Have you ever wondered what a not-so-average, average day looks like for a real estate agent? Well, for The Give Back Team, it’s always interesting! There are five of us: Zach, Cheryl, Melissa, AJ, and me, Ginger. So…an average day… I don’t think that we ever actually have anything I’d call an “average” day, but I’ll try to describe what we do.
1. Staying Organized (mostly)
Zach is the keeper of our calendars and the controller of the chaos. Boring official title: Director of Operations. He tries to keep the team’s calendars organized, and he mostly knows where everyone’s supposed to be. He makes sure all the important appointments are on the calendar so we all know where we should be, and at what time.
So basically, he tries to download our brains. We have a calendar for the entire team, and we use it to keep track of appointments and meetings and other important things.
But thank goodness for the Comptroller of our Kazakh. To begin with, I don’t know how he puts up with even half of the shenanigans that we attempt to impose on the calendar. While the team calendar is really important, it’s mainly used as a point of reference, and we all know nothing in it is ever really set in stone. It’s constantly changing… and it’s the biggest living piece of our business. It’s something that’s filled with all our vital information, all put in bullet points.
I’m traveling all the time and being on the road, I often just need to know where I’m supposed to be and at what time. Our team’s calendar is invaluable when there are so many different things that play a role in my day.
2. Staying Sane in Traffic (mostly)
Knowing where I need to be and by when is only part of the equation. I think the biggest challenge we have in this area is the traffic. Northern Virginia was recently given the title of, “the worst traffic in America.” I think we actually took the number one spot away from the LA area in California.
We’re definitely seeing more and more traffic here because so many people are transitioning here, plus Amazon is moving into the area. We do have hot lanes where for three or more people in a vehicle, it’s free. That’s not a huge help for us though. Fortunately, we also have the EZ Pass. As realtors, we’re often traveling solo, so it’s good we have it, but it’s expensive! My EZ Pass bill is as much as my phone bill.
So, the unknowns of traffic add a layer of chaos to our day – especially when there’s an accident or overturned tractor-trailer or something funky going on with construction.
3. Staying Flexible, Working as a Team (always)
The team covers all of Northern Virginia and we have two offices, one in the Stafford area and another in Gainesville. (That’s Virginia, not Florida or Texas…) Typically, we’ve got appointments all over the place. A couple of circuits between our two offices and the day starts to get interesting. I try to set appointments early in the morning so I can gauge my day. But all that nice planning can get derailed simply because of traffic. I always tell my clients they should anticipate a phone call if I get caught up in traffic or anything else major.
One of the biggest benefits the Give Back Team has is that we’re a team of real estate agents. So, we can be in a lot of different places at once. And that’s super beneficial. So, if one of us is already in Arlington and someone wants to look at a house right now in Arlington, we’re able to make that happen. Single agents may not necessarily have that same ability. We also have flexibility because we don’t all live in the same town…we’re all spread out. So that helps tremendously.
4. Staying Strong & Healthy (always)
The mantra the team lives by is, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise.” We’ve all recently joined a local gym in the Stafford area that covers all of Northern Virginia. As agents with clients all over the place, there’s a gym in Stafford, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Gainesville. So we have no excuse for the healthy part. Except when I go to sleep at two o’clock in the morning. You can’t do that, then wake up at five o’clock… actually, you can, but you won’t function all that well. So we each have the intention of going to the gym, and we set, usually by text message with each other, what our gym schedule will probably look like.
While we try to make a commitment to show up at the gym at the set time, our schedules change based on the needs of our clients. Fortunately, the gym is able to accommodate our busy schedules. Since most of our local clients aren’t up at 4 and 5 AM, we usually plan to go to the gym during that time. Sometimes we all head to the gym together to do a 5 AM class.
So, on an average day, we all attempt to workout. And we try to have some tacos… just not at the same time. But then it’s followed by appointments or phone calls for some, others are out with local clients and buyers.
Everything has to revolve around our clients because they come first all throughout the day. That’s how our “not-so-average” average day gets a little chaotic sometimes.
