If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering a career move into the real estate field but also asking yourself, “Can I be a part-time real estate agent?”

Yes. You can be a part-time real estate agent. Licensed real estate agents can work as many or as few hours as they want, making this career a near-perfect choice for someone looking for flexible, part-time work with excellent earning potential.

Having a flexible, virtually limitless side hustle is very appealing, but it’s not right for everyone. When we talk to potential agents about getting into real estate part time, they often base their decision on the following four questions:





Getting Started as a Part-time Real Estate Agent

If the answers to the above questions have you fired up to begin your new side hustle, this section is for you. Here are the three steps you’ll need to take to get started as a part-time realtor.

1. Get Your Real Estate License

To legally offer real estate services in the U.S., you need a real estate license. The length of time and cost required for obtaining a license will vary slightly depending on which state you live in, but the overall process is pretty much the same. Here’s a breakdown of exactly what you’ll need to do:

[LEARN MORE: How to Get a Real Estate License in 5 Easy Steps]

If you’re ready to dive right in, we suggest checking out Colibri Real Estate for your prelicensing courses. They offer options in just about every state.

Visit Colibri Real Estate

2. Carve Out Time in Your Schedule

Since real estate is a part-time gig, it will be essential to set some schedule boundaries right out of the gate to ensure that your real estate obligations don’t intrude on your other professional, familial, and personal commitments. Here’s a couple of pointers on how to do this:

  • Tell your full-time boss you’re licensed: If you’re working a full-time job and picking up real estate on the side, let your boss know that you’ve got a new venture. Assure them that it won’t interfere with your other responsibilities, and let them know you’re ready to help with any real estate needs!
  • Make a real estate schedule: Carve out some time and put it on your calendar as real estate time every single week. Make sure to share this time with your clients, so they know when you’re available to help them. You may have to be flexible on this, especially if a client is only available at certain times to meet with you, but setting expectations early is a great way to avoid scheduling mishaps.
  • Set aside some non-work time: If this is your first time attempting a side hustle, you need to know that time becomes your most precious commodity. You’re going to be excited about the progress and success you’re making in real estate, but if you don’t take at least a little downtime each week, eventually, your real estate pursuits will suffer due to burnout.

3. Set Up Systems for Part-time Business Success

Even though a part-time realtor may be devoting less time to their business than their full-time counterparts, the tools they’ll need to be successful are still the same. Here are the systems you’ll need to have in place if you want to start your business off on the right foot.

  • Create a real estate business plan: Whether a part-time real estate agent makes money or not depends on their ability to manage their operating costs and project their income. The best way to do this is with a real estate business plan. Here, you’ll make a plan for what you’ll spend, how much you expect to make, and be able to track your expenses along the way.
  • [LEARN MORE: How to Write a Real Estate Business Plan + Templates]
  • Choose a customer relationship management (CRM) system: A real estate CRM is a critical tool to help manage all your interactions with your clients, leads, and prospects. We named LionDesk our best real estate CRM of 2022.
  • [LEARN MORE: The Best Real Estate CRMs of 2022]
  • Build a lead generation plan: To be a successful part-time real estate agent, you’ll need leads you can turn into clients. Whether you plan to work from your sphere of influence, from paid lead sources like Market Leader or Zillow, or some other source, you’ll need a plan to generate enough leads to make your business sustainable.
  • [LEARN MORE: How to Create a Custom Real Estate Lead Generation Plan + Template]

Want more resources for successfully launching your part-time real estate business? Download our Part-time Real Estate Agent Launch Guide for detailed instructions on making your first four weeks in the industry the best they can be.

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Part-time Real Estate Agent Resources

Getting started in the real estate business can be challenging, especially if you don’t have experience as a business owner or entrepreneur. To help with your transition, we put together some handy resources to help you turn your business dreams into reality.

We invite you to join our Facebook Mastermind Group for some ongoing mentorship from experienced real estate pros. Subscribe to The Close Pro to get our exclusive marketing and lead generation boot camps, on-demand video training, and must-have downloads.

Real Estate 101: How You Make Money

Real estate can be an extremely rewarding career, and the life of a part-time real estate agent is exciting and varied with lots of opportunities for success. If you aren’t completely clear on how the real estate business works, not to worry. Check out this graphic that walks through exactly how your flow as a real estate agent will go from start to finish.

How The Real Estate Business Works Infographic

Understanding Operating Expenses of a Part-time Real Estate Agent

If you don’t know what kind of expenses a real estate agent is going to incur on a monthly or yearly basis, it’s tough to make a business plan to account for them. Below are some typical costs of doing business as a part-time real estate agent.

