How to Craft a Rewarding Part-Time Career in Real Estate
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Working as a part-time agent doesn't have to mean that you’ll have limited success. With the right approach, you can craft a fulfilling and profitable real estate career, even on a part-time schedule.
In this post, we’ll discuss the challenges you may face and debunk common misconceptions about being a part-time real estate agent. We’ll also provide actionable tips on how you can thrive as a part-time agent. So, if you're ready to unlock your part-time potential and turn your real estate passion into a successful venture, let's jump in!
You may love the idea of devoting yourself full-time to a career in real estate but, for now, that’s not possible. Perhaps you simply don’t have the funds to maintain your expenses until you can earn your first (or next) commission check. Or perhaps you have another career that you love and don’t want to give up.
Whatever your reason for becoming a part-time real estate agent, remember that success hinges on your dedication, strategic planning, and ability to leverage your unique strengths.
Let’s break down the most common myths that may be stopping you from becoming a part-time real estate agent, and why they should be ignored.
People often believe that part-time agents aren't as dedicated or serious about their work.
Reality: Commitment is not about the hours spent. Instead, it's about the quality of those hours. Many part-time agents are highly motivated and utilize their available time extremely efficiently.
There's a misconception that part-time real estate work won't provide a substantial income.
Reality: While it's true that part-time agents might not make as much as their full-time counterparts due to fewer working hours, it doesn't mean they can't earn a substantial income.
This myth suggests that part-time agents can't deliver the same level of service as full-time agents due to their limited availability.
Reality: Quality service depends more on an agent's expertise, communication skills, and commitment to their clients rather than their working hours. A part-time agent who's efficient, responsive, and focused on client satisfaction can often provide a service level equal to or even better than a full-time agent.
It's often thought that part-time agents will lack the most recent market knowledge due to their limited involvement.
Reality: With the availability of real-time market data and resources online, staying updated isn't solely a function of time spent in the field. As a part-time agent, you can be in the know on market trends and shifts if you commit yourself.
This may be the worst myth of all. Many believe that real success in real estate can only come from investing an unbalanced amount of time in it.
Reality: Success depends on individual effort, strategy, skills, and ambition, not solely on time commitment. There are many examples of part-time agents who have achieved significant success in their field by leveraging their skills, networking effectively, and offering unique value to their clients.
Let’s now discuss the steps you’ll need to take to find success as a part-time real estate agent.
The first, and most important step, is to set goals for your career. Setting realistic, specific, and measurable goals is crucial for any professional endeavor, but it's particularly important for part-time real estate agents due to the unique challenges and constraints you will face.
When you have specific and realistic goals, you will create a clear direction for your efforts. This is especially important when you work part-time because you must make the most out of their limited working hours. Knowing exactly what you're aiming for allows you to prioritize tasks.
Measurable goals allow you to track your progress and adjust your strategies if necessary. This is so important when every minute is precious and must be accounted for. For example, if your goal is to sell five properties in six months, you can easily assess your performance at any point and identify if you're on track. This enables you to make timely adjustments to your approach if you're falling short of hitting your target.
When creating goals, set both short-term and long-term goals.
Your short-term goals may include:
Getting Your License to Sell Real Estate - If you're just starting out in a career in real estate, your first focus should be getting your license. We can help with that. Learn more about our online real estate course.
Getting a Specific Number of Clients - The first order of business after getting your license is to get business. This means getting clients. For example, aim to get five new clients within the next three months.
Closing a Specific Number of Deals - Depending on your market, a goal like closing 1-2 deals in the next six months may be realistic. Research your local market and talk with other agents to discover what makes sense.
Attending Networking Events - Networking is critical in real estate. Aim to attend a specific number of networking events each month.
Increasing Your Knowledge of Your Niche - Spend a dedicated amount of time each week learning about your chosen niche.
Implementing a Lead Generation Strategy - Develop a lead-generation strategy that includes social media marketing.
In addition to short-term goals, you should also identify long-term goals you want to hit. Meeting these goals will ensure that your business continues to grow and thrive in the future. Here are a few ideas for effective long-term goals:
Establishing a Unique and Strong Brand - Personal branding, outside of your brokerage, might take several years, but the aim is to be the go-to agent within your chosen niche or locality.
Achieving a Certain Income Level - Set a realistic goal for annual earnings three to five years down the line.
Expanding Your Client Base - A longer-term goal might be to serve a certain number of clients each year.
Diversifying Your Income - Diversifying your income is the best way to ensure a steady flow of finances in the future. For example, if your part-time work is only focused on helping others buy or sell real estate, you may wish to diversify into property management or property flipping in the future.
Improving Client Satisfaction - Aim for a specific satisfaction rating or percentage of business from referrals.
Continual Learning and Development - Set goals for further professional development, such as obtaining advanced real estate certifications (like your broker’s license, if you don’t have one) or learning about new technologies.
To make the most of your days when working part-time, find a real estate specialty (or niche). Having a specific niche in real estate will differentiate you from your competitors and increase your chances of success in a number of ways.
A few niche examples include sustainable, eco-friendly, or green homes, historic properties, luxury condominiums, and properties for first-time homebuyers. The choice of the niche would depend on market conditions, your personal interests, and where you feel you can provide the most value.
Here are the top benefits of finding your niche:
Deep Market Understanding - When you focus on a specific niche, you become more familiar with its trends, challenges, and opportunities. This allows you to provide better advice to your clients and spot potential deals quicker than others.
Enhanced Credibility - Specializing in a niche enhances your credibility. Clients appreciate agents who possess comprehensive knowledge about a particular type of property, locality, or demographic group. You can become the 'go-to' agent for that specific real estate need.
Efficient Marketing - It's easier and more efficient to market your services when you have a defined niche. You can tailor your marketing message precisely for your target audience, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.
Here’s how to find the right niche for you:
Self-Assessment - What properties do you enjoy? Your niche should align with your interests and strengths to keep you motivated and maximize your potential.
Create a List of Potential Niches - Base this list on your interests and strengths. Think about various property types (residential, commercial, luxury, affordable housing), client demographics (first-time buyers, retirees, investors), and property locations (urban, suburban, rural, specific neighborhoods).
Market Research - For each potential niche on your list, conduct a thorough market analysis. Identify the size of the market, competition level, potential growth, and profitability. Check property listings, real estate reports, local news, and demographic data to help form a picture of market demand and potential.
Learn About Your Niche - Once you've chosen your niche, learn everything you can about it. This may mean taking courses, attending seminars, reading books, or subscribing to relevant online resources. The goal is to become an expert in this area.
Finding a niche is not about limiting yourself, but rather about focusing your efforts where you can provide the most value and achieve the highest returns.
Time management is crucial for part-time real estate agents for several reasons.
Since part-time agents are splitting their time between real estate and other commitments, such as another job or family responsibilities, they have fewer hours to devote to their real estate work.
Time management is especially important because you’re not working on your own timetable. Real estate involves coordinating with various parties such as buyers, sellers, and other agents. Being able to respond promptly and attend meetings or showings is key to good client service.
Finally, without good time management, the demands of a part-time real estate career could easily spill over into personal time, disrupting the work-life balance. Effective time management helps to create boundaries and make time for much-needed rest.
So, what are the best ways to manage your time? Here are 8 actionable time management strategies that you can incorporate:
Effective time management is a skill that takes time to master. Experiment with different strategies to see what works best for you.
Success doesn't always depend on the hours you work, but rather on the quality and efficiency of those hours. Work smarter, not harder, and focus on activities that yield the highest returns. Good luck!