A career in real estate can be rewarding, but you might not be ready to commit to the industry full-time just yet. Maybe you still want that consistent paycheck on the side as you build your real estate empire, or you just can’t imagine giving up the job you truly love. In that case, you might want to pursue a career as a part-time agent while maintaining a second job!
A second job for a part-time real estate agent should have a flexible schedule and bring you out into the local community to meet new people. Popular second jobs include waiters, teachers, personal trainers, retail workers, gig workers, rideshare drivers, dog walkers, barbers, and car sales.
Full-time jobs with rigid schedules don’t mesh well with the usual flexibility of real estate. So do you currently have a job that lends itself to your success as an agent, or do you know which second jobs you should pursue while doubling as a part-time real estate agent? Keep reading to find out the best jobs (and industries) that bode well with real estate.
How Many Hours a Week Do Real Estate Agents Work?
Surveys show that 49% of real estate agents dedicate 40+ hours a week to building their real estate business. However, real estate agents are known as “independent contractors,” meaning you’re in complete control of how you run your business, and you can work whatever hours fit your schedule.
So it should come as no surprise that another 22% of real estate agents work part-time in the industry (30 hours or less per week).
Yet, it’s also important to point out that your efficiency as a real estate agent is far more important than the hours you spend at the office each week. For some agents, 20 to 30 hours a week is more than enough time to generate leads and schedule showings and listing presentations while holding another job on the side—sometimes called “moonlighting.”
You also don’t have to be a part-time agent to get into real estate. The video below will review five part-time real estate careers that can help you get your career off the ground.
What to Look for in a Second Job
It’s safe to say that not all second jobs lend themselves to a career in real estate. After all, the real estate industry is one of the least predictable.
Some weeks you’ll have five listing presentations, an open house, four buyers to cart around, and two closings. And sometimes, you’ll have to drop everything you’re doing to run over to a property when there’s an issue.
So when you’re looking for a second job as a real estate agent (or are merely wondering whether your current job can coexist when as an agent), here’s what to look out for:
- Flexibility in scheduling: A job where you choose your schedule and when you work (like gig work or another independent contractor position), or the typical hours don’t interfere with the usual real estate agent hours
- Interactions with people: A job where you’re constantly interacting with people in your community and engaging in conversation
- Consistent pay: A job that has decent pay and weekly or bi-weekly paychecks that’ll help you keep the lights on in your house when you have a slow month in real estate
- Low stress: A job that doesn’t leave you on edge, require you to be on-call or be unpredictable (real estate is stressful too, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself)
Now, that list helped to narrow down the second jobs that work well with a career as a part-time real estate agent. But what are some of the best industries or jobs for real estate agents to work on the side, careers explicitly that can help boost your real estate career?
Below, we’ll review several “second jobs” and why they can be a game-changer.
Food Services (Bartender, Barista, Waiter, Waitress)
The food service industry is one of the best “second jobs” for part-time real estate agents. Jobs in this industry include bartenders, baristas, waiters, waitresses, servers, and any other food-related career with you interacting with customers in a restaurant-like setting.
Many food service careers come with flexible hours. You might have the ability to create your schedule at the beginning of each week, so you can work your server hours around appointments and showings you already have scheduled with clients. If your restaurant is open late, you willingly take on the night shift, or you’re a late-night bartender, there’s also very little overlap between both jobs.
The flexibility is nice for a smoother schedule, but these jobs have another crucial benefit—the sheer amount of face-to-face interactions with customers.
You’re already sparking conversations over the bar and showing interest in customers’ lives, and these chats play a considerable role in how much they’ll tip you when they get the check.
These conversations are also prime-time to work in your side job as a real estate agent, especially if the people at your tables mention home renovations, the housing market, or that they “want to get out” of the current community. They leave with a full stomach and your business card in hand, and you walk away with a brand new lead.
Education (Teacher, Professor, Counselor)
Being in the education world can do wonders for your part-time real estate agent career, particularly during those lovely three months you have off during the summer. Many teachers, professors, and counselors take advantage of this uninterrupted, extended time away from the classroom to put their real estate careers at the forefront.
On top of those three months, selling real estate part-time is also possible during the school year. You’ll typically be home from 3 PM onward, which gives you several hours a day to squeeze lead generation and appointments into your busy schedule.
If you’re doubling as a real estate agent in the community you teach in, the benefits are even more significant—name recognition can help your real estate career soar.
The students who love being in your classroom may make you a household name mentioned around the dinner table, so both your students and their families will notice your name on your listings’ yard signs. And if you’re a high school or middle school teacher with over 160 students a year, that’s an additional 160 families in the community who know about you.
While it’s inappropriate to hand out business cards in the classroom and talk about real estate as a teacher, the open schedule and name recognition make teaching a great second job.
Fitness (Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor)
Like the bar, the gym is just one of those places where people talk about everything under the sun with complete and total strangers. So jobs in the fitness industry, especially personal trainers and group fitness instructors have a definite leg-up in advancing real estate careers.
The flexibility in scheduling draws many fitness enthusiasts to personal training, which also makes it a career that meshes well with real estate.
You might only have to be in the gym when you have a one-on-one session or group class planned. And as the trainer, you may be able to dictate when your classes are held, so it’s possible to finish your gig as a fitness instructor by the end of the morning. Whatever time is left in the day can go to lead generation, listing appointments, and showing homes.
Another vital benefit of using the fitness industry as your second job is the amount of time you interact with gym-goers one-on-one.
If you’re training a client in a one-hour training session, topics of conversation will flow naturally, especially as you build the instructor-client connection. Real estate, the economy, and taxes will always seem to come up in some way or another. When it does, that’s your chance to mention that you’re an agent, bring out your business card, and leave it at that—don’t push it too much.
