Since I've started my real estate career, I've seen countless listing presentations and articles advising sellers on what to look for when choosing an agent. The common characteristic in them all has been one thing which stands out in my mind. It's always goes something to the tune of, "Make sure the agent is a full time agent" or "Ask the agent if they are full time or part time"........ blah blah blah.....
Everytime I see this, I have to stop myself from cringing for a couple reasons:
- I see this as downplaying another person's ability in order gain business. My motto is "Find Your Own Shine".
- This one characteristic says nothing of the quality of an agent which should be the focus if we are looking to give advice from a geniunely caring perspective. There are TONS of other red flags that seller should be looking at rather than what how an agent is spending their day outside of the duties they are to perform for the seller.
This has been a standout to me why? You've probably guessed it by now, I am what would be considered a "part time agent." This "title" says nothing of my ability as an agent and I'm happy I have never had to face this predjudice but the fear that I someday will is always in the back of my mind.
FACT: Despite this advice, I have never been asked this question by a seller (not ever being asked by a seller doesn't negate the fact that it still pinches a nerve whenever I see or hear someone give a bad name to "part time" agents).
FACT: My sellers nor my buyers ever know that I have another job until I tell them.
FACT: I've outperformed quite a few "full time agents" in my day.
FACT: Most of the agents I work with on transactions are "full time agents" and most of the time, I've ended up doing both their work and mine to make sure not only my client was happy but theirs as well. We ARE in the business of service right? Smiles at closings should be our goal. We work with the public and should be creating positive experiences where we are able to.
Other job or no other job, this should not be a factor in determining the worthiness of an agent. "Full time agents" have issues with availability just as well as a part time agent could have. The fact is, I have never faced an availability issue. Fellow "part time agents" I know, haven't been faced with these issues either. The truth is, a GOOD agent will make themselves available for their clients no matter what and they do. I think when I read Broker Bryant's expired listing letter a while back, it stated that he would always be available. Why? Because he knew this was an issue for seller's. The availability of their agent's. Lots of sellers have these issues "full time agent" or not.
How many times have you tried to reach an agent to show their listing and couldn't? How many times have you waited on agent follow up on an issue? Was the first thing that came to your mind, "wow I bet he/she is at work right now?" I doubt it. It's never come to my mind. What did come to my mind was, "Do they want to sell this listing or what?"
Has anyone taken a survey on client satisfaction which proved the least satified clients were serviced by agents who had other jobs? As anyone surveyed the corrective actions by their commissions to see the percentage of full time vs part time agents with disciplanary actions placed on them? Has anyone shown any hard facts to actually PROVE full time agents are better than part time agents? Is this just another piece of marketing based what sounds good enough to close the deal?
People who have jobs keep them for various reasons. I just happen to like what I do AND love real estate. I happen to like the employer paid health/dental/visions benefits that me and my family have. I like the discounted stock options and 100% matching of my 401k. I like the countless other perks I have working for my employer. I love real estate as well and I have found a healthy balance between these things.
Who can call me wrong? Who can call me unworthy of business because of it?
So I ask, what's the proven difference in ability and service between "full time agents" and "part time agents?"