Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Why Use a Full Time Real Estate Agent?

Why Use a Full Time Real Estate Agent?

I get calls from buyers whose real estate agent told them to call me to see one of my listings.  Their agent can't make the appointment or show the property because they are at work (their real job).

If that buyer finds a property they like, their agent is not qualified to write the offer.  They did not examine the property for potential issues and needed addendums.  Many times they can't even be reached to get the offer written in a timely manner.  You can almost guarantee they do not know the market or are even proficient in contract writing.   

If they work a regular job elsewhere, they may not be available to attend the home inspection or the escrow signing.  In my experience they will not be attentive to the escrow process, will blow the time-line and will be impossible to communicate with.  Yet somehow they feel they will have earned a commission.

When working with me, buyers and sellers get an agent who does not cut corners. answers the phone, knows the market and truly cares about my clients and will always put your needs first.

Here are a few of the things I consider standard service.  Very few agents in my area are offering these services to their clients.

For my sellers:

  • Quality pictures including wide angle.
  • Your home posted in the MLS and many websites (too many to list).
  • Color flyers and brochure box in front of listing (where allowed).
  • A pledge of services.
  • A website with a domain name and sign with the web address.
  • Virtual tour.
  • Regular Sunday open houses.
  • Broker's open houses on the monthly date for the area.
  • An electronic lockbox that tracks everyone who enters the home.
  • Regular communication with sellers including comparable market reports.
  • Print ads.
  • The property promoted at regional REALTOR® meetings.
  • E-mails to top producers in the area.
  • Benefit of the market knowledge of one of the top, full time licensed brokers in the area and his support team.

For My Buyers:

  • Free buyer's representation.
  • I will schedule and accompany you when you preview homes and point out potential red flags.
  • Market analysis and public records check of any property considered for an offer.
  • Prepare all documents and explain them in detail.  You sign nothing you do not understand.
  • Negotiations by an experienced licensed broker.
  • Manage the entire escrow process.
  • Help with referrals of other professions such as inspectors, loan officers, etc.
  • Accompany you to the escrow and mortgage signing.
  • I continue to work with you after the transaction if any issues or questions pop.

Many agents have not done well in the market and have cut back on expenses.  That is the reality.  The problem is clients are buying and selling the most expensive thing own or will own.  Why should they entrust it with an agent who does not have enough money to properly market their home or have the time to properly represent them? 

I will finish this with a statement I have made many time in the past.  Real estate is a full time profession.  You cannot sell real estate part time and do it well.  Theoretically it is possible, I am just not seeing in real life.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 102 commentsRandy Prothero • August 24 2009 03:42AM


Aloha Randy. Very nice post setting yourself apart from the rest of the pack.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing over 9 years ago

Randy, everyone has to start somewhere. I rather see a knowledgeable and respectful  part time agent than an obnoxious "all about me" agent to deal with.

I carry over 25 listings most of the time. .and I see the differences very clear on the enquires and offers we receive. Is not because each agent  is a part timer or not. .it is because that person has the desire to really help their clients and NOT THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS.

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 9 years ago

It defies logig why a home buyer would avoid using the services of an agent that represents their interests.  Shows how little the public understands about our business.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I attended the other agent's inspection with their buyer because the other agent was at work. The buyers told me, without me asking, that their agent used to be a "Go-Getter" but now that she has a regular job it's hard to get her to do anything.


Posted by TheMillsTeam YourSebringRealtors, 863-212-5441 (Advantage Realty #1) over 9 years ago


The internet can only get you so far. Using a full time Realtor makes so much sense.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago


A nice guide to both side of any transaction services. I am going to print them to check against our standards. Thanks

Posted by Dave Humphrey, Broker, Real Estate Advice You Can TRUST! (RE/MAX Marketplace) over 9 years ago

Randy, it is incumbent upon us to explain what we will do for our clients and let them know, up front, what they can expect and give them permission to hold us to it or ask why. Sounds like you've got that part down! Now if we could just get in front of every consumer and explain why they need to ASK if the information isn't offered! 

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) over 9 years ago

Randy, congratulations on the featured article.  Great advice here, the difference in someone who works and understands the local market and someone who is just supplimenting their job with an occasional commission check. 

Posted by South Austin Real Estate Blog (Sky Realty South Austin) over 9 years ago

Randy: We have many full time agents, who act like part time agents, many don't show up for the inpsections or the closings.

Posted by Sandy Childs, Realtor - Spartanburg, SC (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago


You mean I'm supposed to show up from time to time to serve my client?  And keep appointments?  And actually see the house before writing up an offer?  Wow....

:)  Good post!


Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago


Your list is excellent! The only good thing about this economy and market, is that, it does eliminate those people in our profession who cannot do the job.  It is hard work and you do need to be a true professional to succeed.

ps, your background photo of this blog is beautiful.  Hope to see Hawaii some day:)

It's a Good Life,


Posted by Frances C. Rokicki, Broker-Mentor,CRS (Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Randy, I agree with Fernando inasmuch as everyone needs to start some place.  That said I do not agree everyone else should have to make allowances for part time agents.

Real Estate is a 7 day a week business.  Easing into the business is not the case with the majority of part timers.  They always had full time jobs, they do not intend to do Real Estate as a career and this is just "pin money" for them. 

