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6 Ways Real Estate Agents Are Like Han Solo

October 29 2014

6ways trulia2Working in the real estate industry is surprisingly similar to living the life of Han Solo, the suave, cynical yet charming inter-stellar smuggler of the Star Wars universe. Don't believe us? Consider these six parallels and you'll see how your local Realtor is essentially the same as this infamous Corellian scoundrel.

They Never Stop Working

Han Solo: "Not a bad bit of rescuing, huh? You know, sometimes I amaze even myself."

Princess Leia: "That doesn't sound too hard."

Smuggling isn't a job; it's a lifestyle. Han Solo does not have the luxuries afforded by a 9-to-5 career – he cannot simply "leave work at work." Instead, Solo's "off time" is spent trying to stay alive in backwater spaceports or outrunning Imperial cruisers in the cold vacuum of space. Solo's many rivals and enemies, like the terrifying bounty hunter Boba Fett, would refuse to recognize his vacation time were he silly enough to try and take some.

Real estate agents also never stop working. The nature of the real estate business means agents must always be ready to take customer calls and only rarely have the opportunity to go on vacation. Agents' hours are generally long and they frequently work during weekends and evenings. An unfortunate fact of life for them is that the agents who make themselves unavailable – even momentarily – are the agents who lose business.

They Can Be Well Paid

Luke Skywalker: "She's rich."

Han Solo: "Rich?"

Skywalker: "Rich, powerful. Listen, if you were to rescue her, the reward would be ..."

Solo: "What?"

Skywalker: "Well, more wealth than you can imagine!"

Solo: "I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit!"

Han Solo is the spitting image of a successful and talented self-employed businessman. He owns the spaceship his business is run out of, and his skill as a pilot has landed him lucrative (albeit dangerous) contracts with princesses and crime lords alike. Han is no rustic moisture farmer; the sky – nay, the galaxy – is the limit for his little enterprise.

Unlike most professionals, real estate agents have unlimited earning potential. Other than the constraints placed on their time, there are no restrictions on how many homes a real estate agent can sell – and how much money they can make from commissions. The median annual wage of real estate agentsmedian annual wage of real estate agents is around $40,000, but industrious agents can earn well over $100,000.

They Have Trusty Sidekicks

Chewbacca: "Arwwwaaaarrrhhhaaa."

Han Solo: "Laugh it up, fuzzball!"

Han Solo's loyal friend and incomprehensible sidekick, Chewbacca, provides companionship during long space flights and a valuable second blaster in the thick of firefights. Without the giant Wookiee, both Solo and the Millennium Falcon would be in bad shape. That being said, Solo's smuggling operation largely rests upon the mutually beneficial relationship he has with his fur-covered sidekick.

While many real estate agents are self-employed, none truly work alone. From the brokerages that bond and mentor them to the support staff like virtual assistantsvirtual assistants who perform their clerical work, agents' ability to close deals in the field is augmented by work done by the work of others.

Their Jobs Can Be Dangerous

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side." – Han Solo

The life of a space-faring smuggler is one fraught with danger. Han Solo's life could be cut short at any moment by the blasters of a squad of Imperial stormtroopers, a rival smuggler, or a black-hearted bounty hunter. Even Solo's beloved home, the Millennium Falcon, provides little respite from peril; a stray asteroid or malfunctioning component could cause him to meet an untimely end.

Real estate agents can also find themselves in danger. The isolated nature of the work they perform in the field makes assault, robbery, rape, and even murder a grim reality for them. In 2011, 30 U.S. real estate agents were murdered30 U.S. real estate agents were murdered during showings and open houses. Between 2003 and 2009, an average of 75 agents were killedan average of 75 agents were killed.

(All Star Wars references aside, it's dangerous out there for agents. Learn and follow these real estate safety tipsthese real estate safety tips.)

Not Everyone Likes Them

Princess Leia: "Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!"

Han Solo: "Who are you calling scruffy-looking?"

Solo, a true Corellian scoundrel, lacks the refinements displayed by the denizens of Coruscant and the galaxy's other civilized regions. He can come across as arrogant, greedy, and self-centered. These characteristics can rankle the people he encounters during his adventures, including everyone from haughty princesses to corpulent crime lords.

Real estate agents are some of the most hated professionals in the U.S., and they are regularly subjected to the ire of the public and even their clients. Most resentment toward real estate professionals comes down to the nature of their commissions; many home sellers feel that the time agents put into the deals they close does not merit the amount they earn. Also, a minority of agents use dishonesty to speed up transactions, propagating the public misconception that all agents are liars by nature.

Like Solo and his ilk, real estate agents generally don't deserve the reputation their profession has unfairly received; most are honest, hardworking people. The redeeming qualities of people like Solo and your local real estate agent become apparent as soon as misconceptions are cast aside and you make an effort to get to know them (maybe over some sabacc).

They Use the Best Tools

Han Solo: "You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?"

Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Should I have?"

Han Solo: "It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. I've outrun Imperial starships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big Corellian ships."

Han Solo is no ordinary smuggler. Much of Solo's success is derived from the tool he uses to traverse the galaxy's myriad space lanes: the Millennium Falcon, a light freighter that Solo will happily tell you is one of the fastest around. With its ability to navigate dangerous stretches of space (like the Kessel Run) and stay light years ahead of Imperial agents and bounty hunters, the Falcon makes Solo a force to be reckoned with.

Real estate agents are also known to use powerful tools to help their businesses. Trulia's suite of toolsTrulia's suite of tools allows agents to generate leads, manage relationships with potential clients, develop marketing plans and materials, and even create their own IDX-enabled websites.

This article was originally published on the Trulia Pro blog. You can find the original version of this article, as well as other informative and entertaining articles for real estate agents, herehere.

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