Can Part-Time Real Estate Agents Succeed at Selling Houses?


  • Hi,

    You can succeed as a part time Realtor but it’s still a full time job. You have to be willing to devote a lot of off time to the career. Eventually as your business grows, you will want to make the ultimate decision from hobby to career.

      • I am a mother of 5, with a newborn Baby, and a real estate agent ( in Australia). Obviously, I have to work part time, so i can spend some quality moments with my kids.
        My way of doing it was to start a personal blog/website, to attract buyers and investors and then set myself up as a local buyer’s agent. It worked really well so far.

  • This is great information!! I am a 26 year old who is completely dissatisfied with his current training (Phd in Chemistry, BUT NO JOBS!!). I am looking to invest in my first Multifamily property and was contemplating on whether or not getting a license (NJ) makes sense!

  • Hi Mark! I sincerely admire all the experience you have acquired in real estate, for such a young man as yourself. I imagine, that your family and associates help you too. I retired from the hotel business (front desk manager) in South Florida, a few years ago. Along the way I obtained my Florida real estate license, but what I really wanted, was to be a real estate investor, and do some of the things you have done already. Instead, I always ran into real estate Brokers that wanted me to just do “retail” real estate, and I really didn’t enjoy that part. If I could find a flexible Broker, that would let me partner with other real estate sales people in the office, and possibly create a “team”, I would join the Board again and do it in a minute. Please share some thoughts with me, on what I should do, at my age, to find a way to really make some money in real estate, before I get too old. Thanks for any input. Joe

    • Hi Joe, I would read all my articles in the real estate agent category of the blog. If you like you can buy my book how to make it big in real estate. There are many different brokers out there. I would call different offices and see if you can find one that shares your views and would help you accomplish your goals.

  • Great article. I was just wandering if it would be possible to buy and sell your own properties with a license. I’ve heart that it is against the code of conduct to sell your own property for example.

    • Hi Mustafa, there is no restrictions on Colorado where I am about selling your own houses. I do it all the time!

  • Hello Mark!! I am currently a teacher; I’ve taught economics for about 14 years and I’d like to get out of the classroom and into real estate…so I’m not going into it totally blind. I’m taking the class now, and I’ve got an interest in commercial real estate as well as residential. I’ve got the luxury of summers off. I do plan to read your book as well. Do you think my econ background would give me any advantages?

    • Hi CJ,
      I think an econ background is a big advantage. Real estate is all about numbers and running a business. If you can use the background than it will be a huge advantage.

  • Mike Gammage says:

    Great article Mark.. I’m in a similar situation pressing towards being a full time agent. Recently caught your BP interview, I was blown away on how your current business structure is how I envision my own business to be structured one day. A active RE agent whom invest personally as well. I look to you now as somewhat of a guide and truly appreciate your openness to share your knowledge. Thank you.

  • Billie Chen says:

    How long would you recommend working part-time on a team if I can’t do it full time right away? I want to get my feet wet so to speak, get some insights, yet without losing the security of a full paycheck.

    • Hi Billie,
      That all depends on your goals and how it goes. I would suggest going full time as soon as you can if that is what you want to do.

      • Billie Chen says:

        Absolutely! From your experience of seeing up and coming agents, how long does it take to have consistent sales? Would you recommend having at least one year of living expenses saved in the bank? And as for working on a team or finding a sponsor (in Texas), what qualities should a new agent look for?

        Sorry for so many questions. And I’ve enjoyed reading your articles. They are honest and insightful. Thank you!!

        • Billie, Most agents starting from scratch need a year to get a steady flow of deals. Some can do it quicker.v

  • Great information, thank you! One aspect you failed to mention in wanting to be a part-time realtor is that some people might not have another job commitment, but may only want to work part-time. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and have a big friends and family base to work with. I am also getting ready to buy and sell several properties for myself. So in my case, most of the negatives mentioned here of being a part-time realtor wouldn’t apply. I’d love to hear any thoughts or advice for my situation!

    • Hi Rebecca, In your case I think you are the rare person that could succeed part time. I thought I had mentioned it in the article, but part time can work for those looking to save money on their own properties or that have a very flexible schedule.