It is unfair to the clients who use them.  They get less than complete representation. 

It is unfair to other Realtors who are full time who have to clean up after part timers. To get a deal to closing often the full time agent has to take some or most of the responsibility over.  The full time agent is doing the work for both but getting paid for one.  Why would I want to work for my client plus another agent for the same compensation? 

If an agent wants to work part time they should partner with a full time agent or pay a fee to another agent in the office to handle the transaction.  This has been a pet peeve of mine since I first entered Real Estate in 1985.

Lack of communication and unavailability creates a perception that hurts our industry and adds to the public perception of how well "we" ply our trade.

Posted by Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin over 9 years ago

Good post. Unfortunately I have worked with full time agents who have part time hours...not good.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Randy, I have noticed this trend! The only time I feel I'm not wasting my time with someone else's client is when I'm the Listing Agent(I'll get compensated when the house sells). Because I don't do DUAL agency, I'm able to enhance the "discovery process" by asking probing questions to the looker that I can later make FULL DISCLOSURE to my Seller client .

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 9 years ago

I have to agree with Fernando, I feel it's the agent who makes the difference, I have worked with full time agents who did not provide their clients with full time service!

Posted by David O'Doherty, Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC (Raleigh Realty Inc) over 9 years ago

At least this market is weeding out those who don't run a good real estate business.

Posted by Dave Edwards (Dave Edwards Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy, one other thing clients get with full time Realtors is immediate access to the Realtor community.  The network in our town is strong.  We talk to each other, help each other (even across companies at times) and work together well.  A FSBO or part time situation doesn't get to enjoy this kind of "in" with ALL the Realtors. 

Posted by Bob Haywood, BobHaywood.com (McGraw Realtors) over 9 years ago

Hello Randy,

My question is what do you consider as a part time agent?  Is it a person who doesn't answer their phone right away? Is it a person who doesn't attend an inspection? Is it a person who doesn't live, breath, real estate 24/7?  Because if that is it then there are no true full time agents.



Posted by William German (NetWorks Real Estate LLC) over 9 years ago

Why should a buyer us a real estate agent? Most people just don't have time to be looking. They have a job (sometimes more), and a family. They are overworked, underpaid, undernourished, underappreciated, overstressed, overinformed, underinformed, etc. When they get home they just want to do nothing (rest).

We do the following:

  1. Find and get them the house
  2. Negotiate to get a favorable price for them
  3. We help them with the inspections
  4. Make sure there are no legal issues after the purchase
  5. They don't pay us $$$

Okay, now I'm going to go look for a buyer who needs my help.

Posted by Ernest Villafranca over 9 years ago

The term part time Realtor is an oxymoron. Recently I have had part time people schedule 8:00 pm showingsn because of their full work week doing something else, and they can't make any inspections or meet the appraiser, and the closing has to be scheduled during their lunch break. I am sensing a new business model, and that is the Realtor as not only part time, but with no interest in becoming full time. They look at real estate as something that augments their income like a bonus. I dud ask one of them about this and they confirmed my suspicion.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 9 years ago

Randy  Great Post !! not only does your list tell all that we do, but it is a very good reason why we earn our commission.  Plus there are many other things as well.

Bonnie, I agree with you, and I understand why some people have to start partime, but your idea of teaming up with a full time Realtor, would be excellent, and beneficial for all concerned.

Posted by Tom and Stephanie Hansson, Hansson and Hansson Real Estate Team (Cortiers Real Estate) over 9 years ago

RANDY- Thank you for saying it outloud.  Part timers hurt everyone.  Look we get it the economy is tough, but this is a full time occupation.  In order to be any good at it.  Not just an opportunity to cash in while someone does all the work for you.


Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) over 9 years ago

You know why people still use 'half agents'?

Because people like US will pick up the slack. To protect the deal -- and OUR clients.


What if . . . we simply stopped?

Hmmmm . . . . .


Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) over 9 years ago


You clearly lay out the services (just some of them) that buyers and sellers will get from agents who are working fulltime on their behalf. We see a good number of agents who are not providing much in the way of service or representation. Perhaops they are overwhelmed with the amount of business they have but i suspect that is NOT the case. It continues to promote the negative impression many consumers have of what we do and how we get paid.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

I think everyone is forgetting that there are full time agents that need to suppliment their real estate incomes at times.  When I started real estate I had no other option but to work about 30 hours a week doing other things.  My intention was always to become full time and I have, but getting started isn't easy, especially at 23 years old.  You are faced with people who don't trust you, respect you, think you are too young, uneducated, ect.  It's tough to get started so I can cut some people some slack.  The shade tree weekenders have no place in the business. 

Posted by David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 9 years ago

We just closed a transaction on Friday with a verypart-time agent that was a complete challenge!  On several occasions, we were the only agents present at critical points in the process and had to remind the buyer that we did not represent them anc could not give them advice.  What I think is worse is the broker who has this type of agent bumbling through a transaction without guidance, but will gladly accept the commission check once we have done the majority of the work.

Thanks, just had to get that off my chest...

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Randy - as I've written many times before, a part time agent (or a part-time "full time" agent) should arrange to have their business covered when they're not available, or should be part of a team that can be full time.

Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 9 years ago

It's not just the part timers that are guilty of the offenses you've mentioned. The client deserves a complete job from their Realtor whether they are full time or part time. Thanks.

Posted by Amy Jones, (licensed in LA) (Amy Jones Photo) over 9 years ago

Okay, Randy, I like what you are saying here, but I do want to challenge you a bit on it.  I own a second business that I run - it takes up approximately 15 hours of my week.  I consider myself a full time real estate agent as well.  I work every day of the week, have sellers and buyers, and consider myself very competent (in both businesses).  When I am finding myself swamped with work in either job, I hire people to help out, therefore allowing me to give my clients the best service possible (in both businesses).  I complete the contracts and all other paperwork in a timely manner and understand everything about them.  When there is something that I don't understand, I take the time to research it and ask the broker or others to explain it more thoroughly to me.  So there ARE some people out there who CAN do more than one job competently and efficiently.  Just sayin'.

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy - Nice outline!  I really enjoyed reading this and the other agent's comments too!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 9 years ago

I don't think anyone is suggesting that part time agents are banned from the business. I believe brokers should take more responsibility for the agents they employ.  If they know the agent is part time give them oversight.  The broker receives compensation from the transaction as well, and should have a vested interest in the process.

Posted by Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin over 9 years ago

Bonnie - I think you might have the best solution.  Many brokers just sit back and don't keep up with what their agents are doing despite the vested interest they have in all the transactions.

Posted by David Monsour, ABR - www.realty-insights.com (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) over 9 years ago

Susie - Thank you

Fernando - I can honestly say that it may be true a part timer can do it as well.  I am just not seeing it in real life!

Lenn - I feel it is a shame on us situation if we have not communicated the difference well.

Andrea and Darrin - I have let them in, but will not stay for their inspection.  Next they will want me to be at their escrow signing.

Rich - With the internet our role has changed some, but is no less important.

Dave - Of course that does not include all the things we have to do during each transaction.

Sarah - It is important

Gail - I see the difference every day.

Sandy - I do not consider them full time professionals.  It takes more than not having another jog to be full time.

Mike J. - I even get offers where neither buyer nor agent have seen the property.

Fran - Thank you.  Come visit if you make it to Hawaii.

Bonnie - I agree 100% with everything you said!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I have known a few agents that had another job but kept almost full time hours and I've also known other "full time" agents that kept part time hours. It really depends on the person that you are dealing with.

Posted by Home Loan Search.Online (Home Loan Search Online) over 9 years ago

I am glad that I am not part time, but I do agree that its not about part time or full time, but quality time they put into the transaction.  I have been apart of two transactions and it always seems that one agent is doing most of the work.  

Posted by Tim Krueger (Morovish Properties) over 9 years ago

I agree with the above. There are less than would be imagined that are professionals and take our responsibilities seriously. Unfortuntely, that is not neccessarily what earns us the client the first time, but definitely what gets us the REPEAT BUSINESS - Aloha~ Yvonne

Posted by Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn over 9 years ago

Please excuse the mis-spellings! DUH!

Posted by Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn over 9 years ago

Randy this is an excellent presentation of the value you bring to your clients. As for part time agents, as a broker, that is a big NO NO with listings.  They must partner up with somebody else who is full time - the client comes first.  I have no problem with part time agents - as long as the clients are taken care of with excellence.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 9 years ago

"My question is what do you consider as a part time agent?  Is it a person who doesn't answer their phone right away? Is it a person who doesn't attend an inspection? Is it a person who doesn't live, breath, real estate 24/7?  Because if that is it then there are no true full time agents."

I think that the answer comes down to is the agent not doing these things because he has a commitment with a different eployer. Which one is the job and which one is the career. I have often taken up "part-time" gigs for some extra spending money AND new avenues for networking, but if the job can't help me further my real estate business, then I won't take it. You need to ask yourself if you had to let one go which would it be? Then you will know if you are comitted to being a full time REALTOR or not. Also you have to realize that you can't work full-time at both and expect to be any good at either.

Posted by Jean-Paul Peron over 9 years ago

Randy--we get those calls too. Unfortunately, many agents are just plain lazy and don't make the time to be available to their buyers.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 9 years ago

Gary W. - Then they are not full time.

Michael J. - You make a good point.  By the other agent giving you more exposure to their client, it can put them at a disadvantage especially during negotiations.

David O. - A full time agent gives full time service.  If they are not doing that, they are not a full time agent.

Dave E. - Many are leaving.

William G. - I disagree completely.  I know many quality agents who answer their phone and provide top flight service.  Maybe 24/7 is a bit much, but I have to confess, that describes me.  My nickname among several of my friends (given to me by one of my clients/ friends) is the "24/7 Man".

Ernest - I not only do not cost buyers, I save them money, time, grief and reduce their risk.\

Joe P. - Those are the agents that really need to get out.  The broker who keeps them around is crazy.

Stephanie - I have teamed up with many new and part time agents.  I am doing a co-listing right now with a new agent, who will be a top Realtor.

Candice - We can't stop, our clients hired us to protect their interests. 

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I have buyers calling me who are working with part timers. When I ask them why aren't they calling their agent, their response is "I didn't want to bother them." I tell them that's their job. Maybe I should email them your list.

