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A Part Time Agent Isn’t Necessarily Less of an Agent

Blog Contributor Being a REALTOR®, Sales & Marketing 13 Comments

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Toby Boyce

Toby Boyce

By Toby Boyce

I stood quietly waiting for the smiling-innocent faces to calm down as they stared back at me. They were so fresh and ready to change the world.

Was I teaching another class of new REALTORS® in one of my CE classes? I wish; the faces were third-graders at a local middle school. I was their “guest teacher” for the day.

Yep, that’s right, for the second time since becoming a full-time agent in 2006, I’ve had to pick-up a second job to stay afloat. I know I just lost a collection of you — as I’m now one of those part-time agents. Really? I am? Tell that to my wife and she’ll laugh at you.

Too often this question becomes too black-and-white. Is real estate my only source of income? No. So I’m not a full-time professional? That’s crazy talk. How many of us have accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc. who are doing property management to add a little extra income? So does that make them less of a doctor?

The bottom line is that it isn’t whether an agent is full- or part-time on the clock, but how they are in action.

I have two short-sales in contract and buyers are represented by a full-time and part-time agent. Which one responds to e-mails, calls, and knows the contract verbiage better? Yep, you guessed it — the part-time one.

So next time you go to bash a “part-time” agent — remember it could very easily be you.

Toby Boyce, MBA, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Consultants Realty in Westerville, Ohio. Visit his Web site: www.delawareohrealestate.com.

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Comments 13

  1. Thank you for your post! I have a part time gig as well, but its with one of my biggest clients helping him run his property management co. I get a lot of slack from my some agents just because they think real estate is not my bread and butter….even though my other gig is really… really… part-time

  2. Interesting stance Toby. But if you think about it, you and I instruct, making us part-time somewhat. Does that make us any less of an agent? I don’t think so. I would argue that an educator’s dedication to education would give that person an edge. Either way, the best take-away:
    “The bottom line is that it isn’t whether an agent is full- or part-time on the clock, but how they are in action.”

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  4. I think it’s possible to have a full-time job and a work second job. That makes NO ONE a part-time agent. That makes them a “bi-vocational” agent. The over encompassing issues are the agents who are so distracted by other things that real estate customer and fellow-agent service becomes secondary…that agent who consistently places their real estate career as a second or third priority.

    Now, I know family, faith and other personal issues often weave into the primary position, so I’m talking about priorities outside of those aspect. Your distraction may be the television, the Angry Birds video game, being a conference and education junky or even, yes, a second job. I think anything that distracts you from your real estate as a primary (outside of family, faith, etc.) where it makes your fellow-agent and customer service suffer is the frustration to those of us who consider ourselves “full-time.”

  5. I agree! Some agents claim to be full time and spend less time than part time…. Some of our top agents have other full time jobs, like – Fire Lieutenant, Sales Person. I’m not just talking another 30 hr. jobs, and these folks actually give excellent service and work primarily with their sphere. That said, the customer comes first, to be part time you need back up sometimes, so you need a company culture of trust and you have to compensate the people that help you either by helping them or money.

  6. Actually, there are only two real classifications of real estate professionals; productive and not productive. It really doesn’t matter how much time it takes to perform your job, it’s the results that are measured.

  7. Many Realtors are forced to compromise their approach in the name of economic reality. Being a “Part-Time” agent/Realtor, with this career taking a back seat to any other interests is less our understanding of the facts than the public’s or our client’s perceptions. If we expect our clients to be loyal and treat us as true professionals worthy of our commissions, they will certainly expect us to put our full effort into their home selling or buying experience.

    So, this might be more an exercise of survival of the fittest than a question of whether or not we should find another full-time occupation?

  8. How many doctors, lawyers or dentists are part time practioners? It is the brokers who perpetuate this pollyanna part timer attitude. Everything is not as easy as it seems, and this is not a part time profession. There, I said it.

    It is also the attitude of the brokerages who work on the recruiting model. The upline agent will tell you anything to get you to believe that part time is okay. It is not. If you are new to the business, make sure you have 6 months of expenses in the bank and go for it. If you dedicate yourself to this profession, you will be successful. Full time.

    My clients expect a full time effort out of my team. They’re paying for it. I’m not going to apologize for taking a hard line here. I sincerely feel selling real estate is that important.

  9. Part time agents may be able to give adequate service to buying clients, and maybe even stretch that to selling clients – but what about the broker community. Try contacting these part time agents to set up showings, get feedback, negotiate contracts – frequently all you get is VM – or responses late at night. Or perhaps their cheating the other employer – trying to work on their real estate business on their dime.

    There, I said it too.

  10. After reading through the thread, I just have to share that I, too, am a part-time agent and very proud of it. With technology, one can multi-task and be just as successfull. I am not trying to get rich in this business and no one agent can be everything to everybody. As a part-time, I have had to “school” full-time agents on short-sales, etc. because part of my niche is doing BPOs (if you don’t know what that is, look it up). For some selling real estate is a career and there is nothing wrong with that, for others, it is a supplemental career and too, there is nothing wrong with that. As long as I give good customer service the number of hours I put in should not matter to anyone. I keep up with industry education, have earned several designations, and I still come across full-time agents that just don’t have a clue. For full-time agents, if you are also doing property management, taking care of kids, etc., then you too have something else that competes with your alleged full-time career. So before you judge a part-timer, ask yourself if you’d rather a skilled part-time sell your listing or an unskilled full-timer that doesn’t have a clue.

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