How To Become a Part Time Real Estate Agent

Every expert, no matter their field of expertise, once spent a full day as an inexperienced beginner. In these hard times of economic and employment uncertainty, you are probably looking for a reliable side gig. Even in these uncertain times, part time real estate agent work can be a haven of opportunity.

You could make good money as a part time real estate agent.

How much money you make depends on your commitment to work and hustling.

A part time real estate agent can make $46,400 annually working 21 to 39 hours a week. The average commission is about 3% but depends on the deal.

The average cost of a new home in April 2020 was $309,000. So, 3% of $309,000 is $9,270

Sounds good? Well, don’t expect every property you sell to be that valuable.

Also, you may end up working twice as hard as a part time agent than a full-time agent just to get ahead.

So, you want to know how to become a part time real estate agent? You must:

  • Enroll in pre-licensing online courses
  • Get employed by a real estate broker
  • Pass your state licensing exam
  • Join an MLS board
  • Foster professional networks and contacts
  • Develop your part time schedule and stick to it

Let’s start simply.

What is a real estate agent and how do they differ from brokers?

Real Estate Agent 101

A real estate agent is a certified and licensed salesperson of real estate, homes, and property.

Real estate agents facilitate real estate sales between buyers and sellers for a commission percentage and/or flat fee.

The licensing, certification, and professional operating standards for real estate agents differs from state to state.

Real estate brokers can’t work independently and must work in the employ of a real estate broker.

A real estate broker is a high ranking and advanced licensed real estate agent. Real estate brokers are like a sports team manager and agents are like the players. Real estate agents can only work under the employ of a real estate broker’s office. This is true even if you work from home.

A realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. Realtors are members of networks of local and state trade associations, must follow ethics codes, and pay annual dues.

Realtors can be brokers or agents, but not all brokers and agents are realtors.

The first step to become a part-time real estate agent is acquiring a state license.

So, you must start with your pre-licensing education.

Pre-licensing Education Courses

Many states require prospective real estate agents to take pre-licensing education courses and exams before taking a licensing exam.

Real estate pre-licensing courses and exams prep you for the materials that you will eventually see on the state licensing exam.

Pre-licensing courses also give you baseline knowledge to build upon as you enter the real estate industry.

You must enroll in a real estate pre-licensing course at a state accredited and approved school. Additionally, you can enroll and complete pre-licensing courses and exams online. 

There are several online sites which are licensed and accredited to offer such courses and exams. You can enroll via state of residency or intended practice.

They include:

Enrollment prices vary from state-to-state. Be prepared to pay anywhere between $80 to $1,000 for a real estate pre-licensing course.

You’ll need your official transcript and certificate of completion in order to take your state licensing exam, so don’t forget!

How To Become a Part Time Real Estate Agent: Take the State Exam

Now you must visit the official website of your state of residency or state of intended practice.

Each state has different physical testing locations for the real estate licensing program. Look up, “licensing,” or, “regulatory affairs,” in your state’s official website.

Before you take your test, you should begin looking for work with prospective brokers. Ask their advice on what to study. Consult with existing real estate agents too.

Did you pass your test? Congratulations!

Before and after passing your state licensing test, you should already be networking with several brokers to find an office to work out of.

Or, affiliate with a local broker if you plan to work out of your home as a part-time broker. Make sure you can do so under local regulations.

Real estate brokers are more inclined to work with full-time brokers since they have more time to work with clients.

So, look for brokers interested in employing part-time agents.

Remember: you can’t be a real estate agent unless you’re working under the employ of a broker or brokerage firm.

Now you know how to become a part time real estate agent and are ready to begin!


Not even close.

Join Your Local MLS Board

A Multiple Listing Service Board is a centralized real estate listing service in your state.

You may need to attend a certification class or acquire additional training before you can join a MLS. This depends on your state of residency or intended practice.

A real estate agent uses a MLS service to list properties they will sell and to study previous sales data and statistics.

Or, to collate data about the current market to share with buyers.

You can’t operate without being a member of your local MLS Board.

Generally speaking, as long as you have an active state real estate agent license, that is enough to join a MLS board.

Consult with your broker or a licensed real estate agent colleague for more information. You should always be networking and consulting with those already in the industry to gain professional bearing.

Develop Networks, Professional Contacts, and Your Schedule

Real estate agents must devote many hours a day to, “lead generation.”

Lead generation are the marketing and promotional practices that a real estate agent uses to entice consumers to buy property.

Lead generation practices can include:

  • Marketing property housewarming and viewing events
  • Networking with potential clients via advertising, email newsletter
  • Coordinate with local businesses to advertise your services

To be a real estate agent, you must continually develop and refresh a client base.

The best way to do that is to continually foster a professional industry network.

Reach out to local lawyers, mortgage agents, home insurance companies, and title companies to potentially pool client contacts.

You may have to share commission percentages, but that is better than having no sales.

Additionally, you may want to develop a network of associates, friends or local business owners, as referral associates. They can scout for home buyers and receive a referral percentage for successful sales.

You also have to decide how many hours per week you will devote to lead generation, networking, and work.

Part time work in the United States is anything under 40-hours a week.

It Could Take 6 Months to get Your License

It could take you up to 6 months to attain a real estate agent license.

Even if you plan to work on a part time basis, you have a lot of work to do.

Here are some sites that offer guidance for aspiring part time real estate agents:

Remember that you can’t work alone. Network with a broker to secure employ.

Brokers usually want to work with full-time brokers. Research extensively to find one who’ll employ part time agent.

Develop a network of contacts so you’ll always be able to generate leads.

Now you know how to become a part time real estate agent. But you may end up doing as much work as a full-time agent.

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