Realtors are like Santa’s Elves
Santa has them. They just build toys and eat candy all day, right? I bet there is more than meets the eye in the job description. How do they learn to build all the different toys in the world? They would have to go to school to learn. And what happens when new technology comes out? They’d have to go back to school to learn about all the changes. They would have to take care of the reindeer and make sure they are in tip-top shape and ready for their big flight across the world. They would likely need to understand how the sleigh works, too, and know how to do simple repairs in case of emergency. Ever wondered how Santa knows which toys each child gets? Elves probably have spreadsheets and paperwork galore to keep it all straight. I am not sure if Santa has a cleaning crew, but I bet the elves do their share of cleaning so that everything sparkles and shines.
People.howstuffworks.com says that “elves would have to be powerful, energy-packed beings in order to fill Santa’s quota of gift-making” and that they are probably “feisty… hard-wired for constant activity.” Kidzworld.com tells us, “the average elf makes enough cash to support him/herself up in the North Pole, but it’s not enough money to retire on. Most elves are in their line of work for the love of Christmas and the kids that their toys bring joy to, not the moola.”
So, how are Realtors like Santa’s elves? Well, they do a lot more than meets the eye. I have people say to me, “Oh, I love looking at houses. I bet it is so fun.” Yes, it is fun. It is also A LOT of work. The good ones go to school, keep up with the latest changes in our industry, technology, neighborhoods and developments, learn and understand a lot about houses and mortgages that is outside our scope of work, do simple repairs, make sure houses sparkle and shine for showings, do tons of paperwork and spend hours on the phone.
But Realtors get paid a ton! They get a big fat check at the closing table. Yep, we do. We get paid when we sell something, not necessarily for all the hours we worked. Out of that check we pay our licensing fees, association fees, broker fees, MLS fees, we buy lock-boxes, pay the fee for the card that gets us into those lock-boxes, signs, business cards, phones, computers, tablets, gas, oil changes, and car washes for our vehicles that we drive clients in. Since most Realtors are not employees, Uncle Sam collects self-employment taxes. Again, without an employer contributing to a retirement account or insurance costs, that gets taken out. Lastly, if there is anyone else helping out on a transaction so that you have the smoothest experience possible (assistant, Buyer’s agent, transaction coordinator, contract to close coordinator, etc.), they get paid out of that check.
I wonder if Santa’s elves ever get a day off. It seems with all the children in the world and all the work that has to be done to make each child’s Christmas morning the most exciting possible, that they would have to work almost every day. I wonder if Santa ever gets mad at them for going on vacation or watching their kid’s baseball game on Saturday afternoon instead of making toys. Nah, Santa’s always jovial – he would understand.
Photos courtesy of taoty and imagerymajestic via freedigitalphotos.net
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.