Get practical tips to jumpstart your career as a part-time real estate agent! We break down who this option is best for, the challenges to expect, and how to overcome them.
If you want to test out the world of real estate, working part-time as a real estate agent could be a great way to start. Real estate is steadily growing as a side gig for ambitious professionals. It has a low barrier to entry (less than a year of training to get your real estate license) and high earning potential.Entering real estate part-time also gives you the ability to make an income from another job until you find stability.
The challenge is that real estate is a career that can be difficult to get off the ground – even for beginners who start full-time. Part-time work in real estate, therefore, can be especially difficult to launch.
You’ll need the following tips to make sure that your part-time real estate career takes off on the right foot – or takes off at all.
Who is a Part-Time Real Estate Career For?
Many transitioning professionals start in real estate by working part-time. Often, people who are the prime caretakers for their kids or want to work part-time after retiring are drawn to part-time real estate.
Those who are already working in the real estate industry, but are interested in a different branch, are also typically attracted to a career as a real estate agent. House flippers, for example, may become a real estate agent in order to better negotiate their own properties. Administrative staff in brokerages commonly move into real estate sales because they already have an inside peek into the industry and great connections to start their career as agents.
Other real estate professionals may get their license and only work with wealthy friends and family.
Is Working as a Part-Time Agent the Right Choice for You?
A part-time career in real estate comes with unlimited growth potential, however it definitely won’t be a breeze through the whole process.
The Pros of Working as a Part-time Agent
- Before you invest in a full-time career in real estate, start part-time to learn more about the market.
- Part-time real estate gives you the opportunity to test out different methods of lead gen, branding, and marketing strategies before giving up on your main source of income.
- Part-time work allows agents to grow their careers at their own speed and not rely on their next deal to pay their bills.
- You can start by working a full-time job and only representing people in your network. Their feedback will be honest and you can quickly gain experience.
The Cons of Working as a Part-time Agent
- Time constraints can put unbearable pressure on a real estate business. Clients expect their agent to be available as often as necessary until their deal closes.
- Some prospects may not trust a part-time agent. Have an answer prepared if clients ask why you’re only working in real estate part-time.
- Less time building your business, meeting with clients, marketing your services, etc. risks putting your behind full-time agent competitors if you’re not patient.
- It can take months for a full-time agent to score their first listings. So the average part-time agent will need to be very patient, personable, and responsible with their time to make their first sale.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Part-time Real Estate Career:
Do You Have a Flexible Schedule?
As a real estate agent, your client is the boss. While boundaries are normal and essential, your success depends on the success of your clients. You can’t simply ignore them when your first job becomes more time-consuming.
Clients expect you to be available at the same time that they are. If you’re not, you risk losing your clients to a more available agent. If your main job doesn’t allow you to travel in the middle of the day, you should make sure that you are at least able to check your emails and accept calls while on the job.
Can You Financially Support Yourself with Your Primary Job?
As we mentioned earlier, real estate can take a moment to catch speed. Your primary job may have to be your main source of income for the first months of your real estate career. You’ll have to check that you’ll be earning enough to support yourself and fund your real estate education.
Are You Able to Work Strange Hours?
Many part-time realtors find themselves putting in long hours in the evenings after their primary job and over the weekends. Real estate agents are on their client’s schedule. That means they have to be there when clients want to see different homes or ask questions, which is usually after typical work hours.
Of course, licensed real estate agents can take on as little or as many clients as they want. However, your income and longevity depend on your number of sales.
Will I have the Emotional Resilience to Constantly Communicate with Clients and Prospects?
Real estate can be a high-energy, rollercoaster job. After working at your primary job all day, it’s not always easy to muster up the energy to jump into your role as a real estate agent. Be honest with yourself about whether you have the emotional capacity to wear many hats throughout each day.
Top Concerns of Part-time Real Estate Agents
Do Clients Typically Choose Full-time Agents over Part-time Agents?
Some clients may question why you only work part-time and not full-time. As long as you are prepared to provide a clear explanation of why you only work part-time and clarify that you’re just as capable as a full-time agent, they’ll be happy.
At the end of the day, real estate is about building relationships. Your interpersonal skills and ability to deliver what you promise are much more valuable than your time on the job.
Will Part-Time Agents be Less Appealing to Brokers?
All new real estate agents in North America must join a real estate brokerage to represent buyers and sellers in transactions. A brokerage is a legal organization that employs and manages real estate agents to make sure real estate agreements are conducted properly.
