Part-time Real Estate

Updated on June 23, 2011
K.B. asks from Islip, NY
13 answers

I was thinking about getting my real estate license and possibly working part-time as an agent to supplement my income. I currently work part-time as an office manager and take care of my 20 month old on my days off. My husband says people who go into the real-estate business don't make any money at all and end up quitting so it would be a waste of time. Does anyone agree or disagree with this? Any personal experiences you would like to share? Please note that this would not be my primary income, I'm not getting rid of my current job. Thanks!

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answers from Minneapolis on

This is the worst time ever for real estate agents. The man I am dating has been a real estate broker/agent for 30+ years. He was once "upper income", he is now needing to consider filing bankruptcy. Not a good time.

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answers from Naples on

As a former full a time Realtor, I'll tell you the truth..and you might not like it but here it goes. First....while I loved the thrill of matchmaking people with the right property and negotiating the deal in the favor of whomever I was representing....buyer or seller, it is by far the HARDEST thing that I have ever done to make $. There are more reasons that a real estate
transaction will fall apart and you won't get paid than Kellog's has corn flakes, and I can tell you everyone of them! Sellers are yellers and buyers are liars! Your phone will ring off the hook, people don't care if it's 10:30 at night, the kids are sleeping or a holiday, you're hosting or attending a party or are out of town. You will invest your time, energy, gas and wear and tear on your car to run people all over hell and creation showing them exactly what they told you that they want and they will inevitably buy something at an open house of by owner that is in exactly the neighborhood they told you no about, if they said they want a condo it will be a house, and if they told you it had to be a house it will be a condo,......and then when they are under contract will ask you for advice on how to handle something like inspections, or how to get out of the contract etc. "Part time" Realtors just get under the skin of, in the way of, and on the last nerve of people who invest their full time energy in the career. There are a couple of types of offices....a 50/50 office will have broker and support staff and desks sell you split the commissions 50/50 with the broker up to a certain $ amount and then the scales will start to tip in your favor. You pay for ads, and maybe the broker will co-broke some of the ads with you, and do some office advertising. Broker pays mls fees for listings set, you pay your own board dues. A 100% office will still have a broker but you don't share the commission, but you pay for incoming and outgoing faxes, reception scv, 100% of your advertising, desk rent, mls listing fees etc. You must belong to the board of Realtor in your board membership = no mls. A good office will have a great broker who is available all of the time...and doesn't list and sell to compete with their agents. A good broker will have sales meetings every week, usually Wed mornings, to review with the office all new listings, contract law changes etc, and then a tour of new listings to your office. You will also be expected to be in the office a certain # of days per week to handle "floor time"...depending on size of office, once or twice a week for 1/2 day. I can't tell you how many contracts that I found myself involved in where the other agent just didn't have a clue about the process, legalities of the contract etc, and just made everyone more than miserable with their misinterpretation and advice. Good luck, everyone thinks they'll get a license, show somebody a house or two and get thousands of dollars in commissions every month......I'm here to tell you, that's not the way it works!

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answers from Austin on

A friend of mine went into real estate part-time and it ruined their marriage. The main time when people need you is when hubby and the kids are home. And as others have said, the housing situation right now is not good.

We have moved a lot and, personally, don't ever hire a part-time realtor as they don't have all the experience and knowledge we might need in a unique or difficult situation.

You don't want to count on family and friends either. Real estate transactions are way too big to assume they would trust you as a beginner. And if something goes wrong, it could end your relationship.

I hope you can just find ways to cut back and spend as much time as you can with your precious little one. There are lots of websites out there that have fantastic ideas for saving money. If you spend time finding ways to save money (coupons, cooking for less, planning ahead so you don't have to eat out, swapping babysitting, budgeting with your husband, etc.), it's like getting paid for that time.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi Kat-

Oh... I could go on and on why NOT to become a realtor right now. However, I have to be fast since I have to do stuff. Your husband is right on this one!

My husband has been a realtor for 6 years and things are not going well at all financially! He has worked his butt off so much and then clients just decide to not look anymore for various reasons. He will go where they want to go.... an hour in one direction and look at 20 houses with them Then they'll decide that is not the direction they want to live and then he'll travel miles and miles in a different direction. Then, they'll finally like a house after looking at another 20 houses and finally want to make an offer. The offer will be so low and the seller won't counter offer sometimes. So... they'll want my husband to get back on the interent and research more homes and if they don't decide to buy, ALL that time invested them amounts to not a penny in our hands. Yet... he will bend backwards for them.

Many sellers expect too much.... super low offers or want everything fixed before buying, even though the listing price is already at a good price. And... many buyers don't agree to the price a realtor says its worth. So.... the house will sit and sit on the market because of it.

Maybe realtors who have been established for at least 10 or more years are doing okay. I am not sure. But... maybe since they have more referrals based on prior sales with clients.

He is currently looking for another job. Boy... and he sold his prior business (a pool hall) over 6 years ago because business was slow. Well.... this is worse.

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answers from Dallas on

a few years ago people were making a butt load of money. Then the market crashed. The real estate group that had 14 realtors in the office space next door to mine closed thier doors and let all 14 go. The realtors I personally know, are struggling. They drive people around or meet people all over the area and its primarily in the evenings and weekends when people want to house shop. So, in reality, they are working nights and weekends, driving your own car and your own gas all over town for months beofre making a sale. granted, that one sale will be a good comission, but what until then?

