Can I Live On a Part-Time Real Estate Salary?

Running the numbers

Are you considering dipping your toes into the exciting world of real estate but wondering if you can make ends meet with a part-time gig? The cost of living in California is notoriously high, so this is a valid concern. Read on to explore the feasibility of living off a part-time real estate agent salary in the Golden State, touching on income potential, contributing factors, and more. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Part-time agents make an average of $30,000 per year. However, earnings vary based on location, market conditions, and individual effort.
  • Part-time agents work around 20-30 hours per week, engaging in tasks like prospecting, lead generation, client nurturing, and marketing.
  • The more hours worked, the higher the income, although more hours don’t always equate to more income.

How Much Does a Part-Time Real Estate Agent Make in California?       

The average real estate agent income in California for a full-time agent is over $80,000 per year. But what about part-time real estate agents? The income of a part-time agent can vary significantly depending on factors like location, market conditions, and individual hustle.

In California, where real estate prices can soar sky-high, the earning potential is undoubtedly promising. While it’s true that agents working fewer hours may not reach the heights of their full-time counterparts, that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid income. On average, part-time agents in California can expect to earn around $30,000 annually. 

What Does it Mean to Be a Part-Time Real Estate Agent? 

Becoming a part-time real estate agent offers a unique opportunity to pursue a dynamic career while still maintaining flexibility in your schedule. Typically, real estate agents don’t work set hours, which is a draw for most people considering a career in the field in the first place. It’s also why a part-time real estate career is an attractive option for some new agents. 

While “full-time” real estate agents tend to work 40 hours per week or more, not all of this time is spent showing homes or closing deals. Successful real estate agents – both full- and part-time – often schedule time for things like prospecting, lead generation, and nurturing their existing leads and clients. 

There’s also marketing and advertising, which can take up significant time out of any agent’s workday. As you might imagine, part-time real estate agents will need to work these essential parts of their jobs into their schedules, too. That’s why most part-time real estate agents tend to work roughly 20-30 hours per week, with very few working less than 20 hours. 

Factors Impacting Part-Time Real Estate Agent Earnings 

For those considering a part-time venture into the world of real estate, it’s essential to understand the various factors that can influence your earning potential. While part-time agents might not dedicate as many hours to their real-estate endeavors as full-time agents, several key factors can still impact how much they can earn. 

Market Dynamics 

The state of the real estate market can have a significant impact on a part-time agent’s earnings. In a hot seller’s market where properties are flying off the shelves, part-time agents may find themselves with more opportunities to close deals and earn commissions. Conversely, in a sluggish market with lower demand, earning potential may be more limited. 

Regional Disparities 

 The adage, “location, location, location” rings especially true in California’s real estate landscape. Earning potential can differ significantly based on location. Part-time agents operating in affluent neighborhoods or popular coastal areas may benefit from higher commission rates and a greater volume of high-value transactions. Others working in rural or inland regions might navigate a market with more moderate earnings. 

Commission Structure 

 The commission structure can vary from brokerage to brokerage and may also depend on the type of transactions involved. Part-time agents should familiarize themselves with their brokerage’s commission policies, including the percentage split between the agent and the brokerage, as well as any additional fees or expenses that may impact their earnings. 

Experience and Expertise 

As with any profession, experience and expertise can directly impact earning potential in real estate. Part-time agents who possess specialized knowledge or skills, such as expertise in a particular neighborhood or property type, may be able to command higher commissions and attract more clients willing to work with them. 

Time and Effort Invested  

While part-time agents may face some limitations in terms of time and availability compared to their full-time counterparts, the time and effort they invest can still have a significant impact on their earnings. Part-time agents who are proactive, organized, and committed to their real estate endeavors are likely to see better results and higher earnings over time. 

We conducted a survey detailing how much you can make as a real estate agent based on the hours you put in. Based on the survey, the more hours real estate agents worked per week, the more their income rose. While it’s not a role that more hours equals more income, it certainly seems to factor into what one can expect to earn. So, instead of asking, ‘How much do new real estate agents make?’ or ‘How much does a real estate agent make per month?’, it seems the real question is how many hours you’re willing to put into your part-time real estate career. 

How to Know if a Part-Time Real Estate Career is For You? 

Whether or not you can live on a part-time real estate salary largely depends on your current living expenses and what you can expect out of your career overall. If you’re simply looking to supplement another income, it’s likely you could live off a part-time real estate income in the state of California. 

However, if you’re looking to earn full-time pay from part-time work, it’s not impossible, but highly unlikely. Even though commission and property values are high in California, so are living expenses.  

The further you progress in your career and the more experience you gain, the higher the likelihood you’ll be able to earn a great living from real estate while working fewer hours. Plenty of seasoned real estate professionals choose to hire assistants, become more selective in what listings and clients they take on, and spend less time prospecting.  

Are you ready for a career you love? Get started with this free Career Kit. 

Free Report: Download our free California Real Estate Income Report for more tips and insights on how to maximize your earning potential.

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