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Full Time Versus Part Time Real Estate Agents

One of the most crucial steps a home buyer must make when starting their home search is selecting the right real estate agent to work with. Realtors are the professionals in the transaction, the client is seeking their counsel and advice as an expert in the industry. Are there varying degrees of expertise in the industry? Of course, there is. Let’s explore some pros and cons of working with a full-time versus a part-time agent.

Full-Time

Pros:

  1. A full-time agent, key word full-time, lives and breathes real estate. Their entire livelihood depends on their production and sales. This is their full-time job and they will treat it as such. They are working in the industry from the time they wake up until the time they close their eyes.
  2. A full-time agent has the availability to follow up with clients and to network daily. This continuous flow of connecting with people allows the agent to build and maintain their pipeline. A healthy and solid data base can assist brokers in marketing themselves as well as sell their listings faster.
  3. Because of being in the industry constantly, a full-time broker has the experience and tends to be more up to date with the current real estate market. They are tackling negotiations, running in and out of showings, attending closings, seminars and taking on the day to day happenings of real estate transactions.

Cons:

  1. Some full-time agents can’t admit when they have taken on too much at once. When this occurs, they can become easily disorganized and unresponsive to potential clients or offers.
  2. Full-time agents must prioritize their tasks. What is menial to them may be considered crucial to their client. This can be seen more commonly when dealing with rentals. Rental commissions are generally much smaller than an actual home sale therefore an agent that is spread out over a large work load may tend to neglect their listings with the least earning potential.
  3. A full-time agent is dealing with so many transactions that the entire process eventually becomes routinized. This can lead to the realtor being vague and not as understanding with a client’s needs. To them this is just another closing that they want to hurry up and get through.

Part-Time

Pros:

  1. Although a part-time agent may not have 24/7 availability they will usually specialize in a specific area of the industry. Making them the expert of their specialization.
  2. Since a part-time agent is flexed on time they tend to take on the right number of clients. Not taking on more than they can handle means they can better service those few clients they are actively working with.
  3. Part-time agents tend to be more patient with clients while explaining the process and answering their questions. They don’t mind taking the time to hold a 1st time home purchasers hand because each client they work with (a few) is another opportunity for them to gain more experience in the industry.

Cons:

  1. A part-time agent may not have all the answers. They are dividing their time between a full-time job and running their own business. This can become problematic in terms of their understanding of the real estate market and their ability to handle issues as they arise in a transaction.
  2. A part-time agent may not be able to communicate updates of the transaction in real time or gain accessibility to schedule a showing due to their limited availability. In this industry, time is of the essence, every minute counts toward a successful closing.
  3. A part-time agent does not have as much time to network or market themselves. This requires the agent to rely on other agent’s inventory or secure listings. Which means more parties involved and more waiting time for the client when it comes to updates.

I have discussed some of the pros and cons that I felt are pertinent in comparing full-time versus part-time agents. Regardless of status an informed buyer or client should always interview a few agents before selecting the right one to work with.

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