell houses and you have nfi if these people are serious, they could buy it tonight.

Nightmare.
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      11-23-2017, 12:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BMW F22 View Post
I think the open homes on weekends are what takes up the most free time. I feel that once you get things going, it could be a nice lifestyle since you池e your own boss and can start the work day whenever you want. As long as you池e hapoy with the productivity, you could be playing golf (by yourself or with clients) in the middle of the day and nobody can give you crap about it.
Nah it's the "people want to see the house on smith st" , you cannot say no, you gotta go, you need to sell houses and you have nfi if these people are serious, they could buy it tonight.

Nightmare.
Yeah, I suppose that can happen. Although, nowadays people go to see homes on their own. It's when they're starting to get serious do they look for an agent. The days of agents driving clients around from house to house are pretty much long gone.
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      11-23-2017, 02:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW F22 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by qba335i View Post
Slightly off topic? Would it make sense to get a RE license before you buy a new property? 1M purchase will be 50k total commission, so we are talking about 25,000.

How long are the online classes? The test must be pretty easy.
You don稚 really need a license to buy a home. It痴 just a lot easier if you have an agent to walk you through things. Also, if you get a license, you値l need to work under a broker for 2 years (at least in California) when doing any kind of deals. You can represent yourself as long as you disclose it.
I was talking about being able to save/make 50% of commission as you will be representing yourself and taking the buyer-representative cut.

I was looking at some pre-construction condos here in Chicago and just wondered how that would work. With condos starting at 1M we are taking about 50k total commission. You can take 25k if you represent yourself as a buyer, the other 25 goes to the agent representing the developer.
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      11-23-2017, 10:57 PM   #16
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I've been a Realtor for 19 years. I will say in a nutshell it's sometimes the best job in the world and other times it feels like the worst job ever. I certainly don't want to discourage you but I will tell you some of the realities of the biz.

First off the saying that "20% of the agents do 80% of the business" is very true, it's very cutthroat. The part time agents rarely last long (or make much money) because it costs money and time to be successful. The only part time agents that make it are the rich housewives that get leads through their husbands. Honestly you have to put in a lot of time learning your market, and not just on a computer but physically touring properties. When you meet a brand new client you have to sell your services, they are making their biggest lifetime purchase and they want to feel confident in you. You have to convince them you are an expert. Remember everyone knows on average at least three Realtors. Why should they pick you? The most successful agents physically tour and know almost every property (for sale) in their market, that gives them a huge edge over part time agents. So when they meet a potential client they have a lot of expertise on that particular area.

How much time you put into your business is how successful you will be. So what kind of hours do you work? Well remember the average person works 9 to 5 so you'll be showing homes or working transactions well after those hours and weekends. If your in the middle of a sale you can expect long nights, remember this is your clients largest purchase ever and they expect you to be there 24/7. If you are not the top guys in your office will. Also during the 9 to 5 hours are when most of your transaction facilitators are available, escrow, title, home inspector, mortgage rep etc... so you need to be available then as well.

When you first start out you need to know a lot of people, the agents that start with a big network take off the fastest. Otherwise you need a lot of marketing money. If you start off with neither (like me) it takes years to build up your business. I also recommend you start with a big company or well known brand. They offer great training programs and often give you a mentor to help you out. If clients know you are a rookie at least they know you are backed up by a big firm, that is a selling point. The small offices are basically "sink or swim", you get to keep more of your commission but expect no real office or Broker support (which you need as a rookie). Once you learn the biz and build a clientele you won't need the big company and a smaller office might work better.

If your thinking about Real Estate you should also consider it's a risky business, how the housing market performs has a huge impact on your career. In 2007 during the housing crises Realtors were dropping like flies. I sold nothing for 11 months and had to go into my savings, scary if your supporting a family. You should always have some savings before starting this business because the market fluctuates (drastically sometimes).
Also you have to love people, your going to meet all sorts of characters and see them at their best and worst. People get really stressed out and so will you, you have to be able to handle that.

