Is it Your "Right" to Dabble in Real Estate? Well, of course it is... but should it be?

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Last week I posted a blog revisiting the notion of starting a new real estate career part-time in order to hedge one's bets (and put food on the table). Got some fantastic, well-thunked-out comments, some agreeing with me, some not... which of course, makes the discussion interesting.

But one of the later comments got me thinking (thunking?)...

Steve Bachman left this comment: "What percentage of agents nationwide make their total family living in this business? My guess is less than 15%. What do you think? The nice part of the business is that you can make it what you want. My wife and I are full time, but most of the agents we know have other sources of income and do not work ‘full time'."

I have no idea what percentage of agents depend 100% on real estate for their income, but it was the second part of Steve's comment that got my wheels spinning.

"The nice part about this business is that you can make it what you want."

And here was my (slightly edited) comment-on-the-comment:  "If someone doesn't want to make much money selling real estate and won't be frustrated (or financially devastated) by not making much money, then sure, I guess it's fine for them to dabble....But it's scary to think that it's "okay" to dabble in a career that involves such huge sums of <other people's> money... "

Thoughts?

"Don't Be Dorky, Be YOU!" in the SWS Virtual Studio tomorrow (Saturday) morning!
Details and registration here.
(It's free)

Posted by

It's Here!

 

The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Real Estate Rookie
Rookies Turning Pro
Selling Soulfully
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
Real Estate Professionals
Tags:
rookies
all blogs
part time versus full time

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
621,479
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

I have just experienced this on a short sale I wrote an offer on....I dont' credit her for getting it negotiated...I believe it was her Seller who apparently called and hounded the bank...when the letter came in we got a verbal on Thursday and was told that we would have a letter by Tuesday....It was Wednesday before she faxed over a letter that according to the fax info on the top of the page..it came in on Monday!!!   I was so annoyed...

It has been a hard few years....and I considered getting another  job over and over....but every time I came back to ...."if I am working some where else...will I ever get my real estate business back on a successful path?"   

I believe that dabbling in real estate part time is very difficult and frustrating for everyone....a lot of great information at team meetings is missed, and it is very stressful, especially if you are new, to not have answeres to what a lot of us find basic.   I don't know if they ever can then transition into full time agents...I think there are exceptions...don't get me wrong....but I think they are for the most part exceptions rather than the RULE!~

Thanks for a great post!

Apr 23, 2010 12:16 AM #4
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Mike - Well... actually... maybe IF dabblers were required to disclose their dabbly-hood, then it would be just fine! Good script!

Claudette - That's it exactly... and I'm sure she feels it's her right to have a full-time day job, even if it interferes with her service to her clients (and the whole process).

Roy - I know we'll get blasted for implying that dabblers don't provide as good of service as full-timers, but it just seems obvious, y'know?

YES, I KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOME LOUSY FULL-TIMERS AND SOME GREAT PART-TIMERS. But we're talking philosophy here... is it really RIGHT to handle such large sums of OPM if it's not something you do often!

Apr 23, 2010 12:18 AM #5
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Deborah - VERY well said!!

Apr 23, 2010 12:19 AM #6
Rainmaker
186,651
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

I see a middle ground here, Jennifer.  I think a good agent can dabble in the actual selling and buying of houses but not in all of the background work that goes into being a really knowledgeable agent, i.e., checking market happenings every day, previewing homes, taking continuing education courses, blogging and/or reading blogs (or whatever other form of self-education one follows), getting updates on what's happening in the mortgage industry, aligning ourselves with more partners, etc.  It's this background work that makes us good agents.

That being said, if one were to do this sort of dabbling, when we do get a listing or a buyer, we need to be able to throw ourselves into it 100% at that time.  And I don't know how people do that if they also have another job, unless that job too is also flexible.  When you've got a real live client, you can't dabble in being available. -- Tanya in Montreal

Apr 23, 2010 12:40 AM #7
Rainmaker
435,239
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Yes it is their right. Is it a good idea NO. As long as the industry maintains the 1099 contractor business model it is going to be a fact of life.

