If you’ve been considering a career in real estate, you might be wondering which route is best: working full-time or part-time as a real estate agent. There are certainly pros and cons to both, but the choice is ultimately up to you with how much time and energy you want to invest.
Full-Time Real Estate Agents
Working as a full-time real estate agent can be very rewarding, and also very challenging. You’ll be devoting most of your time and energy into helping people find their dream home, or sell their current home. You’ll build many relationships along the way by getting to work with a wide variety of clients.
Some of the topics we’ll take a look at:
- Managing your schedule
- Upfront costs
- Commission splitting
- Staying ahead of the competition
- Finding a broker
- Understanding the industry
Possible Downsides to Becoming a Full-Time Real Estate Agent
- You’ll have a full schedule – Real estate agents work around the clock, and because nights and weekends are prime times for showings, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work as many hours as you’d like to.
- It’s a financial commitment – Between the pre-licensing fees, state exam fees, and license renewal fees, there are some upfront costs involved in becoming a real estate agent. If you’re going to pursue real estate, these are all worthwhile investments. In many cases, selling just one home in your first year can make up for costs of getting started.
- You’ll be splitting commissions – If you’re working with a broker, they’ll likely get a percentage of the commission you make on a sale. Some brokerages charge a desk fee, others a flat percentage on commission, so you’ll want to take that into account when you’re starting out.
Upsides to Becoming a Full-Time Real Estate Agent
While there are some unique processes full-time real estate agents would need to be aware of, that can be common to see for many other careers as well. There are many wonderful things you can look forward to with a full-time career in real estate that can make up for it.
- A leg up on your competition – Knowing the market is an important part of being able to give a client the best real estate advice possible. As a full-tine real estate agent, you’ll be spending a significant amount of time focusing on market trends, home values, and inventory of listings. Your clients will feel confident that you’re advocating for them because you spend all of your working hours understanding the industry.
- You’ll have an easier time finding a broker – Brokers usually have to train new agents, which can take time and money on their end, so they’re sometimes hesitant to bring on part-time real estate agents. But as a full-time agent, they’ll likely see you as a strong investment that will be able to bring in more business for their firm.
- You control your schedule – As a real estate agent, you are in control of your schedule, your hours worked, and your income. You can show as many or as few houses as you want, work as many hours as you’d like, and, ultimately, earn as much as you’d like. Your financial potential is unlimited, but is also a direct result of your schedule.
- You’ll understand the industry – A career as a full-time real estate agent allows you to have an intimate understanding of the field. You work through the challenges on a day-to-day basis, spend time finding and closing deals, and networking with more clients. If you’re a full-time real estate, it’s likely that you’re going to go above and beyond for your clients because they are your primary source of income.
Part-Time Real Estate Agents
Starting a career as a real estate agent can be intimidating, because it requires an investment of both time and money. It takes time to find clients and some agents choose to test the waters with a part-time real estate position to see how they will fare before committing full time.
Many agents begin part time, and some remain that way. It’s the perfect opportunity for single parents, people looking to supplement an existing income, or retirees who want to stay active. It is possible to be successful as a part-time agent, but there are some important factors to consider before determining if it will work for you.
Some of the topics we’ll take a look at:
- Challenges finding a broker
- Availability for clients
- More working hours
- Increase in free time
- Bringing in a paycheck
- Being a good real estate agent
Possible Downsides for Part-Time Real Estate Agents
- Finding a broker can be more difficult – A broker’s failures and successes are a direct result of the real estate agents that work for them. The limited schedule of a part-time agent usually results in less business, and some brokers aren’t willing to bring a part-time agent onto their team. Not all brokers operate that way, but you’ll need to take the time to find a broker who is right for your situation.
- Availability for your clients may be limited – No matter which path you choose, clients generally want their real estate agents to be available around the clock. Whether it’s a home inspection issue, an offer submission deadline, or wanting to see as many new homes as possible, your clients will expect you to make them a priority. Other areas of the job, like dealing with title companies or mortgage lenders, require you to work during “normal” business hours. And if you’re only devoting a few hours a day to real estate, it’ll likely be trickier to manage the workload.
- You could end up working more hours – If you’re working for your current employer as well as being a part-time real estate agent, you’re likely going to be putting in longer work weeks. Evenings and weekends are usually peak hours for agents, so if you’re also working a regular 9-5 job, you can probably expect to be putting in more than 40 hours a week between the two.
Upsides for Part-Time Real Estate Agents
While there are some special considerations to taking into account when thinking about becoming a part-time real estate agent, there are also many great reasons to go into real estate part-time, especially due to the flexibility the career offers.
- More free time – Finding a work-life balance can be difficult for some but working as a part-time real estate agent can offer just that. If you only devote part of your day to your career, you have more time to spend with your family, catching up on housework, pursuing hobbies, or just relaxing. By limiting your available hours, you’re removing some of that daily work stress to enjoy personal activities of your choosing.
- You can still earn an income – Maybe you don’t like the idea of a traditional 9-5 job or are looking for another opportunity to supplement an existing part-time job. Maybe you’re a single parent who doesn’t have time to commit to a full-time job. Maybe you’re retired but still want some extra spending money. Working as a part-time real estate agent can help! You can set the hours you’re available, but still bring home a paycheck.
- Working part-time doesn’t make you a bad agent – As with any profession, you can build your own reputation as a quality real estate agent, regardless of how many hours per week they work. What’s important is knowledge of the market, industry savvy, and willingness to go to bat for your client. A part-time agent can work with fewer clients and still give them a high level of service.
You can have an exciting and fulfilling career as a real estate agent either part-time or full-time. And if you’re ready to get started, PDH Real Estate can help. We offer cost-effective and comprehensive training to get you on your way to a real estate license. You can visit our website at www.pdhrealestate.com to learn more, or you can contact our customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-572-7324.