Your options as a part-time agent could be more limited than your full-time colleagues. Be open with brokers about how much time you are available to spend on real estate and make sure that your goals align. This is where you should emphasize how dedicated you are to real estate, despite being a part-time agent.
How to Have Success as a Part-time Real Estate Agent
Set Your Schedule
If you find yourself in a trap of overpromising and underdelivering, you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed and ruin your reputation. When you are not 100% focused on real estate, it’s essential to set time boundaries from the beginning.
Plan out regular times for different real estate tasks: prospecting, open houses, availability for calls etc. Let your clients know the best times to contact you so that you don’t miss their calls. It’s best to be flexible, especially if your clients also have irregular schedules.
To keep yourself on task, create a daily schedule that is as detailed as possible. You may not be able to stick to this schedule religiously, but it can still act as a guideline. You may also want to consider dedicating specific days of the week to different real estate tasks such as showings, listing, and prospecting. This will make sure that you always have enough time for mandatory real estate responsibilities.
How you spend your time is vital to your success. Focus on the quality leads, the quality clients, and the quality real estate.
Work Around Your Current Job
If you want to succeed in real estate, you can’t drop your responsibilities by the wayside. However, you’ll need to perform your best at your principal job if it is your main source of income. Set time frames for every single task you need to complete in both roles will put you in the best position to thrive.
Build a Marketing Strategy that Does the Work
A great real estate marketing strategy will generate leads while you sleep and generate interest without any added effort. Your real estate website is the root of your digital marketing strategy. It is the hub for all of your online marketing and your home base online.
AgentFire web designers have experience building websites for thousands of real estate professionals across North America. If you don’t have a professional website built especially for real estate, they will likely consider you low-effort and won’t think of you as the best choice.
Invest in Time-Saving Tech
New real estate technology is developing quickly to keep up with the demands of modernization and more educated clientele. Every real estate agent at least needs a CRM and a real estate website to start. Your CRM and real estate are the core of your lead generation machine. Your website tells users what you’re all about and collects online leads that flow into your CRM. All of your leads from a variety of sources should land in your CRM. Your CRM will help you tick where your clients are in the buying process, organize their contact info and follow up on time.
Specialize and Highlight Your Unique Talents
Sure you may be a part-time agent, but you have something that no other agent has (fill in your special talent here!). If you want to make the most out of your time spent on real estate, carve out what makes you unique. Then, go searching for a niche. Getting hyper specific with what you contribute and to who will make it easy to market to your target audience and grab their attention.
Then, put your unique value offer into words so that you can pitch yourself in any situation at the drop of a hat.
Lean on Your Team
Being part of a strong real estate team gives you a support system and safety net when real estate work gets too overwhelming. We’re not saying that you should throw your workload on your team, but you should feel comfortable turning to each other when you each need support. You can help each other make appointments or take calls when you are unavailable.
Recognize when it’s appropriate to delegate tasks. If you’re swamped with administrative work, consider hiring an assistant or outsourcing certain tasks to free up your time for client-focused activities.
Focus on Sellers
If you’re tight on time, it might make the most sense to initially work with sellers only. As a listing agent, you don’t have to drive your clients from one open house to the next ( sometimes to find that they are no longer interested in buying). Selling real estate is a safe bet in regards to time.
A common shortcut used by part-time real estate agents is referral fees. Referral fees are used when an interested client is referred to another agent, either because the first agent does not have time or isn’t the right fit. Part-time agents can make a little on the side by referring clients to other agents when their schedules are full.
The Cost of Being a Part-time Agent
To plan out your part-time real estate career, it’s essential to understand the costs that go into starting up and maintaining this new role.
A few fees almost all real estate agents pay include:
Desk Fees: Covers the cost of the supplies and marketing materials you use as well as any educational resources. Just because you work half the time, doesn’t mean that you can necessarily pay half of the desk fees
Realtors Association: Most memberships are $600+ annually
State and Local Licensure Memberships: As a real estate agent, you will need to renew your license each year. This may be accompanied by continuing education courses
Operating Costs Your operating costs include everything from paid Google Ads to business cars, poppy gifts, Your CRM, Gas, Yard Signs and more – basically everything it takes to get your business up and running at a speed that you’re happy with.
As a part-time real estate agent, you’re armed with the safety of having extra time to earn income from other sources. However, being a part-time agent isn’t exactly a breeze. You may have fewer opportunities with clients and/or brokerages. Burnout is a real possibility if part-timers don’t have the right time management skills or understand client expectations.
However, the right strategy and techniques in place will make the transition into part-time real estate easier and less daunting.
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