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Are full-time Realtors really better than part-timers?

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Guest | 09 Jul 2013, 10:30 PM Agree 0

Part-time agents do the same courses, pay the same fees and hold the same license yet are generally looked upon with disdain by full-time agents. But is that criticism justified? Can a part-time sales agent generate the same amount of business and quality service as their full-time counterparts? Grant Hilborn, sales representative with Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc., says it is easy to get the licence but almost impossible to commit to the industry on a part-time basis.  “It’s an industry that you are either in or not,” he says. “It’s time consuming, requires a lot of energy and focus so you cannot half commit to it.”Hilborn says the average working week of a full-time agent is 50 hours and that the level of competition now in the industry means more work is required to generate business.
“There are over 28,000 licensed real estate agents in Toronto, alone,” he says. “You need to invest a lot of time in client relationships and that is very hard when you are limited in time.”Paolo Di Petta, a mortgage agent who is currently studying to get his real estate licence, says most new players need another part-time job to survive financially in the first two years of selling.
“It’s very hard starting out as you are networking and building relationships and not necessarily making any cash,” he says.Di Petta, however, argues that there are key areas where part-time real estate agents can just be as productive as their full-time counterparts.Where the line between Par-timers and Full-time agents blur:
1.    Focus“Successful part-time agents focus on one or two key markets or areas of expertise. This is also true of clients. Sometimes focusing on one good client is better than trying to manage three.”2.    Time Management“Time management is essential for those agents limited by hours. A good agent can do as much good work in two hours as another can spend four.”3.    Organization“An organized agent does not waste hours on paperwork or accounts. Prioritising is essential for a part-time agent to work efficiently.4.    Identifying Key Clients“A good part-time agent will be able identify key clients to maximise their time,” he says. “Spending time building that relationship could yield a better return than working with a number of clients.”5.    Managing Online Presence“I don’t see the value in spending hours online trying to chase leads,” he says. “Having an online presence is good for branding and awareness but you can’t beat personal communication.”
  • Robert Harrington | 11 Jul 2013, 11:12 PM Agree 0
    You are asking the wrong question.
    The question is: "Why am I paying a full Listing fee for a part time agent supplying a "self serve" listing consisting of a classified ad on the Monopoly Listing Service site and my keys stuffed in a lock box that the Buyer or Buyer's agent uses to show and sell my property?

    Change that listing agreement to $500 for listing plus a 3.5% of the first 100K of the selling price plus 1.25% of the balance of the sale price because if your listing guy IS NOT going to show up and represent your home, and leave it all up to you and the buyer's agent or sub agent...why why why are you giving your "self serve" listing agent thousands of dollars OF YOUR MONEY??? Why?
  • Robert | 12 Jul 2013, 06:00 AM Agree 0
    I love how the source is a mortgage broker looking to get his real estate license, great insights he must have.

    It's bits like this that give all realtors a bad rep by over simplifying the job to just taking a few course, showing homes and talking to people. It's this uninformed opinion that gives the general public the impression that it's a job for the unskilled and anyone can do it. Would you want a part-time pilot for your next flight? How about an intern doing your open-heart surgery? How about your buddy who read a book on electricity to rewire your house? All foolish notions.

    In this business you can get lucky but to get good, to be able to last, it requires dedication to separate yourself from the wanna-be agents who could land you in legal morass, jeopardize your families health or bankrupt you. Look for an agent you can relate to who has acquired the skills to adequately protect you.
  • Robert Harrington | 12 Jul 2013, 10:53 AM Agree 0
    The question is wrong and a complete red herring because Real estate IS overwhelmingly for 90% of Realtors a part time job, and pity the poor Realtors who as you state in your article pay full time fees for the privilege of a part time job and they even supply their own home office space as well as pay crippling monthly fees to the Real Estate Monopoly and sign long term contracts to support obsolete and redundant Real estate offices and bureaucracy.

    To further add to the poor Realtor's financial woes, the poor Realtor has to pay for the obsolete 1935 real estate business model still in use today, which includes the "ponzi license selling
    schemes" of provincial real estate councils where misdirection and lying by omission is a fine art form, and the ridiculous costs of supporting 116 redundant Real Estate Boards across Canada all to simply upload information from a Realtor to the Monopoly Real estate website.

    As an Investor the whole teetering mess is a terrible costly mess and waste of everyone;s time and resources and will soon be gone allowing Real estate agents toicharge less and finally keep some of the commission they earn
  • Daysy Curry | 12 Jul 2013, 04:54 PM Agree 0
    I do not have time to argue this point. I am a full time agent. I need to go and take care of my real estate business.
  • David S | 17 Jul 2013, 09:28 PM Agree 0
    The worst thing a consumer would ever want is a poor real estate agent. You need your agent to be successful, experienced, and skillful. I have thankfully run a successful business for 15 years, but it has been part time in terms of pure hands on 'working on listings' at times. But like any business when sales slow down you focus on marketing and networking.