Posted by Julie A. Black, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker (KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist) over 9 years ago

Randy, I couldn't agree more.  I wish the part time hacks would get out of the business.  They are one of the main problems with our image.

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) over 9 years ago

Jeff D. - I see so many agents who have listings on the market for ridiculous periods of time.  They have no pictures and can't be reached to schedule a showing.  In my mind they should receive disciplinary action.  I also question where are their brokers in all of this?  Maybe their broker is part time also.

David M. - Yes it is tough to get started.  It is tough to start any business.  It does require a plan and execution.  If the agent is unable to go full time, they need to team up with someone allowing full time coverage for their clients.

AJ and Jodee - Even worse is the part time broker, who is also the part time loan officer and does neither well.  Try being on the other side of them.  Worse yet, try being their client.

Amy - Clients absolutely deserve top service.  Any agent collecting a commission owes that to their clients!

Emily - It sounds like you are providing full time service.

Lisa - I am a little surprised.  Usually when I write about professionalism, I get attacked by those who fall in the other category trying to justify themselves.

Bonnie - I agree, brokers need to take more responsibility for some of these agents.

David M. - I have found many of the brokers just as hard to reach.  Possibly they are part time also.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Integrity - Having another job or a family is not the litmus test.  It is the dedication to the business and the hours and resources you invest.

Tim K. - That seems to be the norm.

Yvonne - That is a good point.  I have picked up several clients this last year, because they did not get good service from their previous agent.

Anha - That is a good policy for brokers.

Jean-Paul - There are times when an agent has other responsibilities.  Their clients should not get less service because of it though.

Julie - I get those calls all the time.   My clients never have to make those calls.

Damon - They definitely need to either do it right or don't do it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I worked part time for a long time, until I could afford to do it full time, however, I never treated my clients that way.  I always showed them the properties myself, or worked with someone at the office, who could show them the properties, when I wasn't available.

I don't believe that being part time is what makes a difference between an agent who cares and one who doesn't, because I know MANY full-time, #1 this and #1 that, who NEVER show their clients the homes themselves, and rarely write an offer that's worth the paper it's written on.  If you try to call them, forget it.  They don't answer their phone, and MAY get back to you in a week or two.

You can be a professional, whether you are part time or full time; and you can look after your client's best interests - if you care - regardless of how many hours you put into the business.


Posted by Sylvie Conde, Broker, Toronto Real Estate (Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Doesn't come down to the golden ruleL: treat others as you'd like to be treated - whether your part-time, full time  - just do it in this lifetime

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) over 9 years ago

Sylvia - The part about worked with someone in your office was the secret.  That allowed you to give full time service.

Janice - I have another golden rule.  In order to collect the gold, you should provide gold service.  :)

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Randy--I could not have said it better myself.  Having experienced some difficulties with part-time agents, if I were a buyer or seller, my first criterion would be that he/she must be a full-time agent.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Randy - Great job here explaining the benefits of having a full-time agent working on your behalf.  Hope you're doing well!

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 9 years ago

The only issue I have here is that you should not claim that your buyer agency services are "FREE" -- unless they are... do you make a commission while acting as the buyer agent? If you do, it is not a free service. Claiming it is a free service is not only misleading, but also diminshes in importance the aspect of agency that deals with representing buyers. Buyer are in fact paying for the service, whether through cash or through an added amount to the purchase price, which they pay. So unless the price is reduced by the amount of the coop (buyer agent) fee, they pay.

And well they should... the services of a buyer agent are at least as worthy as those of a listing agent... time, professionalism, picking up after incompetent listing agents, or unmotivated listing agents, or just, as we have had to deal with recently, a listing agent that thinks they are a gift to humanity, but cant be bothered to actually deal with there responsibilities... if only the banks knew how little service they get from most listing agents in REO property...

So I am often flabbergasted when I hear of people who are buyers agents claiming to offer the service for free... the proper phrase would be "at no additional cost" -- if that is true... these days, we often charge above the coop fee for buyer agent services, and we are aware of many who charge an hourly rate, cash, whether the buyer buys or not... the service is very important, and should not be degraded within the profession by inaccurate representations like these...

Great Post... Reblog...!!!

Posted by Paul Silver, Rhode Island full service real estate firm over 9 years ago

Hmmm...another "part-time realtor" bashing party is going on, I see...

It is the quality of service that is provided that is the key to whether an agent does well or not, whether they have another job or not...NOT the time they spend in an office or with their phone waiting for appointments to show houses, or write contracts, etc.

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) over 9 years ago

Great Post.  A thought starter.

Posted by Steve Willis, Realtor - Gilbert, AZ (Keller Williams Integrity First) over 9 years ago

Randy - I think the gist of your post is not Part-time or full-time. It makes a difference on whether the agent can show up at the time of the buyers' needs - whether it's showing, writing an offer, show up for inspection and handling escrow transaction.

Some full time agents (who dont have a job elsewhere) cannot give the time and commitment to clients, then some PT agents could.

Clearly in your example, the agent is incompetent - who cannot show up for the Buyer. In the first place, why is the Buyer keeping the agent then?

All that being said, I started the business part time. I can see the difference between my time devotion now versus then. These days, I can also constantly preview and learn more during my "down" time whereas it used to be on the go,go,go for me with no learning time to get better at the next transaction.

