Michelle Kuzmovich takes the JobShadow.com interview.  You can find Michelle on her Google + profile here.  

What do you do for a living? 

I create website for real estate agents to help them market their expertise in their local market and sell properties for their clients.

How would you describe what you do?

I help people find the home of their dreams — properly advertising a website enables me to get my Realtor clients in front of potential home buyers who are looking to buy a new home in their area.

What does your work entail?

I spend lots of time in front of a computer checking out the competition, seeing the latest trends in web development and also reading up on real estate.  There are trends in each market and staying on top of this is important to understand how to cater to the market.

Follow up question:

Are you saying you check out the competition of other people that build real estate web sites?  Or you are doing keyword research for rankings like ‘Florida Real Estate’ etc.?

It’s a combination of both.  People talk about cool functionality so you never want to not have something other people have.  We just recently redesigned the site to accommodate some new technologies and be able to expand to new markets.  Now we are trying to incorporate more features such as drawing on the map to find properties and also allowing the general public the ability to create their own searches and save them and publish for others to use.

What’s a typical work week like?

There is no typical week. Every day involves checking stats from the prior day and trending them over time and comparing to the competition. It’s always important to read up on industry news and events to see if they create spikes in traffic, etc. Usually earlier in the week, new ideas are hashed out to implement for the weekend or in the event of more complex items, a schedule is developed over the course of a few weeks and extensive testing is performed to make sure there are no issues.

How did you get started?

I built my first website in 1996 back when a 28.8k modem was considered high-speed internet access.  Times have changed — it used to be about text and minimal graphics.  Now it’s completely changed and graphics are ever more popular as internet speeds continue to increase.

What do you like about what you do?

I’m always creating new things. Whether its new advertising opportunities or new websites, email campaigns, etc. It’s always something new and creative.

What do you dislike?

Long hours — it’s no lie, there’s a lot of time involved and staying ahead of the curve isn’t easy.  The more education the better — although traditional schooling isn’t necessarily important but rather specialized training courses and materials, etc.

How do you make money/or how are you compensated?

I get paid by the hour — some clients are on retainer but many pay hourly for services.

How much do people in your field make?

It’s not difficult to make $200k + in this field.  It takes a lot of work to get to that point, but it’s definitely within reach.

How much money do you make starting out?

$40-$60 per hour is not uncommon.

What education or skills are needed to do this?

Being able to browse the internet and perform a search on Google are the start — a continual thirst for knowledge only pushes the envelope further.

What is most challenging about what you do?

Things are constantly changing and keeping up with the trends is most difficult.  Both in an advertising sense but also in a development sense.  As new devices emerge, it can be throw off what has been developed or new software can render your development differently than previously expected.

What is most rewarding?

Getting recognition from your clients and seeing their clients happy.  When your client knows you’ve provided a great service to them and keeps coming back is rewarding in itself.

What advice would you offer someone considering this career?

Get prepared for a fun ride — hard work goes a long way.

How much time off do you get/take?

I take anywhere from 3-6 weeks off.  Depends on holidays, etc.  There are some heavy workloads at times followed by time to regroup and decompress.

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

That it’s rocket science — not really.  It comes easy with time.

What are your goals/dreams for the future?

To build a new go-to place for prospective homebuyers to find their dream home and grow their families.

I am working to expand the listing bases to encompass more properties and locations to provide the most comprehensive real estate website.  It’s fun to play with data and commingle it with other sources to mash up reliable resources of information.

I’d love to expand nationally as there are varying markets and economics involved in real estate.

What else would you like people to know about what you do?

The wider range, the better.  With things constantly changing, it’s important to be able to use varying skills to help your clients.  The wider your base or the more people you know, the more services you’re able to offer your clients.  An example website I’ve developed is www.expertrealty.com.