A part-time real estate agent spends fewer than 40 hours per week representing buyers or sellers for property transactions. Being a part-time real estate agent can provide a flexible schedule and a five-figure income. However, being a real estate agent part-time will result in less income than full-time agents, making this best for people with other income streams.
What to Expect in a Part-time Real Estate Agent Career
Aspiring part-time real estate agents must consider personal obligations and financial means before committing to a less-than-40-hours-per-week job. Success as an agent depends on a person’s ability to meet the scheduling demands of their clients, so while it is important to ensure you have a minimum of 20 hours available in your week, it is even more important that those 20 hours be flexible.
Additionally, those who wish to become a part-time real estate agent must follow the same steps as those as those pursuing a full-time career, which are:
- Meet state licensing requirements
- Complete required coursework
- Earn a passing grade on a real estate licensing exam and receive a state-issued license
- Find a sponsoring brokerage
- Attend on-going, post-licensing classes to maintain an active license
To learn more about these steps, visit our guide on how to become a real estate agent.
It’s important to note, however, that many full-time agents do not make a sale for up to a year after they start working; this means you will likely need to rely heavily on a second source of income, especially at first. That said, if you can successfully balance obligations while continuing to generate leads and close sales, then being a part-time real estate agent will likely offer a valuable income stream.
Part-time Real Estate Agent Salary
Real Estate Express estimates that part-time agents working less than 20 hours a week make an average of $24,559 per year. Agents who work 21 to 39 hours per week average to $46,458 per year. However, an agent’s salary varies by location and changes according to the amount of time invested in closing sales. You can learn more about how factors such as location and experience affect potential income by visiting our article on real estate agent salary.
You can also read our article on how to make money in real estate for more tips for increasing your earning potential even more from other real estate professionals.
Pros & Cons of Being a Part-time Real Estate Agent
There are both advantages and disadvantages to being a part-time real estate agent. While it might sound like a great idea to have a job that allows you to set your own schedule, there are some complications of part-time realty work.
For example, you may increase your income, grow your social circle, and grow your experience in the real estate industry so you can confidently switch to full time when you’re ready. However, there are frequently upfront expenses to cover before you even get started. It can also be more difficult to fit in last-minute client appointments when you have other responsibilities. Also, some clients may hesitate to work with a part-time agent instead of someone who focuses on real estate full time.
Part-time Real Estate Agent Pros
Part-time Real Estate Agent Cons
Poor client perception
Alternative Part-time Real Estate Careers
There are many ways you can make money with a part-time career in real estate—not just as an agent or broker. If you enjoy being a part of real estate transactions, but don’t necessarily have the time or schedule flexibility to meet the demands of would-be house hunters or homesellers, you can also use your real estate license to start a part-time career in one of these fields:
- Home inspection
- Home appraisal
- Real estate investing
- Property managing
- Commercial leasing manager
Similar to what is required to become a real estate agent, many of these careers also require professionals to complete course work. Luckily, most states allow you to complete this coursework online through an accredited school, like Real Estate Express. Real Estate Express is a great option because it offers more than just agent prelicensing education—it also offers tools for professional development. Visit their website to learn more.
Who Part-time Real Estate Work Is Right For
A part-time real estate career is a good choice for those who have a flexible schedule and don’t necessarily need a steady secondary income stream. It is also best for individuals who can successfully manage their time and prioritize tasks so that they meet clients’ needs without taking time away from other obligations.
As a result, it is a particularly good option for:
- Shift employees: People who only work part time at another job or work off-shift hours with day times free make good candidates for part-time real estate work.
- Parents with kids in school: When children go off to school, many parents have time to put toward being a part-time real estate agent; while you will still have to balance parental duties with professional responsibilities, an open schedule during the day is a good opportunity to sell real estate.
- Realty office managers: Office managers for real estate agencies often move into real estate sales because they already have connections in the industry and resources to work as agents.