  • Hi, I did work Full-Time in the Investment Banking Industry and was a Part-Time Real Estate Agent in NY right before 2008 before I moved. I have to say that it does take a lot of your time and I agree with the team thing. I had a great Broker in NY – his office was getting the leads and handing alot of what he could not handle to me, perfect setup for me to do real Estate on the weekends and after hours with no office fees other than our commission split. I always answered calls back on my lunch hour or took a few minute break during my day job to call any clients that had called. Just started here in a new state and it is a little different when you are on your own and trying to get the leads yourself- it is very time consuming and the office fees for new agents …..

    • Hi Linda,
      in your situation it would have worked to be part time like you said. you have to have help if you don’t have a flexible schedule.

    • HI Linda,

      Is your NY broker still working? Would you be able to share the contacts?

  • Great article Mark.. You’ve answered a lot of questions. I love my current job but I plan to retire in 5 years. I have several friends who are real estate agents here in Texas and I’ve always wondered is it something I could do part-time to supplement my current income. My goal is to sell real estate part time, save as much money as possible, and then maybe turn full time real estate agent after retirement. I work 9 hour days so my question is: Do you think that this is a realistic goal?

    • Hi Freddie,
      It will be tough being a part time agent with that schedule unless you can take time off or partner with someone who can help. The hard part is not the total hours, but being available to help clients at all times.

  • Hi Mark,

    Good information thank you.

    A little background about me. I am a motivated individual who wants to succeed! I recently completed an MBA and another masters in Computer Management. The last two years I completed 13 computer certifications. I currently work in IT as a sys admin, and usually get out of work around 2:30. I love working with computers, but I am disappointed I am not making more. I tried starting a computer side business, but there is not much demand. I am the sole breadwinner of the house and have 2 children.

    When I received the MBA I thought for sure I would be on a fast track for success at a corporation, but unfortunately this has not happened. Would being a real estate agent part time help me make some additional money, or should I consider going for a brokers license.

    I know little about this field, but I am a hard worker and would make the most use of my time, with perhaps the possibility of going full time in the future. When I was younger I did retail sales for commission and always enjoyed helping people find what they were looking for, which is one reason I am considering this. With computers there is very little human interaction which for me is hard.

    Would I benefit from going into real estate, or am I just waisting my time.

    Thank you,

    • Hi David,
      I think you will get out of real estate what you put into it. The great thing about real estate is you are running your own business and the only ceilings imposed are the ones you put in place yourself. It may be tough to get started part time unless you have a flexible schedule.

  • This was very validating! My goal is to invest and develop passive income, but first I am working on getting a real estate license. It has been a challenge to study while working full-time (that’s for sure!), but I know it will be well worth it.

  • Anil Samuel says:

    Hello Mark,

    I really appreciate the advice and information you have provided. I am taking a pre-licensing course next week to get my RE license in Maryland. Would you go with a independent broker that starts at 100% commission for a beginner or would you suggest working for a bigger company with more support and training? I have a full time job in engineering and I will be doing this on the side. I am also a real estate investor looking to expand my portfolio. Did you have any issues using your license to buy your own rental properties?


    • Hi Anil,
      I use my license to buy properties all the time. If you want to become a full-time agent I would look at an office with more support. However, they may require you to work a certain amount.

  • Hi Mark,

    I am expecting my first child and I’m currently not working as it is getting close to the due date. I am really looking in to studying for my real estate license in hope of beginning a new career a few months after my child is born. However I still want to be around and available to my baby and was hoping that I could do the job part time as well as raise a child. Do you think this will be worth my time? I’m also debating photography. I’m one very confused lady!


    • Hi Jess, I think to be successful at real estate you have to be able to put in a decent amount of time and have a flexible schedule. Will you be able to have child care or someone who can watch your child on short notice if you need to show houses?

  • Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the advice. About to get my license, will have to continue current job. Would like your opinion on the better schedule option for the current job. I work seven day’s a week, can arrange for either 8am to 4pm, 4pm to midnight, or a combination of, but it would be a set schedule. While at work I am free to make and accept calls, have internet access and plenty of idle time. I’m guessing it would be best to have the morning and afternoons free for open houses and floor time but then of coarse would be sacrificing time when people are likely to be free in the evenings. I can see the importance of a team like you mentioned. Your thoughts please.