Apr 23, 2010 12:43 AM #8
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tanya - But here's the thing (xoxo)... simply throwing yourself 100% into a transaction when one happens to find you isn't good enough (IMO). If someone doesn't do something very often, they probably don't have the expertise and knowledge to do it well, even if they give it their "all." ???

Tom - I heard somewhere that in Canada, it's against the rules to be part-time... did I dream that?

Apr 23, 2010 12:50 AM #9
Rainer
264,127
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner

Unfortunately some sellers just don't get it. Their brother in law has a day job and does real estate part time for friends, so they need to "keep it in the family".

Apr 23, 2010 01:48 AM #10
Rainmaker
601,332
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Jennifer - While I understand your comment, "If someone doesn't do something very often, they probably don't have the expertise and knowledge to do it well, even if they give it their "all." ???", even if you've done something hundreds of times, that still doesn't make you an expert.

For me, this current market has been an incredible learning experience.  Having started my mortgage career in 2001, I had never seen a market like our current one.  Even though I had many years of experience and tons of mortgage transactions under my belt and was good at what I did, when the mortgage industry tanked, I struggled to keep my business afloat. I didn't have the experience or knowledge to know how to survive a down market.

If I was going to stay in business, I had to learn to change and adapt to my new reality and when I did, my business started to pick back up.  I'll never go back to running my business the way I used to.  Having survived a rough patch, I learned a better way to work and I like it and this will be the way I operate from here on out.  I would never have learned this lesson had I not made a change; I was forced to but I'm glad I did. 

"Out of adversity comes opportunity" 

Ben Franklin

Apr 23, 2010 02:30 AM #11
Ambassador
854,019
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

What I would like to know is "where are all you terrific agents at when I am doing a deal?"  I am on the other side here.  I am a dreaded part timer.  I know, someone kill me. 

This is what I have experienced in my short time as a Realtor,

The other agent not answering the phone when I call.  Not responding to offers in a timely manner; Surprise when I follow up; Told I am too aggressive and I need to be patient; Tracking down the Buyers agent for needed addendums; Total lack of respect from those who have been in the business a long time; Not responding to counters;...etc....etc....etc....And this all from Full Time agents who are experienced!!

I can agree with some of your responses somewhat in that, it is hard to work with an agent that is not FULLY committed to their clients.  I disagree whether that agent has to be Full Time or Part Time.  In the many, many posts I have read about Full Time vs Part Time there are always comments about there are the "few" part timers that are the exception to the rule; however, I seem to have experienced it the other way around. 

It is my personal belief that whether you choose to do this business Full Time or Part Time, it is your personal level of commitment that matters.  I have chosen to do this business Part Time for now with the intent of Full Time later.  My level of commitment to my clients however, is always 100%.  I have never had a complaint from other agents or my clients on that fact.

Apr 23, 2010 02:58 AM #12
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Brenda - Thanks for your thoughts and I know that this topic really irritates people. And I tried to make a bit of a distinction between a committed part-timer and a "dabbler." While I will never agree that part-time is better than full-time (or even equal to), I do acknowledge that lots and lots and lots of full-timers SUCK and some part-timers do a pretty darn good job.

But the right to "dabble" because one finds real estate entertaining just seems wrong to me.

Does that make sense?

Apr 23, 2010 03:09 AM #13
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Donne - I'm not sure I understand why you shouldn't consider yourself an expert if you do something a lot... even as new regulations and protocols bombard us... Do you really believe that your experience and immersion in your industry doesn't serve you (and your clients) better than someone who doesn't know what they don't know because they don't do much of "it" - whatever it is they do? ESPECIALLY in a market where things change on an almost-daily basis, it seems to me that the dabbler is even more likely to make a mess of things...

Apr 23, 2010 03:13 AM #14
Rainmaker
752,797
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

That is the nice part about the business... And a bad part all at the same time.. I have a blog bouncing in my head that I will post soon... but I am letting the steam blow away before I do!

