A receptionist is someone in a clerical and secretarial position that involves serving as the face and voice of a company, while coordinating communication between a company's customers and its employees. In a real estate company, a real estate receptionist must exhibit excellent telephone skills and an attention to detail required by the nature of the business. The educational requirements for this position include the minimum of a high school diploma, while many have additional training. Combined, the receptionist's responsibilities can be roughly categorized as customer service, clerical, organizational; he or she may also act in some official capacities, such as acting as a notary public for certain documents.
Customer service and excellent telephone skills are some of the major responsibilities of this position. A real estate receptionist is often a customer's first official contact with a real estate office, even if it is only in the form of a voice. In a solo or a multi-agent office, a real estate receptionist keeps up with agent locations, listings and the status of contracts. He or she takes messages from involved parties — potential buyers, sellers, title firms, law practices and other agents — and relays them to the appropriate individuals. Receptionists also keep track of the multiple appointments necessary in real estate, notifying the involved parties to ensure smooth operation of the business.
Depending upon the size of the real estate office and the number of practicing real estate agents within it, a real estate receptionist may also be responsible for basic clerical duties and word processing. These activities may include typing contracts for buyers or sellers, and managing outgoing agency correspondence. He or she may also be responsible for updating home listings for publication, either online or in a newspaper; in some offices, the responsibility of the real estate receptionist may extend to updating an agency's website and online listings as well. Clerical duties might also include the organization and ordering of general office supplies as well as those related to the trade such as outdoor signage, target brochures and business cards. Receptionists are often also responsible for receiving and sorting incoming mail to specific agents, the office manager or agency owner and the office accountant for any company bills of fees owed.
Most employed in this role have a minimum of a high school diploma. Many receptionists have an educational background in secretarial skills, and a significant percentage have certificates or associates degrees in a related area. While a certification as a real estate agent is not usually necessary, it can also be helpful for candidates applying to these positions.