    I simply feel that part timers simply erode the pool of business the Realtors whose only occupation is Real Estate until even our numbers seem to look like part time. In my area there are 4000+ Realtors listed as having this region as home base.

    The top 200 do 10 deals or more. Only the top 100 do 20 deals or more. Here is the crazy statistic: from 500 - 4000 the average is 5 deals or less and there are over 2000 who do 3 deals or less. How does the public benefit from an agent that does 3 deals or less per year???

    Its is simply a cash grab - you can justify it all you want. There is no business building and professionalism going on (yes there is the exception). If Part Time is supposed to be OK - then have distinguish between the two - the public should not care if the argument above holds water.

    I will carry a card stating I am full time, and anyone with less than 12 deals per year part time. Different designation - let the public decide.

    Not understanding how the public demands dozens of references from a contractor, but a Realtor can come in with 12 deals in 3 years and THAT is OK???

    My skill come out because I ensure pretty well nothing ever goes wrong. I can see issues before they develop and I am willing to stand up to the absurd walk away from potential problems because I do not need to list 'Everything'.

    I can say no to risky buyers as well because I am not desperate.

    Part time with he odd exception cannot see the pitfalls and/or NEEDS every deal - that is what is important to the consumer.

    I have built my BUSINESS, my reputation, and the trust of my clients!

    But hey - a part timer is just as good as me.

    What a joke.
  • Blott | 17 Jul 2013, 09:28 PM Agree 0
    Di Pieta is full of these H. B. ideas. Just a little off. Same as his view of the Market. Sorry man... But that's my opinion. Chiao!!
  • WW | 17 Jul 2013, 09:58 PM Agree 0
    I know a guy who makes $200k a year and sells 3 properties. "Is he considered Part Time?"

    I know a lady who does duty every other day and can't close a door without assistance from her Broker / Manager. Last 12 months 3 sales. Is she considered "Part Time?"

    Our competitor has a school teacher with a golden pension who was looking for something to do when he retires at 50 and he chose real estate. Why? Because the idiot BOR is desperate for adding numbers to the franchise to please corporate and offers the teach 90/10 and no fees. Now everybody wants the same and think they are top producers even if the get 90% of nothing. Are these people "Part Time?'

    For 35 years "Part Time" to me meant low to no income and 0 to minimum hours invested.

    The reality is the public really don't care who represents them cuz it is all pretty much mechanical today and FSBO or 0 commission prevails everywhere. Unless of course something goes wrong. Then it is whole industry being blamed for something a "Part Time" incompetent did.

    Those of us who have done the time - days, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and even while on vacation (what's that?) definitely resent the registrant who sends his buyer out to use our time to show the property and then they bring in an offer later.

    Plumbers are more professional then Realtor's ever will be!
  • marny | 17 Jul 2013, 10:22 PM Agree 0
    Statistics show that most part time agent do 0-4 deals per year.

    Let us separate good part time agents from those above.A good part time agent does 10-30 deals per year.

    The problem with the first group is that they never get enough knowledge or experience to be able to deal with many legalities or complications that arise . They FAX offers rather than presenting them because many don't know how to present. The ones who do present their offers don't seem to have a handle on how to present. They come with insufficient information and offers with too many clauses as they try to just throw everything in.

    When they lose the deal for their clients they blame it on the other agents, not their ability to access the house, access the situation and do the job properly.

    And I don't care if an agent 'works' full time in Real Estate he is part time if he is not doing 10 deals per year..... so many ''full timers'' are deluding themselves. Into thinking they are full timers.

    If someone is in Real Estate and doing 10 deals a year as well as 4 other jobs he deserves to be there part time or not. At least he has learned how to take care of his clients.

    We call women who have 4 children and are running a household full time when they do 10 deals. And we call men who sit around a Real Estate office and do 4 deals a year full time

    Maybe we need to redefine the terms.

    And while we are on this subject anyone who takes ''mere'' listings can take 200 listings and still never be a full time agent as they are doing their ''clients'' the worst service that can be offered and telling their ''clients'' that it is OK. WHAT A CROCK.