    • No problem,
      THis is a tough question because you will have people needing you on both schedules. I would try hard to partner with someone who can help fill the voids. If I had to choose I would work late leaving the day open. Is it possible to work one day during the weekend to leave an evening open for showings?

  • Crystal H says:

    Hey Mark,

    I am currently working full-time as an apartment leasing agent and have been for the past 5 years, I am looking to start getting into real estate. I have a few questions: #1 Which online school do you recommend? #2 I work Tuesday- Saturday 3 weeks out of a month and the other week is Monday – Friday, that gives me one Saturday a month, every sunday and 3 Mondays. Do you think I am capable of succeeding in this industry even though right now I am unable to quit my full-time leasing position? #3 How would I go about joining a team?
    Thank you for your help, I know this is what I want to do, I have a lot to learn, but I am very willing!

    • Hi Crystal,
      1. i have limited experience with online companies. I would join the one that is cost effective and you feel good about.
      2. It will be very tough. What if buyers want to see houses during the week?
      3. I would look for the agents with the most listings in your area and ask them if they are looking for help.

  • Hello Mark,
    Lately, I have been thinking of becoming a real estate agent. I am self -employed, with the benefit of having a flexible schedule. I took all the real estate classes ( when I was in college ) that are require to take the test and obtain a license.
    However, my concerns are ; first I don’t have the resources to start ($2,000) the business. Second, I don’t have any help on weekends to take care of my son who is two years old. I know weekends can be very busy if I have to show homes/open houses. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Hi Reina,
      I would look for brokers in your area that may be looking for a new team member. They may be willing to hire you to be an assistant while you learn saving you money. Have you thougth about taking your son with you or hiring a sitter?

  • Hello, I agree with your point that getting real estate license and working part-time as an agent is good idea. I am doing the professional real estate training certification as well as trying to work as part time good real estate agent.

  • Hi Mark, like you said i have to hang my license in the broker office. But should i get my license first or should I look for the brokerage first? Is it possible to ask an agent to be their assistant in exchange for learning?

    • I would look for a brokerage first. Yes definitely try to be an assistant if you can.

  • Mark, thanks so much for your article. I’ve done exactly what you’ve written about…I’ve gotten my license with a goal of investing long-term. However, I do need to make money in the short-term so am looking at teams as I feel it’s the best way to get started. My hiccup is finding those teams. Google searches for top producing agents in the Los Angeles area (my area) tend to speak more about who sold celebrity homes instead of who is producing volume sales. Any ideas on how I might find a great team?

    BTW, wish you guys were here…your team with its focus on investing would be a dream team for me.

  • Marcus Rivera says:

    Hi Mark great article! I’m an aspiring Real Estate agent who would like to get in the business part time to start…I work for the post office as a carrier and have freedom to answer calls all day on my route, I have a rotating day off during the week and Sunday’s off, my supervisor at the post office is already is a successful agent and says she will get me into her office and show me the ropes. She does it part time and does pretty well…what are your thoughts?

  • David J. Garcia says:

    Hey Mark,

    I just read through several of your articles and have found them very informational. Thank you so much for all of your insight and amazing advice. I’m quite certain that I want to start a part-time career in RE and am looking forward to making the next step. Here is my current work situation:

    I am a Flight Attendant for a large domestic carrier here in the United States. I’m based out of BWI, but live in PA. Ideally, I would probably like to settle in PA, but I have thought about getting my license for both PA and MD. Working as a Flight Attendant I work a lot of different days and hours, but as my seniority has improved, I can now consistently work the same days every week. 95% of the time I can typically hold a 3 day work week with my airline. (ie, Sat – Mon, or Wed – Fri, Sun – Tue, etc…) The other days of the week i have off are completely free to do with what I please, so I figured it might be conducive to a part-time RE business. I am open to being part of a team, listing, everything really, but I wanted to ask your opinion. I am definitely an overachiever and would put in all the hard work that it entails and eventually could even make it a full time business if the profits were ideal. Thank you so much for your time and for all of these great articles. I am looking forward to hearing from you and what you think.

