Part Time Real Estate Agent Tips

Are you starting to dip your toe in the world of real estate and planning your next steps? Well, grab your favorite real estate mug (mine says “I’m just here for the ARV”) and settle in. Because today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the hot topics surrounding being a part time real estate agent. We’ll even be sharing feedback from hundreds of successful agents on the controversial question: is it even possible to be successful as a part-time real estate agent?

Fair Warning: many of the agents we spoke to compared being a part-time agent in this market to bringing an avocado to a knife fight.

So…yes it’s gonna get zesty!

But before we get into that part of the discussion, let’s go through the agenda:

Can you be a real estate agent part time?

Yes! Becoming a part-time real estate agent is indeed a viable option and some studies have found that 22% of agents self-classify themselves as part time agents (based on working 30 hours/week or less) and we suspect there may be some bias among participants not wanting to classify themselves as “part time”…so the real number of part time agents is likely higher!

Which leads to the question: why are SO many agents part time?

  • real estate agents have flexibility to set their own schedule and hours
  • getting a real estate license doesn’t require additional schooling. There are are many license preparation options that work within any schedule. Also it’s relatively easy/inexpensive to maintain a real estate license.
  • professionals in related businesses can provide real estate agent services to existing clients and partners. Related businesses including: mortgage, property management, real estate investment/development, tax and estate planning.
  • part time agents with a strong sphere of influence can still have lucrative businesses
  • many real estate teams and brokerages have support systems for part time agents…for example transaction coordinators that can handle more technical aspects of a deal.

So while the reasons to be a part time real estate agent are pretty attractive, being a successful part time agent depends on a whole lot of factors that we’ll get into below.

Realistic Goals and Setting Expectations

Remember Malcolm Gladwell’s ten thousand hour theory? It states that you need to put in 10,000 hours into anything before getting to the point of mastery. Welcome part timers, to your first reality check.

  • At 40 hours/week (aka Full time status) you’ll need to work 5 years to achieve this mastery
  • Now at 20 hours/week…it’s gonna be 10 years :/ our backs hurt just thinking about our life 10 years from now!

That doesn’t mean we’re saying “STOP don’t do it!”. It just means setting clear expectations for what you can accomplish as a part-time agent.

Setting realistic goals for your part time real estate career is vital.

  • Do you have real income expectations for your real estate business?
  • If so, back that into the number of deals/year you’d need to generate hit that income*
  • Now, back the number of deals into the number of prospects you’d need*

*yes these require assumptions that are based on conversion rates, average sales amounts and commission percents. You can research much of this for your market and ask an experienced agent to fill in the rest

Now, does this amount of “work” still sound like a part time endeavor?

Realistic Goals and Setting Expectations - part time agents

We’re not trying to burst bubbles, BUT it’s an important exercise because whatever your objectives are, they should be attainable within the constraints of your part-time schedule.

The beauty of real estate is that it offers tremendous flexibility, allowing you to manage your own time and prioritize your commitments accordingly. Many part-time agents have mastered the art of balancing their real estate pursuits with other professional roles or personal obligations. By setting realistic expectations and dedicating focused blocks of time to real estate activities, they have achieved remarkable success in their ventures.

To make the most of your limited availability as a part-time agent, it’s crucial to establish a routine that maximizes productivity during your dedicated real estate hours. This means being disciplined and organized, with a clear plan of action for each day or week. Identify the most impactful real estate activities that align with your goals and allocate your time accordingly. For example, focusing on lead generation and real estate marketing.

We recommend finding a veteran agent (either as a mentor or as a team lead) that can impart advice particularly in the area of picking the most impactful activities AND time management…which we’ll cover next!

Part Time Real Estate Agents Challenges

Well if being a part time agent didn’t come with challenges, there’d be a LOT more part time agents out there. So let’s get into the hurdles part time agents encounter.

