Many real estate agents have a flexible part-time job on the side, such as those in the gig economy, the restaurant industry, or retail. Yet, doubling as a teacher and a real estate agent is a bit of a different story. Sure, you work a busy 40-hour week from September to June, but you also have those sweet three months off in the summer and short breaks during the school year.
You can be a teacher and a real estate agent at the same time. The typical teaching schedule—shifts ending near 3 PM and summers off—lends itself to the flexibility needed in real estate. Yet, you won’t be available to clients between those critical hours of 7 AM to 3 PM, and burnout is likely.
This question is tricky to answer, and there are quite a few things you’ll want to consider before leaping into the real estate industry while holding a position as a full-time educator. Keep reading to learn about if (or how) these two industries mesh, and if success is a real possibility.
Do Teachers Make Good Real Estate Agents?
Teachers tend to make great real estate agents, and many educators who successfully dabble in real estate part-time will eventually make the transition into the role of a full-time agent. After all, there’s plenty of overlap in skills between these two career paths.
Just like you need to explain complex topics to the students in your classroom, you’ll also need to explain to your clients every step of the home buying process. For many clients, this is the first time they’re buying or selling a home, one of the biggest investments in their lives, and a major source of stress.
So your ability to simplify the paperwork, explain what happens next, and ease their minds will do wonders for your reputation as a real estate agent.
There’s also the record-keeping aspect in both careers. As a teacher, you keep track of attendance, grades, and student progress. As an agent, you’ll need to organize your client database and have buyers and sellers fill out the necessary forms.
The video below is a first-hand account of a former teacher who made the switch to real estate. Watch as he explains why he chose the career and how these two paths overlap:
When Do Teachers Find the Time to Do Real Estate?
Most teaching jobs will require you to be in the school building from 7 AM to 3 PM, give or take an hour or two depending on when school starts. Many teachers also spend time outside of the classroom, preparing for the week’s lessons, grading assignments, and completing summer PD. Some research puts this prep time outside the classroom at 1,030 hours per school year.
Since your school administration will likely have rules in place about not doing any other business while in the building, teachers who double as real estate agents will work:
- In the afternoons. Most schools let out between 3 and 4 PM—putting you on a similar work schedule of many other full-time workers in the community—so you can easily squeeze listing presentations and buyer tours into your late afternoons.
- On the weekends. With your weekends completely free of mandatory work, you can use this time to take your buyers to view houses, volunteer to host open houses for other agents in your office, and pursue lead generation.
- On days off and holiday breaks. When your district gives students and staff a real day off (not counting staff-in-service days), you can dedicate these days entirely to real estate. It’d be smart to condense some of your upcoming closings, listing presentations, and meetings with buyers into these days.
- During the summer. Apart from summer professional development hours, you’ll likely have June, July, and August to yourself. Summer tends to be the busiest and most lucrative time in real estate. You can pick up listings near the end of the school year and close them out before the next school year begins.
The Benefits of Being a Teacher & Real Estate Agent
Aside from the overlap in skills and a generally open schedule to dedicate to real estate, there are a few additional benefits of performing both of these duties simultaneously. So before you knock it, consider what good can come of it.
The greatest benefits come from the sphere you’re building.
If you’re a teacher with a genuine passion for the craft, your students likely enjoy being in your class and have spoken about you at length with their parents. In an industry like real estate where name recognition means everything, the more people who know your name, the better.
Your current and former students—as well as their parents—will recognize your name on local advertisements and yard signs on your listings, while also identifying you in public. Given the student’s positive relationship with you and enjoyment of being in your class, this may come with an ingrained trust in you, boosting your likelihood of getting these listings.
Another benefit is that you don’t have to go back to school or get a degree as you would with many other lucrative career paths. You can easily complete your real estate training and get your license within a few short months, something you can do during your summer break.
The Limitations of Being a Teacher & Real Estate Agent
Though it’s entirely possible to do real estate on the side while holding down a full-time teaching position, it’s easy for one of these careers to take over slowly. You’ll want to weigh the downsides of pairing these two jobs together.
The problems come down to conflicts of scheduling and conflicts of interest.
Not only would it be unprofessional to answer a phone call from a client during a lesson, but it’s probably against your district’s code of conduct as well. Going off the grid between 7 AM and 3 PM can be problematic to your relationships with your clients and the potential to close deals.
By the time you call that agent back, their client may have changed their mind about making an offer on your listing. On the buyer’s side, your buyer who refused to sign an agreement with you might have found another agent to take them on a tour of a house they’re interested in that day.
The problem with combining teaching and real estate isn’t that teaching typically comes with a 40-hour workweek. The greater issue is that the hours are consistent—unless you put in for a sick day, take a vacation day, or schedule your meetings and closings for days school is closed, you’ll never be able to do anything real estate related between 7 AM and 3 PM.
Another possible cause of concern is that it could be a conflict of interest, or at least awkward, to take on a fellow teacher or a student’s parents as clients. A deal that falls through or a bad experience with either of these parties can permanently ruin your relationship and complicate the rest of the school year.
Additionally, you always have to wonder if giving the student a bad grade on an assignment can affect the partnership you have with his or her parents.
You also need to know that combining the rigorous schedules and tasks of both real estate and teaching can be quite overwhelming. Teachers already have a high enough burnout rate, and pairing this with a stressful career as a real estate agent just might put you over the edge.
It’s entirely possible to be a real estate agent and a teacher simultaneously, reaping success in both career paths. The problem is that both of these careers are stressful, time-consuming, and burnout is very likely to happen eventually.
If you’re convinced that you can handle both jobs at the same time, understand that:
- You won’t be able to do anything real estate related between 7 AM and 3 PM.
- Your weekends, days off, and summers will likely go entirely to real estate.
- It might not be a good idea to accept the easy leads—parents and fellow teachers.
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