New Real Estate Agent? Maybe Hold Onto That Day Job!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

left, right or both?I have a day job.  I have a nights, weekend, lunch time, breaks and vacation time job too.  Actually I'd prefer you consider me a dual career person before you try and slap a "part time agent" label on me and spike my blood pressure. 

How did this happen?  I'm an engineer so you can bet sales isn't my first inclination! 

My entry to real estate is pretty simple actually.  Liz got her license in 2002, she started as part of a team but the team leader was (insert phrase about if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all), so it was time to start out on her own and she knew she needed some help.  Bodyguard on showings, a math guy for pricing, you see where this is going right?  So in 2004 it was hire help or "Bill get your license".  Done deal, here I am.

So what did I do wrong the first year?  Depending on your outlook, maybe nothing and maybe a lot.  I was a secret agent at my engineering job.  I'd watched enough layoffs happen that there was no way I was making it clear to management that I now had a plan B if the axeman wanted to claim my job.  It was the right call for that time in my life, even if it did cost me potential real estate business.

Now it's going on 14 years later and real estate is a much bigger part of my life than it was in 2004.  Some of my business does come from coworkers, but the bulk still comes from blogging and website work.

Have I ever really seriously thought about quitting real estate?  Of course I've had days that I'm just exhausted and would love to go back to a single set workday, but I'm a pragmatist.  The best way to achieve our goals is to keep to the dual life grind until I reach a comfortable number in the bank that allows me to say "no mas".  But that time isn't yet, and the longer I'm in the business, the more I see the years of past work pay off.  More business from past blogging, fewer surprises in the business, and a lot easier to pick up on the red flags prospects give off.

So 3 key lessons learned?

1.  Don't quit the day job.  Maybe never as in my case.  Real estate is tough and it's WAY more expensive than the real estate schools will ever begin to let you know.  And if you're tight on money you'll take on "clients" that you should have never touched if you weren't desperate.  Once you've confirmed you actually LOVE real estate and have a sizable chunk of change put aside to cover your living and business expenses, THEN consider if you want to go full time or continue to live a dual career life like I do.

2.  Don't sell yourself short.  Don't apologize for being new or having another job.  I put my cards out on the table from the start with my clients about my engineering work.  And if you work it right, the agent on the other side of the transaction will NOT even realize you have another job unless you tell them. Challenge yourself to learn quickly and KEEP learning.  It's a changing business, so tapping into a community like ActiveRain will shorten your learning curve by YEARS.

3.  Find a specialty.  Mine is patio homes and low maintenance living.  Being a jack of all trades would make me just one of 6000 agents in my area.  Knowing patio homes inside and out makes me THE agent for those that search patio homes online.  I AM found.  Find a niche that will let you be THE AGENT, and then do the web work and marketing to get that information out there, but make sure you keep it about the consumer and what's in it for them. 

It's your decision, one career or two, and the only limits are those you put on yourself.  A good year I'll sell 25+ homes.  A "bad" year I'll sell ONLY a dozen.

Bill the engineer/real estate agent


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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Well done Bill.  I've known some full time agents who didn't work as hard as you!!! Keeping your day job gives you the income you need now and for the future. And having the character and ethics to do what's right and best for a client will keep you in the business for a long time to come. 


   Congratulations, you've been featured in the Group Bananatude!     



Jan 31, 2018 05:50 PM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Bill I hear you 100%. Gary is also a full time aerospace engineer and also an agent/owner. He does all the financials and backend of the biz but he wouldn't consider quitting what he loves the most. I honestly think engineers make incredible agents because of their preciseness, solution seeking abilities, and great sense of humor. I had to throw that in because nobody thinks you guys has one - but I know you both do!!

Feb 01, 2018 01:22 PM #2
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

I jumped right in from the start full time and very quickly realized that I was not that good of a swimmer. Thank goodness I did manage figure things out and have learned to enjoy the business.

Feb 02, 2018 10:44 AM #3
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I love this post. I'm surprised I missed it! Being able to sell 12 - 25 homes a year WHILE having another job is amazing. You definitely have two full time jobs.

Feb 09, 2018 04:20 AM #4
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Other Realtors tend to frown upon those who work "part time" in the business, so I love the phrase "dual career". Up until last May I was walking the dance between two careers, although both were real estate related. Congratulations on being one of twelve posts selected to be among the best by the ActiveRain staff. Well deserved! 

Feb 10, 2018 03:05 PM #5
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Liz and Bill Spear

RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
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