I ask this question because recently I have been putting in 12 hour days for six and seven days a week over the last four months.  I could probably cut back on a couple of areas that are not as meaningful to the day-to-day business of real estate.  But I don’t believe I could hold down another job or scale back my hours to a part time effort without seriously decreasing my level of competence and expertise.  So I wonder, what areas of the business do part-time agents and people that use real estate to make a little money on the side cut back on or eliminate all together?

I am not saying that it wasn’t possible in the immediate past to be a part-time agent.  Two or three years ago, the inventory levels were low and homes stayed on the market such a short period of time, most agents didn’t have an opportunity to preview the marketplace and learn about the inventory.  It took two days to see everything that was for sale.  When I began selling homes in 2003, there were 35 homes for sale in my immediate farm area of Ashburn.  This morning there are 435.  Today, I spend about eight to 10 hours a week just following inventory and sales so that I can keep up with what is happening in the marketplace.

Short-sales, foreclosures, auctions, REO, asset managers, deed-in-lieu, third party approvals, special warranty deeds, etc, etc.  These are all topics of discussion and areas of confusion and concern for real estate professionals as well as the buying and selling public. These topics were non-issues just 18 months ago, but now I spend countless hours a week learning and researching how these things will affect my clients and myself.  I think I spend more time than most on trying to learn about these latest trends that are affecting the real estate industry and each day I learn something new that helps me better navigate my clients.

Add these two areas that take up a large chunk of time every week on top of marketing, lead conversion, referral networking, online advertising, appointments, showings, paperwork, continuing education, association participation and anything else I left out.  I just can’t see being a part-time agent without seriously diminishing my effectiveness and my professionalism.  That isn’t to say that someone couldn’t sell real estate part-time but I believe their other vocational endeavors would have to be an offshoot of the real estate industry.