Part-Time Real Estate Agent: Pros and Cons, How to Get Started


Can real estate agents work part-time? Let me put it this way. Just in Colorado Springs, Colorado alone there are over 4,500 licensed real estate agents. How many agents do you think there are in the entire United States? Your guess is as good as mine. WAY TOO MANY!

That being said, do you think they all work as full-time real estate agents? Of course not! Some of them might be teachers. Some might be construction workers, factory workers, plumbers, personal trainers, police officers, stay-at-home mothers, FedEx drivers, doctors, etc, etc, you get the point. Real estate agents are everywhere! There is no way they are all full-time.

If you are contemplating whether to get your license or whether to be a part-time or full-time real estate agent, let’s look at the pros and cons of each as well as what you need to do to be successful.

Pros To Becoming A Part Time Real Estate Agent

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1) Survivability

One reason you may want to get your real estate license and work part-time is just to make a little extra cash while also working your usual 9-5 job. This is a pro because you are not solely relying on real estate to make ends meet. Because of this, you have some flexibility in the sense that if you don’t make (X) amount of dollars this year through real estate you aren’t going to have to sell your home, car, or children (kidding), in order to live.

You will be able to carry out your normal day-to-day job, but will also have the opportunity to help a few clients a year to pay for a vacation, Christmas presents, a new car, your kid’s college, etc. The survivability of real estate agents working part-time is extremely high because of this.

Part-Time Real Estate Agent meeting client

2) Lead Generation

Now when I say lead generation I am talking about the process of going from no clients to a few clients. How do you do that?

Normally, as a full-time Realtor, you have to go out and meet people, exchange numbers, give out your cards, etc. The key piece I want you to take away from this is “YOU have to GO OUT and meet people”. As a full-time Realtor, this can be a daunting task that may make you want to give up. You physically have to stand up, walk out the door, and find the needle in the haystack that wants to sell their home or purchase a new one.

How many people do you think you can meet in a day? Is this a challenge? It sure is!  I say this because, if you have a normal 9-5 job you don’t have to go out and meet people every day. You are already working, meeting, and conversing with people each and every day!

Lean over to the cubicle next to you and say

“Hey Jim, I just got my real estate license, let’s get you out of that rental you’ve been hating and into your own home”.

Boom! Your very first client.

Don’t work in an office full of cubicles? Ok. Let’s do retail. You have customers walking in and out all day long. You have the potential to meet 100 new people each and every day. I’m sure you can turn 1/100 into a client with the right presentation.

The point being, as a part-time real estate agent, meeting people comes with your 9-5 job. Full-time Realtors do not have this luxury. Use it as a tool to boost your new real estate career.

Cons To Bcoming A Part Time Estate Agent

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1) Time Flexibility

One major drawback to being a part-time real estate agent is time flexibility. With a 9-5 job, you are immensely limited in time and you will have to adjust your schedule around it. This may mean you have to show homes after 5:30 pm. It also might mean that after you have just got done showing five houses you will still have to write up and submit an offer.

There is much more that goes into real estate than showing homes and trying to sell a house. You have contracts, Inspections, multiple deadlines, so on and so forth that must be met. This can eat up a lot of time and you may have to sacrifice time with your family, friends, and other activities in order to close a deal.

That being said, it would be a good idea to get into a team that can help alleviate some of this for you. I will discuss more on teams later in this post, so keep reading!

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2) Client Scepticism

If you were trying to see, let’s say, a doctor and he told you he can only see you before 7am or after 6pm because during the day he is an opera singer. You would probably be a little hesitant to use him or you might even find another doctor right? The same goes for real estate.

Your clients are going to spend 100’s of thousands of dollars with you. Don’t you think they deserve your undivided attention 100% of every day till you get to the closing table? This will become a huge problem if you are “part-time” for the reasons stated above in the time flexibility section. This may make your clients hesitant to use you because they want to know exactly what is going on with their money and transaction, which you may only be able to provide between a 3 hour period on any given day. Communication with your clients is key to success and that will be a major friction point you’ll have to work through.

As well as not being able to have your undivided attention your clients may also feel like you aren’t going to be current on the market. They would be right. You only have so much time in a day to study and grow in your profession. If most of that is taken away by another job, it’s going to be very hard to stay up to date. This will cause your clients to become uneasy because they are trying to get the best for their money or the most for their house and picking someone who doesn’t know the market could easily lose them thousands of dollars.

There are plenty of examples I could give you that would show client skepticism, but all you really need to do is think about how you would react yourself. If you went all-in at the poker table with $200,000, wouldn’t it make you feel better to have two Aces rather than two 2’s? You could argue that’s the difference between full-time vs part-time real estate agents in the eyes of the consumer. They both can possibly win, but one has a much greater chance.