However, while having skills such as time management and the ability to prioritize tasks are key, there are other factors that contribute to a person’s ability to earn income in a part-time real estate career.
How to Be a Successful Part-time Real Estate Agent in 7 Steps
A successful part-time real estate agent manages their time effectively while making consistent sales to increase income—all while covering expenses like desk fees and marketing. To ensure your own success, consider schedule availability, financial needs, and education requirements. You will also need to find a broker with lead generation channels and market yourself.
Here are the seven steps you need to be a part-time real estate agent.
1. Determine Your Level of Flexibility
To pursue a career as a part-time real estate agent, you need time to meet with clients and market your realty services. Agents generally spend half of their available time in the office and half with clients. Be honest about how much flexibility there is in your day so you can determine how many clients you can work with in a week accurately.
A good way to learn the time commitment of a real estate agent is to talk to a local agent. Call a local realty office or talk to an agent online about how much time they invest in their career—specifically, how much time they allot weekly for client meetings and how much they set aside for administration tasks. This will give you a good understanding of how much time you will need to be a successful agent.
Also, consider your other commitments. Ideally, you would be able to block out several hours of each day for real estate work. Look for any places where your life and your career as a real estate agent might conflict and think about ways to avoid these clashes. If you find too many conflicts, then being a part-time agent might not be the best choice. However, if you have three to four consecutive hours available each day, then part-time real estate work is feasible.
2. Ensure You Have Adequate Existing Financial Stability
Although being a part-time real estate agent can provide additional income, it could take up to a year or more to make your first sale. To ensure you’re financially covered while you build your network and level of experience, consider your monthly expenditures, then estimate likely income from your work as a part-time real estate agent and see if the work is viable. To help create a working estimate, consult local agents.
How to Ensure You Have Financial Stability
A good way to determine if you have the financial stability to pursue a part-time real estate career is to do this:
- Write down monthly expenses
- Calculate your monthly income from your primary job
- Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income
If you have sufficient funds to cover all expenses, you will likely be able to work for several months without guaranteed income from real estate work. If, however, you are not covering your current expenses and are leaning on savings or cash reserves to stay afloat, part-time real estate work may not be the best option.
Additional Financial Considerations of Part-time Real Estate
It’s also important to consider the upfront costs of becoming a real estate agent; these include prelicensing education, license application fees, and any marketing efforts you need to secure clients. Start by researching online real estate schools to determine prelicensing education costs. Then, consult a local agent to ask about likely lead generation and marketing costs. Determine if you have sufficient savings to cover these costs without incurring debt.
3. Find the Right Brokerage
Finding the right real estate brokerage is critical for a part-time agent; some brokers supply agents with leads and training, while others offer very little support. Start by researching the best real estate company to work for, and consider both national and regional franchises. Then, set up interviews with brokers and ask questions about desk fees, training, and sales expectations.
Once you have chosen a brokerage, you will need to supply proof of employment to the state to finalize your license. Check with your state’s real estate commission to find out what materials you need to send to assure licensing isn’t delayed.
4. Network & Grow Your Sphere of Influence
Referrals are a great source of real estate leads for no cost outside of the time it takes you to ask for them. However in order to start earning referrals, you will need to first get into a habit of introducing yourself as an agent to your network. Another good idea might be to partner with another full-time agent who might be willing to mentor you in return for assistance with clients.
5. Make Use of Lead Generation Tools
If your chosen brokerage does not supply you with leads, you will need to set up your own lead generation channels. Start by setting up a lead generation tool that will launch ads to grow your lead database, then supplement these with leads you secure through your professional network.
Here are the industry-leading lead generation tools you should consider:
- BoldLeads: BoldLeads is an exclusive lead generation service for agents seeking local leads not sold to other agents; BoldLeads costs $289 per month.
- Zillow: Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA) offers part-time agents a free internet data exchange (IDX) website and customer relationship management (CRM). You can add lead generation for $20 to $60 per lead; pricing depends on your location and the amount of competition in your area.