I'd never go back to having 2 jobs again. None of them (my job and my clients) had the best of me and I do think that's unfair.

No one (part-time agents) can commit like a full-time agent because everyone is only given the same 24 hours. If a full time agent choose to be goofing off, shame on him/ her. If a part-time agent can show the commitment and learn and get better, I really then wouldnt consider the agent part time then too.

Good blog topic.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 9 years ago

I think it depends more on the person than the definition of part-time.  I consider myself to be a full time real estate agent but I also hold another job.  I go to the inspections and the closing with my clients. 

I don't always answer my phone on the first ring but I have almost never called a "full-time" agent and gotten them on the first try either.  I give my all to my clients and plan to make real estate my career. 

Part-time is a lable that can be applied to alot of agents who don't hold other jobs.


Posted by Juanita Sapp (Pro Players Realty) over 9 years ago

I started as a PT agent.  I took my time getting business, so as not to overwhelm my schedule.  I had a seemingly flexible FT position, where I could step out and handle business.  I spent a lot of time at the FT job surfing the MLS and learning what was available.  I got a couple of big sales because of my father-in-law, and that was helpful in getting me going.  Then, I had other opportunity with some friends-turned-investors, to manage and eventually sell their investment properties.  Then, I was finally able to go full-time.  Personally, I feel like I paced myself and devoted enough time to training and getting a lot of help from others around me, to where the customer wasn't hurt by what I was doing for them.  Did I make mistakes?  Sure, what new agent doesn't make them?  It's all part of the growth process, IMHO.

Posted by Eric Boyd, FL Licensed Real Estate Broker / Property Manager (Step One Realty, LLC, 904-469-6335) over 9 years ago

Although I'm a Full Time agent and have been for 20 years + I do think that it's the individual agent that counts. Part time or full time, it's all in the agent. either can do a great job. The full time agent might have more money into it so to speak and being in the game full time can often give more insight as well.

Patricia Aulson/portsmouth nh

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

I understand that a Real Estate agent works on 100% commission, and by necessity many have jobs with a paycheck to make ends meet.

I can't tell you how many times I've had a selling/listing agent request an evening or weekend appraisal inspection appointment to accommodate their schedule (I assume that they are part-timers, but they may not be).  Fortunately, a professional (full or part time) listing/selling agent has always stepped in to fill the void and protect their interests and their clients interests.

Posted by Jesse Skolkin (Independent New York State Certified Real Estate Appraiser) over 9 years ago

With the dynamics of the market changing as rapidly as they are and the way in which transactions have to be handled ever changing as well, if you are not a fully engaged Realtor® your no longer have the skillset to represent your client's best interests as well as have a successful closing.

Posted by Andrea Geller (HOT PROPERTY® The Chaz Walters Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Sometimes even full timers can't do their half of the work. No matter how unfair the work load is, If WE don't close it nobody gets paid. Your seller does want it gone,so get with it. I've been on the short end before.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) over 9 years ago

Come on now Randy – they are going to get a better deal – don’t you know?

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 9 years ago

I am a part-time agent, but none of my clients would ever know this by my actions. I always return phone calls and emails immediately, almost always within 2 hours or less. I have never told a client that I cannot attend a viewing or inspection because of my other commitments. The only difference that I see between me and a full time agent is that I what my time constraints are and refer out any additional clients who I know I cannot handle within that time frame.

I am enrolled in school fulltime for the rest of time working on advanced degrees, but have a flexible schedule that I work hard to maintain with my real estate work. I slot my time like any other agent would into available periods and busy periods. Surely you have other appointments at times with other clients and cannot always meet the client on their exact schedule? I work it in the same way. I find a time that works for us both, schedule an appointment and go from there. I have almost every evening off, and have several hours during the day each day that I can arrange for home inspections and such. Most of my clientele work during the day as well, and so would themselves prefer to meet evenings and weekends for showings.

I never miss an appointment, and take offense to the charge that because I am only part time- that somehow makes me incapable of writing a proper offer. I have taken the same education as everyone else, and work hard to learn everything that I can. I work more hours per week than many of the supposed full time agents I know, who spend many hours on the golf course ignoring their clients. I do know my market quite well, and write about it frequently on my blogs.

As people have said above, it's more about the individual person's attitude and determination to the business than the amount of hours they work. If they are responsible and interested in truly helping their clients-- they will!


Posted by Rebecca Sargent (Century 21 Home Realty Inc. ) over 9 years ago

I echo Rebecca'sentiments above.  I take offense at the suggestion that because I am technically part-time I am incapable of doing this job well.  I would wager that I am more responsive to my client's needs than many of the full-time agents that I encounter.  I had written a blog earlier indicating that part-time is not always bad.  Many people in my office indicated that they did not know I was part-time until they read that blog.

My client's needs are always met, I have my listings set up with a showing service so that buyer's agents are not held hostage waiting for a call back, I attend home inspections and closings.  I have NEVER missed a home inspection or a closing.  I also partner with an agent who does cover for me in the off-chance I am not free.  That has only happened when I have been on vacation and occasionally when I have a time conflict between clients.  I spend more time in the office, on floor time, with clients, and blogging than many full-time agents.

