The Secret to Starting Part-Time Until You Can Become a Full-Time Real Estate Agent
If you’ve been wondering if you can start out as a real estate agent part-time until you can get enough business to go full time, the short answer is yes you can.
However, you’ll probably also hear that you can’t (or shouldn’t) from people within the industry. Real estate brokers, managers, trainers, gurus, and agents alike will invariably tell you that in order to succeed, you really need to do it full-time. It might even start to sound like you’re not welcome in the industry, and only those who go full-time from the get-go have the right to succeed.
Feel free to ignore all of that…
Not to scare you, but very few agents succeed. In fact, most don’t even last a year or two, even when they do it full-time. So it isn’t like everyone telling you to go full-time is doling out the secret to success.
In theory, giving real estate your full, undivided time and attention can and should help increase your odds of success. But with the majority of agents getting into the business failing to succeed year after year, it’s a pretty good sign that it isn’t fail proof.
So if you need the safety and security of another job, or need to phase in over time because of other responsibilities in your life (like raising a child), you have every right and the ability to make it happen. There’s no one way or “right” way to get into the business.
If anything, starting part-time may be what increases your chances of succeeding! You might even have an advantage over full-timers
Here’s where you have an advantage…
Most agents who start out full-time fill all that time doing things that feel productive, or are perhaps just more fun. They should be prospecting, marketing, and branding themselves, but instead, many spend their time learning how to write a contract, open lock boxes, search the MLS, etc.
What many people don’t realize is that the most important job of being an agent is finding clients to work with. You can know everything there is to know about how to work with a buyer or seller, but if you don’t have enough of them to work with, you’re not going to make a full-time career of it.
They’re often so hungry to work with people and make some money, they fill their days over-working for the client or two they have, or working with less than ideal prospects. They fill their days with busy-ness that feels productive, but marketing almost always takes a back seat.
In their defense, most new agents don’t have a ton of money to spend on marketing, so they often rely on the hope that friends and family will need to buy or sell a house and work with them, until good old word-of-mouth gets them more business. Friends, family, and word-of-mouth are all huge sources of business for agents…eventually. But it takes time — time that many agents can’t outlast before needing to get another job.
Regardless of whether you’re a full-time or part-time agent, it takes time for friends and family to trust you with their business. Some people need to feel like you’ve been in the business a while before trusting you with their biggest asset or purchase they’ll make in life.
But as an agent starting out part-time, you have the time and ability to focus on marketing and developing that trust with your friends and family, until you gradually build up enough clients to go full-time.
Here’s the best part: You can do it without spending tons of time or money.
3 Low-Cost Ways To Market, Brand Yourself, and Build That Trust
Years ago you had to spend a lot of money on many different forms of marketing in order to build your business. There are still agents who spend big bucks on mailers, print ads, billboards, or radio and TV ads, but the internet and social media has made it easy for you to get in front of a lot of people for free, or at a very low cost, so don’t worry about needing a big budget and marketing campaign.
So let’s take a look at three ways you can market yourself to build your brand and business as a part-timer, without spending a lot of money…or time for that matter!
1) Share memes
One of the things you want to do is just constantly remind people that you’re in the real estate business — ideally without being boring or annoying. A lot of agents lack subtlety (especially when they’re desperate for business) and almost outright beg for business without any nuance or style.
Real estate memes are a great way to subtly remind people that you’re in the real estate world, without getting on peoples’ nerves. They’re entertaining and easy for people to consume (or ignore) without feeling like you’re harassing them for business. And they’re a great way to show that you’ve got a sense of humor! People want to work with someone who not only knows their stuff, but also has a good personality.
And the best part is, considering you’re juggling another job along with building your real estate career, sharing a meme or two a day on social media isn’t going to take you more than a few minutes! Creating (or finding) memes to share is probably the most time-consuming part about it, but you can easily find plenty of them to share for free on our Lighter Side of Real Estate Facebook page.
2) Share market news
Establishing credibility and authority is always important for an agent to gain trust (and business), but it’s even more critical when you’re starting out part-time. People need to see that you’re serious and have your thumb on the pulse of the market, and can give some good advice before they trust you to actually give them advice on the market.
If you have the time and skills, writing your own articles about what’s going on in the market will certainly establish credibility and authority. But that can take time, and not everyone is a writer. So you can just find articles about the real estate market and share those. Just make sure to add your interpretation of the article so people can get a sense of your opinion and intelligence.
One issue with many articles about real estate that you’ll find online is that they can be too dry and technical, or even scare people. And most of the ones you can find aren’t written from an agent’s point-of-view or to get people to take action and buy or sell a house.
So you may want to check out the market news articles we publish each week on our website. These are written to make agents sound knowledgeable, but are easy (and enjoyable) for consumers to read, and they often subtly encourage the reader to buy or sell, without coming across as pushy or alarmist.
3) Share fun articles
Let’s be honest, real estate news doesn’t appeal to everyone, so make sure to share some fun real estate articles that’ll give people a laugh, while reminding them you’re in the business, and possibly even teaching them a thing or two.
You should also sign up for our free weekly newsletter, which will hit your inbox every Saturday morning with a bunch of cool things for your to share each week, like:
- A meme of the week
- A “weird”, funny, or unusual real estate related article
- A real estate trivia question
- A real estate fun fact meme
Keep in mind that it takes time and constant exposure to become the agent people think about when it’s time to buy or sell a house, and most agents don’t have the time or patience it takes. You don’t have the pressure someone who is full-time has to generate enough business as quickly as possible, which is rarely quick enough for many agents.
So be patient and diligent about posting, even if it feels like nobody cares or is noticing. Before you know it, your friends, family, and followers will know you as the agent in their life, and you’ll start getting some business lined up.
Pro tip: If you just do those three things consistently, you’ll probably be doing more marketing and branding than most full-time agents!
The REAL Secret Sauce…
If you want even more content to choose from, check out our Inner Circle membership. For less than the price of your daily cup of coffee, you can have access to exclusive content you can share with your name and information on it, to amp up your branding even more! And you can sit down and schedule your posts for months in advance, to help you be more efficient as you juggle your transition from part-time to full-time!
No matter how you go about it, good luck building your career!