It took me about three years till I was consistently selling. I ate lots of top ramon and almost gave up several times.

Now that I explained the realities I will say it has some fantastic perks. If your busy 60+ hours a week your making good money, the money comes in large chunks and that can be handy. Another perk is often your the first one to know when a property hits the market, so (depending on the situation) you have a shot at buying it for yourself. When you go on vacations you have no time limits, you just partner up with someone in your office (you trust) and have them watch your business and vice versa. You can actually make money on vacation sometimes. During the holidays from Thanksgiving to January 1 the market goes pretty dead, If you are an established agent this is a long break vacation and no big deal.
Anyway I personally love the fast pace of Real Estate but it's not for everyone. I hope this helps with making your decision. Best of luck...
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      11-24-2017, 04:55 AM   #17
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you can also have a look at agent's commission rates in different countries https://tranio.com/traniopedia/tips/...ous_countries/ maybe you'd better start off somewhere else
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      11-24-2017, 09:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardio View Post
I've been a Realtor for 19 years. I will say in a nutshell it's sometimes the best job in the world and other times it feels like the worst job ever. I certainly don't want to discourage you but I will tell you some of the realities of the biz.

First off the saying that "20% of the agents do 80% of the business" is very true, it's very cutthroat. The part time agents rarely last long (or make much money) because it costs money and time to be successful. The only part time agents that make it are the rich housewives that get leads through their husbands. Honestly you have to put in a lot of time learning your market, and not just on a computer but physically touring properties. When you meet a brand new client you have to sell your services, they are making their biggest lifetime purchase and they want to feel confident in you. You have to convince them you are an expert. Remember everyone knows on average at least three Realtors. Why should they pick you? The most successful agents physically tour and know almost every property (for sale) in their market, that gives them a huge edge over part time agents. So when they meet a potential client they have a lot of expertise on that particular area.

How much time you put into your business is how successful you will be. So what kind of hours do you work? Well remember the average person works 9 to 5 so you'll be showing homes or working transactions well after those hours and weekends. If your in the middle of a sale you can expect long nights, remember this is your clients largest purchase ever and they expect you to be there 24/7. If you are not the top guys in your office will. Also during the 9 to 5 hours are when most of your transaction facilitators are available, escrow, title, home inspector, mortgage rep etc... so you need to be available then as well.

When you first start out you need to know a lot of people, the agents that start with a big network take off the fastest. Otherwise you need a lot of marketing money. If you start off with neither (like me) it takes years to build up your business. I also recommend you start with a big company or well known brand. They offer great training programs and often give you a mentor to help you out. If clients know you are a rookie at least they know you are backed up by a big firm, that is a selling point. The small offices are basically "sink or swim", you get to keep more of your commission but expect no real office or Broker support (which you need as a rookie). Once you learn the biz and build a clientele you won't need the big company and a smaller office might work better.

If your thinking about Real Estate you should also consider it's a risky business, how the housing market performs has a huge impact on your career. In 2007 during the housing crises Realtors were dropping like flies. I sold nothing for 11 months and had to go into my savings, scary if your supporting a family. You should always have some savings before starting this business because the market fluctuates (drastically sometimes).
Also you have to love people, your going to meet all sorts of characters and see them at their best and worst. People get really stressed out and so will you, you have to be able to handle that.

It took me about three years till I was consistently selling. I ate lots of top ramon and almost gave up several times.

Now that I explained the realities I will say it has some fantastic perks. If your busy 60+ hours a week your making good money, the money comes in large chunks and that can be handy. Another perk is often your the first one to know when a property hits the market, so (depending on the situation) you have a shot at buying it for yourself. When you go on vacations you have no time limits, you just partner up with someone in your office (you trust) and have them watch your business and vice versa. You can actually make money on vacation sometimes. During the holidays from Thanksgiving to January 1 the market goes pretty dead, If you are an established agent this is a long break vacation and no big deal.
Anyway I personally love the fast pace of Real Estate but it's not for everyone. I hope this helps with making your decision. Best of luck...
Very well said.
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      11-24-2017, 11:15 AM   #19
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Interesting topic, I consult several large brokerages in excess of 400 agents. I also coach and mentor agents everyday for over 20 years. Real estate is not a part time gig. Its more a lifestyle. Feel free to PM me.
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      11-24-2017, 11:46 AM   #20
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It's a full time job. You're a salesman. Gotta hustle.
Having sold 7 homes over the past 25 years, and currently on the 8th home sale, I would concur with this quote. Anybody can get the license to sell Real Estate, but very few Realtors, in my experience, hustle. I mention "hustle" in a positive manner - selling, done well, looks effortless. Truth is, people want to be sold, and most Realtors I have worked with just show up to a showing, and smile a lot, and provide little follow-up to the Seller. There is a great deal to sales when done correctly. I read a statistic that less than 2% of Realtors make over $50 000 per year. Don't get me wrong, there are very good Realtors out there, but they are in a very distinct minority. If you are going down this road, and do not have sales experience, invest in a good sales course, and practice what you are taught. Very few Realtors I have worked with go through the discovery process with their clients, in fact, I am able to find out more about the property by doing my own research than what Realtors are able/willing to tell me - kind of like what I do when buying a car.... It is an industry in flux, with all of the online tools available, Buyers are starting to question the validity of Realtors. Recently, in the state where I live, some young bucks have created a business called "Homie" - check their app out, this type of ingenuity will thin the herd, as more savvy people find a way to buy direct without the middleman. The middleman/Realtor has to provide value to their clients - To quote Michael Porter, the grand doyen of strategic thinking in business, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.” If you think you can provide the latter, you will be successful, it's not impossible, it's just not easy.
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      11-24-2017, 12:14 PM   #21
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You need contacts and negotiation skills... Everything else is secondary

Contacts=referral sources
Negotiation=dealing with other agent

This is not a part time job because buyers and sellers demand a fully-engaged agent. Especially if they're paying full boat 6%.
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      11-24-2017, 01:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
It's a full time job. You're a salesman. Gotta hustle.
Having sold 7 homes over the past 25 years, and currently on the 8th home sale, I would concur with this quote. Anybody can get the license to sell Real Estate, but very few Realtors, in my experience, hustle. I mention "hustle" in a positive manner - selling, done well, looks effortless. Truth is, people want to be sold, and most Realtors I have worked with just show up to a showing, and smile a lot, and provide little follow-up to the Seller. There is a great deal to sales when done correctly. I read a statistic that less than 2% of Realtors make over $50 000 per year. Don't get me wrong, there are very good Realtors out there, but they are in a very distinct minority. If you are going down this road, and do not have sales experience, invest in a good sales course, and practice what you are taught. Very few Realtors I have worked with go through the discovery process with their clients, in fact, I am able to find out more about the property by doing my own research than what Realtors are able/willing to tell me - kind of like what I do when buying a car.... It is an industry in flux, with all of the online tools available, Buyers are starting to question the validity of Realtors. Recently, in the state where I live, some young bucks have created a business called "Homie" - check their app out, this type of ingenuity will thin the herd, as more savvy people find a way to buy direct without the middleman. The middleman/Realtor has to provide value to their clients - To quote Michael Porter, the grand doyen of strategic thinking in business, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.” If you think you can provide the latter, you will be successful, it's not impossible, it's just not easy.
I'm hoping the Internet boom cuts down on realtor commissions. 6% is a huge amount and wayyyy too much for the average sale imo. Like you mentioned, the resources available with sites like Zillow, realtor.com, etc essentially give a potential buyer everything available in a specific area. This day and age you just take some nice pics and throw it up on the mls and sit back for people to contact you for showings. Unless you are selling a $15mm house like on million dollar listing or something, there isn't much if any marketing that needs to be done other than listing it on the mls. Just answer some emails/calls, give the corresponding realtor the lockbox info, and put together the paperwork when you have an offer. Then sit back and collect a part of the whopping 6% fee when it closes.
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