What makes someone a good agent is not necessarily the amount of time they claim to work but instead their willingness to learn and be responsive to their client's needs. 

Work ethic is the important component and that can be present in a part-time employee as much as in a full-time employee.


Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 9 years ago

I agree with Stacey-Ann,, Anyone, Realtor's included can sit in a cubicle from 9-5, Mon-Fri. and play pac-man, or facebook and say they have a full-time job.  It is what you accomplish, and what your clients have to say after the transaction that counts.

Posted by Nancy McCracken (Century 21 Superstars) over 9 years ago

I can't believe that agents in your area don't do your bullet list (for buyers).  As an EBA, I do this and more!  I just had a listing agent email me to ask when my buyers' loan docs would be going out?  Find anything wrong with that?  I do . . . I don't have anything to do with the loan docs.  I wonder, after reading your blog, if this agent isn't even operating at 1/2 time capacity.  Hmmmm . . .

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 9 years ago

I fully agree that to do a good job at your job, you need to be focused full time. Kudos to you for this wonderful featured post!

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 9 years ago

So far I'm a full time agent , so can't coment on being a part time agent, but in my personal opinion, if you are not commited to service your clients , it doesn't matter whether working part time or full time. I have seen many full time agents, not too busy, but never show up for inspections, don't have time to return calls, but alwasy there in their cubicle...

Posted by Suma Kakani (Northern IL Realtor - Keller Williams Success Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Randy-

Great ouline of services offered to you clients. As stated above in numersous comments, I truly believe that service speaks louder than hours. I have won many clients from full time agents and part time agents that are not providing quality customer care.

It is unfortunate the economy has created a situatuion that many people have had to find ways to suppliment their incme. We are the fortunate ones to be in a position to support our families with the business we have and are able to maintain real estate as a full time career.

Posted by Stephanie Reynolds, East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408 (Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. ) over 9 years ago


I'm a full time agent, but there are many part-time agents in my area.  They want to do business on their schedule.  I try to be tolerant of the times we live in.  I  take into consideration their economic circumstances, but when an agent can't do their job because their "real" job interferes with their real estate career,  it drives me crazy. 

Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) over 9 years ago

Hey Randy,

Yeah, I agree. It's so important to hire someone who is always "in the game"...part timers just can't keep up on so many different levels. The industry and inventory are both constantly changing. As well as some of the equally important points other AR members posted above.

All the best,


Posted by Keith Elliott Jr, Principal Broker/Owner (KEIRE Realty Group) over 9 years ago

Aloha Randy,

I couldn't agree more that it's often hard to understand why someone would ever use an agent that just doesn't have the time to treat this like a full time job.  I do agree with some of the comments that there are some great, part time agents, but unfortunately many in our business just don't treat their clients or their business as a priority.  I've been told openly on several occasions that the other agent "doesn't have time" or will get to it in a few days" and it's really the buyers and sellers who work with these people that should have done a bit more research.  Unfortunately enough I'd say I'm more often dealing with bad realtors than good ones.  Just luckily closed escrow with a bad realtor, lender, and escrow officer.....that was fun.

Keith Kyle - South Bay Brokers

Posted by Keith Kyle (South Bay Brokers) over 9 years ago

Well, I work full time as a Police Officer and I work part time as a Realtor.  My wife and I  always make time for clients and we have never missed an appointment or a inspection.  The only reason I got into Real Estate was because of my wife, so I could help her on the side.  I have called several "full time" Realtors who never called me back on listings because they were to busy or I had to speak to their assistant  the phone. Plus you can only show houses to one person at a time anyway.  I was a little upset after reading this post but you know it doesn't bother me a bit, you can think what you want,  we still serve our clients. 

I do not think I will ever give up my law enforcement career but I do have something fall back to if something happens.     

Posted by Chris Sonaggera, Keller Williams Elite, www.BuyInOKC.com over 9 years ago

Well said Randy,

Great article and you nailed it on the head.  I am seeing lots of agents getting second jobs, I know things are tight, but service suffers. Again great article.


Posted by Steven Nickens, R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii (Elite Pacific Properties Maui) over 9 years ago


When teaching pre licensee students I am amazed at how many think they can do real estate on a part time basis. 

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 9 years ago

I don't hear it as often now, but during the "boom", so many people would tell me they are doing real estate for the "fun" of it.  They sold to their neighbor, brother, sister, co-worker, etc.  Things were easy then, now, you have to work for every buyer and seller.  This market is "flushing" out some of the fun, and the ones who were in it just for fun or as a hobby.

Posted by Pat Underwood (Long and Foster Roanoke Virginia) over 9 years ago

Randy: I agree with you. I remember when we bought our first home. We went with the full-timer. We figured they would give us their full attention. In this business, you're either in or you're out! Thanks for the post.

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) over 9 years ago

Procuring cause is such a mess...realtors don't understand it or agree on its enforcement so no wonder the public has a problem. We don't have it happen often...but ll as soon as we hear the "my agent" song, we turn the station and tell them to have "their agent" call us...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

I work hard at trying to separate myself from the other agents in the area. I think nowadays you have to be more of a resource to your buyers and sellers than just a salesperson.

