Monday, October 7, 2013

Blog Post # 1: Informational Interview

Growing up, I always thought that realtors only did one thing, show people around an open house. However, I have come to realize that they do more than that. They must be knowledgeable about their customer’s needs as well as the general area of a house in order to satisfy any questions from buyers. I conducted my interview with Julianne Lugo. Julianne is a part-time realtor at Guarantee Real Estate and a family friend. She was very excited to conduct the interview. This is how it went:

How many years have you been involved in real estate?
-        I have been a licensed realtor for seven years, but have been involved in the field in one way or another for longer than that.
How did you get started in real estate?
-        I studied the real estate field for several months and attended seminars. Then I took a state exam and passed.
Is there a specific training program you have to go through to become a realtor?
-        In the beginning, you are mentored by a broker. Then you take a state exam to become a licensed realtor. Once you pass the exam, your license has to be renewed every four years.
What is a “typical” day like for you?
-        Normally, I make and answer phone calls and respond to texts and emails. I also show houses to clients when needed and meet listing prospects.
What are the key tasks for being a realtor?
-        Being able to sell to the customer that you are part of a reliable company, building trust with your clients, and trying to help the customer fulfill their goals and dreams
How do you determine appropriate sales prices on homes?
-        What I do is look at the prices of homes in the area that have been sold within the last three months and then average the median price.
What are some common risks in real estate and how do you overcome them?
-        One risk is spending too much time with buyers who do not seem serious. You can overcome that by asking them a lot of questions and screening them. Another risk can be pricing a home incorrectly the first time. By doing your homework and looking at the values of homes in the area, over or under pricing homes can be avoided. Also, experience helps.
What kind of a personality best fits your position?
-          Being honest, friendly, and having integrity are excellent personality traits for a realtor to have.
Do you only work with buyers, or do you also represent sellers?
-          I represent both. Right now, however, the real estate market is a seller’s market. Houses are selling within days with several offers per house.
What areas of town do you specialize in?
-          I do not have one specific area that I deal with. I cover all areas of Fresno and Clovis.
What can someone do to make their house as marketable as possible?
-        A house should be presentable at all times, be as modern and up to date as possible, and have an excellent curb appeal at a first glance.
What is your outlook on the future of jobs in this career?
-          My opinion is that the future is only as bright as the market.

One thing that Julianne did mention a couple of times during the interview was that it is very important to pay attention to the selling prices of houses when getting ready to buy or sell. If you do not know this information prior to buying or selling, you could end up losing a lot of money  by selling too low or buying too high. You might also not be able to sell your property if your price is too high. She also emphasized the importance of being friendly and honest to people. I would like to thank Julianne Lugo for her eagerness to help me out and for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to me.

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