Are Part Time Agents Really A Problem ?

Real Estate Agent with Evergreen Realty

I've seen some posts that tend to bash part time agents as if they are the root of all evil in the real estate profession.  I guess I find that rather offensive.  After all, who defines "full" versus "part time", and what concrete measures are used to measure the effectiveness of either ?  Here are some of the assumptions I've seen, and my knee jerk reaction to them.

  • Part time agents are just looking for entertainment money:  In today's economy, its not unusual for people to have multiple jobs.  It may take every possible avenue of earning to meet the needs of one's family.  I know a lot of part time agents, but they are usually just covering the essentials and responsibly saving for their later years. 
  • Part time agents don't know how to work with customers:  Wow !  My other business has been successful for over 30 years and it is totally client based.  I only earn when I meet their needs.  The same applies to real estate, and I guess the job is getting done because many of my clients have had me handle multiple transactions.
  • Part time agents don't have the training:  Gee.  No matter how much time I invest, my license requires me to take classes just like anyone else, and pass the same exams.  I also invest a lot of time studying to be proficient as a Realtor.
  • Part time agents don't communicate:  If you email me, you will get a personal reply, usually within minutes.  If you call, I'll answer the phone, or if I'm on the line, I'll return your call immediately.  If you ask me a question, and I don't have the answer, I'll get it and be back to you before many minutes pass.
  • Part time agents are sloppy with the paperwork:  You can't work two or more jobs and be inefficient.  My files are not only complete, by my notes are quite exact.  If we ever get in a transaction, and you have something go missing, or forget something, I'll have it for you right away. 

You may have had some bad experiences, but please don't generalize to all of us who are involved in additional forms of work.  My part time involves a lot of hours every week.  Because I set very high standards for serving all of my clients, I've adopted methods for being very efficient, while maintaining expertise in two very divergent fields.   My clients are happy, and my peers never find my work lacking !  If we are to compete, lets base it on how well we serve our clients, and not the fact that you don't do anything else, and I do.

And please, smile !  It's been a really nice day !


Comments (8)

Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

It's not part time agents but untrained,unmotivated and unsupervised agents who bring us down.

May 06, 2013 11:54 AM
Merline D Pennant - New homes, Short Sales and Pre-foreclosures
Regal Realty of the Treasure Coast LLC - Port St Lucie, FL
New City, New Towns, New homes

I have witnessed full time agents with some or all of these traits.

May 06, 2013 11:57 AM
David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

The problem is part-time agents think mostly part-time. An agent may be part-time but they still need to give full-time attention or get out of the business.

May 06, 2013 11:59 AM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Tim-One thing I remember from a college professor lecture, "All generalizations are false, including this one." Some part-time agents are competent just like full-time agents. The reverse is also true.

May 06, 2013 12:19 PM
Emcee M. Arah
Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD - Silver Spring, MD
Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, AHWD CRS B-Arch

Tim, I think it is more the general laxadasical attitude that many part-time agents bring to the table that is at question. And unfortunately, there are (as Merline stated) many full-time agents that are just as lax. If you're going to do something, do it at 100% or don't do it at all. But just as you are explaining, general rationalizations do not work in any situation.


May 06, 2013 01:45 PM
Richard Wilson
Cherry Creek Properties, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Town or Country, in Colorado, we do it all.

I agree with Michael, agents part time or full time, who are not motivated, trained, or work for a brokerage that is not paying attention, are the problem not only to other Realtors, but to the public as well.

May 06, 2013 02:25 PM
Tim Stone
Evergreen Realty - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Thanks for the comments so far, and I hope to see more added to this discussion.

I posed the question after reading several blogs where comments posted the ills of real estate all at the feet of those who are "part time". 

I'm not even sure I could find agreement on what constitutes "part time" in this industry.  What about the agent who also does teaching of real estate courses, has a side business in lending, consults with others about how to run a great business, and has blog sites advertising a variety of items for sale on the web.  Which one of these is the "full time" job ?  How about the agent who also invests in properties to flip ?  Are they full time representing their clients ?

These may be lumped into the category of "full time real estate professional" but if the problems of concern have to do with transactions and working for the best interests of our client, all of these sidelines then make us a part time agent !

My concern is simply that I do not feel comfortable with generalizations about any group of people.  I believe we experience the best results when we are optimistic about each and every person with whom we work, be they client, service provider, or agent.

May 07, 2013 02:30 AM
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
35 Years of Real Estate Experience!

I once knew an agent who was a full time teacher - and a very dedicated one at that, involved in extra curriculars, etc.  He was also one of the top ten percent of all agents in the county!

May 07, 2013 11:11 AM