- Real Geeks: Real Geeks is a good option for real estate agents who need an easy IDX website with CRM and lead generation in one neat package; Real Geeks costs $199 per month for a website and CRM with an optional package for managed advertising priced at $250 plus a minimum $500 ad budget.
- REDX: REDX offers niche marketing leads like for rent by owner (FRBO) properties and expired listings starting at $79.99 a month; starting off in the smaller niche markets―like rentals―is advantageous because the leads are less expensive, and the competition is minimal.
While the tools above are effective ways to secure leads as a new part-time real estate agent, there are many ways to acquire high-quality, warm leads. For more guidance, read our article on real estate lead generation ideas.
6. Market Yourself
Marketing yourself and your brand will make it easier to attract potential buyers and sellers while moving existing warm leads closer to a sale. Use social media, advertising, networking, direct mail, and email campaigns to increase visibility, send traffic to your website, and encourage prospective buyers and sellers to close a deal.
Here are some ways to market yourself as a part-time real estate agent:
- Social media: Agents should have a professional Facebook real estate page that features weekly posts. Consider engaging your audience with real estate expertise, community information, and market details, or creating a Facebook group.
- Advertising: Advertising through Google Ads and Facebook can help part-time real estate agents gain leads in their farm area. Facebook is likely the most effective advertising platform for real estate as it boasts extensive targeting options; find out how to create Facebook ads for real estate.
- Direct mail: Sending postcards or flyers to your farm area with a direct mail company like ProspectsPLUS! increases exposure while saving you time on design, printing, and mailing.
- Email marketing: Using email marketing through a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact can keep you engaged with leads and encourage them to reach out about specific listings.
Use each of the marketing tools above to connect with potential buyers and sellers. If you find one that works better than another, focus your time and money on that tool. But always examine your return on investment (ROI) to make sure you aren’t wasting money on marketing that doesn’t work.
7. Master Time Management
A part-time real estate job requires you to be a master of time management. To overcome potential conflicts, schedule each day, track leads on a daily basis, stay on top of deadlines, and use tools to streamline tasks.
Here are four ways to master your time as a part-time real estate agent:
- Schedule your day: Focus on creating a daily schedule of things you need to accomplish and a time slot for every major task that needs to get done each day; it’s best to block out consecutive hours for work so that you can maintain focus.
- Track your leads: Get a CRM like Freshsales to help you keep track and nurture leads; it offers a Free Forever plan that helps you track leads, ensuring that no opportunities are missed.
- Set alerts: Install a time management app to keep track of your tasks and alert you when you have things to do.
- Use tools to streamline tasks: Deploy the best real estate agent software and tools to save time on the tasks agents repeat the most.
Managing your time is a critical component of part-time real estate agent success. From meeting with clients to marketing your part-time real estate business, you have to be able to fit all of your tasks into a part-time schedule. Find out more about the ways to manage your time with tips from the pros, and learn more about other skills needed by reading our article on how to become a successful real estate agent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do brokers hire part-time agents?
Yes. However, brokers can be hesitant to hire part-time agents since full-time agents make more money for the agency. Brokers also have to train agents who join their brokerage, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. To maximize your chances of being hired, secure an endorsement from an established and respected agent.
What are the hours for a part-time agent?
The hours are flexible for part-time real estate agents. While you can make up your own schedule, you need to make time to meet with clients and complete marketing or lead nurturing tasks. Also, be sure you set aside time for necessary administrative duties.
Do you get a base salary as a part-time real estate agent?
With some exceptions, real estate agents generally only earn commission on closed sales. Redfin does offer a salary base because agents are employees; however, Redfin is the exception in the real estate industry.
Before becoming a part-time real estate agent, consider your financial security and weekly availability for working with clients. If you can manage your time well and have the funds to secure a license, then part-time real estate work might be a good way to secure extra income while leaving time for other obligations.