Vanishing Breed:  The Part-Time Realtor

After four(?) years using the same desktop PC in my home office, I’m finally ready to upgrade.

Inspired by the Steve Jobs biography (I just finished reading it), and reasonably happy* with my iPhone (I started using one 3 weeks ago), I’ve resolved to get an Apple.

So I went to my local Apple store, and got sales help from a terrific employee who seemed to know how to navigate all my questions.

I’d love to give him my business, but there’s a catch:  he only works two, six-hour shifts a week (while I don’t believe Apple sales reps get commission, I’m sure Apple still tracks it).

When YOU’RE the Client

I’m certainly sympathetic; I know lots of people working 2 (or more) jobs to make ends meet these days.

However, when I’M the client, I want someone who can accommodate my schedule, is reachable when I am, etc.

I need those things because . . . I’m busy taking care of my clients 24/7.

Unfortunately, this is the third week in a row when I haven’t been free either of the 2 days my would-be Apple sales rep works.

The upshot:  I’m probably going to work with someone else.

All or Nothing/In or Out

When it comes to selling real estate part-time, ALL of the foregoing concerns apply — plus a couple more.

Like, not staying cutting-edge with industry developments; not doing enough deals to stay sharp; not having time to track new listings or do pre-list networking (when representing a Buyer), etc.

It’s also the case that the overhead associated with being a Realtor has jumped dramatically.

Taking into account various professional dues, Web site fees, fees for Broker services, etc., I’d estimate the annual cost of simply being in the business — plus doing a baseline level of marketing — has trebled in my decade selling homes, from perhaps $3k – $4k annually to $10k, conservatively (Surprise!  Realtors don’t just charge fees, we pay them, too).

Perhaps that’s why I see fewer and few Realtors who work part-time.

*My (mild) beef with Apple so far?

Their products are billed as so user-friendly, intuitive, etc. that when they aren’t . . . you feel like an idiot.

I’ve been back to the Apple store numerous times already, to find out how to hold down “All Cap’s” (double-tap); auto-fill words (hit the space bar), and for many similar frustrations.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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