Becoming an agent as a second, part time job

24 Replies

My wife and I have been interested in the real estate business for some time now.  My question is, can I maintain my current full time job and work as an agent at night and on weekends?  My main goal is to get my feet wet in the industry and move on to investing.  Any advice?

Oh, I'm also curious what the average time it takes to close your first deal.  I've heard 3 months is pretty average.  I know it depends on several factors, but I'd like any input you could offer.

Being an agent would seem like part time work but actually takes alot of time and dedication to sell just one property. 

Additionally, you have to take a RE Sales Person exam and in my state of NJ u need 75 course hours under your belt. So yes you can do it part time but dont expect any income from it but as to the knowledge you will gain it will be invaluable. 

It depends what kind of property we're talking about. it can take anywhere from 1 month to three months to even 6 months. It all depends on the contingencies you put in the contract and any problems that arise during the due diligence period. 

Hope this helps best of luck to you. 

I am a Realtor who at first wanted to keep my full time job in corporate america for the benefits and to subsidize my income until my career took off. Once I started I realized that it does require more time than I expected to keep up with the market and clients. If I'm at work from 8-5, which are most business hours,  how and when do I handle the things that require me to be available during those hours. Meeting contractors and etc. 

Long story short I went part time limiting myself to 20hrs a week on my regular job in order to pursue Real Estate full time. Hope this helps!

@Billy Daniel

It really depends on your job. I have a very flexible job so I can take care of a lot of things throughout the day. I can leave and come back if I need to and that solves the issue for meeting with clients or contractors. If you job is not flexible then you will have a very hard time trying to manage. The time to get your first deal depends on your marketing, your client, and the type of transaction. I fix and flip investor may buy quickly, but are there properties that fit the criteria. So a lot goes into it and making sure you stay abreast of the current trends and market.

Lots of people do exactly what you're thinking - start part time.  It's a great idea - GO FOR IT!

“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ~ Max DePree

If you want to do this as a profession part-time is not an option. If you want a hobby or to do an occasional deal for yourself then yes you could do part time.

I don't have agents at my firm and haven't for many years.  They think they are better than they actually are, are over demanding, and screw up a lot. Not to mention they don't pay their license renewal fees, do not finish continuing education requirements, have license suspended for student loan delinquency, back child support owed, IRS tax levies on any commission they make etc. Massive headache of epic proportions for a broker.

Define if you want this license for your own investing or as full time career is key as to how to proceed and plans. 

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I agree with @Tyrus Shivers . I am a full time real estate agent and also own a contracting business. Both businesses allow me to be flexible. I would not be able to work for someone else and be able to complete all of the necessary real estate related tasks.  Most of my real estate activities happen from 9am to 5pm. The only way I can see it working for you is if you are either buying and selling your own properties, and/or can join a real estate TEAM that you can be a part of evenings and weekends. You can assist with open houses, and showings, and share in the commission. 

@Billy Daniel  Basically, yes you can.  But one thing that you need to know is that being a Realtor is not a "job".  It's a self-employed business.  Think about it from that perspective.

@Joel Owens  

I have seen you post many times about the headaches from agents. You must have had some good agents along the way. I am a new agent, but have been around the business for a while and I have seen some shady and lazy brokers as well. I think it is just a personal deal. A person will be who they are no matter the position or title. There could be many other reasons why a person would not pay dues, etc. Most of the time it is laziness, but there are some folks that just fall on hard times, agents and brokers included.

Thanks all!  I plan to approach it, at least initially, as more of a hobby than a job.  I totally understand about self-employed business.  I got a taste of that in the insurance business.  I would like to know more about being a part of a real estate team @Bryan Ortins.  IS this just a group of agents that would cover for each other and split the payout?  Another question I had is what kind of things should I look for in an agency?  This may be another thread entirely.

@Billy Daniel  I would strongly recommend you dip your toes in the water before quitting your job and diving in the deep end.

