People transitioning into real estate while maintaining a full-time job or wanting to do real estate as a side hustle often ask, “Can you do real estate part time?” The short answer is yes, but the long answer is that it’s challenging. While part-time real estate provides a flexible schedule and extra income, you’re spending less time per week building your business, working with clients, generating leads, marketing your services, and completing related tasks, which will put you behind your full-time agent competitors.
Regardless, being a part-time agent can be highly beneficial for the right person. Read along to learn the pros and cons, salary expectations, education requirements, and success tips to decide if a part-time real estate career is suitable for you.
Expectations of a Part-time Real Estate Agent
The expectations of a part-time real estate agent are really no different than a full-time agent. You’ll be responsible for earning a real estate license, providing top-notch service to clients, knowing the real estate market, and using lead generation and marketing efforts to capture more leads for your business. The only major difference is that you’ll be doing all of these things on a part-time basis.
Whether working full time or part time, becoming a real estate agent requires obtaining a real estate license. This involves the following steps (note that these vary per state):
- Meeting state licensing requirements
- Completing required coursework
- Earning a passing grade on a real estate licensing exam and receiving a state-issued license
- Finding a sponsoring brokerage
- Completing ongoing continuing education (CE) or post-licensing classes to maintain an active license
After you’ve earned your license, you need to think about the expectations clients have of their real estate agent, regardless if they’re full or part time. Flexibility is vital, even if you’re not available for your clients for a full 40 hours per week. Clients may seek prompt showings for newly listed houses on the market. Thus, you need to consider your personal obligations and lifestyle when opting for part-time real estate.
It’s also essential to keep a diligent eye on the real estate market in your area. Clients will want to work with a knowledgeable professional who can give them insights about the area as well as guide them in the right direction when it comes to selling or purchasing a property. In addition, especially if you’re juggling multiple jobs, you must be excellent at time management and organization.
You also must think about the expectations you have for yourself as a part-time agent. You need to consider your financial means and security. While making six figures as a real estate agent is possible, it’s extremely rare for it to happen in the first year after obtaining your license. New agents often experience six to 12 months without closing a sale.
According to a study by McKissock Learning, full-time agents significantly increased their income after the first year. This is because they are devoting their full time and attention to generating leads and closing deals, which is more difficult to accomplish on a part-time basis. Thus, it’s essential to have a dependable secondary income while building your real estate business.
Part-time Real Estate Agent Salary
The term “salary” for a real estate agent can be misleading since earnings are typically commission-based and vary based on the number of transactions closed, location, local market, and marketing skills. It is also challenging to predict a part-time salary because it is determined by the amount of time and number of transactions you can close within a limited time period.
However, according to a study by Colibri Real Estate, those working under 20 hours weekly averaged $43,889 annually, while those working part time for 21 to 39 hours weekly averaged $72,398 per year. This is still a lot of money as a side hustle or part-time venture.
Ensure that your research and financial planning go beyond just examining income details. Real estate agents face various expenses, including prelicensing education, lead generation, and marketing materials and tools. When estimating your potential part-time salary, don’t forget to factor in these additional costs associated with becoming an agent.
Learn more about the factors affecting your income in the article Real Estate Agent Salary: How Much Agents Earn & Factors Affecting Their Salary.
Who Part-time Real Estate Work Is Right For
Now that you know the basic expectations and salary possibilities of working in real estate part time, you have to decide if it’s a suitable career choice for you. It’s a great role for individuals with a flexible schedule, sufficient financial support, and efficient time management skills. Thus, it is a particularly good option for:
- Shift employees: People who only work part time at another job or work off-shift hours with daytimes free.
- Parents with kids in school: When children go to school, parents have daytime opportunities to build their part-time real estate business. Though balancing parental duties and professional responsibilities is necessary, the open schedule presents a good chance 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.
- Teachers: Although teachers have demanding work hours during the school year, their summer hiatus offers an excellent opportunity for working in real estate. Moreover, their extensive community connections serve as a powerful asset in a part-time real estate career.
While these are a subset of individuals for whom part-time work can be beneficial, it is also an excellent choice for anyone interested in real estate and has the drive to succeed in the business. Others who have an open schedule and time management skills have an advantage for part-time real estate work.
Pros & Cons of Being a Part-time Agent
It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of this career path. Many agents fail due to insufficient consideration and preparation for the realities of the real estate industry. Carefully assess and prepare for the benefits and risks of a part-time real estate career.
