Full Time Agent? Part Time Agent? Or Does It Matter

Real Estate Agent with Palmer House Properties 292385

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:

  1. I see this as downplaying another person's ability in order gain business. My motto is "Find Your Own Shine".
  2. 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?

Can anyone?

So I ask, what's the proven difference in ability and service between "full time agents" and "part time agents?"


Posted by

Selling? Buying? You should call me for that. Dee Neal Palmer House Properties 678.387.9309

Dee Neal Atlanta Area Real Estate

Dee Neal:PalmerHouse Properties, Atlanta Real Estate

Email: Dee@atlantanewhomesupply.com

Call me: 678.387.9309




Search Atlanta Homes


 Homes Around AlpharettaDee Neal TwitterDee Neal on LinkedInGoogle Plus

Comments (8)

Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I have no problem with a part-time agent as long as they do their part of the transaction and not expect the other agent to  pick up the slack.

May 07, 2013 10:30 AM
Simone Bercu
Metro Referral - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Not state specific Real Estate - GRI, e-PRO, AB

Dee, I would add to your comments that as a part time agent it would be very useful to have an agent who can be there when you are not available.  This applies to a full time agent, too.

May 07, 2013 10:37 AM
Dee Neal
Palmer House Properties - Alpharetta, GA
Atlanta Area Real Estate

Cindy: this implies that you give a side eye to part time agents thinking they probably won't. truth is, full time agents drop balls all the time. anyone who doesn't really care does. I've picked up a lot of slack for full time agents.

Simeone: you're right. as a matter of fact an agent costed her client money not doing this. full time agent it was, if it really matters but her client was playing games with the sale because after she entered in the agreement she started "talking to people" who told her she should've offered bad advice and she tried to find away to back out of the deal. her only out was in writing on the inspection contingency. her agent let it expire without a termination in writing and her buyer lost her earnest deposit. her excuse to me in an attempt to get my sellers to release it was that she was home with a cold. she could've and should've gotten an agent from her office to cover her. lessons learned. but point is, both part time and full time agents can be negligent and will be if their heart isn't in it. 

May 07, 2013 10:44 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Dee, I've always thought the way you do about part-time vs full-time agents. There's good and back agents in both categories. I'd rather work with a part-timer who holds up their end that a full-timer that has their head up their...

May 09, 2013 07:09 AM
Dee Neal
Palmer House Properties - Alpharetta, GA
Atlanta Area Real Estate

Eric: im glad you see. i dont think people stop to think about what they are doing when they put a bad name to part time agents. I would never downplay another agent or group of agents in my marketing. my skills should and do speak for themselves. 

May 09, 2013 08:06 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Dee, what about the people who say that getting into the business should be like getting a college degree, instead of just taking a class and passing a test. I'll bet if they had to go through it again themselves, they'd rather do it the "easy" way.

May 09, 2013 10:36 AM
Dee Neal
Palmer House Properties - Alpharetta, GA
Atlanta Area Real Estate

Eric that's a new one. I haven't heard that but there is no college course that can prepare you for the road and taking that class and passing that long test wasn't easy though i passed it first try. I wish I could've gotten into this business by test driving it. Class is sooooooo much different than our real world. You have to be a special person to get in this business and stay because you know like i know, it aint easy. I always ask my clients in the middle of our dealings, "so when are you ready to become an agent." they all have had the same response. They wouldn't touch this business with a 10 foot pole and wonder how I do it and keep my sanity lol go figure but we are compared to car salesmen though lol 

May 09, 2013 11:14 AM
Todd Merkle
Real Living Kee Realty - Washington Township, MI


I know this is an old post, but wanted to add that IF you happen to be a Realtor, disparaging other REALTORS goes against our Code of Ethics (regardless of "part-time" or "full-time" status). I've been selling real estate part time since 2002, and frankly I see a fair number of REALTORS in my area that don't seem to take the code very seriously.

May 04, 2016 02:37 AM