  • State and local licensure and memberships: Just like your driver’s license, your state will require you to periodically renew your real estate license. Just how often and how much it will cost will depend on your state, but plan on spending up to $250 a year. Also, membership in your local Realtors association will be critical for access to tools like the Multiple Listing Service (where you’ll list property for sale). Each local association is unique, but plan on spending upwards of $600 per year for this.
  • Broker-related costs: Some brokers will require you to pay a monthly fee for being a part of their organization—often referred to as a “desk fee.” Not every broker demands a desk fee from their agents, but many will expect one from part-timers. Plan on $600 a year for this.
  • Operating expenses: To run a real estate business, you’ll need to pay for things like lead generation, tech tools like a CRM or email marketing platform, business cards, postcards, yard signs, and more. You’ll also need to fuel up your car to run your clients to and from showings, and have a cell phone plan you can use to communicate with your buyers and sellers. Every business is different, so you’ll want to do your own analysis here. A good starting point is to budget $2,500 a year for this.
  • Broker split: Every commission you earn will be split with your broker until you hit your “cap,” or the maximum amount you’re required to pay to your broker each year. Though split and cap amounts vary from broker to broker, part-time agents should expect to pay as much as 50% of their commission to their broker.

To make your part-time real estate business profitable, you’ll need to earn more in net commission income (NCI) than your expenses. To learn more about gross commission income (GCI), net commission income (NCI), and how to calculate both, check out What Is GCI & Why It Matters to Every Real Estate Agent.

3 Tips for Balancing Your Part-time Real Estate Career With Your Full-time Job

Side view of happy young Black woman in summer outfit juggling with ripe oranges against white wall in sunny day Side of a smiling African American female in summer outfit juggling oranges against white background on a sunny day,Finding the balance between your part-time real estate business and your full-time job can be tricky, but it’s very doable. Here are three tips for finding that balance early in your new career.

  1. Set expectations with clients: If you’ve never experienced a needy or nervous seller or an overly-motivated buyer, let us tell you—they’re relentless. Demanding clients can be a challenge when your schedule doesn’t allow for total flexibility, but you can nip any stress in the bud by letting them know the best ways to communicate with you, when they can expect to hear back from you, and when you’re available for in-person conversations. Setting expectations early helps to quell frustration later on.
  2. Automate your marketing: It would be easy to suck up your entire part-time real estate schedule with marketing tasks alone. This is why you absolutely need to take advantage of the automated email, text messaging, and snail-mail marketing tools that your CRM provides. It’s a great day when your clients receive your personalized messages and don’t spend a single second on the phone or behind a keyboard.
  3. Stack your in-person real estate duties on as few days as possible: It is easy for your part-time real estate career to turn into a full-time role if you’re spreading out your in-person interactions across too many days. Let’s face it: Face-to-face client interactions are time-consuming and the more days you have them scheduled, the harder it will be to stick to a part-time schedule. Pick one day in the week when you plan to conduct all your showings, listing appointments, and consultations so you can spend the balance of the week working your leads.

Competing for Business With Full-time Agents: The Secret to Success

You might feel intimidated by the idea of having to compete with 20- or 30-year full-time real estate veterans for business, but here’s the secret to marketing yourself that will set you up for success: Make your personal brand messaging about the value of your skills and market knowledge, not about your length of experience.

It’s true that you won’t be able to compete if the decision is made based on the number of closed transactions, but that’s rarely the most important factor on a client’s mind.

Real estate clients choose their agents based on the skills they bring to the table; skills that will help them get to their desired outcome. Are you a fantastic negotiator? Are you ultra-connected in your community? Do you have a savvy marketing background? Are you skilled with video and social media? Are you someone your clients are actually going to want to spend time with?

At the end of the day, real estate is a relationship business. Your interpersonal skills and responsiveness matter more than your time on the job.

All of these things matter more to most buyers and sellers than the number of houses you’ve sold or how many hours you have to devote per week.

[Related Article: The Close Names eXp Realty the Best Real Estate Company for Part-timers in 2022]

Part-time Real Estate Agent Launch Guide

Chris LinsellWhen you’re ready to get your real estate business off the ground, you want to make sure your first four weeks are all moving you in the right direction. We’ve put together the Part-time Real Estate Agent Launch Guide with a week-by-week breakdown of how you should be spending your time to get your business off the ground.

Download Your Part-time Real Estate Agent Launch Guide

Your Turn

We’d love to hear from you on what is drawing you to the real estate field, and where you are coming from. Are you currently a part-time real estate agent? What has your experience been like so far?

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