Can a part-time real estate agent succeed?
As you know, there’s controversy over part-time real estate agents, and I’m sure you have an opinion. You may be one yourself, you may know one you enjoy working with, you may partner with one, or you may be one who thinks they should be banned.
Whatever your thoughts, the question remains: Can a part-time agent succeed?
First, we need to define which part-time agents we’re talking about.
I’ve known quite a few licensed individuals who had no other employment, but were definitely part-timers.
Even when they sat in the office on their floor day, they were doing something besides working. One woman used to crochet and/or read romance novels all day. Others played computer games or shopped. Some spent the time discussing movies and TV shows, their diets, their families, or the latest juicy gossip.
These agents did no marketing, attended no classes beyond required continuing education, and read no books or articles about real estate. They took whatever business fell into their laps on floor day, then did the least work possible for those customers/clients.
Those aren’t the agents I’m talking about, because the answer for them is “No, they’ll never be successful.”
So what about agents who are juggling two jobs and actually trying to be successful?
- Is it possible?
- Is it fair to the clients?
- Could you make it work?
It all depends upon how you go about it.
First is the issue of time. Real estate clients want you when they want you, not just “after working hours.” There are two solutions to that problem:
1. Your other job is also self-employment and your hours are flexible. In other words, you can answer your phone when it rings or return that call promptly. You can also make yourself available to meet with your clients at their convenience, and you’re available during business hours to deal with lenders, title companies, appraisers, etc.
2. You partner with someone who is full-time. To make this work you have to find the right person and you do have to carry your own weight in the partnership. That might be through your marketing efforts, by doing the research and preparing market reports and CMA’s, or by taking care of routine paperwork that can be done at any time of the day or night. It might be by taking weekend and/or evening duty.
Next is the effort that you’re willing to put in on your quest for success, and this is no different for a part-time agent than for a full-time agent.
Commit to striving for excellence. This means learning all you can about real estate in general, researching your own market so you can answer questions intelligently, learning all of the details about the niche or neighborhood you’ve chosen, staying current with new laws and regulations, upholding your fiduciary duties to clients, operating within the Code of Ethics, and taking extra classes whenever the opportunity is available. Thankfully, there are now on-line classes for those who can’t attend in the daytime.
Be honest. If you don’t know an answer, never fake it. Say you don’t know but you’ll soon find out. Then do so.
Treat other agents, lenders, etc. with respect and courtesy, so they’ll be glad to work with you.
Always treat your business like a business, working whether you feel like it or not, and budgeting both your time and your money carefully.
Carry that excellence into marketing your listings. Take time to write enticing descriptions – and if writing isn’t your strong suit, hire someone. Take excellent photos or hire a professional real estate photographer. Promote those listings diligently, then follow up on every lead immediately. (Or let the leads go straight to your partner for instant follow-up.)
Market yourself. There is plenty you can do via mail and the Internet, and it IS important. Many of the successful agents on Active Rain say you MUST devote an hour every day to marketing, so don’t treat it like something you can do “When you have time.”
What can you do to market yourself?
Write about your listings, your community, the local market, and topics that demonstrate your knowledge of your niche. For instance, if your niche is condos, write about how condo associations operate. If you prefer selling to first time buyers, write about things they need to know before buying their first home, along with how to prepare to meet with a lender, pitfalls to avoid, etc.
Whatever niche you’ve chosen, and you should choose one, become the expert and then write about things those buyers and sellers should know.
Create capture forms on your website so you can begin email marketing and/or use postal mail to show potential buyers and sellers that you have the knowledge and insight to help them realize their real estate goals. As with marketing your listings, follow-up immediately with every lead.
Choose a niche or a geographic area and use postal mail to reach the residents. Talk to others in your office about the various services that provide addresses in your area.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to write your own letters, choose some of mine. You’ll find a wide variety at: https://copybymarte.com/prospecting-letters/
Always send just listed/ just sold cards. These show that you’re doing things, not just talking about it.
Stay in touch with your sphere and your past clients. These can become your gold mine if you never let them forget you. If you can’t think what to write without constantly asking for business, choose these light-hearted event-themed letters: https://copybymarte.com/letters-to-past-clients/
Become a referral expert. Get acquainted with agents across the country, so you can be in a position to give referrals when one of your sellers or someone in your sphere is moving out of your community. It’s easy to do if you become active on Active Rain.
Thank people with hand-written notes. It’s your relationships with other people that will help you become a success. Build good relationships by saying thank you at every opportunity.
Use this letter set for real-estate related thanks: https://copybymarte.com/thank-you-notes/, then take it a few steps farther.
Send a note to anyone who has given you good service – think of your hairdresser, mechanic, dog groomer, cleaning person, or a clerk in a store you frequent. Send a note to your grocery store manager saying thanks for hiring pleasant people. Send a note to a child’s teacher if your child came home praising him or her. The opportunities are everywhere, so make it a habit.
Tom Hopkins recommended sending 5 thank you notes each day. If you can manage 1 or 2 and do it every day, you'll be miles ahead of all your competitors.
One more thing…
Skip talking about being part-time. When you are doing a good job for your clients - whether alone or with a partner - there’s no reason for anyone to know that you’re part time. If they ask, don’t lie, but don’t go out of your way to talk about it.
Oh - and if you're a new agent, come over to http://promotemyrealestatecareer.com/. You'll find free stuff, advice, and links to plenty of good advice from Active Rainers across the country.
The original version of this article appeared at: https://copybymarte.com/can-a-part-time-real-estate-agent-succeed/
Success or failure courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net
Excellent Image courtesy of PinkBlue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thank you card courtesy of Morguefile.com