    We are not supposed to be involved with any Real Estate deal that we don't have the requisite experience to handle. Anyone who takes a mere listing allows the client to believe that the only thing necessary to sell a house for the highest and best price is putting the listing into the MLS® system. These clients should be able to sue the Brokerage and the salesperson when this doesn't work out because it is destined to fail.
  • marny | 17 Jul 2013, 10:28 PM Agree 0
    What was wrong with my comment?
  • Lindsay Percy | 18 Jul 2013, 02:39 AM Agree 0
    As a Broker/Manager running a full service Brokerage I worry about the ability of part-time sales reps to fully commit to the service of their clients. Real estate is a balancing act already in terms of commitment to Business, Family and self. Add another layer of responsibility and something has to give. I also have a concern for new sales reps who receive no additional training from their Brokerages or who can't attend additional training because they are at "their other job". Practical training is a necessity when a Realtor is new and in this constantly changing industry, continued education is essential. Committed Realtors are true professionals. Would you go to a part-time Doctor? Getting into Real Estate should require a serious commitment, be prepared financially and otherwise.
  • EJ Gordon | 18 Jul 2013, 07:21 AM Agree 0
    I may be oversimplifying this, but does it not make sense that the more time you spend on something, the better you can become at it? It is true that certain parts of being a real estate agent such as getting a license do not require too much attention, but as Robert points out, analogously just because you can play baseball doesn't mean you're going to the world series.

    I do not want to discount part-time agents in any way, as you absolutely can have a better experience as a client with one, but with such a drastic move of real estate moving its way onto the internet, and digital real estate marketing, it seems that the more time you can seek out new information and technologies, the better.

    With more time to find out more information, and find better properties, doesn't it make sense that a full-time broker has more resources to land you a better home, through a better overall experience and relationship?
  • Matthew Tamburello | 18 Jul 2013, 04:49 PM Agree 0
    I don't believe I've read anything more insane in my life! Would anyone here use a part-time dentist over a full-time one? Being elite in ANY industry, especially real estate, requires a full-time commitment and focus. Part-timers can say they don't have distractions that interfere with the dedication clients need but that's a farce...
  • WilliamER | 19 Jul 2013, 05:35 AM Agree 0
    Whoever wishes to entrust the biggest expenditure of their life, whoever wishes to entrust their ensuing lifestyle, etc, etc, to a part timer should also entrust every other aspect of their life to a part time everything.

    I am a FULL TIME real estate sales representative and it amazes me that that a part timer can amass all the knowledge necessary to serve clients properly let alone keep up with the ever-changing real estate climate.

    Members of the public who choose a part-timer over a full timer are short-changing themselves in ways that are not discernible to the un-knowing eye.

    Amazing too, is that in an industry so highly regulated, part-timers are welcomed with wide open arms. I’d wager that some of the bad press attributed to real estate practitioners by members of the public might find partial roots embedded in a ‘real estate’ person who happens to devote 40 hours of his week to another, preferred, discipline.

    Here is, in my opinion, is the difference between a part-timer, and a full-timer:-

    Part-timer: Make some easy quick bucks,week-ends especially. Just know a few basics, fake the rest.

    Full-timer: Love helping people - love selling and buying houses. Devoting time and resources to constantly update my skills and knowledge to serve the best interests of my clients. Every day of the week including Saturdays and Sundays.
  • sir william | 20 Jul 2013, 05:51 PM Agree 0
    Thank you for an industry that allowed me to work part time to get established. My goal was to replace that income. Now doing 70 to 90 deals a year I have more time off than when I started. A thought came to my mind if that you can't produce 12 deals a year after three years in the business you shouldn't keep a licence. My definition of a part timer is one who can't maintain 12 deals a year.
  • JCB | 20 Jul 2013, 11:45 PM Agree 0
    I'm guessing this article was written by a part time agent??
  • Rivka | 21 Jul 2013, 08:20 PM Agree 0
    Many part-time real estate salespeople sell more than full-timers.

    Too much envy and grudge in the heart of real estate sale people. Live and lets live.

    There is enough for everyone. The buyer and seller are free to use who they want.
    Wish everyone well and you will prosper.
  • K | 24 Jul 2013, 01:12 AM Agree 0
    Is there any respect for PT Realtors who hold FT positions in Legal offices with legal advice at their fingertips. Same goes for ....perhaps PT Realtor who works for a land use planner.

    Are they doing a less than adequate service for their clients, too?
  • Liz Bobeck | 17 Aug 2013, 09:35 PM Agree 0
    PT / FT, what does it matter? Selling is selling, and the numbers speak for themselves, if you can sell, you can call yourself whatever you want. Take care of clients and they take care of you with word of mouth referrals. Build an inbound system to take in new leads and you feed the pipeline. This is a simple business, it is the people who make it so difficult.
  • J Qwan | 04 Dec 2013, 04:23 PM Agree 0
    are some of you really comparing/giving examples compared to a doctor... wow
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