Friday, March 14, 2014

The Happiest Job in America? Being a Real Estate Agent.

Around this time in 2013, Forbes reported that CareerBliss' employee-generated reviews determined that being a Real Estate Agent is the happiest career in America. Click here for the article. The results are old, but the underlying reasons are what interested me, not to mention they are still relevant today. Let's find out why being a Real Estate Agent is such a happy job:

The study asked employees to review ten factors that affect their workplace happiness:
  1. Relationship with boss
  2. Relationship with co-workers
  3. Work environment
  4. Job resources
  5. Compensation
  6. Growth opportunities
  7. Company culture
  8. Company reputation
  9. Daily tasks
  10. Control over which tasks to perform each day
Being a Real Estate Agent is not your typical 9-5 cubicle job where your job is to simply finish the work that is handed to you. Every agent knows that they are solely responsible for their success. As a Real Estate Agent, your rewards are proportional to your effort, professionalism, and skill. If you want to just "show up" and coast, you are going to fall flat on your face. On the flip side, if you want to be in control of your career, all of the tools are laid at your feet. 

When a Real Estate Agent joins a brokerage, they are giving away part of their hard earned commissions in exchange for the benefits being a member of a brokerage provides. When you look at the ten factors above, you see ten things which Real Estate Agents want in their careers, and ten things brokerages want to provide to help their agents succeed.

A Real Estate Agent at a major brokerage can check off each of the ten factors:
  1. A professional relationship with their boss who rises and falls with their agent's success.  
  2. A professional relationship with their co-workers who share the same goals and have the same desire to succeed. In addition, all the benefits which accompany having a large network of agents which makes it easier to connect buyers and sellers. Your co-workers are a resource to be utilized and respected. 
  3. A positive work environment which is a product of the other nine items on this list.
  4. Access to MLS or a similar listing service, a strong legal team, professional office space, advertising, brand recognition, and other brokerage specific resources which help you do your job better, faster, and more efficiently. 
  5. Compensation that rewards you for your work - your extra effort finds its way directly into your pocket. 
  6. Unlimited growth opportunity - the only ceiling is your own desire and will succeed. 
  7. A company culture that rewards success and promotes independence. 
  8. Brand recognition and reputation that lends itself to any agent who operates under their brokerage's umbrella.
  9. A work day which is almost never the same as the day before, or the next day. There are always new challenges to tackle and new faces to interact with. 
  10. Nearly completely autonomous control over what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. 
Brokerages - Think about what your agents want and how you can help them succeed. After all, their success is your success.

Real Estate Agents - Think about all the benefits your brokerage provides and make sure you are utilizing each them to their full extent.

Non real estate professionals - How can you incorporate some of the things from this list to make your work (or your employees) more enjoyable and more productive?

As for the unhappiest job in America, I guess CareerBliss forgot to interview Lieb at Law employees.