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answers from Chicago on

Think about a few things before you make this decision.

When do people want to go look at houses mostly? In the evenings and on the weekends. When are most open houses? On Saturdays and Sundays. Are you willing to be away from your husband and your child? Are you able to drop everything at a moment's notice to show a prospective buyer a house? Are you able to work around your current schedule to deal with a client and perhaps leave your work in the middle of the day to tend to a showing, a sale, a closing, a home inspection?

Are you willing to bust your butt for weeks, maybe months on end showing a house that will not sell? Showing prospective buyers homes only to have them not commit or purchase because they can't get lending? You could work with a family for weeks and not get paid a penny for your time because they don't end up buying a house or cannot secure a loan to do so.

If you're a real go-getter, motivated, and can sell the heck out of things then it might be the job for you. But, if you're just looking for something to fill the time in the spaces where you're not working and not with your baby then you may wish to reconsider. My husband and I are getting ready to put our house on the market and will be buying another one. I want a Realtor who can basically be at my beck and call, to show me a house whenever I'm ready to see it, to be available whenever I need him/her to be available. Everyone else works 8-5, so the Realtor needs to be able to work around their client's needs. Can you do that with your current job and the demands of a small child?

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answers from Victoria on

you really need to consider some other way of income. if its not going to be your main job i see it being very hard to make money. the real estate is not so great right now. those that are selling houses are struggeling and getting different or second jobs to help out there real estate job. i would suggest not going this route. perhaps insurance, cutting hair, retail ? good luck. your hubby is correct in the fact that there are few that make it in real estate.

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answers from Austin on

First of all, someone obviously makes money at it because there are realtors. Those people are not part timers. I think it is a great career but maybe one that needs your full attention at first and then later on you can part time it. Call your local realty office. Ask questions, alot of them "sponsor" people to take the class to pass the test. It sounds like your husband is apprehensive about the change you would like to make. Men have to be eased into things. Good luck!

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answers from New York on

I don't know much about the real estate business. I just wanted to point out that I don't know how you could make any money doing it part time unless you had a partner. If you have a client who is looking to buy a house, you need to be available at all kinds of hours to take them looking at houses.

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answers from Amarillo on

Here's another take on a realtor: Do you have an extra $2 to $5,000 on hand when you start? This will go for fees for license, mls dues, office space, ads, business cards, gas and wear and tear on your car. If not then don't. Part time realtors do not get the exposure or experience that full time do. It is very hard to be a part time realtor and work (I know I did it and finally let my license lapse over one credit in continuing education as it was going to cost $1,000 to get one credit.)

Will you be able to drop everything and show a house any time of day or night on weekends and holidays? Do you have someone to watch your kids at the drop of a hat if you get a call to show a house? If you answer no, you cannot be a realtor.

It is a wonderful dream but when you do get paid it is really reimbursement for all the money you spent promoting and hosting and taking care of the property until it is sold. And as one person said a sale can fall through at any time during closing so you cannot count on any money until you have it in your hand after everyone else's share has been taken out. You also have to keep a percentage of that money for income tax as your broker does not take out taxes.

Think long and hard on this. Also it takes about five years to get your name established as a realtor that people will refer you.

The other S.

PS You also have to consider your market and the competition of other realtors in your area. Some markets are bruttle.

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answers from Boston on

It's not what you think it is. It's very difficult to make money part time. That's what I found anyway. I still have my license but I don't use it.
I started an internet franchise to supplement my income and when I started making more money than I was in real estate I stopped real estate. There are A LOT of fees that go along with real estate that you don't realize until you are doing it. I paid $600 just be a "realtor".

If you are looking to supplement, I am doing a webinar tomorrow on the concept of internet franchising if you would like to listen in. It's informational only. Here's the link if you are interested.



answers from Houston on

Because of the economy, I would strongly suggest you do the market research for your area. Check into how many home sales there have been this year and how many homes are still for sale. Check into the mortgage info and see how many are getting approved etc. That will give you an idea of whether it will be beneficial for you to get your license or not. If this is something you are
passionate about and would be happy doing, then go for it anyway, but you may not make a lot of money. Good luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

We have a family that brings their kids to dance lessons with my girl. They are loosing so much money right now and don't really see it moving back up for some time. The houses in my town are selling for 1/3 - 1/2 less that appraisals from 5 years ago. People are being transferred to other areas and houses are just sitting for months if not a year or more while they struggle to make two house payments.

Some friends of mine, a pastor, his wife and 3 children recently bought a house from some other friends of mine and they paid pennies on the dollar of what the house was worth. It was a 4/5 bedroom home with a huge family room and deck across the back. It has a huge space int he backyard for a garden and has a couple of out buildings that are for lawnmowers and yard stuff. It opens on to a park like grassy area that is used for lots of local teams soccer practices and some fly models airplanes there. Needless to say it is a nice area and home. They paid under $100,000 for this home. My other friends paid nearly that for it 20 years ago when they built it. It was paid for some time ago but still, they should have been able to make some profit off their sale. But after fees and costs they barely made what they had paid for it.

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