What can you expect as a real estate agent? 🤔
A real estate agent’s day is typically spent meeting with clients, touring properties, attending showings, and arranging open houses.
Most agents work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate their clients’ schedules. Marketing properties, preparing listing presentations, and writing (and responding) to offers — it’s all on the agenda.
In short, your hours will likely need to be flexible — and you’ll spend a lot of them at work. But today, we’ll dive into typical real estate agent hours and workload.
The average working hours for a real estate agent
Some real estate agents are still working part-time. But if you want to know about real estate agent hours, you probably want to know how many hours it takes to make a living — full-time work.
The reality is that you will need to put in your hours. But if it’s work that you love, you can find a way to make it happen. If you’ve been a sales agent before, you know your hours will go down the more experienced you get.
How much do real estate agents work, on average?
The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the agent’s experience level, the location of their business, and the type of properties they specialize in. However, most real estate agents work an average of 40 to 60 hours weekly. Most of their time is spent showing properties to clients, attending open houses, and meeting with potential buyers. In addition, they also spend time on administrative tasks such as paperwork and marketing.
Apart from the above, a real estate salesperson must take real estate courses to keep their license. They may engage in side businesses like property management or home staging. And they need to keep up with the current real estate trends and news within the real estate industry.
Real estate side hustles
Real estate can easily take over your life. As you become an agent, you’ll find other opportunities — you’ll find rentals, flips, or just start your own staging company. A side hustle is great, but don’t let it go so far that it ruins your work/life balance.
Going through real estate school and getting your real estate license may not prepare you for the realities of being an agent. It’s not just a full-time job. It’s often more than a full-time job, especially when nurturing prospective clients. But, although the hours can be long, most agents find the work extremely rewarding.
As you ramp up your business, you will likely find that you need to spend less time on marketing — which can reduce the amount of time you spend on work or increase the amount of time you spend closing deals.
When do real estate agents usually work?
Most real estate agents are business owners or, legally, “independent contractors.” This means they typically work on a commission basis, only getting paid when they succeed in helping a client buy or sell a property.
As a result, real estate agents can often be found working all day and night, trying to fit in showings and meetings around their clients’ schedules. In addition, many agents also handle their marketing and administrative tasks, which can add even more hours to their work week.
While there is no set schedule for real estate agents, it is not uncommon for them to work 60 or more hours per week.
There are some advantages to working these unusual hours. For one thing, it allows agents to show properties to potential buyers at times convenient. Additionally, it allows agents to attend open houses and networking events often held on weekends.
Working unusual hours can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding for those dedicated to their careers. And while there are a lot of hours, they can be flexible.
Benefits of a flexible work schedule
For instance, if you’re a parent, you may find that even though you’re working 40 hours a week, you can be more present for your children. You will find that you can fit your hobbies into your schedule (such as hiking) without stress. A flexible work schedule also improves productivity because you can work when you feel at your best and can concentrate.
While you may lose your weekends to showings, you don’t have to. The benefits of a flexible schedule outweigh the negatives for many people because you can choose when to work and for how long.
Working as a real estate agent part-time
Of course, you could work as a real estate agent for one hour a week if you wanted to. You might not gain much traction, but you have complete control.
A lot of agents work part-time
Many earnings stats for agents are a little skewed; it looks like agents aren’t making much, but it’s because they’re part-time. Not every part-time agent wants to be a full-time agent. It’s fully possible to become a part-time real estate agent to augment an existing career.
The pros and cons of working as a real estate agent part-time
There are pros and cons to working as a real estate agent part-time.
On the plus side:
- You will have complete control over your schedule.
- You can work around your commitments without having to sacrifice your career.
- You can still earn a commission on the properties you sell — a lot of money if you’re efficient.
On the downside:
- You might not have enough time to devote to your career and could be less successful than if you had gone all-in.
- You will likely have a more challenging time building a client base, as you’ll compete with agents who can devote more time to their careers.
You will succeed as an agent faster full-time, but working part-time as a real estate agent can be a great way to achieve a better work-life balance.
Working as a real estate agent part-time as you ramp up
Working part-time doesn’t mean you’re intending to work part-time forever. Starting as a real estate agent, you might want to consider working part-time to ramp up your business.
