As a part time real estate agent, you can reserve more time for working another job, parenting, or attending school—while earning a substantial income as you help clients buy and sell homes. With the right combination of training, commitment, and local market knowledge, you may find that becoming a part time real estate agent is within your reach.
You may also find that the nature of work as a real estate agent will ask more of you than most other part-time jobs. You will need to carefully study and react to the market you’re working in while being ready and available to assist new leads. Carefully curating your brand and setting reliable expectations for your clients and partners is essential.
Before you decide you want to help people buy and sell homes as a real estate agent part-time, take the time to read our guide below.
Find It Fast
Requirements for becoming a part-time real estate agent
To become a part-time real estate agent, there are several vital things you should take into consideration. You’ll need to:
- Have your real estate license
- Work for a brokerage
- Ensure you can create a schedule around your current job or other responsibilities
As a part time real estate agent, working through a brokerage offers the best chances of generating a reasonable income on part-time hours.
Steps to becoming a part-time real estate agent
If you want to work as a part time real estate agent, there are several steps you need to take.
- Understand your state’s requirements: The first step is to research and understand the licensing requirements in your state. Requirements vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to know what is required where you live.
- Enroll in a pre-licensing course: You’ll typically need to complete a pre-licensing course from an accredited real estate institution. These courses cover various real estate principles, practices, and laws. They can often be taken online or in person, depending on your preference and availability.
- Pass the real estate exam: After completing your pre-licensing education, you’ll need to pass your state’s real estate licensing exam. This test usually consists of a national portion on general real estate principles and practices and a state-specific section that covers your state’s real estate laws.
- Apply for your real estate license: Once you’ve passed the licensing exam, you can apply for your real estate license through your state’s real estate commission or licensing authority. There may be application fees, and you’ll likely need to provide proof of your pre-licensing education and passing exam scores.
- Join a real estate brokerage: Before you can start practicing as a real estate agent, you’ll usually need to join a brokerage. The brokerage will supervise your work and provide a platform for your real estate activities. Be sure to find a brokerage that is supportive of part-time agents and offers flexible hours.
- Complete post-licensing education (if required): Some states require new agents to complete additional post-licensing education within the first year or two. Check your state’s requirements to ensure you stay in compliance.
- Build your client base: Start networking and marketing yourself to build your client base. This might include creating a website, printing business cards, attending networking events, and leveraging social media. Remember that as a part time real estate agent, time management is crucial.
- Join the National Association of Realtors: While joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is not required to work as a licensed real estate agent, it is required to call yourself a Realtor and reap the fantastic benefits of membership. NAR provides financial savings on several products and services you will use regularly and allows you to fulfill your Code of Ethics Training requirement with free courses for members. It also offers resources that can help get you noticed as a Realtor. Whether you’re working full-time or part-time, you want to be sure that potential clients can easily find you and that when they do, they trust what you offer.
- Continue education and professional development: Continuing education is often required to renew your license, and staying current on real estate trends and laws can help you serve your clients better. Consider also pursuing professional development opportunities, such as earning real estate designations or certifications.
Pros and cons of being a part-time agent
Being a part time real estate agent offers pros and cons. To decide if working as a part time real estate agent is right for you, consider both the opportunities and the drawbacks that come with helping people buy and sell their homes.
1. Your time as a part-time real estate agent is often very flexible
People often decide to work as part time real estate agents because of the flexibility it can offer. As a part time real estate agent you can work around your other responsibilities: staying home with the kids, going to school for another profession, caring for an elderly family member, or working another job. However, real estate agent responsibilities often fall outside the typical day job schedule. While you may have to take care of some tasks during those hours, you may find that you can handle showings and paperwork for your clients at a time convenient for them—which might not be during the traditional work day.
2. Depending on your needs, you can scale your efforts up or down
As a real estate agent, you will often find that what you get from your job is what you put into it. That means you may have more freedom to determine how many hours you want to put into it and when you’re available. Consider taking on more clients or properties if you need to generate more income. If you need more time, you should scale back on your marketing efforts and focus on other areas for a while.
3. Teamwork within your brokerage or with other real estate agents can help generate steady deals
Often, working as a part time real estate agent means working in partnership with other members of your brokerage or other real estate agents in the local market. By partnering up, you ensure that someone will be on hand to care for a client’s needs, even when your schedule doesn’t allow it.