Retail Sales (Retail Worker, Cashier)
Working retail might not be ideal in terms of wages and the stress of working with disgruntled customers, but it definitely has its perks. The most notable is that you’ll be interacting with tons of people each day if you’re a retail worker or cashier at a busy retail store.
This job type can help you get clients or leads if you somehow bring real estate into a topic of conversation. However, what’s more important is that you’re sculpting your people skills.
Every shift, you’ll have to listen to customers’ problems, be able to empathize with them, and figure out a solution that satisfies all parties. This is very similar to real estate. For example, a client realizes that they’re in over their head in the current house, wants to downsize, and you’re going to do what it takes to find them a more affordable home.
So in a way, working retail will help you to work on your communication skills in a way that improves how you interact with the public.
Another perk is that retail jobs are almost always part-time—giving you plenty of free time to focus on real estate during the week—and you might have some freedom to choose which shifts you work to work it around your schedule.
Gig Work (Odd Jobs, Pet Sitting, Food Delivery, Rideshare)
Gig work gets a bad reputation because, like real estate, it leaves you in an independent contractor’s role. However, it also brings you out into the local community, meeting people you’ve never met otherwise.
Some local gig work you might want to consider includes:
- Pet sitting: People see their pets as the most valuable family members, so there’s already an underlying trust if they’re willing to leave their dog or cat in your care.
- Odd jobs: Sites like TaskRabbit post job listings for odd jobs, like moving help, yard work, furniture assembly, and cleaning (bonus points if they’re home-related tasks).
- Rideshare: As an Uber or Lyft driver, you’ll be interacting with people all day, and, if you make conversation, you can always steer it toward real estate casually.
- Food delivery: DoorDash, GrubHub, and PostMates will get you out into the community, and people will be happy to see you when you have delicious food in hand.
The best part about these jobs is that you can work when you want, how you want, and as much as you want. You don’t have a boss telling you that you must work a certain number of hours per week, and you can decide to put in a few hours of work at the last second. So on those days, you don’t have any appointments, you can dedicate more hours to food delivery.
Some of these jobs also bring you into other peoples’ homes. That’s the perfect opportunity to complement their decor, the recent renovations they’ve done, or the lush grass in the front yard.
While discussing their home, that would be the perfect time to slip in that you’ve seen your fair share of decor as an agent—then you’ll get the old, “So how much is my home worth?” This might not be a “hot” lead, but it gets them to see you in the agent role for a future date.
Beauty & Hair Specialists (Barber, Cosmetologist)
One thing can be said for a lot of people: They take their hair seriously. Many people will find a barbershop they trust with their locks, go on a strict weekly or monthly schedule, and request the same barber every time. You probably see where this one is going already.
As a barber or hair specialist, you’ll talk to the same people for 15 minutes or more at a time every week. As your client is sitting in the chair as you cut their hair, this is the perfect time to make small talk, and boy do they open up quickly.
You’ll be able to learn about the details of their lives and, in many cases, you’ll get to hear about their divorce, desire to move, or home renovations. When these topics of conversation come up, what better way to bring real estate into the discussion?
Since many barbers and hair specialists rent out chairs or work areas at the local barbershop, you can essentially work whenever it fits your schedules. So you can keep real estate to the morning, and hair cutting to the afternoon, or vice versa.
Car Sales (Dealership, Rental)
Last but not least, being in the business of car sales or rentals might just be what you need to catapult your real estate success.
First and foremost, you know how long the car-buying process takes, and you’ll have clients sitting on the other side of your desk for sometimes three hours or more. Ask them where they’re from, and the rest is history!
Working in sales also gives you the chance to work on other skills you’ll need to succeed in real estate, particularly negotiation skills.
Not only will you be able to talk a good game and convince your clients that they’re getting the value of a lifetime on their new car, but getting them a good deal on a vehicle may get them to see that you’re a good salesman or negotiator.
When it comes time to buy or sell, they’ll turn to you, the tried and true salesman, to get them the most money in their account or the home of their dream for a more affordable price. After all, they already saw your negotiating abilities first-hand.
Walking the Line: Knowing the Second Job Boundaries
All of the jobs above will have you out in the community, meeting new people, and possibly expanding your business while you’re on the clock elsewhere. And while this second job can do wonders for lead generation, you walk a fine line with how you go about mentioning real estate or letting your boss know that you’ll need a particular schedule.
There’s a lot that you’ll need to consider, like:
- Does your other job have rules about advertising on-site? If so, you might not be able to hand out your business card or talk about real estate on company property.
- How do you plan to bring real estate into the conversation? Weaving it into conversation naturally is always better than starting with it upfront.
- What will you do if one of your appointments creeps into your work hours? It might be up to you to find somebody to fill your shift for you for some jobs.
- What happens if you need to get to the property while you’re on the clock? You may need to find another agent to cover for you or ask your boss if you can clock out early.
- What will you do when one job begins taking up more of your schedule? You may have to choose between real estate or your other job.
These are things you’ll want to consider before juggling a second job alongside a career in real estate. You don’t want to find out after the fact that your boss won’t let you discuss real estate with customers or will be unwilling to adjust your work schedule to fit your real estate schedule.
Juggling a career in real estate and a second job on the side isn’t always a simple task.
So here’s some advice:
Don’t jump into either job too quickly. Take your time to get your feet wet first, and then slowly bump up your hours from week to week.
Bring up your role as a real estate agent, subtly. Your personal training clients or Uber riders don’t want to feel trapped for an hour as they hear your “spiel” about real estate.
Consider transitioning to real estate full-time. If real estate is eating up more and more of your time, and you’re making really good money, it might be a good full-time job for you.