Licensing: Working Part-Time Or Full-Time

In real estate, time really IS money.

One frequently asked question in phone calls to Polley Associates is, “Can I work real estate part-time?” The answer is “yes.” Lots of people work part-time in real estate, and many are successful.

One joy of a real estate career is that it allows you to be your own boss and, to a certain extent, create your own work schedule, so it’s possible to pursue real estate part-time. The job can “fit” into almost anyone’s daily itinerary. For employees who previously worked set hours in a specific location, a real estate career sometimes represents unprecedented freedom.

It’s important to remember, though, that success in real estate sales comes only with real effort.

As a real estate licensee in most states, you will work as an independent contractor affiliated with one broker. What you earn in commissions will depend solely on the business you bring to the brokerage, by helping clients and customers buy and sell real property.

Business doesn’t magically appear. Sales aren’t handed to you. You must find buyers and sellers to work with and help them close deals. That’s the nature of the job. It takes commitment. It demands patience. With both, it grows over time.

If worked properly, in fact, it grows so well that some newcomer licensees find they can make the leap from real estate part-timers to full-timers more quickly than they ever dreamed.

Are there hurdles to working part-time? The answer also is a qualified “yes.”

One problem: times, when you can be available to customers and clients, may not coincide with when they need or want you. If buyers want you to show them a home Thursday at 3 p.m., and you need to be elsewhere at that time, you’ll have mighty unhappy (and maybe even lost) prospects. Scheduling flexibility usually solves this.

Another problem: some brokers want to affiliate only with full-timers. Why? Because what many brokers offer to newcomers – training, guidance, legal supervision, office space, marketing assistance, and the like – poses a substantial cost to the brokerage. Brokers want to ensure their investment will pay off, and their odds improve when licensees work full-time.

This doesn’t mean you can’t find a broker to affiliate with part-time. It simply means you’ll likely end up interviewing with more brokers until you find one with whom you feel comfortable and who works with part-timers. The good news is, there are still plenty out there.

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