The table below outlines the pros and cons of being a part-time real estate agent. This comprehensive overview will help you make an informed decision about pursuing a part-time career in the real estate industry.
|Increased income: Being a part-time real estate agent can lead to increased income by earning commissions on successful transactions, providing you with an additional income stream and improved financial stability.
|Upfront expenses: You may face upfront expenses, such as licensing fees, association dues, marketing materials, and continuing education courses. These costs can add up and impact your financial situation, especially if your earnings take time to increase.
|Real estate experience: Working part time in real estate offers valuable hands-on experience, which can be instrumental in honing your skills and knowledge in the industry.
|Poor client perception: Some clients may perceive part-time agents as less committed or reliable than full-time agents. This could potentially lead them to choose other agents with more flexible schedules.
|New connections: Engaging as a part-time agent introduces you to a diverse network of clients, fellow agents, brokers, other industry professionals, and other people within your community.
|Competing priorities: Balancing a part-time real estate career with other personal or professional commitments can be challenging. Conflicting schedules and demands from your primary job or personal life might hinder your availability and responsiveness to clients’ needs.
|Build confidence in the industry: As a part-time real estate agent, you can gain confidence by gradually immersing yourself in the real estate market, learning from experiences, and building a sense of competence that may lead to a more successful real estate career.
|Potential for higher stress: Trying to juggle a part-time agent’s responsibilities, along with other commitments, can lead to increased stress levels. Deadlines, time-sensitive deals, and the pressure to perform well in both your real estate and primary careers may create additional stress.
8 Tips to Be Successful as a Part-time Real Estate Agent
Anyone can work as a real estate agent part time, but success requires a strong work ethic, discipline, and strategy. Efficient time management is crucial for consistent sales and income growth. If you’re wondering, “How can I do real estate part time?” consider these top eight tips to guide you as you learn how to become a part-time real estate agent:
1. Choose the Right Real Estate Education
Obtaining a real estate license can be a lengthy and challenging process, especially when you’re working with limited hours. Choose a real estate education provider that offers easily accessible and comprehensible courses and allows you to make progress during your available time.
One option is Colibri Real Estate, which offers self-paced prelicensing courses with digestible content, periodic self-assessments, and compatibility across multiple devices. Their course offerings include additional real estate books, a dictionary, discussion groups, live instructor sessions, and an exam prep course.
Read our review of Colibri Real Estate and see if it offers prelicensing courses in your state.
2. Determine Your Level of Flexibility
When seeking side hustles, many consider becoming a real estate agent. While it offers flexibility without set office hours, the career involves demanding, time-sensitive tasks. Thus, you need to carefully evaluate your commitments to see if this career fits your life.
To understand the time commitment of a real estate agent, consult a local agent or brokerage. Inquire about the time they invest in various aspects of their career, such as client meetings, marketing, follow-ups, administration tasks, and client interactions. Keep in mind that the reality of the career may differ from your expectations. According to the “Life as an Agent” survey, around 62% of agents spend at least an hour daily on marketing, and 26% dedicate several hours to lead generation.
Honestly assess how much flexible time you have each day to determine how many clients you can manage weekly. Ideally, set aside several hours each day for real estate work. Moreover, identify potential conflicts between your life and real estate career, and find ways to avoid them. If conflicts are too numerous, part-time agent status may not be the best option. However, if you have three to four consecutive hours available daily, part-time real estate work is feasible.
3. Ensure You Have Adequate Existing Financial Stability
Being a part-time real estate agent can offer extra income, but it requires significant time and effort before seeing substantial earnings. In the “Life as an Agent” survey, 65% of respondents worked in real estate for up to four years or more, while 33% have engaged in the industry for over a decade. To succeed as a part-time real estate agent, make sure you’re financially prepared to build your network and gain experience over the next few years.
To determine if you have the financial stability for a part-time real estate career, consider the following:
- Write down all of your monthly expenses
- Calculate your monthly income from your primary job or other sources
- Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income
If you have sufficient funds to cover expenses for several months without guaranteed income from real estate work, part-time real estate may be feasible. However, if you’re currently unable to cover expenses and relying on savings or cash reserves to manage, it might not be the best option.
Don’t forget that upfront costs for becoming an agent and running your business can add up quickly. Be prepared with sufficient reserves to cover these expenses:
- Transportation: 55% of agents spend more than $1,000 per year
- Professional dues and fees: National Association of Realtors (NAR) membership for Realtors costs $150 per year, plus additional state and county board dues
- Online marketing: 31% of agents spend more than $1,000 per year
4. Find the Right Brokerage
Choosing the right real estate brokerage is crucial, especially for part-time agents. Some brokers provide leads, training, and marketing tools, while others offer little support. Commission split structures also vary among brokerages, leading some new agents to prioritize the highest split.
Sadly, most new real estate agents don’t last beyond five years. However, research shows that 70% of new businesses working with a mentor survive the first five years. Hence, it’s essential to select a brokerage that offers the support needed to build a strong business.
Learn how to choose the right real estate company to work for and download our brokerage evaluation rubric from the article How to Choose a Real Estate Company to Work For.
5. Network & Grow Your Sphere of Influence
Real estate businesses are built on relationships. Successful real estate agents know how to make connections with potential leads, build genuine relationships, and turn those relationships into sales. As a part-time real estate agent, growing your sphere of influence quickly and efficiently is the key to success.
