Interview with Arenthia Motley
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Realtor, Arenthia Motley, of Century 21 M&M and Associates, whom has been recognized many times for her outstanding customer service skills, integrity, and market knowledge. The 2011 National Association of Realtors’ Member Profile says that 26% of Realtors stated that real estate was not their only occupation. Arenthia works full time at the Fresno VA Hospital as well as in real estate. Mrs. Motley manages both careers whole-heartily, and has been recognized many times for doing so. I thought Arenthia would be the perfect interviewee to give understanding into the trials, tribulations, and rewards of being a dual-career agent. She has also been acknowledged twice as one of the FIVE STAR Real Estate Agents of Fresno County, which is a prestigious award amongst the real estate community.
1.Q: You have worked at the VA hospital for 27 years now, what made you decide to get into the real estate business?
A: “I was planning to retire from the VA hospital 3 years ago, but then the economy downturned. I lost the majority of my 401k, and realized that I would not be able to retire as I planned. The reason I ventured into real estate is because I was planning to retire 3 years ago but the economy turned bad and I lost a lot of my 401K.”
2.Q: What was the educational process for obtaining your real estate license?
A: “I signed up for the Kaplan Real Estate Classes at night. I studied hard, took the test, and passed. It is really important to choose the right classes and educational materials, in order to pass the DRE licensee exam.”
3.Q: How did you decide on where you wanted to hang your license in order to practice real estate?
A: “Well, my husband worked for Century 21 many years ago and always had good things to say about the company. I had interview with a few different companies, but it seemed that Century 21 M&M was the only company that was ok with my part-time status. I also chose Century 21 M&M because they opened up a new office that was only three blocks from my house, which was very convenient.”
4.Q: Is there any type of continuing education you must complete in order to maintain your real estate license?
A: “Yes, you have to have to take continuing education courses throughout the years and renew your license every 4 years.”
5.Q: What is the most difficult part of having a full-time job at the hospital and being a Realtor concurrently?
A: “I work 10 hours a day at the VA hospital, and then also juggle Real Estate during those 10 hours, as well as into the evenings and weekends. There is rarely a time when I am not doing something for either job, so when I finally get a vacation, I live it up!”
6.Q: Do you think you will ever fully transition into the real estate field?
A: “Yes, hopefully the economy will turn around again as well as the housing market, and allow for me to retire from the VA hospital in a few years. I would love to do real estate full time.”
7.Q: What are the major responsibilities of being a Realtor?
A: “Finding the right home and right price for your client, making sure all inspections are ordered, completed and clear, and all paperwork is completed and correct. A responsible Realtor must be honest in all dealings (disclose, disclose, disclose), make sure clients are well informed so they don’t feel as if they are buying a house with their blinders on, and be able to diffuse a situation. If you are not sure of an answer to a question, let the client know you will find out the answer a.s.a.p., do not give them information that could prove to be false, otherwise you could be facing a lawsuit later.”
8.Q: Can you explain what a day in the life of Arenthia Motley is like?
A: “I Get up at 5am, start work at 6:30am, take sick calls for 100 people, take care of sick employees, complete computer work at the VA, while also completing contracts, and scheduling inspections and showings for real estate. I get off work at the VA around 5:30, and usually meet clients at a listing to show them. If they want the house I will take them back to my office at Century 21 M&M and write up the contract and disclosures, send them to the listing agent, head home, eat dinner, go to bed, and do it all over again in the morning.”
9.Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Realtor? Least rewarding?
A: “The most rewarding aspect of being a Realtor is the PAYDAY! Seeing your clients happy the day they get the keys to their new home is also very rewarding. The least rewarding aspect is working 7 days a week, always being “on call”.”
10.Q: As you have won many awards in the real estate field, what traits do you think are most important for a Realtor to have?
A: “The most important traits for a Realtor to have is a good personality and total honesty. Clients want to feel comfortable with their Realtor, if you have a good personality and are honest, they usually will warm up to you fast and could become your lifelong friends.”
11.Q: As you do have another job, how do you handle scheduling conflicts with real estate clients if they arise?
A: “I've accumulated over 400 hours of vacation and can take off work when necessary; I try to plan accordingly, so there will be no conflict between the two jobs. I also have a licensed escrow coordinator who helps me out with all of my deals. She helps me with scheduling inspections, organizing files, making sure all paperwork is accounted for, and if I am really in a bind or on vacation she will also show houses for me.”
12.Q: How do you market yourself in order to obtain clients?
A: “I have a built-in clientele here at the VA. The majority of my clients are nurses and doctors from the VA. I also pick up clients from word of mouth, and I place Ads in different magazines such as The Guide to Better Homes.”
13.Q: Do you use social media websites to gain clients and/or market listings?
A: “I'm a buyer’s Agent and have never listed a home as of yet. I really prefer to help clients find homes they want to purchase, rather than they want to sell. I do have a Facebook, which keeps me in contact with past clients, and allows future clients to contact me.”
14.Q: What would be your advice for students who are looking to work in the real estate field?
A: “Study hard, have a good personality, be honest and be prepared to work your buns off...the pay check is the reward.”
15.Q: Are you happy that you chose to get into the real estate field? Would you choose this career again?
A: “At my age, yes I'm happy. Though, if I was younger, I would have gone into the IT (computers) field. “
I would like to thank Arenthia again for taking time out of her very demanding schedule to allow me to interview her. As Arenthia shared, being a dual-career agent can be arduous and time-consuming, but also has many rewarding aspects. I believe the insight into her daily life will be very helpful for real estate students and for working individuals wishing to venture into the real estate field.