    Have A Great Day!

    David J. Garcia

    • Hi David, I think you could do it, but would have to have help. When you are working there is a good chance you will have clients who want to see houses.

  • Agent work is commitment and service which means being there when the client needs you. I don’t think you can be part time for that.

  • Sivasankar says:

    Hi mark,
    Happy to see articles
    I am interested to do real estate agent, already I am having a small retail store
    So I want to sit and do from there is it a good idea
    As you said I can work as full time because of the existing one is own firm


  • Hi Mark,

    Im about to start real estate classes soon and I have. job as well but I only work two hours 11:30-1:30 do you think It can work with being an agen!?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes, that is a pretty small window you are not available in. I think you can make it work.

  • Hi Mark, I’m working for the past 19 years with a Commercial Tax services in TX – contract with the mortgage companies to service the property taxes. If this consider an experience for a part-time real estate assistant. I have an offer recently and I really don’t know how much should be paid. Want to keep the full-time job upon get more experience to be an agent. Love to upgrade/flip the houses, so don’t know what type of agent I can succeed. What is your thoughts… Thanks in advance.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Hi, I think that is real estate experience. Hard to know what you should be paid without knowing the job or circumstances

  • Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

  • Patrick Asher says:

    Hi Mark, I am a retired army reservist returning back to the US after a 11.5 years overseas and am looking to start a career in real estate. As my wife works full time, I will be doing this and substitute teaching as well. Or at least ’till the RE side picks up. Do you feel that is viable? TIA Patrick

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      For sure you can do it.

  • Hey Mark! I’m an 18 credit hour student and I know a couple agents and I must say, it has me interested. With the amount of schooling I have, do you think I could make this happen? I’m just a little unclear on exactly how much persistent time must be put into the business. Thanks!

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Maybe but it would be tough. That is a lot of credits and you probably don’t have a lot of free time. How flexible is your schedule?

  • Hey! I am graduating college soon and very interested in a career in real estate. Thanks for this blog!! I have already read so many articles and learned so much about the industry since stumbling upon it yesterday…

    I am lucky enough to be able to work flexible part-time hours and support myself while making the transition. My question is about finding a good team. What method would you use to find a good one and how can you know ahead of time whether you will get good support and advice? Thanks so much!!

  • George L. Rosario says:

    Well, while I will not disclose exactly how much it is I make, I will tell you that becoming a FULL TIME Realtor has been by far the best professional decision I ever made. This business is NOT as glamorous as some paint it. A lot goes into selling real estate than just the sale. On any given day we are called to be acting therapists, decorators, financial advisers, psychiatrists, educators, promoters, marriage counselors, politicians, mediators, etc. We Realtors wear many hats, and get no glory for the bulk of our effort. But consider the alternatives and you can tell why I am so in love with this industry. Prior to my career as a full time New York based Realtor, I spent years in law enforcement, and even went into construction, all the while practicing real estate part time. Those were some of the toughest years of my life. I took a leap of faith. I stopped listening to the negative fools in my life and decided I would tackle this career full time. It is the best decision I ever made. Yes, it’s been expensive at times. If I wasn’t careful, this profession would have eaten me alive. But I persevered. I spent most of my money on me and my business. Most of my expenses have not gone into fake flash and glare. I don’t wear $5,000 suits. I don’t drive a fancy car. I don’t wake up in a penthouse in Manhattan. I don’t fly first class and my clients meet me for a drink or an afternoon lunch that is within my means. Don’t get me wrong. I do splurge once in a while. But I am a simple dude for the most part. I spend most of my business spending money on me and my business. I have a coach. I meet with my mentor (my treat) for a cigar and a drink every Wednesday. I advertise. I go to paid seminars. I pay for training programs. I make sure my car is clean and presentable. I send letters to my current and past clients on high end paper. I paid for a revamped team logo that compliments my company’s world recognized logo. I pay my taxes. I send out Holiday cards to all my past clients. I purchase books for my Kindle. I read a lot. I study a lot. I write a lot. I learn a lot. I work a lot. And when I get to play, I play hard. So yes, this is not as easy as the reality shows will have us believe. Still, it is much better than anything I’ve ever done and it affords me a very comfortable life in the greatest city in the world. I am in love with this industry because I truly feel like it is allowing me to help others fall in love with the city that I have always known as home. I am in love with this industry and cannot imagine leaving it behind any time soon. If you need further proof that this does work, consider that I am raising a family in what is definitely one of the most expensive cities in the world. I am the proud father of 7 and grandfather to 3 and I’m only 43 years YOUNG! I have $0 debt right now. I am comfortable, happy and this summer I took my family to Puerto Rico for 3 weeks, and then to Greece for 3 weeks. I then added a trip to Boston, Chicago and Atlantic City in between. Did I mention I am $0 in debt. Yes, this industry does work, if you are willing to put in the hours.

