What Does a Real Estate Receptionist Do?

Susan Abe
Susan Abe
A real estate receptionist may answer phones for a real estate business.
A real estate receptionist may answer phones for a real estate business.

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.

In some offices, the responsibility of the real estate receptionist might extend to updating an agency's website and online listings.
In some offices, the responsibility of the real estate receptionist might extend to updating an agency's website and online listings.

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.

Real estate receptionists might keep track of scheduled house showings.
Real estate receptionists might keep track of scheduled house showings.

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.

Some real estate receptionists make sure listings are correctly placed in local newspapers.
Some real estate receptionists make sure listings are correctly placed in local newspapers.

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.

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Discussion Comments

anon992307

The receptionist can also show the old farts in the office how to forward email, make a photocopy, send a fax, complete the paperwork they've never heard of, use a modern phone, print a PDF attachment, install their software that they don't know how to use, and listen to them complain in front of everyone in the office if there is a typo in their new listing.

I may have left a few things out, but I was in a hurry.

Logicfest

The receptionist can also fill in the vital role of keeping up with where agents are, who they are with and what they are doing. The National Association of Realtors has, in recent years, emphasized Realtor safety in response to agents meeting people alone in homes and running into trouble (theft, abduction, etc.) Agents are often required to check in with a receptionist so that individual will know where they are and when they should be back from appointments. Those individuals, then, are often on the front lines when it comes to safety.

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    • A real estate receptionist may answer phones for a real estate business.
      By: Elenathewise
      A real estate receptionist may answer phones for a real estate business.
    • In some offices, the responsibility of the real estate receptionist might extend to updating an agency's website and online listings.
      By: Ivailo Milenkov
      In some offices, the responsibility of the real estate receptionist might extend to updating an agency's website and online listings.
    • Real estate receptionists might keep track of scheduled house showings.
      By: JohnKwan
      Real estate receptionists might keep track of scheduled house showings.
    • Some real estate receptionists make sure listings are correctly placed in local newspapers.
      By: John Tomaselli
      Some real estate receptionists make sure listings are correctly placed in local newspapers.
    • Real estate receptionists may be asked to prepare documents necessary to complete transactions.
      By: Gianluca Rasile
      Real estate receptionists may be asked to prepare documents necessary to complete transactions.