This is a guest post by Jennifer Dixson Hoff, president of Colibri Real Estate.
The pandemic gave many employees a new taste for flexibility — one they aren’t willing to give up. The typical 9-to-5 work schedule has lost its appeal, and people are leaving their old careers behind in search of more control over where and when they work. Maybe you, too, are a part of the Great Resignation and have decided to pursue a career path that gives you more autonomy.
As culture shifts and people reevaluate what is most important, careers in real estate have become more appealing. So, why is working in real estate considered a flexible career option for those seeking more autonomy and balance?
The Benefits of a Career in Real Estate
Real estate agents get the benefit of flexible work hours across the board, regardless of specialization. You’re not the only one seeing the appeal — about two-thirds of those working in real estate joined the profession in part because of this accommodation.
Many parents, specifically, have entered real estate because of being able to schedule work around their personal lives. One such success story is Deborah Spence, who balanced her time between home and work and, in the process, earned numerous accolades in the field, including the Rising Star Real Estate Agent award in 2019 and 2020 and the Five Star Real Estate Agent Award in 2021.
“I love the flexibility,” she says. “You can sell real estate and then, in the middle of the day, go to a basketball game for your child. It gives you the ability to follow your passions.”
While this level of flexibility is much higher than other jobs, it’s important to stay grounded: You’ll get to set your own hours for showing, client meetings, and the like, but those events are also contingent on client availability.
In addition, you’ll need to make time for continuous education in real estate. While obtaining a license is one of the first steps to become a real estate agent, it’s important to keep growing your skills. You need to develop a deep understanding of the housing market, both as a whole and in your area. And as the market changes, you’ll need to update that knowledge. That’s not even considering developing the interpersonal skills, organizational methods, and business savviness needed to be successful in the field.
How to Establish a Flexible Work Schedule That Works for You
A career in real estate is a great way to have a flexible schedule while giving you the ability to earn a high income; however, it can also be very emotionally draining if you don’t get organized from the start.
Thankfully, there are several ways you can establish a flexible schedule for yourself while still ensuring a steady income and reasonable work-life balance while working in real estate.
1. Use Technology to Save Time
Technology is a great tool if used properly. This means automating systems to simplify everyday tasks such as scheduling, communication, implementing social media strategies, or hiring a virtual assistant to execute administrative tasks for you.
Try to set up automatic texts to inform clients of potential properties. Plenty of clients actually prefer text communication, so you get the added bonus of making them feel comfortable while taking a task off your plate. Automatic texts will also help clients feel that you’re attentive and on top of scouting for potential homes.
If your clients prefer email, start sending newsletters or small updates to keep communication lines open. Services like MailChimp offer newsletter templates and can automatically send them off to your contact lists.
2. Build Your Brand on Social Media
When it comes to personal marketing or communicating with potential clients, social media is a great tool to grow your business. Rather than sending out the widest net possible, it’s OK to specialize, both in your services and your social media. It’s OK to pick just a few platforms to be active on; research your client base and pick based on their preference. Social media for real estate agents can take time; trying to reach every audience group will only leave you overwhelmed and overworked.
Once you’ve narrowed down your social media targets, be sure to stay active and check metrics often: How much engagement do your posts receive? Does one form of content typically do better? What do clients want more from? By taking a little bit more time to analyze, you actually save time in the long run by knowing which ideas pay out. Not seeing a great ROI on Twitter? Ditch it. Your time is important, so put it to good use.
Utilizing social media platforms is the easiest way to brand yourself, spread the word about listings, celebrate closings, and humanize your work. Keep metrics in mind to efficiently and effectively build your brand.
3. Don’t Wait to Prioritize Continuous Education in Real Estate
You might want a study break after earning your real estate license, but make sure to start your continuous education as soon as you can. There’s a lot more to being a real estate agent than just having your license, and investing in training will help you learn that.
The beauty of a real estate agent’s flexible schedule is that you get to decide how much time you invest, so, ultimately, your personal and professional development is up to you. Figure out how you retain new information best and what your preferred learning style is. Can you get up early before the kids and go through a formal course or stay up after you put the kids to bed and take a real estate class? The key to success in this career is continually gaining knowledge so you can find new leads, build stronger client relationships, and take full advantage of everything this career path has to offer for yourself and your family.
Ultimately, if you are considering finding more flexibility in the workplace, a career in real estate could be the right move. Be organized with your time and realistic with your goals. If you are ready to launch yourself into a career that brings the work-life balance you desire, now is the time to invest in yourself and a rewarding career as a real estate agent.
About the Guest Post Author:
Jennifer Dixson Hoff is president of Colibri Real Estate. Colibri’s real estate learning portfolio represents the most comprehensive suite of real estate education and professional development experiences nationally, providing real estate professionals with products and services to support them throughout their careers.
Prior to her role at Colibri Group, Jennifer spent 10 years in the higher education industry, including senior leadership roles at Capella University and Strategic Education, Inc.