Being a Real Estate agent FT or PT?

10 Replies

Hello Everyone, I am somewhat new to the bigger pockets realm and to real estate in general. I have purchased a few books on how to invest in multi family units (however this is for the future...) and some other books... I am looking to dive into the realm of real estate and I want to flip homes and also purchase out of state units ( I live in California and the market is high that is why I think flipping is best here). What I wanted to ask is. 1) Is there anyone doing real estate on the side? Somewhat as a hybrid job? If so, what is your personal experience like? Are you successful in doing in part time? Why aren't you doing it FT? 2) What is your experience in being a real estate agent and what are the realities vs the expectations? 

Thank you for your time and your responses! Any feedback and advice will help! 

@Chris Emmanuel I was originally working a W2 and flipping on the side. Then I decided to get my license to help with my flipping costs. Then I found that my W2 job was costing me money because I couldn't focus on my flips and (surprise!) customers I hadn't planned on acquiring. Now I flip and I sell - each day I do what is needed to move forward. Some weeks it is flip heavy and others is sell heavy. Just depends. I am earning more than I did and I have more flexibility in my schedule. However, I didn't just quit and try to develop this business model from scratch.

@Chris Emmanuel it helped several ways - although being an agent is in no way free - the cost of being an agent offset my back end sales costs via half the commission I would have paid. It also sometimes comes into play when I am acquiring an MLS property. I also participate in my office weekly sales meeting and hear about deals pre-market and it has expanded my connections with lenders, sub-contractors and other agents, etc. More people know who I am and what I do and that doesn't hurt.

I am in the same boat. I just got me real estate license and have 3 young children so I am very part time. It does cost money but I have made it up in one transaction and even made some money. 

For me it was to get my foot in the door into real estate and to be able to rub shoulders with others in this industry. My goal like you is to invest out of state because my market in Salt Lake is way to expensive and nothing is even close to the 1% rule here. Right now I’m trying to save up all my commissions and research different markets to figure out where i want to invest. Best of luck luck to you!!

I'm a Real Estate Broker, I do my own deals, and I have traditional RE clients, but I also have a couple other businesses I run.  So I guess everything I do is technically part time because some days i'm working on a rehab project, the next day I'm working with one of my non-RE business clients, and the next day I'm working on something completely unrelated...

It's not easy to make a living right out of the gate being a full time agent.  Be prepared to not get paid much for a couple months while you get things going, and then be prepared for the market to change and give you a dry spell.

Some common expectations with having a RE license is that you'll work in a professional industry full of professional people that treat this like a business and treat colleagues as such; However that's not really how it goes.  It is incredibly simple to get and maintain a RE license - the barrier to entry is very, very, very, seriously small.  Because it's so simple to get into, we get some bad apples (probably a lot of bad apples).  Fortunately many of those bad apples go away after a couple years of dry spells.

Another common misconception is you need to have a RE license to be successful as a Real Estate Investor.  This is not true - if you're going to represent buyers or sellers you have to have a license, but if you're going to be successful with Real Estate investing, you will be successful either with or without a license.  The license might give you some access to data and the ability to make a commission that you otherwise would not have, but with that access and ability to earn comes increased liability because you're an educated and state licensed professional.

Licensed RE agent. Part time sales, part time management, part time rehabber, part time acquisition manager, part time garbage man, part time handyman, part time odd job man. Yeah, I do a little bit of everything...it adds up to a full time job I guess!

Love your honesty @Nick Rutkowski ! If you flip/manage rentals, the best thing you can do is have a sense of humor when it comes to the variety of tasks you'll end up taking on. I've removed a fair amount of garbage myself over the years...haha.

And @Chris Emmanuel I would look to work for a broker who supports dual career (part time) agents, because you don't want too much pressure to meet sales activities and goals when you are trying to devote most of your time to your own investing. Then when you've have enough sales experience to qualify, try to get your own broker's license, that way you can do your own thing your way to achieve your investment goals (saving/earning commissions along the way) Good luck!

@Chris Emmanuel on being a Pro member: The advantages are indirect for me - I use the site, I meet people (including some of my clients) on the site, I learn from the site and enjoy it - therefore I want to support it just as I do my Public Radio and Public TV.

This is a great thread. 

I got my license earlier this year and learning under my mother who has been an agent for 4-5 years. Some days I find it really difficult and overwhelming. But overall its a slow climb I believe, networking and growing and learning. 

It is a tough field where I believe many of you here mention when you are starting off you have to get prepared mentally you wont have an income for a while.

If anyone here in the Arizona area, I would love to link up and learn more.