with Daniela Rodriguez
Being a realtor is a coveted job with a famously flexible schedule and unlimited income potential, but what is being a realtor actually like? We met with Daniela Rodriguez (a realtor at Turner Brothers Real Estate) to talk about what her experience has been like working as a realtor in Waco, Texas.
Can you give me the general road map for becoming a realtor?
“There’s a set of continuing education that you have to do. You can do that online or in person, there’s also cool Zoom classes now that you can do with instructors which is what I did; it was very helpful. You have to go through a series of those, pass a certain amount of tests, and then once you have enough credits, you’re allowed to go get your fingerprints taken by the state.They have to ok you to do that and then you’re allowed to take the state test then the national test. You have to pass both in order to become a realtor.”
So you have to keep taking those tests like say a teacher would have to?
“Continuing education, yes. The first 2 years, you’re expected to take another added 18 hours which is about as much as you take initially. People want to make sure they get started on those early. A lot of people wait until it’s too late and then they get their licenses taken away until they can update those continuing education classes. So make sure you do those!”
What are some things about becoming a realtor that you found surprising?
“I was used to being in the corporate world so I worked with a lot of people and had very stringent schedules. I think what surprised me the most was how much freedom I got but also with that came a lot of added responsibility. Making sure I was getting myself to places on time, pushing myself instead of having a group push me was kind of the most surprising part of it.”
You’re like your own manager in a lot of ways.
“Yes, pretty much! You manage your own schedule, which is great at times but also can allow for a little too much freedom.”
What’s the most challenging part about being a realtor?
“I would say the most challenging part is probably getting to know the area that you’re in, getting to know it in a way where you’re actually of use to your clients, and then just having as much knowledge as possible. So the studying never ends. And the studying of the market nationwide and statewide and then within your own jurisdictions, wherever your MLSs are, it’s import to continually be learning, which I think people forget.”
What’s the most rewarding part about being a realtor?
“I would say probably helping families. Whether it’s to get out of a sticky situation and/or get them into their beautiful next home, I think it’s the most fun to see those smiling faces one way or the other at the end because you’ve made it easier.”
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a realtor? Someone who wants more freedom?
“I would say get a mentor, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into, and then find the right brokerage that fits your needs. There’s all kinds of different ones out there, make sure that you’re interviewing and that you know which one you want to go to, that it serves the purposes that you need.”
Is there anything people don’t know about becoming a realtor that you think they should be aware of?
“I clean houses, I mow lawns, I help older people in and out of their homes. We spend hours and hours with our clients, you are available at all hours, so you might be getting phone calls at midnight because someone is worried. Or you might be getting a phone call because something’s happened to the drainage pipes or a house has been broken into and the clients don’t live in the state. So make sure you understand that while an 8:00-5:00 is only 8:00-5:00 and you’re available those hours, for this particular job you’re available on vacation, in the mornings, at all times.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.