Although many people go into real estate with the intention of making it a full-time career, there are many others who are looking for the opportunity to transition out of another career using real estate as a side gig. For some agents, real estate on a part-time basis is part of a second career plan beginning several years before a planned retirement.
Although many coaches and consultants discourage real estate as a part-time career, for those who choose to start out this way, it’s important to understand the challenges you will face. Great real estate careers have been launched part time, but it requires a realistic perspective and a willingness to prioritize your real estate career.
Here are six tips for launching your real estate career part time with an eye to an eventual full-time transition.
1. Decide on your goals
Do you just want to do one or two transactions a year to generate some vacation money? Do you eventually want to make real estate a full-time career? Are you unsure where you want to be in five years? Ten years?
Thinking ahead and deciding on an end game will help you with your launch, your marketing and determining the amount of time you’re willing to put into your real estate career.
2. Determine your risk tolerance
Real estate is a business and, like any small business or entrepreneurial endeavor, it involves risk. Are you able and willing to weather the upsides and downsides of the market? Are you able to plan your finances in case of a slow month or two (or more)?
If you need the security of a weekly or monthly paycheck, you may struggle with the uncertainty of a commission-based career in real estate. Knowing that upfront can help you make better decisions about your eventual goals.
3. Choose the right brokerage
Some brokers and agents have a negative perspective on part-time real estate agents, viewing them as less serious and less committed than full-time real estate professionals. It is important for you to know whether your prospective broker shares this attitude before you sign a contract.
If you know that you are going to be part-time for the foreseeable future, be honest with your broker about your plans and your timeline. Ask how they feel about part-time agents, and determine what training and services they provide to help you when you eventually decide to move into full-time work.
4. Find a mentor in the industry
Similarly, it is important for you to have an experienced agent as a mentor or team leader. It may be possible to effectively launch your real estate career by helping out on showings or appointment setting for a top-producing agent.
This will give you the opportunity to learn about the industry a little at a time and may give you the confidence to go full time — especially if you know that there is marketing, lead gen and support there for you.
5. Consider the impact on your current job
If you are going to be embarrassed or afraid to market your services because of the impact it might have on your current job, you may need to rethink your real estate plans.
If you are currently working in a position or an industry where moonlighting is frowned upon, it will become difficult for you to take calls, answer emails or even get your name out in the community for fear of backlash at your full-time job.
6. Focus on your long-term plan
If you get comfortable doing real estate part-time, it may be difficult to transition to your eventual full-time goal. Make sure that you keep the focus on your long-term plan, including developing a website, social media, and other promotional platforms in order to set yourself up for success down the road.
Participate in training consistently to continue developing your skills. Every day should bring you closer to your long-term goal; use affirmation, journaling and short-term and long-term goal-setting strategies to keep you on track.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr