How Real Estate Works (The Class You Wish They’d Taught You in High School)


Though the specifics vary from state to state, real estate agents are independent contractors. We each run our own business under the umbrella of our company (in my case, RE/MAX Integrity). Indiana agents all hold a broker’s license, and most of us choose to pay and attend additional required classes to be considered a REALTOR (a designation meaning we are held to higher ethical standards).


You made $3500 for unlocking a door? Man, I wish I had your job!

Every office has their own policies, but in general an agent will pay a substantial chunk of every check to their office, which covers the office’s advertising and the cost of running the business (staff paychecks, building rental, copies, electricity, etc). Agents cover their own marketing, advertising, licensing and education fees, taxes, transportation, and insurance. Some offices charge additional desk, franchise, or lead fees, and the numbers vary. Agents are paid soley on commission, meaning agents are only paid when they help sell or buy a home, and that amount varies based on the price of the home being sold (the paycheck on a $25,000 sale is substantially less than the paycheck on a $250,000 sale).

Helping with rentals, showing houses, writing up contracts, and keeping office hours are all unpaid activities, and agents have no set “hours” or “days off” unless they individual choose to set them. That “$3500” is more like “$1200” after all the splitting up and paying things, and when you consider that it takes about 3 months to make that $1200 and most consumers only ever see about 10% of the work that goes into a sale…it becomes a much more reasonable number. Real estate is NOT a “get rich quick” career…at least not without a great deal of work!

Most of our business comes from referrals from friends, family, and past clients, so if you have a friend in real estate, don’t forget to throw out their name when you can. You are their best advertisement.


Who You Gonna Call?

Not the person on the sign! That’s the “seller’s agent,” or “listing agent”—the agent working for the seller. You wouldn’t want the same lawyer as the person against you in court; why would you want the same agent as the seller in the transaction? You want your OWN agent, with YOUR best interest at heart. This would be the “buyer’s agent,” or “selling agent.” Your agent gets paid (usually by the seller, still) when you buy a house. So don’t use more than one agent, or else you’re making others work for free…and if you wouldn’t want to work for free, don’t expect that others want to either. A good agent will be honest, available, and knowledgeable, and while most of us are in real estate because we like to help people…we still have bills to pay like everyone else.


So What Makes Melany Love Special?

My hours are seven days a week, 9AM to 9PM. I take 2 Saturdays and 2 half-day Fridays off a month to recharge (I’m still available those days via text or email…just with a slower response time; mainly it just means no showings or meetings those days). Typically my response time is within 5 minutes during normal hours and days.

I’m educated and love to learn; if I don’t know it, I’ll find out!

My ethics are of the upmost importance to me. The world is a better place when we all treat others with kindness, honesty, and respect, and I don’t believe we need to cheat others to get ahead. I believe in win-win relationships and making the real estate world a happier place to work and a safer place for consumers to traverse.