Make sure you have the right tools, like a real estate client relationship manager (CRM), to grow your connections. A CRM helps track contacts, send automatic messages, and provide reminders for lead follow-ups. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 26% of Realtors consider their CRM the best source of quality real estate leads.
LionDesk offers a comprehensive bundle with a robust CRM, lead generation tools, transaction management, email and SMS marketing, and even video text messaging at a highly competitive price. It’s known for its user-friendliness and effectiveness, tailored specifically for real estate agents. Give LionDesk a try with a 30-day free trial.
6. Make Use of Lead Generation Tools
If your brokerage does not offer leads, you must generate your own. Choose a lead generation tool for high-quality leads and consistent pipeline growth through ads. Supplement these with leads from networking and in-person meetings.
Here are a few of the top lead generation tools to consider:
Lead Generation Tools
Agents seeking in-depth reporting and insights
Agents looking to gain more homebuyer leads
Agents in search of a comprehensive lead generation and marketing system
Agents looking for exclusive leads and automated marketing tasks
$50 per month
$20 to $60 per lead
$299 per month
$139 per month
While the mentioned tools are effective for securing leads as a new part-time real estate agent, many strategies exist to acquire high-quality, warm leads. For further guidance, read our article on the Top 15 Real Estate Lead Generation Strategies.
7. Market Yourself
Real estate is an exciting but competitive field, and it’s up to you to establish yourself as a reputable source for buying and selling a property. Utilize social media, advertising, networking, direct mail, email campaigns, or any combination to market yourself, increase visibility, and connect with potential clients.
Here are a few ways to market yourself as a part-time real estate agent:
- Social media: Fifty-seven percent of agents acknowledge the role of social media in building and maintaining client relationships. To leverage it effectively, maintain an active presence and post engaging content, showcasing your real estate expertise, community information, local market details, and new listings.
- Advertising: Digital ads through Google and Facebook offer powerful targeting capabilities for part-time real estate agents to gain leads quickly. Learn how to create Facebook ads for real estate.
- Direct mail: Real estate mailers are a proven and cost-effective marketing method. The research conducted by DMA reveals an average response rate of 9% for direct mail campaigns. Utilize postcards and flyers in your farm area to boost exposure.
- Email marketing: Speaking of return on investment (ROI), emails offer a significantly higher conversion rate than social media (one study found a 174% increase). Real estate email marketing is the ideal solution for building personal relationships with internet leads.
Use the marketing tools above to connect with potential buyers and sellers. If you find one tool performs better, prioritize it in terms of time and resources. Always assess your ROI to avoid wasting money on ineffective marketing strategies.
When considering part-time real estate, choose your primary marketing methods and tools wisely. Market Leader, for instance, offers exclusive leads, a customizable website, and a full content library for professional branding and logo creation. Their marketing suite facilitates quick and easy implementation of various strategies. Discover how Market Leader can support your part-time real estate business.
8. Master Time Management
As mentioned, time management poses a challenge, especially when handling tasks within the limited hours of a part-time real estate agent’s schedule. Success in the field demands efficient tasks and time management.
To enhance your time management skills, begin with these three effective strategies:
- Schedule your day: Craft a daily schedule outlining your essential tasks and allocate specific time slots for them throughout the week.
- Track your leads: Set up a CRM like LionDesk to automate lead tracking and communications and save time every week.
- Use tools to streamline tasks: Avoid relying on memory for your tasks; use real estate agent software and tools to save time and set reminders for important tasks.
If this is an area you need to improve, consider reading real estate books to explore specific strategies that can help increase your productivity.
So, can you do real estate part-time? The short answer is yes. However, you need to assess your financial security and weekly availability for client work. If you follow the tips above, you can launch a successful part-time real estate career and secure extra income without working full-time hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Research from Investopedia reveals that a majority of real estate agents do not last beyond their first year. This can be attributed to mistakes such as insufficient prospecting, ineffective property marketing resulting in slow sales, and a lack of follow-up with contacts leading to missed opportunities for repeat business. Other key factors that affect an agent’s success include their level of motivation, the prevailing economic conditions, and their ability to persevere during the initial stages of learning the industry and building a loyal clientele.
The majority of real estate agents work between 30 and 50 hours per week, depending on the number of properties they handle and clients in the market for a new home. Agents frequently work outside regular business hours and on weekends to accommodate client needs.
Real estate agents encounter a range of challenges, from insufficient listings and high lead costs to uncertainty about deal progress. Navigating technology, referrals, back-office tasks, and real estate agent laws adds to the difficulties.
Managing paperwork, pricing negotiations, taxes, and deductibles, along with dealing with rejections and appraisal issues, further complicates matters. Other problems include insurability concerns, hesitations from one party, and title issues.