What is it really like to be a real estate agent, and what does it take to become one? We interviewed six Redfin Agents to find out why they chose real estate as a career and how they came to work at Redfin. Yesterday we profiled Risa Bell, who had a few different careers before joining Redfin. Today you’ll hear from Jana Katrusin, who is an Associate Agent and full-time student.
We’ll post a new Redfin Agent profile each day this week. If you’re looking for more agent info, be sure to check our entire series of real estate agent profiles and don’t hesitate to investigate open real estate jobs at Redfin.
Jana is a full-time student at University of Washington-Bothell and works as an Associate Agent in between classes and homework.
What did you do before you joined Redfin?
I’m originally from Slovakia; while I lived there I worked at a daycare and in office jobs. I first moved to the United States when I was 19, to be an au pair for two years in New Jersey. I went back home for awhile but returned to the U.S. because I liked it here. I worked as a nanny full-time before I became an Associate Agent, and have been attending UW Bothell simultaneously.
What made you want to pursue your real estate license, and what was the process like?
I caught the fever for real estate from a friend and got my license so I could apply to the company. I did an online course, for a total of 90 hours. It was pretty easy; you just listen to the lecture and take quizzes along the way. I had bought a home before, so I was familiar with the process.
How did you hear about Redfin, and why did you decide to apply?
After a friend told me about Redfin, I started to research the company, and I really liked the business model. I wouldn’t have considered traditional agencies because I don’t want to hunt people down to find clients. I’m not a sales person! If it wasn’t for Redfin’s model, I wouldn’t have gotten into the business. I don’t want to pressure people to buy houses.
Do you worry about the market going up and down?
I don’t worry about it going up and down. Clients can tour as many houses as they want, so we stay busy throughout the year.
What’s the best part of your job?
I was interviewed by three people when I applied for the position, and every time I asked them what they like about it, the first thing they said is the people. Redfin employees feel that they work with good people and work for a company that is doing something good. I agree – the team structure works well for me. Since I’m going to school full-time, the flexible hours are also nice.
What skills do you think are important to be successful as a real estate agent?
First of all, you need to be organized. You need to be on-time to tours, and you need to follow up via email and phone to schedule them. It’s important to keep track of everything. You also need to be a good communicator and good with people in general. It helps to know about homes or have an interest in houses; I was familiar with construction, so I know how houses are supposed to look and not look in the middle of construction.
What would you tell people who are thinking about becoming an agent?
I would recommend the Associate Agent job for other students. I used to do school at night and work during the day, and now I do school two full days a week. You can plan your schedule around classes and continue to work for Redfin after you graduate.
At Redfin our motto is “keep it weird.” What’s something “weird” about you?
I’d sacrifice a whole night of sleep for a good book just to finish it. I’ve never seen “The Godfather” but the book is my favorite (I don’t want to ruin it). I usually have a “to do list” even for Saturday or Sunday.