The Parttime Option

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For those who wish to choose a middle path and enter real estate parttime, there are some special considerations. First, it will be somewhat more difficult to find a broker with whom to affiliate, since many do not accept agents who are not prepared to work full-time. The brokers' rationale seems to be that the field is complex and demands total attention. Further, many brokers believe that they invite potential legal difficulties by having part-time agents, since they fear that those who do not constantly stay in touch with the marketplace are more likely to overlook legal requirements.

However, many brokers throughout the country accept part-time salespeople. Thirty six percent of all Realtors classify themselves as part-time, meaning they work 39 hours a week or less. Among non-Realtors, the figure is probably higher than that. Many have worked out satisfactory relationships by carefully defining their roles and making themselves available on a predictable, but reduced, schedule. I had one broker tell me, "I've had a few part-time agents who accomplished more in an abbreviated work week than some of my full-time people."

There are even some spectacular part-time success stories. While still on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, Ron Rush reportedly closed more than $7

million in transactions one year while working as a part-time agent with Long & Foster Realtors in Fairfax, Virginia. He really got hot after he retired from the Air Force and started selling full-time. He's still with Long & Foster and has his two sons working with him on the Ron Rush team. You can check out his operation at www.ronrushteam.com. The last time I visited the site Ron's team had over a hundred listings with an asking price of over a million on two of them.

Despite such impressive examples, it would be unwise to become lured by the work-part-time-and-make-big-money pitch. It just doesn't usually work out that way. As should be expected, those who work an abbreviated schedule earn substantially less, on the average, than their full-time counterparts. Of course, that is fine if it fits your monetary and personal goals.

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