I'm a w2 guy as well, and working towards getting my license.
It all depends what your full time job is- Can you answer calls? Respond to emails? Leave at lunch to show a house? Meet an inspector in the middle of the afternoon? Handle last minute problems the day of closing? Respond to negotiations from another agent in a timely fashion?
In my experience, part time agents work mostly for buyers. They may occasionally list a house for a friend or family member.
Imagine you are a seller- You interview 3 agents to list your home. 1 is a full time agent who dedicates 100% of their work week (and weekends) to selling real estate. 1 is a full time agent with another part time job. And 1 is a part time agent with another full time job. Who do you hire?
Even though @Geoffrey Hoffman spells his name wrong, he makes some good points. :)
Would really need to know how flexible your job to give you the best answer. Anything you can systematize would help-scheduling showings, showing feedback etc.
I would suggest you co-list the first couple of deals with a full time agent. That way you can see more first hand what's involved to learn and also have backup for when you are working your job.
Hope that helps and I was just kidding Geoff!
Felipe just remember you get PAID when you CLOSE.
When you are in the profession for awhile you learn how to work smart and not lose money or time working on properties that will not sell at the listed prices.
It would be a disservice to be a part-time listing agent.
Instead save up 6 months worth of living reserves and start up capital for your business to go full time. For example if your monthly breakeven is 4k you need 24k saved up. Marketing listings takes money and it sounds like you do not have the budget for that yet. You could take 10 listings and not sell a one or sell one and the marketing costs from the 9 makes you break even or lose money.
It's not what you take it's what you sell efficiently and close.
12 years school of hard knocks in the business.
If you want to go full time and quit your job think about sitting a subdivision selling model homes. You can get closings quickly and build volume if you need cash right away to survive.
Answering your phone is #1 in this business if you expect to make it. You could always refer out the business to another agent and take a percentage. Part time agents can be a problem since they don't do enough business to really know what they are doing.
I would concentrate on your sphere and work outward from there.
I'm in a similar position currently. I actually work 50-60 hours a week on an assembly line for 2.5 hrs per quarter so i don't have the luxury of having my phone on me. I get two 10 minutes break and a 40 min lunch. My biggest issue is not aboit selling the listings it's a matter of getting them. Full time agents have the luxury of networking more ie calling FSBO and pursuing expireds and doing all that marketing stuff. It is actually easier to have sellers as clients as opposed to buyers cus at this point i don't have the time to drive around town showing homes. If you can manage to get a listing or two i don't think your job would affect getting it sold. Once i get one i market it like crazy and let the full time agents with buyers sell it for me. I also use a company to.schedule all the showings so i don't have to worry about that.
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There are many successful full time agents in my market that never answer their phone. If you can communicate through text or email while at your job, that may work. You'd have to set that expectation with your seller.
I would focus on what you can offer your seller to give them a better opportunity to sell their home quickly for the most money.
You might make a better buyers agent, as opposed to sellers agent, given your schedule.
Originally posted by @Felipe Munoz :
Now I'm curious.....I may be way off base here. I've worked a bunch of transactions from the buyers side and those seem to be a lot more demanding of my time. Driving clients around all weekend, in the afternoons, as well as having to make all of the phone calls to coordinate showings (mostly with the seller, not the agent) takes a ton of time. Once your client finds a home writing offers (my experience has been multiple offers per client on multiple homes). Once offer accepted, coordination of inspectors/title/lenders require a lot of communication. Seems like the successful agents I know can handle way more listings at a time than they can buyers. Like I said, I'm going to market for listings. Even with limited communication daily until 1:30pm, I'll be doing a much better job than a lot of listing agents I crossed paths with on a current transaction I'm working. I'll share how things are going (good or bad).
Sure you can handle more listings than buyers.
What kind of marketing are you going to do and how are you going to convert the leads, to appointments, to listings?
Originally posted by @Felipe Munoz :
Jeff Valentino my initial plan is to direct mail market to a neighborhood of just a couple of hundred. Converting leads will be the same way anyone else converts a lead. If I can't answer phone, I'll just return the call when I can. I'm targeting a C+/C neighborhood where I feel there is a need for more quality agents. Don't get me wrong, I ran across some really good agents but the number of terribly entered listings in the MLS was unreal. Don't know if 1) it's where a lot of newbie realtors enter market 2) the clientele isn't getting the type of service they are paying for 3) realtors with the "less money for me, not as important" attitude. Maybe combo of all three?
I unfortunately agree w the number of bad agents out there. Good photos in the MLS would set you apart from 1/2 of them lol. Part time can work, it's how I started. Keep treating it like a business.
I think it all depends on how well you can manage your time between you got breaks and off days and such,use that to your advantage and then even marketing to the people in your jobs is sure to get you a good lead or two.
Have you considered using a virtual assistant while you are at your 40 hr/week job to answer calls from your direct mail marketing? They can answer the phone while you are working and ask your potential client some basic screening questions. That way you might not miss potential sellers.
I'm going to agree with the comments above that part-time listing agents are doing a disservice to their clients. It may seem like being a buyer's agent takes more time than being a listing agent, that's only because most listing agents don't do their job -- they stick the property on the MLS and wait, which doesn't take much time.
But, a good listing agent does a lot more than that. They are holding broker open houses (during the week, since brokers are showing houses on the weekend), they do other marketing besides the MLS, they network with other brokers/agents (again, during the week), they drum up buyers themselves to show the house to, they do print/online marketing, etc.
Most importantly, a listing agent should *always* be available to respond to buyer's agents -- you'd be surprised how many phone calls you'll get that go something like this: "My client and I were looking at a house in the neighborhood and we saw that you having a listing their too. We're right outside and would like to take a look...can we go in?"
If you don't take this call, you just lost the showing. And while you might not care about losing a showing, a seller should NEVER have to miss a showing because a listing agent is too busy to answer the phone.
Not to mention, once a house is under contract, you're going to need to deal with appraisals and inspections. These normally take place during the week, and if you're not available to meet the appraisers and inspectors at the house, you're risking bad things happening for the seller.
Again, too many listing agents think their job is to stick the house in the MLS and then just let the buyer's agents do the rest. But, good listing agents know that their job is MUCH, MUCH more than that...and they should be working everyday, all day to get their listings sold.
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