Posted by Donna Galinsky, Make Lake Norman Your Home! (Allen Tate Company) over 9 years ago

Great and timely post.  I suspect that many part time agents will be no-time when their next association dues bill is received.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 9 years ago

I bet your are busy in Hawaii! The service you offer to your sellers are very impressive. I think it is great that you are doing your job full time and you seem to utilize various marketing tools (pictures, Active Rain, virtual tours,etc.) You may want to offer a full motion video so that potential buyers can view the home 24 hours a day and maybe it could eliminate the Open Houses and free up more time to service your clients.

Posted by Cassi @ Knightyme Video Tours (Knightyme Video Tours) over 9 years ago

Great services...it is great you lay them out..

Posted by Steve Vennemann-Hennepin-Dakota-Anoka contract for deed property-Ramsey-MN (BoardWalk Premier Realty INC) over 9 years ago

Randy - Great post.  I tend to agree that this is not so much whether an agent is full or part-time, but what kind of service are they providing their client.  As long as they are doing the research, available to their clients, involved in the negotiations, and are involved in inspections and any issues, they are doing their job, whether they have another job or not.  If the agent cannot commit 100%, I would recommend that they work with another agent who can help out when they are not available.  That way the client is still being served, and that is what is most important.  Again, thanks for the post.

Posted by Troy Erickson Realtor, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) over 9 years ago


When choosing a real estate agent is at hand, going with a full-timer is by far the safest bet. A transaction has multiple steps that need to be done right and on time, something a full-time professional can accomplish successfully. 

Posted by Esko Kiuru over 9 years ago

Thank you for your post.  I don't think it's whether an agent is a part-time or full-time that determines the type of service they provide their clients.  Some times a part-time agent because of their limited time, are more efficient because of the time constraints.  I've dealt with full time agents that are MIA most of the time.

Posted by Alma Fernandez (DRE 01236358 Keller Williams) over 9 years ago

Barbara A. - That is the advice I give everyone.

Rhode Island - You make a good point.  I still prefer the word free.  I normally do not charge any fee to my buyers.  It is cleaner and easier for folks to understand that.

William W. - Maybe I can try this from another angle.  If they were so good at being a real estate agent, why do they need another job?

Willis - Thank you.

Loreena - If the full time agent is goofing off, then they are not full time either.

Juanita - There are a lot of part time agents who do not have another job.

Eric - The secret is teaming up with someone who knows what they are doing and getting all the training you can get.

Patricia A. - I do not see part time agents making the needed investment in their business to do it at the highest level.  There may some out there; I am just not seeing any of them.

Jesse S. - I do request weekend and evening appointments.  Not because of my schedule, but because of the client's schedule.

Rob S. - You are right, a bad agent is a bad agent.

Kathleen - Maybe better for the agent and not their clients.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Rebecca S. - If you are truly investing in your business.  Like take designation classes and regular training.  If you are truly giving all of your clients top service and you are keeping up on the laws, zoning, etc. If you know your inventory well and you are networking with the other top agents in the area; then you are the extreme exception to the rule.  I have not met such an agent in my area.

Nancy M. - If they are sitting in a cubicle that does not make them a full time professional.

Carla - I work closely with the loan officers to keep everything on schedule, but I do not do mortgages and hate dealing with real estate agents who do.

Melissa - Thank you

Suma - I do not do any of those things, except my desk does get pretty messy.  I have to work on that.

Stephanie R. - If I were a client, I would hate to have an agent who is part time.  I would look for an agent who is good enough to continue full time in this tough market.  Why would I look for the agent who is not successful?

Carol P. - It drives us all crazy.  Something as simple as scheduling showings is a royal pain in the neck.

Keith E. - I take classes of some type monthly to keep up on all the changes in our business.  I do not see many part timers in any of the classes and seminars.

EmMee - I know what I provide to every listing, transaction and client and know it is impossible to do that on a part time level.

Keith K. - I am sure that a minimum and 2/3s of the agents are part time in every market.  In sokme areas that number is low.

C & J - You said you were teamed up with you wife.  Isn't that one of the recommendations I made for providing full time service?  Do you spend the same amount of money and resources on your clients as a full time professional or are you cutting corners?

Steven N. - Thank you.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Richard W. - They think money will fall from the sky.

Paul M. - When I bought my home, my real estate agent and my loan officer were both part timers.  It was a mess.  My wife and I sat at the closing table without either one of them and mistakes on every document.  When it was over I got my real estate license and swore none of my clients would ever have that happen to them.

Sally & David - I do the same thing.  I tell them that if their agent wants to get paid they should be doing all the work, not the buyers.

Donna G. - You must differentiate yourself or why would a client choose you?

Wallace G. - Many left last year at that time.  I am always worried about that agent who does one transaction every year two.  They have no clue what they are doing.

Kightyme - I have looked at video, but like stills with motion.  I find I can take higher quality and put my client's homes in the best light.  With stills I can take 100s and select the best shots.  I will always do open houses.  People need to kick the tires.  It is also a great way to interact with perspective buyers and the neighbors.  I sell a good percentage of my listings at open houses and pick up new clients.

Steve V. - Thank you.

Troy E. - How about knowing the inventory?  I show and preview 100s of homes.  Does a part time agent do that?  I can make a list of the things I do as a full time agent that I know no part time agent can or will do.