Of course, there are some risks associated with this approach. You may find that you can’t ramp up effectively. But being careful and dedicated can be a great way to get your business off the ground.
Time management tips for a real estate agent
Now, we’ve talked about real estate agent hours. But here’s the most important thing to realize: You work as much as you need to work to make the money you need to make. So, by being more efficient, you can work less.
- Set a schedule and stick to it.
This will help you be more productive with your time and ensure you’re devoting enough time to your career. Consider time blocking; this strategy blocks off time windows for specific tasks. It gives you flexibility without locking you down to specific things.
- Use a CRM.
A CRM (customer relationship management) system can help you keep track of your clients and prospects and ensure you’re following up with them promptly. It doesn’t have to be a complicated CRM; there are many built for real estate agents that are simple and easy to use.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle.
When you’re first starting, it’s tempting to take on as many clients as possible. But if you bite off more than you can chew, you’ll be less effective overall.
- Stay organized.
A messy desk and disorganized files will only lead to wasted time. Invest in a good filing system and take the time to keep everything tidy. Review your planner at the end of every day and highlight anything you don’t want to miss.
As your business grows, you must start delegating tasks to others. This will free up your time to focus on the most important aspects of your job. Many agents struggle to figure out when to hire an administrative assistant.
- Consider a team.
Some real estate agents find that they do best with a team. A team means you can offload some administrative time and focus on what you do best: helping people buy and sell houses.
A lot of agents work 60+ hours. But you don’t have to be one of them.
Reduce the time you spend on lead generation
How much time do you spend working with clients — and how much time do you spend finding them? Especially early in your career, you may discover that you spend the most time on lead generation. But there are ways you can get leads faster.
- Use an automated lead generation system.
These systems can help you to generate leads without spending hours on the phone or door-knocking. They’re frequently baked into real estate-specific CRMs.
- Hire a lead generation specialist.
If you’re not comfortable with technology, consider hiring someone who is. This will free up your time to work with clients and grow your business. Some services will start generating leads for you for a few hundred dollars a month, although they have varying performance.
- Join a real estate team.
Often, teams will have lead generation systems that you can plug into. At a minimum, an MLS website. And if they don’t, the team’s members can help to generate leads for you.
- Leverage your network.
You probably know more people than you realize are interested in buying or selling a home. Be sure to let them know you’re a real estate agent — and ask for referrals.
- Advertise on social media.
Social media is affordable, and you can target those in your area. Consider posting to services such as NextDoor or running ads on Facebook. You can target those who are likely to purchase a home.
- Work with third-party platforms.
You can always sign up as a real estate agent on platforms like Redfin, Zillow, and Clever. These platforms will require that you work for a flat rate or a discounted rate, but they also find leads for you.
As you build your career, you will naturally find that leads gravitate more readily to you. But by frontloading some of this work, you can reduce the time you need to spend chasing and securing leads.
Conclusion: It’s hard work being a real estate agent — but it’s worth it
Being a real estate agent is hard work. You’re not going to be able to avoid it. But you can control when you do your work. By scheduling, being efficient, and taking advantage of technology, you can ensure you have the time you need to enjoy your life outside of work.
Apart from the above, consider the real estate market. Whether in residential or commercial real estate, you will find yourself working longer hours when the market is down. Conversely, you will work fewer hours when the market is up. Working with the right sponsoring broker can help you manage your time more effectively and reduce these economic issues’ impact on your real estate career.
Don’t become a real estate agent because you think it will be easy or won’t take time. The hours are put in. They are, however, when you choose to put them in.
What techniques do you use to manage your work so it doesn’t take over your life?
There is no typical work schedule for a real estate agent. Some real estate professionals work full-time, while others work part-time. Some agents work during the week, while others work weekends. It all depends on the agent’s circumstances.
Being a real estate agent is relatively flexible. You can usually set your hours, and you can work from home if you want to. However, remember that you’ll need to be available when your clients are available, which may mean working some weekends and evenings.
Yes, you can make a good living as a real estate agent. The more experience you have, the more money you’ll make. However, remember that your income will fluctuate depending on the housing market.
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