Is it is a wise choice to take up real estate just to do so on a part-time basis?
The thought of joining the real estate industry can be tempting for people in various stages of their lives.
From fresh out of school graduates who wish to jump the income ladder to tens of thousands a month quickly (If you make it of course), to the mid-life career switchers who are sick of the glass ceiling, lack of career prospects or crave freedom, a real estate career appeals to many for various reasons.
Real estate agents enjoy flexible hours, being your own boss (hurray to not having a micro-managing boss breathing down your neck every now and chasing you for sales quotas), meeting a network of interesting people, and of course, having no limits to your income.
A real estate agent’s income is based on commission. Simply put, you eat what you kill.
One can typically earn a brokerage fee of 1 to 3% of the property price depending on the number of brokers involved and whether it is a new launch or resale deal.
Imagine closing a $5 million deal, a 1% commission means you’ll be getting a $50,000 paycheck.
Sounds like a great deal isn’t it?
This is why some real estate agents drive expensive continental cars, dine at fancy Michelin starred restaurants and don designer watches and bags within a short few years of entering the industry.
That said, not every month will be smooth sailing.
There will be periods when the property market is slow as not every year will be a booming year.
Cycles happen in the real estate just as they do in any other markets.
There are high volume months and low ones.
Periods following a financial crisis or a cooling measure can create droughts that not only affect your paycheck but your confidence as well.
Then the idea of not closing any deals for the entire month and not getting a pay-check can be intimidating.
There is also a possibility that you can go without income for months!
This is the main reason why a significant number of real estate agents out there remain part-time throughout their entire career while keeping a day job or running a side business with a steady income flow.
Many part-time estate agents face challenges when they first start out, which can result in a good handful of them leaving the industry without making any meaningful income.
Being a part-time real estate agent does not necessarily mean you are less professional or that you will definitely earn lesser than a full-time real estate agent.
You can still be a professional in the real estate industry and make big bucks if you are committed and supported with the right training and platforms.
The key is in joining a right real estate agency and team and never allowing your part-time status to diminish your passion, knowledge and service to your clients.
There is nothing wrong with being a part-time real estate agent but if you aspire to be a successful one, here are a few things that you need to know.
1. You’ll Need To Spend Money First Before Making Money
To become a real estate agent, whether part-time or full-time, you’ll have to fulfill these requirements:
- Minimum 21 years old
- Minimum 4 GCE ‘O’ Level passes or equivalent (taken at not more than 2 sittings)
Then, you’ll first have to sign up for courses and apply for the necessary license.
These are some of the expenses you’ll have to take note of:
- Real Estate Salesperson course: Approximately $700++
- Real Estate Salesperson Exam: $246.10
- Registration fee to become a Real Estate Salesperson: $53.30 + $230 (annual fee) = $283.30
The total investment that you’re looking at to get your real estate licence is at least $1,300.
After getting your licence, you’ll need to market yourself by placing ads on different portals and social media, creating marketing assets like videos and blogs, printing flyers and distributing them.
You won't be able to just sit back, relax and hope that your friends and relatives will look for you. Being a silent or secret agent is one of the worst things you can do for your business.
Remember, every business needs strong consistent marketing regardless of how great your product/service is.
You will need to look for your own buyers and sellers. And all these marketing efforts will require you to fork out money from your own pocket.
Not forgetting your traveling expenses when going for appointments and daily living expenses.
Hence, a mindset shift is required as those who have been employed for a long while, might not stomach well the idea of having to invest in the business before reaping an income later on.
2. Different Specialization
In the real estate industry, there are agents who specialise in relocation, new project launches, resale, commercial and rental properties to name a few.
Each of these specialisation requires the agent to have different knowledge, skill sets and even working hours.
When deciding on your specialisation, you’ll have to determine how much you can commit as some specialisations require more time and effort.
Speaking to an experienced mentor can help you decipher what works best for your time and resources at hand.
Your resources are not just your time, but your start up capital, network and natural abilities.
3. Team Up with a Successful Agent or Team
When you are vying for the attention of a small pool of prospective buyers and sellers, being part of an established and successful real estate agency with proven training and track records can help to make things easier.
Not only you will have an experienced mentor to guide you, you may also get leads and referrals to work on from your team leader or teammates.
Also, industry veterans are more knowledgeable, well-connected and can connect you with experienced agents, bankers and lawyers in various segments who could be essential to helping you achieve success sooner.
Network is just as important as skill sets and knowledge. Remember that!
Costs of Maintaining a Real Estate Licence Annually
Maintaining a real estate licence year after year even if you are inactive will cost you roughly $600 annually when you add up CEA renewal fees, professional insurance, agency tools and compulsory annual CPD courses.
Annual CPD courses will take up at least 6 hours of your time too but fortunately, these days lessons can be done through e-learning and zoom sessions.
All said, a real estate licence enables you to expand your knowledge as a property investor (Who wouldn't need to buy a property or two over their lifetime anyway right?) and at the same time provides an alternative and potentially very lucrative career choice if you ever get bored with what you are doing currently.
It is not a job for the faint hearted though and hard working and self-determined personalities will shine the most.
So, consider wisely if you should spend this amount of time and resources before you take the plunge and sign up for the RES course.
Being part of our team entitles you to the following perks:
- Enjoy amazing support and infrastructure at a very convenient location
- Become a highly trained adviser through our rigorous training and mentorship programmes.
- Learn from well respected and industry renown leaders who excel in sales and leadership skills.
- Enjoy the ULTIMATE unfair advantage with Link Up, the only mobile app that increases agents productivity and lowers their costs.
Establish your real estate career quickly with Huttons proprietary Link Up technology and rigorous training and mentoring programmes today!
Looking for great real estate career mentorship to shorten your learning curve?
Get a 1-time free 30 min new agent career consultation with Stuart and his team leaders.
Stuart Chng, Executive Group District Director at Huttons, is a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.
He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, an avid stocks & options trader, and real estate investor, business owner, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications.
- Passed your RES Exams? Find out what steps to take next to quickly reach your goals!
- Find out which real estate agency to join after passing your exams!
- Find out more about a real estate agent career path.