Esko - I have a list of several things when selecting an agent.  I do referrals to agents in other parts of the country and also on the neighbor islands.  Full time, what level of license do they have (I try to get licensed brokers), what professional designations do they carry (I always look for CRS). I am checking to see if they have invested in education.   Do they have a good website?  If they can't market themselves how will they market a client?  If they have a blog, I read their posts to do a silent interview.  If they look good I then pick up the phone and call them.

Alma - I agree that there are bad full time agents.  I do not agree that a part time agent can be better because they have limited time.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I was part time for 7 years before going full time. Either go full time or go home. Your clients will love it.

Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic (www.mrbrownsellsgr.com) over 9 years ago

Let's see. I take a new real estate related course or designation at least every two months; have extensive packages on local zoning and by-laws as part of my relocation/selling/buying/investment packages for clients that I update monthly; I view all new inventory in the price ranges of my clientele each week and have several network contacts within the city and extensive social media connections. I also run workshops on a regular basis on different aspects of real estate and write about the local community and different market issues regularly on my blogs. I'd say I'm pretty invested in this business. This has NOTHING to do with whether I am part time or not. I schedule my time wisely and work extremely efficiently and I know a few other part-timers in my area who do the same. I have never had a complaint from a client that I am not professional or knowledgeable on real estate topics.

I know MANY full time agents who haven't been to a class in years, or invested any real time or effort into upgrading themselves past the mandatory-- and many more who are too busy to visit all the new inventory and have no idea about the details of their own listings when I call for information. I also know many full time agents who have NO idea about local zoning, by-laws or Acts in place that would affect their sales (and have even heard some give inaccurate advice to clientele regarding them); and many, many more who can't be bothered to even answer back their clients in a timely manner... It's not a part-time/full-time issue-- it is a good REALTOR/bad REALTOR issue.

Some people do get into the business thinking that they can just pull in massive amounts of money as a "hobby". That's just not true. I agree 100% that you have to invested in this business. It does take significant effort and lots of hard work-- but it definitely IS possible to be a GREAT agent part-time.

Posted by Rebecca Sargent (Century 21 Home Realty Inc. ) over 9 years ago

Robert - I do not think it is fair to the clients.

Rebecca - I think your last statement was the most accurate thing you said.  It is possible, but in the real world it almost never happens.  The full time agents you described are not full time professionals. 

I completely diagree. I honestly do not believe you can give anything close to professional service and expertise without putting in the hours.  I do not know any part-time agents who do the things you put on your list.  Not one. 

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Debbie - There are bad in all walks of life.  The question I raised was in regards to full time vs. part time.  In my practice, I do not see any part time agents who are supplying a professional level of service. I do hear part time agents defending what they do, but not any who are providing the same level of service possible by a full time professional.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

You get what you pay for! Let the Buyer/Seller beware.

Everone in Florida is a Realtor:)

Posted by Roy & Gail Barnhart & McKay, Barnhart & McKay Home Selling Team (Barnhart & McKay Realty Advisors) over 9 years ago

Roy - I hope they are not all also loan officers.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Just about:)

Posted by Roy & Gail Barnhart & McKay, Barnhart & McKay Home Selling Team (Barnhart & McKay Realty Advisors) over 9 years ago

Great post, Speaking from my personel experience I too was a part time agent and at the same time a part time Store Manager (Home Depot, Michaels & dollar Tree Stores). Personally speaking I couldn't balance trying to provide great service for my clients and running a Retail Store. Four years ago I quit my retail job which included a great salary and benefits. Trying to do both was unfair for my clients as much as for my employees and the retail company I worked for. Real Estate is a full time job which is difficult to do on a part time status(I am sure there are a few exceptions for those analyticals). None the less whether you are FT or PT you need to WORK hard and become efficient with your time....  

Mario Zavala

Century 21 United Realty

Posted by Mario Zavala (Century 21 Allstars) over 9 years ago

Real estate is more than a full time job!  As professionals, we need to work as hard and as long as necessary to get the job done right.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 9 years ago

I know I for one could never be as timely if another job stood in the way of my response time!

Full time all the way!

Posted by Kathleen Chase, Realtor (RE/Max Professional Associates) over 9 years ago

Roy - How did I guess?

Mario - They may be some exceptions, but they are exceptions for sure.

Sharon P. - You are so right.  It is more than 40 hours a week.

Kathleen - That is how I see it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago


I also offer my buyers and sellers a "Communication and a Performance" guarantee.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 9 years ago

Terry - That is a sign of being a professional.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I agree with Randy and have this to say. A part time agent really have two part time jobs. The reason I say this is that at his /her other job they are answering or discusing real state buisness which to me is a dis-service to their employer and fellow worker.  The real issue I believe is not the hours but the readiness to work (95% of the time) on the employers (clients) schedules and not the other way around. As for Rebecca saying  that she has control of scheduleing her school hours make the differance than if you have a structure time your employer dictates.  Another thing is an employer (client) Should know up front if he/she wants to hire a part time or full time agent since the cost (listing) will be the same. 

Posted by obed montez over 9 years ago

Obed - You make a great point.  I wonder how many part time agents are disclosing that to their clients.  That is a material fact in their transaction.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments