You’ve probably heard it before: Working part-time as an agent in real estate can be difficult.
However, there are alternatives at the start of your career that can be fulfilling, both fiscally and experience-wise. If you’re new to the industry, you’re essentially a blank slate. You know the basics from schooling, but the real-world experience is just not there. While comprehensive training and a diligent attitude can help you achieve business success even at the start of your career if you decide to go full-time, there are a few options you can take if you’re worried about jumping in head-first.
Get your license but work as staff
One of the best ways to get a deeper understanding of how things work in a real estate office is to manage one. Many teams today, and sometimes even individual agents, are looking for a receptionist, administrative assistant, manager, social media marketer, and so on. Working in one of these roles at the start of your real estate career can help you get acclimated while you observe how experienced agents maintain their success. The best part? These types of jobs are typically salaried, so you don’t have to worry about facing the uncertainty of being an independent contractor just yet.
Even just a year or two in this type of role can be invaluable. When interviewing, be honest about your goals. Many teams will be thrilled to hear you’re interested in being an agent-in-training. Others, however, may only be looking to fill that staff position in the long term.
Start as a showing assistant and work part-time
If you have a job you’re not willing to let go of just yet, and it’s flexible enough that you can juggle responsibilities, consider becoming a showing assistant for an agent or team. If your ultimate goal is to become a full-time buyer’s agent, this is a great opportunity to learn the ropes and supplement your monthly salary, while still relying on the steady income from your part-time job.
Here, you get the experience of building strong client relationships and a taste of how to maneuver through a real estate transaction. The agents you’re assisting can be a great resource to you. Ask plenty of questions and observe them at any chance you get. For many teams, this is even the fast track to becoming a full-time agent.
Keep your full-time job but start shadowing agents and enroll in coaching
If you’re done with school but are still heavily relying on your full-time job, keep it for the time being and focus on just the training. You can pay an agent to coach you so you feel more prepared when the time comes to dive into the real estate business. Knowledge is everything, and observing how an agent goes about lead-generating, listing homes and converting open house leads into clients will ensure you’re ready to go when you switch careers.
Of course, if you feel you’re ready for the new career, then it’s all about commitment and determination. As a new, full-time agent, you’ll have to truly devote most of your time to training, observing and generating leads non-stop. That may mean family and friend outings need to take a backseat for a year or two. While it can be intimidating, an agent that goes in full-force right at the start, and with the proper education and skillsets, can find themselves in a very lucrative career.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Liz your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.