    George L. Rosario, Realtor
    Coldwell Banker Kueber

    #glrosario #rosarioshalomayevgroup

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Great info! Thanks George

  • Hi Mark, thanks for your tips! I have a big question.
    If I have savings that would last me for six months, would you recommend me going all in and be a full-time real estate agent, or play it safe a year or two with a different full-time job and doing real estate on the side part-time until I’ve built a reputation? Your advice is appreciated! -Tim

  • Great read, I currently work as a logistics broker. My role within the company is to build a strong pipeline to generate new sales. Understanding the markets and building relationships is the only key to making it. I want to get into real estate however, I have zero knowledge. I would like to start out part time and dedicate all my free time toward building my book of business. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      If your schedule is flexible part time might work

  • Will any brokers allow me to “hang my license” in their office if they know I won’t be that active and using my license for my own investing??

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes, there are many brokers who allow at home agents or agents who don’t do many deals.

  • Maggie Croghan says:

    Hi Mark,
    I own a Property Management Company and wanted to offer an incentive bonus to Realtors for referring my company. However, I understand this is in violation of the Federal governing body for Real Estate called RESPA. In an effort to stay compliant, I thought of hiring Realtors as Independent Contractors instead. Realtors will be paid commission on every property owner they sign up. And I will provide them a 1099 at the end of the year from their “Second job”. Will this avenue be an appropriate workaround?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I would talk to your local real estate commission. Are you a licensed agent? Here property managers have to be licensed agents and they can pay a referal to agents who send them business.

  • Robert Martin says:

    the weather is a HUGE factor in what one is able to earn in many parts of the country. I am in a small market in Indiana where Winter sales are VERY hard to come by. However I am and have always been a full time Realtor. I found a little side job that I can do that started out by the need to boos my income in the winter. I started working for a company that gives me orders to take pictures of homes in my area. Nothing like a BPO but they ONLY want licensed agents and brokers working for them. They pay $25 for a front, 2 street and an address verification pictures. They give me two days to complete the order so I can wait and take pictures after I show a listing and not have to make a special trip. The prders come onto a dashboard and I grab what orders I want or leave them for someone else if I am too busy. You decide on when you want the extra work. In my small market I am making an extra $300 a month without any special equipment and no real extra driving. Granted, that is not a lot of money but in the Winter you can go two months without a sale so it helps keep you from depleting your savings.

  • Hi I typically work 8pm to 4am and have been thinking about trying to find a part-time career, knowing my schedule would this be possible in real estate ?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Can you take calls during work for real estate?

  • Carl Caughorn says:

    Great article Mark. I am a full time firefighter, and I work 24 hour shifts, but only 10 days a month. I have worked part time for some G.C.’s and have quite a bit of construction experience. I have a small amount of real estate knowledge, and I am thinking of getting my license. I’m not in to it to make a ton of money, I would just to make a good part time salary. How do you feel about folks who never really want to be full time, but would like to be successful?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I think that could work, if you have someone or you can handle business when you are working.

  • Melissa Meadows says:

    Hi Mark, I love reading your articles. I recently passed my state exam for the affiliate broker. I have only been working towards this career for a month and amazed at all of the information to learn. I am very excited, but scared because it is a very important goal I have set myself and my family. I have, for 11 years had to work around my husbands schedule and the birth three daughters. Currently, they are all in school and I work as a school bus driver so my schedule is from 6 to 8 am, and 2 to 4 pm. I will be going into this part time. In your opinion, do you think I will have enough time for this? And would it be more beneficial to start out with a broker in a larger town with training available, or a small town with little training?