Time Management and Availability for Part-Time Agents

Ah, time management – the topic you can’t avoid when it comes to talking “part time” agents. So as expected, as a real estate agent, whether you’re part-time or full-time, time management is paramount. However, for part-time agents, the challenge becomes even more pronounced due to the inevitable tug of other career/life commitments.

Balancing your real estate responsibilities with your other commitments, whether it’s a job, family, or personal pursuits, requires careful planning and organization. You need to be adept at squeezing every ounce of productivity from the limited hours you have available. This means maximizing your efficiency, prioritizing tasks, and establishing a structured routine to make the most of your time in the real estate realm. Some part time real estate agent tips for time management:

  • Set clear boundaries and establish dedicated time blocks for your real estate business.
  • Use your calendar to block time for specific real estate activities: making calls, nurturing existing contacts, digital marketing activities, open houses, market research, learning new skills, etc. Then defend those times from distractions!
  • When you are working closely with others (especially at any stage of a transaction), set expectations with your clients and other agents involved so they know there could be a lag in response time during certain hours. Don’t lead anyone to believe you won’t be on top of things…but let others know that you may need to let some calls go to VM but you’ll respond within X minutes (and stick to that!). We go over more of this below.
  • Leverage technology like real estate customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. These tools not only save time juggling important information, but they work for you in the background doing things like sending out marketing and nurturing prospects.

So, while time management and availability may pose unique challenges, they are not insurmountable. With careful planning, setting boundaries, leveraging technology, and maintaining open lines of communication, you can conquer the dual demands of your professional pursuits and your real estate business. So, take charge of your time!

Being reachable when clients need an immediate response

Yes we’re still kinda in the “time management” realm but this is a very specific case. It’s when there’s something urgent that comes up with a client…likely mid-transaction.

Now, let’s get real for a moment: clients will have their own schedules and demands, and it’s crucial to be available to them within the confines of your other commitments. The same goes with other agents when you’re in the midst of a deal. And btw this is where many part time agents lose the trust of their full time counterparts actually.

Part Time Real Estate Agents Challenges

Many full time agents argue that working part-time in real estate can be challenging to provide the level of service and availability that clients expect and deserve. After all, clients depend on their agents being “always on” to guide them through the biggest financial transaction of their lives. Their need for an agent to have full dedication and availability isn’t unreasonable, right? But this is where the debate about being a part-time agent gets particularly interesting…because there are ways to balance these outside expectations so everyone gets what they want.

Here’s how part time agents can juggle their other commitments while maintaining a smooth transaction:

  • Temporarily adjust your schedule: if your schedule allows, try and “go full time” when there’s a deal on the line. It’s not possible for many, but if you can do this, it could be the best option so a transaction moves smoothly with minimal delays
  • Delegate: find a trustworthy transaction coordinator (aka “TC”) who can be on the front lines on your deals when you’re not available. Many teams and brokers have transaction coordinators that they use regularly so ask around if you need a reference.
  • Set an SLA: SLA means a “service level agreement” where your clients and other agents know that you may let some calls go to voicemail or that texts/emails may take 30 minutes to respond to during certain hours. Not ideal for building trust especially if you’re going to say “from 9am-5pm I’ll need 4 hours for each response/callback.” But this might be necessary.

Ultimately, the key lies in finding a balance between client expectations and personal availability. Whether you’re a part-time or full-time agent, communication is the glue during a transaction.

As a part time real estate agent, the worst possible scenario is that your clients’ fears about your part-time status impacting their transaction come true.

On a positive note though, when we did our research, we heard from many part-time agents who truly mastered the art of time management and communication and they felt strongly that they indeed provided exceptional service to their clients even during transactions that were fraught with fire drills. However, these part time all star agents emphasized the importance of setting clear expectations from the get-go – being transparent about their response times. By doing so, they foster a relationship built on trust and understanding.

Competing with full time agents for clients

Real estate is a very competitive business…and successful agents know much of their success is a result of building relationships and consistent client engagement. Even for full time agents, it can be challenging to dedicate enough time to networking, marketing, and prospecting when you have other commitments pulling you in different directions.