Hi,I'm kind of in the same boat you are. Although,I actually am pre-licensed all I need to do is pass the National Exam! which crossing my fingers I shall schedule to take before the month is out. Currently working an non-related real estate job which I am sad to say has not only hindered the  real estate career but causes other conflicts.  I may not have the job in a couple of weeks. My significant other is an chauffeur and our schedules clash besides honestly sitting at a  office job where I am not earning alot bugs the heck out of him. O.k I am bugged too,I would love to make my own schedule,not succumb to the life of a worker bee. Bringing honey to the queen only to get a little taste of someone elses success. The plan was always real estate and my husband also wants to get licensed at least as a leasing agent.  We both have a background hand in the market but in our state licenses are the way to go! We have a market that we can help underserved individuals and investors who decide to become landlords. 

But I know real estate can be an career where there may be alot of time with no pay. Being a independent  contractor that is expected. However,becoming licensed means more than buying and selling and leasing. For example,I can also manage properties.

Currently,I haven't yet quit the day job but sure as heck regret I spent so much time working for a paycheck from a company that will never respect or pay me for my worth. They hire you for one thing when I am capable of so much more. It still isn't real estate :(

I want to work with the industry starting today,so to ease the transition I offer the business service I started  which is virtual assistance. So even unlicensed you can do something which puts you where you need to be. I even see my virtual assistance as a side business even when I obtain my license.

I say go for it. if your a go getter and motivated and a person that is not afraid of work, you can succeed at a part timer. anyways with modern technology, no one will know your a part-timer. you can call buyers, agents, brokers, anytime of day and they will not know that your doing it while working another job at the same time.

I look to do the same thing, mostly to put myself in a position to own my own property management company at some point in the future. In CA you need to be a broker to be a PM. Good luck on learning the craft and supplementing your income! 

Yes get your license. MLS access alone is worth it.

MLS access is KEY. There is no more MLS deals in my neck of the woods, but it is still so important.

I say go for it, it allows you to make some money while learning. I was in the 'flexible hours other job' category. Year 1: no deals. Year 2: 5 deals. Year 3- shooting for 20 & I'm on track :)

My very first job in real estate was in property management part time on the weekends and I learned alot there about local laws concerning landlords & tenants.

I also think you could learn alot if you proposed partnering up with someone who has alot of experience, such as in rehabbing or wholesaling. You could offer some sweat equity in exchange for on-the-job experience. This would accomplish part time flexibility as well as front line knowledge, just my humble opinion

Get your license, but do not quit your job until you understand how to generate leads and close deals. Part time to begin with is the only way to go unless you have at least 6-12 months living expenses saved that you don't mind blowing if it doesn't pan out. 

I work in a large brokerage in south florida (400+ realtors), and far too many of the new agents have already quit their jobs and bought a brand new car (on payments) before closing a single deal. No matter what anyone says, it is a very competitive business and the first year is a real challenge. But it's a ton of fun and very lucrative once you get it figured out! Go get the license and good luck!

Unless you have a lot of flexibility in your day job, I would not recommend it.  Buyers, sellers, agents, etc. don't want to wait until you punch out from your day job to get information/paperwork they are requesting. 

I believe the scenario that @Kyle Mack  mentioned is a great idea.  However, taking on listings or working with buyers is a bad idea (in my opinion) if you have 40 hours blocked off on your schedule.

I'm currently looking into the same thing. Probably going to try part time first, feel things out, help other agents where I can, etc. If it works out I'll consider fulltime. If nothing else I'll still have MLS access. As far as taking on your own clients while holding down another job, personally I would be fully transparent up front rather than try to hide it from them.

Josh, my point didn't have anything to do with whether to be transparent or not.  It was about providing great service to your clients.

Here is a scenario to make my point.  You take a buyer to look at houses over the weekend, and he/she calls you Monday morning wanting to put in an offer.  While you are booked until 5pm, another buyer's agent presents an offer and the seller accepts.  Your buyer lost the house they wanted because of your full time job.  Sure, it is possible this could happen to a full time agent who just happens to be busy with other clients.  However, it is more likely to happen to an agent that is trying to juggle two careers. 

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