Can a part-time real estate agent succeed?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting
https://activerain.com/droplet/5gvL

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 success or failuredefinitely 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 excellentgeneral, 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?

Blog

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.

Prospect

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.

Send thank you cardsThank 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

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence 12/08/2018 05:03 PM
  2. Samuel Odeyemi 12/11/2018 07:00 AM
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Anonymous
Clint Lohr

I first worked in real estate around my job at AT&T years ago, working as an information operator at night. I had the whole day free and put as much time into real estate as I could, getting as much experience as possible. And even then it was difficult. If I had worked a regular 9-5 job, there’s no way I could have succeeded at all. Partnering up with a full time agent caused the relationship to sour with resentment and blow apart, as she felt she was doing all the work . I was much younger then, but older and wiser now.

Dec 10, 2018 07:38 PM #48
Rainer
1,635
Jeff Abram
Not Active Yet - Twin Falls, ID

I liked the post.. however as most will see I took exception to what they had to say about part time agents.  Yes there are handful that shouldn't be doing this with certain kinds of jobs, but I even worked a 8 hour work day and was still able to work in real estate part time.  I was willing to work until midnight, Sat, Sun., and holidays where a lot of these self-proclaimed full time professionals went on holidays on the weekends, or never answered their phone after 6pm, or just sat in the office playing on their computer while I was out walking different area's of my town on my full time jobs lunch hour.  I jumped in 2006 when you actually had to work at it to make money.  

Full time agents grunt at this stuff because they think it should just be theirs and not have to work as hard as someone that has to make up for the few hours he or she can't do a lot.. success is define on your effort and whether you want to make it happen or not.  

Dec 10, 2018 08:31 PM #49
Anonymous
jack

There is money in being a part time real estate agent. For true career advancement full time is best. As long as majority of your time as an agent is spent on connecting with new people and finding solutions for their needs you will succeed. Also selling homes with a home warranty can sell homes faster. https://www.pridehomewarranty.com/brokers-agents/

Dec 11, 2018 08:30 AM #50
Rainer
277,746
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Success depends if you are asking the Agent or the would be client. Either way you look at it, the question is hard to answer. I have been a lender since 1995 and I can sell my home without an agent with no problems. If the buyers comes represented then I must pay 3% or less, just depends on what I can negotiate. All other aspects I can handle. Sorry for the long post, but anyway its still a good question to consider.

Dec 11, 2018 10:10 AM #51
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

David Smith Thanks. I agree with you, of course!

Welcome to the Rain - I look forward to seeing your contributions.

Greg Nino Good comment. I guess that definition always depends upon who is doing the defining. For some it's making a few dollars extra for "fun money," while for others it's earning a fantastic income while creating a reputation as the most dependable agent in the community. And then there's everyone in between.

Dec 11, 2018 12:52 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Bruce Hicks It appears that you have only run into part-time agents with a part-time attitude. (See Loreena's comment.)

Dec 11, 2018 12:55 PM #53
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Loreena and Michael Yeo It sure has been a while - it's good to see you here!

When I tell new agents why they should be blogging I often re-tell your story about the Christmas tree farm. Do you remember posting that one years ago?

Dec 11, 2018 12:59 PM #54
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! You proved that it can work. But of course, "Wanda Can!"

Dana Basiliere Unless that part-timer has a partner, I would think it would be very difficult to get by if you were unavailable 8 hours a day.

 

Dec 11, 2018 01:05 PM #55
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker That worked out well for both of you. I can see those flight students being willing to work around their instructor's schedule.

Jeff Abram I'm enjoying your comments here. You were obviously motivated to do the job and do it right - and that's what it takes, whether part time or full time.

I think many here have been acquainted only with part-timers who didn't take it seriously and were difficult to deal with - but we know there are also full-time agents with the same "do nothing" attitude. I've known many of them. It all comes down to the individual.

Meanwhile - welcome to the rain!

Dec 11, 2018 01:33 PM #56
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Ron Aguilar You make a good point.I'm sure you could sell your own house - but most people don't have your close association with "everything real estate."

Dec 11, 2018 01:37 PM #57
Rainer
5,478
Dennis Erickson
Berkshire Hathaway - Bozeman, MT
I help people make good real estate decisions.

Anyone can sell their own home.  If they can buy a home, they can sell a home.  Can they sell it as well as a full time Realtor with at least 4 years experience.  No.  Many intelligent people have tried, a few succeed based on information supplied by, you guessed it, a Realtor.  Left to their own devices I've found that the most learned among us believe they can do their job and MY JOB AND YOURS BETTER THAN ANYONE.  It's a sickness frankly and it costs them a lot of money.  But, again, it's their money.

Dec 11, 2018 02:00 PM #58
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dennis Erickson I'm not sure "anyone" could around here. Maybe if the home was in the right location to be seen by almost anyone who came to town, but otherwise the lack of exposure to buyers would keep them on the market for years.

Dec 11, 2018 04:29 PM #59
Rainmaker
495,818
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Personally, I feel a part time agent is only going to make a part time effort for their clients.  If the agent has a full time, traditional job with benefits, regular hours, etc--their sellers and buyers should know the agent has a different job that takes precedence.

Dec 12, 2018 01:08 PM #60
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR - So again, it depends upon the nature and status of that other job.

Dec 12, 2018 01:31 PM #61
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470,902
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I don't prepare meals everyday but when I do, it's absolutely delicious and fantastic and as well or better than most meals prepared by full time chefs in restaurants. The issue isn't part time, it's about your knowledge, skill and performance and IMO you don't have to be full time in any industry to be successful, however, nobody has defined  the difference between part time and full time yet, haven't they? 

Dec 12, 2018 01:42 PM #62
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Kimo Jarrett Those fantastic meals do take time, don't they? If you did it every day, you might have to go full-time.

As for the defnition: The IRS says 30 or more hours per week is full-time employment. I think that the REALTORS who work 50 or 60 hours a week might consider that part-time.

So - I guess it depends upon whose defintion you want to use.

Dec 12, 2018 01:58 PM #63
Rainer
117,956
Anthony Kirlew
Keller Williams Legacy One Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

There are any successful agents and you would never know they are "part time."

But as you are referring, most part time agents are part time in spirit and mindset and that is the true issue. If you sincerely want to succeed as a "dual career" agent (I prefer that term), you need to be intentional and have a plan.

I actually wrote a post on this topic that I beleive is a good complement to yours - Success Tips for Part Time Agents.

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018 08:33 AM #64
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Anthony Kirlew - I agree. It's all about the mindset, and the dedication you put in to doing a good job.

Dec 31, 2018 08:50 AM #65
Ambassador
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Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Marte - what a great article - so many agents think they are full time, when they actually are doing it part time.  On the flip side, so many part time agents are doing nothing to bring in business, and think if they close one deal a year, they are doing it part time and well.   

I would love a call from you, if you still do copywriting - 203-858-4853

Thanks!

Dagny

May 14, 2019 12:01 PM #66
Rainmaker
1,508,431
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Dagny Eason - and I agree. I've known agents who stayed in the office all day and called it "working," but what they really did was gossip, visit, or shop and play games on their computers.

On the flip side I know an agent who was part-time for a few years while he worked a full-time job, and he out-sold most of his competitors. That tells a sad tale about the competitors, doesn't it? He's full-time now, so I think it would be fun to see the more recent statistics.

May 14, 2019 03:51 PM #67
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