And the reality is that clients have many options for who they use. And at any point a client could be in a “nurturing” phase with many real estate agents. Often the difference between who a client ends up using is just timing. Which agent was in touch when the client made the decision to buy and/or sell.

This is where part time agents may have a disadvantage compared to their full time brethren.

What can part time agents do then to stay competitive when prospecting? They need to focus on the most promising prospects and work closely within their SOI (where they have a competitive advantage).

That doesn’t mean they ignore everyone else, but they can use the power of social media to maintain an always-on presence that at least keeps them warm-ish with the other prospects…until those prospects make it clear they are ready for a higher touch approach.

Remember, being a part-time agent doesn’t need to mean you’re ignoring potential clients. It just means you’re reserving your time to cater to the clients that are most likely to pan out for you.

Something’s gotta give

For many part time agents the hardest part is having to hit pause on being a real estate agent because your life/work outside of real estate demands you to. Whether that’s family commitments or an important project in your “day job”, part time agents are sometimes faced with the something’s gotta give moment where real estate is just that thing.

While real estate can be a lucrative profession, the potential for part-time agents to earn substantial income can be a bit trickier. With limited hours to dedicate to clients, showings, and marketing, part-time agents may face challenges in hitting their desired income targets…which can add pressure to pull back on how much time is dedicated. It’s a vicious cycle which leads many agents to eventually leaving the business entirely.

Downer right?!

But hey, don’t let these challenges discourage you! With the right strategies, mindset, and commitment, part-time agents can overcome these obstacles and achieve success on their own terms. So, put on that “I’ll show YOU” attitude and unlock the full potential of your part-time real estate hustle!

Part Time Real Estate Agent Tips for Success

We went over a lot already when it comes to time management and communication but there are some more tactical tips on how part time agents can find success.

part-time-real-estate-agents

Find a supportive team or mentor

Working as part of a team or with a mentor who understands and embraces your part-time dedication can make all the difference in your road to success. Let’s dive into the potential benefits of team support and how it can elevate your part-time real estate game!

  • teams have expertise and training opportunities
  • teams have leads and prospecting opportunities you can plug into
  • teams have systems that help efficiency and enforce accountability
  • teams have resources that can assist when you need help (ex: designers, marketers, transaction coordinators, etc)

Find Prospecting Opportunities that fit your schedule

Here are a few prospecting methods that typically can work within a part time agents availability:

Sphere of Influence (SOI): this one is especially convenient because it’s your sphere…meaning it starts with staying connected with your existing network (if you don’t know what SOI prospecting is, go here). Now you will need to sell yourself as a real estate agent as you’re maintaining these connections but the good news is that you should be able to do this on your own time – often while just living your regular life.

Social Media: while it’s becoming sickeningly competitive for real estate agents on Instagram, social media marketing is especially convenient for part time agents because you can do it on your schedule – just as long as you commit to doing it regularly. We’ve got tips for Instagram Reels, TikTok, and general social media tips.

Open Houses: if you know you’ll be free for a few hours each weekend, then become the Open House expert in your market. Plus you can host Open Houses for other agents.

Curb Hero Demo + Tutorial
Hosted by  Ajay Pondicherry
In this interactive session we will show you how to use Curb Hero’s FREE digital sign-in to save time, capture better data, and look amazing at your next Open House.

Hopefully at least one of these work for you. If so, focus on this as part of your business and try and develop it as a special weapon in your real estate arsenal.


Remember, success as a part-time agent is not solely determined by the hours on the clock, but by the value you bring to the table. So, while you may be a few years away from hitting your 10,000 hours, you can still have a rewarding career in real estate. Just focus on time management, communication, finding mentorship, and finding 1-2 prospecting channels that work for you. So dream big, be strategic, and embrace the exciting opportunities that await you in the part-time real estate agent realm!

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