    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I would always go with the option that offers more training. Yes, I think you could make that schedule work.

  • Mark,

    I am considering getting my RE license and working part-time. Currently I am a full-time physical education teacher but I am done everyday at 2:30 and don’t have near the work load as classroom teachers. In addition, I have 2-45 minute breaks and summers off. I think I would be able to pull it off. What do you think? Thank you!! Bill

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I think it is possible, but you may need some help. Be on a team or have someone who can back you up

  • Rashonda Y Mathis says:

    I’m currently in the process of obtaining my RE license. I’m currently an Administrative Assistant for the school district of my county. I work from 7:30 to 3pm however I can take calls all day any time of the day and I don’t work on weekends.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I would still try to get some help. What if clients need to see houses at 9 AM one day?

  • Jonathan Victoriano says:

    I like your perspective and experiences noted here, they are concise and informs the audience well. I would like to know if you had any mentors and if you did, how were those experiences? If this should be a separate email directly to you, I’ll ping you.

  • Thanks for this information–exactly the questions I have right now as I try to determine how and where to transition from apartment rental to sales!

  • Kay Borden says:

    I just bought a condo in San Diego, CA. My real estate agent and I went out on Saturdays and had set up a few appointments every Saturday. In 3 weeks I found a condo. She only worked part-time and I worked a fulltime job. I never called her and told her I needed to see something at 9am on a weekday. It can be done. After the offer was in and accepted I then worked with another member of the team who handled it from there anyway.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Being on a team makes a huge difference. Plus it sounds like your schedules meshed, but that does not always happen.

  • You don’t comment about someone who wants to work part time in real estate but isn’t currently at a full time job. For instance, a stay-at-home mom who’s kids have just started school. Maybe someone just wants to work less hours so they can spend more time with family and they don’t need or want to make $70/80/100k + a year, especially if it’s a second income for their household. Wouldn’t part time work out well in those types of situations?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      Yes, Actually I think the difficult part about part-time is not having a flexible schedule. If you have a flexible schedule then it can work.

  • Hi, I am looking for some advice. My husband will be starting a new branch of his company buying property and building new construction homes out of state he currently does federal construction so he has no need for a real estate agent in our home area. I am currently working as a teacher. He suggested that I get my real estate license to earn money when buying the lots and selling the new homes. He wants to “see how it goes” as his business is still doing quite well where we live so there is no need do jump out of state right away. Do you think this would be possible to work as a real estate agent out of state? How would this look? Could I hire someone to do showings when I am not there? Just looking for some advice as to how to make this work before completely leaving my current job.

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      You would have to be licensed in that state and find a broker to hang your license with in that state as well. It would be possible but tough since as you say you have to have someone helping you in that state as well. There is the option of getting your license and then referring business out to another local agent and getting a referral fee in return.

      • Thank you. Just seems like an opportunity I shouldn’t let pass buy. Especially because the area they will be working in is very expensive.

  • Hi not sure if this question has been answered already but, how does one go about looking for a team? i am interested in starting out as part time but afraid cannot commit to this full time and dont’ want to lose my full time flexible job. thanks

  • Mark,

    I work a rotating shift schedule. Friday – Monday Night (6pm to 6am). Off Tuesday – Thursday. Work Friday – Sunday Day (6am to 6pm). Off Monday. Work Tuesday – Thursday Night (6pm – 6am). Off Friday – Sunday. Work Monday – Thursday Day (6am – 6pm). Then off for a whole week until I go back in the next Friday night and start that rotation again. So pretty much I work 14 out of 28 days of a month. I am able to check my phone at work and would be able to find time to call back within a decent time. I don’t have the luxury of being able to leave while working to meet and show houses. When I’m working nights I’m sleeping during the day so I might not hear my phone right away. I do have a lot of free time though. I have a friend who owns a real estate company and I could possibly get on with his team (though I haven’t approached him yet since I’m just now thinking about getting my license work started). What are your thoughts on my situation?

    • Mark Ferguson says:

      I would join a team, what if the perfect house comes up for your clients and you are working all day?