4. Working part-time as a real estate agent can help you generate additional income
Frequently, people turn to work as part time real estate agents because they want to generate additional income for themselves or their families. They may have discovered they can no longer endure their job, or they may just enjoy the extra income for other reasons. As a part time real estate agent, many people discover they can generate more income than they thought, giving them more financial freedom.
5. Starting part-time can make acclimating to the new role more manageable
As a part time real estate agent, you may have additional sources of income, whether you keep your regular job or have a spouse whose position covers most of the bills. By starting part-time, you can discover whether you have real passion and skill for real estate, which could indicate that you have the potential to go full-time in the future. Starting part-time can help lower risk and allow you to better prepare for what it might look like to work as a real estate agent full-time.
While there are many advantages to working as a part time real estate agent, there are some drawbacks you should consider before you launch into a new career.
1. It may take up more of your time than you initially thought
While there can be some flexibility to working as a real estate agent, including the ability to schedule client interactions at times that work for you, you still need time to commit to your work as a real estate agent. You may often find yourself juggling multiple showings, writing up offers, or taking care of other responsibilities at the end of the day when you’re already tired from the other tasks on your to-do list. Working as a part time real estate agent will also cut into the time and energy you spend on your other job.
2. Some clients may prefer working with a full-time real estate agent
Some clients may prefer to work with a real estate agent with more availability or experience. If you start working as a part time real estate agent, you may need help to connect with clients looking for greater overall availability.
3. You may have a lower marketing budget, making competing with full-time real estate agents and their large-scale budgets harder
There are a lot of steps that go into marketing your personal brand as a real estate agent. You may find it challenging to devote the time and money to market when you’re simply working as a part time agent. Sometimes, that makes it difficult to compete with full-time agents who may have a larger budget and much greater overall reach.
4. Fees and dues can turn out more expensive than anticipated
Before you start working as a part time real estate agent, understand what the fees and dues for your state and national memberships will cost. Maintaining your license can take time and money. When working part-time, you should ensure the cost does not outweigh the gains.
Can a part-time real estate agent have a full-time job?
As a part time real estate agent, you can hold down a full-time job simultaneously. However, it’s vital to remember that you will need some flexibility with your full-time job since you may occasionally need to handle tasks during core work hours. You must consider your available time to commit to a part-time real estate job.
Being a real estate agent may quickly become a substantial time commitment and keep you very busy during what would otherwise have been your “off” hours. Especially in competitive markets, buyers and sellers will put a lot of pressure on you as an agent, and they trust that you will always act on their behalf—not just part-time. Buying and selling homes will be both exciting and stressful for your clients, and they will pass this pressure on to you. Be prepared.
Income as a part-time real estate agent
There are several ways to calculate your potential income as a part time real estate agent. Keep in mind that your income will depend on many factors, the most important being:
- Your local market conditions
- Total number of clients in your book of business
- Total number of properties you’re able to sell
Talk to other part time real estate agents in your market to better understand what your long-term income as a part-timer might look like.
Most real estate agents will charge a commission when they sell a property. That commission is generally between 5-6% of the selling price of the property. As a part time real estate agent, if you split those duties with another agent, you may also split the commission. Commissions on large sales, naturally, tend to rise much higher than commissions on smaller properties.
Real estate referral fees (when one real estate agent passes a client to another agent or broker) can typically earn you around 25% of the commission price on the final sale of a property. As a part time real estate agent, you may pass more of your leads on to other agents who can better support those specific home buyers or sellers.
Work with the luxury real estate experts at Luxury Presence
Whether you intend to become a full-time or part time real estate agent while juggling other professional responsibilities, it’s crucial to prioritize your online presence to succeed in the increasingly competitive luxury real estate market. By carefully building your personal brand online, you’ll attract more leads, differentiate yourself as a trustworthy agent, and provide a more personal perspective of how you serve your clients.
Whatever goals you have for building your future real estate business, Luxury Presence is ready to help. Part-time or full-time, what you publish online will help define your brand as a real estate agent—and we’ll help you build the perfect strategies to exceed client expectations and unlock success. Contact our team of real estate marketing experts today to get started.