Advice On Becoming Part Time Agent

7 Replies

Hey everyone,

I know this question has been asked over the years but I wanted to get a fresh perspective. I have been researching as much as I can about getting my license in MA. I currently work a 8-4 job on the credit side of CRE, so I would be using this around my day job. I have a passion for all aspects of real estate and have always wanted to try being an agent.

The goal is to see how I do in an entrepreneurial atmosphere, specifically real estate as well as bring in additional income. I think I would like to start with rentals to get some transactions done efficiently. I have read all about part time not being feasible but would love some input from those who have gone this route or anyone in general in the field - what worked, what didn't work, etc.

If anyone has any other thoughts real estate work I could do around my day job, I would love to hear.

Depending on where you live, having a license and doing a 1-4 of deals a year, it can make sense financially.  Especially if you are buying  investment properties.  I think also the depth of knowledge it will provide would be very valuable if you plan on investing for the long-term.  If you are not doing enough deals to cover your fees for hanging your license, and not buying investment proprieties I would reconsider.  

@James Murphey I fully intend to invest as soon as I am in a position to financially. I am north of Boston so it is a very hot market and prices are challenging as a new investor. I agree the knowledge would be very helpful, specifically because my investment strategy at the moment will be in multi family.

Do you currently work as an agent? Any input on doing it outside of my day job?

@Stephen Roesler

When I first started with Keller Williams they shunned anyone who used the words “part time” by saying WE SAY DUAL CAREER!

This pushed people into the mindset that it is all or nothing but that simply is not true. You are wise to try it out first and see where it goes.

There may be more options but three potential approaches may work for you;

1.) get your license and find a good broker. Tell everyone you know that you are selling RE and find a listing or a buyer. Give them your best service and focus on getting to settlement with the help of anyone around you who is willing to assist. You can share your commission with another agent for their help.

2.) Find a successful team and become a buyers agent for them. Schlep buyers around in the evenings and weekends until you get a deal.

3.) Look for a Broker who has Relocation leads. You will bust your butt for a small commission but you will get work and learn the transaction.

Nothing wrong with starting part time—it may be the perfect way to see if it is a good fit.

Best of luck and hope you find your niche.

It depends on your motivation. I originally got my license to help me scout out my first 2 family home for myself. I wanted to look at everything and take my time and get full access to the MLS. A few months after I got my license my then girlfriend (now wife) and I were able to capitalize on that dream (it was 2008, so we didn't have competition like buyers do now).

I didn't do much with the license for a few years, but I made sure to get daily emails for several neighborhoods from the MLS and I got really good at quickly evaluating deals. I would note certain properties and guess if they would fly off the market or would sit and rot, and I got pretty good at it. But I didn't have access to financing and hadn't discovered BP and had to sit and watch as great deals all around me went to other people. I was also running my own single rental property and giving advice to friends who were interested in buying.

When the tide started to turn in 2012 I was the knowledgeable one in my peer group. I was licensed, had my own rental, had done renovations on my own property, and knew the market. I was hardly an expert, but I was way ahead of everyone else. 

I purposefully don't beg my friends for their business. I tell everyone that their friendship is worth more to me than a commission, and I mean it. But I have worked with about a dozen friends over the last few years and converted about 2/3 of them to sales. I have learned who to say yes to and who to gently steer away. Added up, it's probably close to $100k in commission income spread out over the last 7 years. Nice side money, but not getting rich off it. 

Being an agent also helped me get into my second 2 family a few years ago, and to sell that first property just a few weeks ago. 

Being an agent part time works for me because I use it to further my own goals. I would never want to do it every weekend, though. It will burn you out in a hurry. It's a super demanding job that requires you to be available all the time and is really hard to balance with another day job. You can waste months working with the wrong buyer or seller. You rarely get paychecks, and when you do your brokerage takes a huge cut. 

I say you go for it. The classes are not that bad and the test is also not bad. You'll learn a ton working with people and looking at properties, even if you never make a sale. And if you decide you hate it, you've only invested a little bit of time and very little money. But figure out what it is you want out of the license early on. If your goal is to get rich, you are unlikely to do it. There are a handful of top agents and a huge number who never go anywhere. Then there are people like me who use it as part of my broader strategy and intentionally limit our activity. 

@Stephen Roesler There is absolutely nothing wrong with building a business part time and seeing where it goes and in my opinion there are a lot of benefits to starting this way that people do not talk about enough. This is how I started and it has been a great experience for me since. If you have any specific questions at all about getting into the business this way feel free to reach out anytime. 

@Stephen Roesler No my wife got her license, and then got super busy at her current job and has not used it yet.  I have been considering it when we move, but I think I would rather just focus on making money at my job, and investing.  I like the idea of being a RE Agent, and Investor.  I know the benefits would be numerous, but I know I would always be at work and on call. I am getting into investing as a way to simplify my life.  

@Kevin Wolfe All great ways to think about it. I understand that "part time" as an agent does not mean "sometimes" or "when I feel like it" if I want to find consistency and growth once starting. I appreciate your input and the points of view of different strategies.

@Jason Turgeon My current motivation is to bring in additional income and learn more in real estate. That income will be twofold since i will be using it save towards a start in my own investing. I am in the early years of my career so I can sacrifice some free time in order to pursue my goals. As you mentioned, if anything the information I will learn will be valuable regardless, which I can appreciate as my day job correlates with the industry. Thanks for your take and background info. 

@Michael Noto Good to hear this from someone since majority of the information out there say it's not realistic for someone to become successful without going all in from the start. I think it is easy to assume that most want to do is as a hobby and that is where the failure rate becomes inflated since many are not truly passionate about real estate. I'll shoot you a PM!