Colorado Springs Homes For Sale

3) Real Estate Fees and Dues

There are a few real estate fees and dues you need to be aware of that may sway your decision on getting your license because of the cost. This includes the Nation Association of Realtors (NAR), your particular state Board of Realtors fees, and brokerage fees

  • National Association Of Realtors (NAR) Dues

At the time of writing this post, NAR charges $150 a year. You can find more information on what you get with a National Association of Realtors membership here

  • Board Of Realtors Fees

In Colorado Springs, Colorado our Board of Realtors is called the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR). Our yearly dues are about $650 paid yearly and also around $50 paid monthly.

With these dues, you will get access to the Multiple Listings Service (MLS). Your board may also provide other services such as a standardized lockbox system, etc, but these are at the board’s discretion and may not always be offered.

If you are outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado check with your local Board of Realtors to find out what your dues will be and what they offer.

  • Real Estate Brokers Fees

There is no way to really give you an exact number of what brokers charge because they are all different. Some charge more than others and some may also pay for other services you would normally have to pay on your own such as E&O Insurance and Board of Realtor memberships.

It is very important to shop for Real Estate Brokerages to find what will be the best fit for you.

How To Be A Successful Part Time Real Estate Agent

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1) Work on a team

Working on a team when you are part-time is the single best thing to can ever do. Looking back at the cons mentioned earlier in this article, a team can essentially take them all away.

If you are having a hard time with time constraints, a team will be able to help you. Need to show houses while you are working? No problem, a team member may be able to take your clients for you. Need to submit an offer? Timing is essential and your team members have your back and may do it for you.

Along with time constraints, with a team, your clients will no longer have any hesitation whether to use you or not. You essentially will be able to lump all your team members’ experiences together and “piggyback” off each other in order to comfort your clients and reinforce that you have their best interests in mind and most importantly KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

Your clients may ask “How long have you been doing real estate?” 
Simple answer –

“My TEAM has been in business for (X) amount of years and WE have sold (X) amount of properties and helped (X) amount of clients sell and purchase dream homes.”

Nowhere in the statement above did I say

“I have been in real estate for (X) amount of years (days, months), I have sold (X) amount of properties, I have help (X) amount of clients.”

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2) business cards

Business cards are a must. If your primary job is retail, you might be able to talk to a lot of people about real estate and helping them sell or purchase a home, but how many do you think are going to remember your name or how to get ahold of you. This is where business cards come in.

1000 business cards from Vistaprint is $40.00. I would highly suggest purchasing a set for the following reasons.

1) Ease of use

2) Memorability

3) Timeless Marketing

Business cards are an extremely easy way to give somebody your contact information. Just a quick reach into your pocket and you will give them all the information they need about you.

Along with it being so easy; if your card has a picture of your face, the next time they see your card they will remember the conversation you had. This means you won’t have to start the conversation “cold turkey” like everyone else.

All this aside, business cards are timeless marketing. Who knows how long your card will sit in their purse/wallet. They may forget about it and all of a sudden find it at the most opportune time down the road. This can be days, months, or even years later.

Business cards are a must as I said before. You will be a fool not to have them ready and available at any moment’s notice.

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3) Social Media

Social media can be one of the best tools in your toolbox. You have the ability to reach 100’s or even 1,000’s of people with the click of a button. This can be a huge difference when selling a home and or just connecting with future or past clients.

One way social media can help immensely is advertising. With just a few dollars you can blast a new listing to 1,000’s of people you wouldn’t normally reach. This will give you a much greater chance of selling it.

Keeping up with past clients can pay ten folds in the future. Most people will return back to the last Realtor they used. They will also refer all their friends to them.

Later down in your career, you have the potential to have all your business come organically, meaning you no longer have to go out and sell yourself. Your past clients will do that for you.

With social media, the process of keeping up with your clients becomes extremely easy. Use this tool from day one and you will never regret it.

Some Other FAQs

How Much Do Part Time Real Estate Agents Make?

This is a tough question. There are so many factors that come into play there really is no answer. Some will work harder than others. Some will have more hours to put into real estate. Some may have a job that isn’t quite like retail where they can meet 100 people easily every day. Even down to States, Counties, and Cities. Everything is different.

As a full-time real estate agent, you can look up the expected income here. You can use this as a guide for what is possible for a part-timer, but take it with a grain of salt as your result may be different from everyone else.

Do Brokers Hire Part Time Real Estate Agents?

Short answer: Of course!

Whether you are on fire and making tons of money or you are struggling and barely making anything, there is no skin off the broker’s back. The broker doesn’t make any money if you don’t. With that said, the broker also doesn’t lose any money if you don’t make any money.

As a broker, there really is no downside to hiring part-time real estate agents.

The Bottom Line

A part-time real estate is a great option for anyone who wants to make more than what they are currently making at their 9-5 job, but of course, a full-time real estate agent will be the ideal way to go.

Remember this. Using the three examples written above about how to be successful will almost completely erase the cons associated with part-time real estate (with the exception of fees and dues).

Again they are:

  1. Work on a team
  2. Business cards
  3. Social media

Utilize these to the best of your abilities and you will be successful in all that you do in real estate. Whether it be part-time or full-time. The choice is yours.

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