Our goal is to feel like we’re energized, totally energized, each and every day.
4. Staying Open to Possibilities (always)
Something I haven’t talked about yet… a big part of our business is also international clients, and they’re all in different time zones. It’s yet another layer to the chaos. Aligning our schedule around their different time zones has actually been fun… challenging, but fun. We’re also lucky that we work with some lending partners that will get up at four o’clock in the morning to make magic happen.
The last international client I had was in Sicily, and she had seen the house but her husband had not. It was interesting trying to articulate what was going on here with a six-hour time difference! Calculating that when it’s six o’clock here, It’s midnight there, then trying to show a house that’s in northern Virginia to someone in Sicily over FaceTime. At midnight.
Another client bought a house completely sight unseen, while in the middle of the desert, which was very unique for us. She couldn’t email or text us, and she was on a satellite phone. The only thing that she saw was some pictures online.
We have all kinds of craziness and chaos when clients are overseas, but we do it, and we do it well! We have a joke amongst ourselves that we’re open 24/7… So when our amazing Zack, is able to accommodate each and every one of our clients from different time zones be it nationally, internationally, or locally, all on the same calendar, it drives us all forward.
We’ve been known to come into the office in our gym clothes, that’s just how we roll sometimes. It’s a constant issue for us but it’s also kind of fun, and we like to have fun. Our clients understand our lives and we understand their lifestyle. I’ve had clients show up in shorts and a torn t-shirt when I’m in a suit or a button-down shirt, but basically I think we’ve got a good balance. We really match our clients and make sure they’re comfortable. It’s not always a suit day! When I first started, I sold houses in sweatpants, simply because my clients would show up in sweatpants… so why not?
Overall, we’re able to maintain a pretty aggressive schedule. Looking at how much we get done, you might think there are 30 of us instead of 5.
So if you’re a new agent or someone who’s thinking about getting into real estate, I don’t know if we’re the shining example of anything average, or even normal… but we give back, we have fun with our family, we get healthy together, we talk some trash, we eat some tacos, and everything gets done.
5. Staying Around to Help (always)
So let’s talk about the giving back part. We donate our resources, time, and manpower, not just our financial resources. That’s one of our unwritten bylaws. It’s also about being able to give your time and effort and seeing its direct impact, whether it’s a smile or something else. We do a lot of things out in the community, the most recent being Capital Caring in Richmond. It’s a football camp for kids with the Redskins. It was a great experience, and the kids had a blast!
So, when we’re volunteering at events and the business needs our attention, we’ve gotten really good at balancing everything. We talk about having a 24/7 business, and sometimes it needs to be! The fun thing is that our clients know we’re totally accessible. We do sleep (about two hours in the middle of the night somewhere) but the cool part is that we’re able to be out in the community and do fun things like the kid’s camp. It’s not just all showing homes and working for our clients. We have a lot of fun, and we know that’s key. it doesn’t feel like a job! I enjoy my day and I’m never tired.
I think the key thing to understand about the life of a real estate agent is no two days are ever the same. It’s not your typical 9-to-5 job. We don’t get up and get in the car and drive to an office and sit at a desk all day. My passenger seat is my desk. Anywhere I find Wi-Fi becomes my office. As long as my phone is charged, my office can be near a swimming pool while I’m watching the kids swim. We’re always going to different places that’s what makes our job so much fun.
We think of every day as a unique experience and something that we always look forward to it as an adventure.
The Give Back Team of Coldwell Banker Elite is a team of full-service realtors in Virginia, that does more than just assist clients with their home selling and buying needs. We also give back to the local community, and to the charity of our clients choice after each closing. Giving back to our community means we’re a part of something bigger, deeper, and longer-lasting. So, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or relocating to a new area, each client receives the individual attention they deserve. The Give Back Team of Coldwell Banker Elite is a team of like-minded people, seeing the big picture, with big hearts. We give back one closing at a time. To learn more go to givebackteam.com.