Apr 23, 2010 03:29 AM #15
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Don't tease us, Rob!!!

Apr 23, 2010 03:33 AM #16
Rainer
112,087
Cari Anderson
Danville, CA

Jennifer: that's the beauty of our economy. People are free to choose which agent they work with. If you don't care that your agent is a part timer - so be it. I for one, would always chose a prolific and well-established agent. However, if I knew personally a part-timer who was trustworthy and sharp, I might give him or her a chance.

Apr 23, 2010 06:59 AM #17
Rainmaker
716,358
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

It comes down to competence. 

I had an issue this week where a high-octane full-timer was pracitcally STALKING me over contracts.  These go over to the legals once we have settled the terms in our area.  Calling me five times a day over a signing that was taking place by long distance and contracts that required revision was NOT going to make things go any faster.  I know time is of the essence....but me pestering the attorney is only going clog up his day and is counter productive. 

Point is - sometimes - those who call themselves professionals go overboard. "She didn't get back to me!" Yes, because you've been stalking me over issues that I have no power over several times a day for a week now! Rest assured when I know something I'll CALL..The other thing is like the boy who crys wolf - I'm not likely to be as responsive when a REAL issue comes up.

Another point - I had a real part-timer who had been in business for years work with me on a small transaction last summer.  She was WONDERFUL - she knew what she was doing - never overdid it.  Knew her business - but if she does $1million in sales a year - that would probably be a lot for her.  I've had full -timers who bully and push and shove - calling it being "proactive."  There is room for PT & FT but the bar to entry has to be raised.  that will get people who don't care about the transaction out of the picture.

 

Apr 23, 2010 09:51 AM #18
Rainmaker
3,814,352
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,

With all the changes and diligence that must be kept to represent a buyer or a seller..the dabblers scare me and usually those produce transactions with the largest problems and unhappy clients.

Apr 23, 2010 11:27 AM #19
Rainmaker
716,358
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Sorry, I may not be clear.  I'm drawing a line of distinction between part-timers and dabblers.  The true dabblers need to go. But I'll take a good part timer over a so-so full-timer or an overboard full-timer any day.

Apr 23, 2010 03:26 PM #20
Rainmaker
601,332
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Jennifer - I have seen some of the strangest escrows in the past two years that I had never seen in the previous six.  For example, the other day, one of my buyers opened escrow on an FHA flipped property with <90 days seasoning and a 150k difference between the current sales price and the acquisition price.  Never had a transaction like this in my eight year career simply because up until 2.5 months ago, FHA didn't allow flipped homes.

Last month, I picked up three new clients, three generations of women who are looking for a triplex  another first for me.  Last year, I had some streamline 203k's, which are also a relatively new program for this market.  I could go on but I think you get the picture. 

The bulk of my business is FHA and dpa programs and pretty much always has been.  Even though I have years and years of experience and knowledge about my market and industry, I am still learning new programs and experiences and new ways of doing business and I love it.

Apr 23, 2010 05:53 PM #21
Rainmaker
122,939
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

Jennifer, I would submit that the industry participants, including the agents, brokers and NAR, all work to build a reputation of the industry (as they should) that is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the industry.

As long as this difference is something the paying customer base ignores, these types of concerns will remain allowed and even encouraged by the real estate industry. 

The priority is rarely the paying customer for most (but not all) of the agents.  The low odds on having repeat customers contributes heavily to this "look out for me" attitude over "take care of the customer."

Apr 24, 2010 02:04 AM #22
Ambassador
1,367,068
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Dabble is not the word for me. I either don't do it, or when I do, I make sure I'm the best..... When I started this business part time, it was not a dabbling case. I clearly knew what I was doing. But along the way, I changed course - which turned out wonderful.... No regrets. As you've known, I have no regrets starting part time. Just wished I moved on to full time sooner.

Apr 25, 2010 02:44 PM #23
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
484,257

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention