I know part-time agents that sell millions of dollars of real estate each year, every year. I would trust any of them to sell my house - over an agent who labels who is technically "full-time", but got their license a month ago and hasn't sold a thing yet. "Full-time" means nothing if you are spending 40+ hours a week sitting in an office on floor time waiting for phone calls. Production and experience is what really matters.
Additionally - if your agent is "full-time" - but trying to juggle more business than they can handle - then yes - from a production point of view they are successful........but in terms of individual service and responsiveness to YOU and only you, they might as well be part-time. How much time will they be dedicating to you - if they have 35 other clients calling and emailing them on a daily basis.
There are differences between full and part time agents - however the differences are often not a result of the labels. They are simply a result of the level of dedication, responsiveness, and personal service that the individual agent provides. Interview them and ask the tough questions - any agent worth their weight will welcome the opportunity to sell themselves and explain specifically "why" their service outshines the competition.
There are part-time agents in my office that run circles around some of the full-time agents in terms of production and income. As Mack correctly states - it depends what they are doing with the rest of their time.
My 1st year in real estate, I worked part-time as a buyer's agent. I was told to save my money because I wouldn't sell anything for a least 6 months, and maybe not at all since I was part-time. I went on to sell over 3 million dollars or residential real estate and outproduced many of the full-time agents who have been in the business for 15-20 years. Not a huge number - but I was happy with it being my very first year. I found that there are still a large number of agents who are working harder, not smarter - and stuck in the same practices that, while effective 20 years ago, aren't necessarily effective or efficient now.
In real estate, most agents are going to try and use their years of experience, and production against the agents that don't have as much. The full timers are going to tell you that they are going to service you better than the part timers. The teams are going to tell you that they can service you better than the full timers. The top producers are going to tell you that they can service you better than the "medium" producers...etc. etc. etc.
At the end of the day, ask prospective agents the right questions - and choose one that is the best fit for you. Whether full, part-time, or the head of a "team" - ask for references and get a 1st hand account of how they conduct business. If you aren't getting the level of responsiveness you demand from your agent, and not getting your questions answered correctly - it's time to find a new agent who will service you better.
The big difference I see is an experience level. From dealing with the ever changing contracts to the fast pasted technology, the part time agents tend to not worry about those issues and are resolved to let the full time agent deal with paperwork and other parts of the transaction for them. The full time agents know they are working with a part time agent and can work that to their clients advantage.
Sure, there are brokers out there that will assist their own agents to the degree they want to assist regarding some paperwork, but most of these part time agents are in very large, no-fee, type brokerages that give them little to no assistance and honestly don't worry about the paperwork or legal issues unless they are called out.
I think the issue is professionalism. Is this a real career for you or simply a past time? If you want to sell real estate, make sure you understand all aspects of the business and do more than the minimum education requirements required by TREC.
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
But I agree with those who say that a part-time agent with a standard contract will probably cause themselves and their clients a lot of frustration.
Roland J. Northland
A VERY EXPERIENCED AGENT
The only real difference I see is the availability of the part timers. Are they able to show homes during the day on a Wednesday? More than likely not.
That said, there have been many times when my wife and I weren't available for showings during the day on a Wednesday because we were with other clients. Is that better than not being able to because of a full time job? I don't know.
If I needed a Realtor, I would want one with full time knowledge of the market and procedures. It wouldn't make a difference to me if he was "full time" or not.
Very good question!
I used to be "part time" but the other part of my time was spent doing marketing for real estate companies so it actually helped strengthen my business because it kept my finger on the pulse of other markets and real estate categories (commercial, foreclosures, etc). I ran the business from my home, so it didn't stop me from responding to emails or scheduling showings. I was just as accessible, but technically part time.
I do prefer being full time though. It keeps my focus on real estate, generating business and following up. I'm not spread so thin.
Part time and full time agents can be equally effective and successful, they can also be equally frustrating and inaccessible. It depends more on the agent than their part/full-time status.
I bet if you pose this question to yourself 3x's you'll get the same answer every time.
A lot of "part-time" agents are actually full-time in real estate; they may manage their own properties, for example, which is still being active in real estate.
After the crash, we saw half as many transactions and at 25% lower prices (and commissions), so a lot of agents had to find other means of income.
It is said that you need to put in 10,000 hours to become expert at something, so for a half-time real estate agent, that would be . . . ten years.
Reduced personal accountability
Know who is doing what at this tme?
Limited oversight (a major compenset of what a professional provides)
When an issue arises, do you call the agent. the broker, the office help, prayer hotline?
Knowing there is ALWAYS a higher priority than buying or selling your home.
Other than that, NO PROBLEM!
Hope this answers your question, without my saying, these tools are hard to come by when doing Real Estate part time, and could cost you the Seller / Buyer money.