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A Day in My Life as a Real Estate Agent in Washington, DC (Part 1 of 2)

Appleton Properties | November 8, 2017

Article by DC Realtor William Fastow

Real estate is a great industry and a rewarding career. Every day is different and presents unique challenges. I get to learn about architecture, design, and building practices – all while forging a bond and rapport with my clients, and helping them make what will be one of the biggest investments of their lives.

A typical day

My day at work practically starts just a few minutes after I wake up and ends right before I go to sleep. As a real estate professional in one of the most dynamic markets in the United States, the long hours are often necessary. But when you love what you do, it stops feeling like work. And as my work and personal routine take me on unending drives around the city, my passion and appreciation for everything Washington, DC has to offer are always rekindled.

Here’s a peep at how a typical day goes for me:

7:30-8:30 AM

My lovely wife, Allison, and our other son, Lucas, are awake. Everyone gets cleaned up and dressed. Quick review of schedules and a brief family conversation about everyone’s upcoming day. Eli has soccer after pre-school today at 4:00 so I mark it on my calendar.

8:30-9:30 AM

Our wonderful nanny, Evelyn, arrives and takes control of the kids. My wife heads out the door and everyone’s real day begins. I head straight into our home office and begin corresponding with my clients.

I have about an hour to set up showings for later in the week for my buyer clients, coordinate contractors for one of my sellers, follow up on active transactions with other agents, and everything in between. This is my opportunity to take care of the details and make sure all my clients are in the loop, aware of new listings. My goal each day is for my clients to hear from me before they start their day, and this hour is crucial to getting all of that accomplished.

9:30-11:00 AM

I jump in my car and am off to my first showings of the day. Brian and Stefanie were referred to me by a close friend, and they are struggling to find the perfect house in their ideal neighborhood in a tight market.

I run over to Columbia Heights to pick them up and show them 3 new listings that just came onto the market the day before. I pride myself on getting my clients through properties before anyone else gets to see them. I pick them up, run them through the homes, take my notes, discuss the pros and cons of each house and drop them off back at home in less than an hour and a half.


La Caprice DC

Le Caprice Bakery in DC

11:00 AM-12:00 PM

One of my favorite local coffee shops and bakeries is right around the corner from Brian and Stefanie’s house on 14th Street. I run into La Caprice and grab a quick espresso and a croissant for the road. I’m now back in my car heading north up to our offices in Bethesda.

On the way, I am on the phone with two clients who are developers working on a row house project in Petworth. They have hit a snag and are struggling to get their project through DC Zoning. A quick search through my contacts and I have put them in touch with an architect who can quickly redraft their plans and a permit expeditor to help ferry the project through zoning and approvals.

Though the development will not be out of the ground for at least 2 months and will not be ready for sale for another 6-8 months, I am working with them throughout the process to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

12:00-1:30 PM

I arrive at our brokerage office in Bethesda. I carry a cooler bag with me most days with my lunch and snacks in it. Before I started doing this, I found that I would go through the whole day and not have time to eat.

I sit down at my desk and start my working lunch. While I eat, I draft an offer on a property in Chevy Chase. Though my clients are still on the fence, I like to get a jump on the paperwork now that things are starting to get serious. Even if my clients don’t move on this house, it’s an opportunity to get them acquainted with the offer process.

Once the offer is drafted I make a call to their mortgage broker to request a pre-approval letter, and then call a different broker to follow up on another client’s appraisal that should be posting later today.

Appleton Properties - 3 Bethesda Metro Center

Appleton Properties at Bethesda Metro Center

It’s important for me to remain in contact with everyone associated with a client’s transactions. I make a point of developing a personal relationship with everyone involved – from their inspector to the appraiser, right down to the receptionist at the title company. People are more willing to go the extra mile for someone they know, and establishing personal relationships with all parties is the best way to keep the axles greased and things moving smoothly.

1:30-2:30 PM

I can carve some time out of my work day for a gym workout 3 or 4 times a week. I typically aim for mid-day when most people are at or heading back to work. The gym down the street from my office is empty and I get a solid workout and a shower in just about an hour.

2:30-3:30 PM

Time to head back into DC. I have a listing in Spring Valley that I brought onto the market 2 weeks ago and it’s getting good traffic. The property is a large 5000+ square-foot home. I make it a point to be on hand at all the showings so I can highlight the features of this great house.

Today, we are doing a second showing with some buyers, along with their agent and architect. We’re working on the viability of some exterior and interior renovations that the buyers would like to price out before making an offer. This is a great opportunity to also pick their architect’s brain about improvements to the house that might make it more desirable to others if these buyers opt not to move forward.

Check out Part 2 of my typical work day here, showing my late afternoon to evening schedule.