Being a Real Estate Broker, breaking the CODE


Apr 29, 2015


Apr 24, 2022

After working in real estate for several years, I remember back to the first real estate purchases I made. I was naive to the "code" in real estate, which there is one as I learned. I write this blog in reference to what the outsider sees and what is going on behind the scenes. It really is crucial to understanding why agents even exist at all.

I was determined to move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one my favorite places in the world. I researched several properties online and found homes I liked. I called an agent and we planned a trip. We had friends in Jackson and I was excited to share with them that we were moving to Jackson Hole! We arrived and searched for properties, those which I had found. We noticed at some homes the listing agent would be there to point out features and answer questions, a wonderful service that I appreciated as a buyer. We made an offer and went home. We ended up not buying the house because my senior manager decided commuting from Jackson would be too expensive for the company, grrrr.

Ultimately we moved back to my home town in Huntsville, Utah near Snowbasin ski area. In my property search there, I contacted my parents and my step mom advised me of a friend that she had done a lot of work with that we should use. I selected homes, emailed them over and flew into town. After looking at homes for two days I made offers on four. I was only purchasing one and I remember my agent stressing about the complexity of requiring us to confirm acceptance. This was just after the Olympics in Utah and there were several ski homes for sale. I took the best deal out of the four and sent my dad to do the walk through while I was in Hawaii. My dad almost killed the deal because the home was not finished when I looked at it and the quality of craftsmanship was horrible. My dad had a power of attorney and was making sure he took great care of his daughter. Ultimately we closed on the home and moved in two weeks later. I only saw the house once, for about 30 minutes. I did a home inspection and my dad did a walk through.

Later I decided to enter into real estate. I am an over achiever and love entrepruneurialism. I had several rental properties and had become quite adept at negotiating great deals. I used another agent for my rentals and he and I later become business partners. Once in real estate I began to realize I had violated the CODE. It turns out, I knew an agent in Jackson, had actually gone back country skiing with him on more than one occassion and had eaten at his house. I have no idea why, but it never even crossed my mind to call him to buy a home. In hind site, I am glad I didn't waste his time but felt horrible about not calling him. I recently sent him a referrall and apologized proclaiming my lack of thinking. The agent I used was no more than a chauffer. Unfortunately she didn't get me or my lifestyle. She didn't add any new homes to enhance what I liked or seem connected to the quiet underground in all towns. Great agents are connected. They know things no one else knows. They know people and they participate in the community.

My Utah agent also showed me homes and as I have grown to know him over the years, he is a salt of the earth guy. Simple in his dealings, and a straight shooter. He did his job but didn't go to battle for me on the repairs. I am not sure he was willing to walk away from commissions to make sure the deal went the right way, the repairs done correctly. In his defense, what is correctly? It is subjective and I understand that. Here I used a referred friend that likely was not the best fit, but it did help my step mom's relationship, which is worth something in itself.

So being in real estate for over seven years now as the owner and broker I have new insights into the industry, its CODE and how it all works. I figure a few deals come along that totally catch me off guard just to remind me of not calling our "friend" in Jackson years prior.

So what happens behind the scenes at a my office, which I will say is not the case in all offices? I have three staff that support me and the agents in my office along with seven agents that range from buyers agents to fully independent agents. On a day a few weeks ago I tracked my day and it looked like this:

5:20 am Wake Up
6:00 am CrossFit
7:20 am Wake Up kids and get them ready for school
7:55 am Phone Call to show a property
8:10 am Phone Call from Negotiator at Chase
8:15 am Missed the bus, drive kids to school
8:45 am Nanny shows up, leave for work
9:00 am Get to Office
9:00 am Review New Contracts
9:30 am Staff Meeting
10:30 am Prepare for listing appt, research plat, title, taxes
11:00 am Listing appt, walk through house
12:00 pm Board Meeting/working lunch, Weber School District Foundation, review of logo changes (attending a bank president I was negotiating a deal with allowing for a one on one discussion)

Until this time I have made 13 phone calls and recieved 4 voicemails

1:30 pm Conference call with Chase regarding short sale deficiency while returning to the office
2:00 pm Return to office, review contracts for offers and new listings, return phone call

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