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Independent Real Estate Agent: Job Description, Income & Salary, & How to Become

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After working years in the real estate industry, you might not feel like you’ve unlocked your full professional potential.

While you have flexible hours, your firm places strict commissions and duties.

You may end up feeling burnt out from the tasks accumulating, as multiple others in the property-selling market do.

For this reason, you’ll want to consider becoming an independent real estate agent.

From achieving a better work-life balance and profit potential, you’ll gain several benefits from the freelance position.

What Is an Independent Real Estate Agent

An independent real estate agent offers similar buying and selling housing services but operates autonomously from an agency.

The role is usually fit for highly experienced real estate agents that can market their independent services.

You’ll complete the same tasks as a real estate agent, including additional duties to advertise your service.

What Does an Independent Real Estate Agent Do?

As an independent real estate agent, your tasks involve arranging showings, organizing property listings for buyers, and assisting clients in their paperwork preparation.

You can also expand your career by starting a real estate business, where you’ll be the primary agent and make all the decisions.

You’ll also manage other real estate personnel. If that proves too bothersome, you can operate solo.

What Does an Independent Real Estate Agent Usually Focus On?

From generating leads to marketing listings, an independent real estate agent focuses on gaining clientele.

Aside from real estate duties, the independent role usually focuses on effective marketing.

Since you won’t be under a firm, your services should stand out, whether through word of mouth or online platforms.

Independent Real Estate Agent Job Description

An independent real estate agent’s job description may include:

  • Assist potential buyers by displaying well-catered real estate options
  • Helping sellers market their real estate through open houses, advertisements, and networking for the best terms and cost
  • Create a well-researched comparative market analysis report on multiple listing options
  • Perform administrative duties, such as processing paperwork and lease documents.
  • Market independent business and establish a business network system of buyers, sellers, lawyers, and other stakeholders.

Top Independent Real Estate Agent Jobs and Careers

The real estate career pool is plentiful, where you can explore roles such as:

  • Independent Property Manager: A property manager will monitor the leasing and maintenance of their real estate. As an independent manager, you won’t be under a firm but partnered with mortgage brokers or local real estate agents.
  • Real Estate Manager: Real estate managers act on behalf of their clients when selling and listing properties. They ensure the highest return on investment per sold real estate.
  • Real Estate Appraiser: An appraiser will assess a residential or commercial property’s value. After a meticulous inspection, they’ll provide an accurate number once a property is taxed, insured, or developed.

Where Can an Independent Real Estate Agent Work?

Independent real estate agents can work remotely, which makes it a great side hustle. You can create a home office to keep your listings and documents well-organized.

If you’re creating an independent real estate firm, you can operate your work remotely or in an office setting.

What It’s Like to Be an Independent Real Estate Agent

Before breaking into the independent line of work, you’ll want to learn more about the day-to-day workflow.

Is Being an Independent Real Estate Agent Hard?

Working as a real estate agent already comes with its challenges. Independently operating adds more to your plate. Despite that, the role is more financially rewarding than running under a firm.

Besides that, handling complicated paperwork, leads, and promotional work while carrying a customer service-friendly smile can take a toll.

The job also involves extensive research on property listings, appraising real estate, and maximizing your client’s return on investment, accumulating more pressure.

Is an Independent Real Estate Agent’s Job Stressful?

According to recent studies, over 60% of real estate agents experience stress. Another research stipulated that 20% of clients provide high marks to their realtors, making it more challenging to stand out.

From anticipating market trends and standing out among competitors, an independent real estate job can be stressful. Autonomous working does offer solace.

For instance, you’re in control of choosing the number of leads to suit your lifestyle schedule.

Self-promotion and generating a client pool may take time and dedication. At times, you may have to sacrifice personal time when receiving a critical callback.

Common Independent Real Estate Agent Work Day

An independent real estate agent’s day begins by responding to email and phone inquiries regarding updates and appointments.

Next, you’ll want to arrange your work day according to planned showtimes and meetups.

Afterward, you may prepare property reports, file real estate paperwork, manage your clientele, and update your social media marketing efforts. That said, each day is different in an independent real estate agent’s work day.

Some days you’ll have several appointments, while others may focus more on self-promotional tasks.

You may even have to sift through a buying guide for the best cameras for real estate at some point.

Independent Real Estate Agent Tasks & Duties

An independent real estate agent has their hands full with a wide variety of tasks including

  • Generating potential leads for purchasing, selling, and renting real estate.
  • Devising a competitive price through market research to entice more buyers.
  • Showcasing real estate and arranging showtimes and appointments.
  • Follow real estate license compliance guidelines such as the fair housing act.
  • Engage in real estate marketing through advertising listings.
  • Manage a real estate team in your independent firm.
  • Extract necessary paperwork, including purchase agreements, loyalty contracts, and deeds.

Independent Real Estate Agent Work Hours & Schedule

As a solo agent, you’re in charge of your schedule and work hours. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a full-time real estate agent can work around 40 hours weekly.

An independent agent may not work as long, especially since they likely won’t take as many leads.

Besides that, you can decide to work a classic 9 to 5 or nights and weekends. Overall, your availability needs to match the client’s. In turn, appointment schedules usually fall during the client’s lunch breaks.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

An employee working under a real estate agency will likely find achieving a work-life balance difficult. A real estate professional should cater to a client’s work schedule, which can involve working after hours.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), over 80% of real estate agents will experience burnout during their initial two years of employment.

You can improve your balance by hiring others to take on additional tasks like administrative assistants.

That said, being an independent real estate agent can ease your work-life balance since you have more control over the leads.

Do Independent Real Estate Agents Make Good Money?

The real estate industry holds a variety of income statistics. The BLS finds that realtors and sales agents can make approximately $48,770 annually. Indeed reports an average of $84,000 yearly.

These salaries come from real estate agents working with firms. As a solo worker, your income potential can increase.

The best part about being an independent agent is that you don’t have to abide by a real estate commission-based salary.

You’ll only have to pay a portion of your earnings to your brokerage and keep the rest. It can go for self-promotional expenses and other preparations.

How Much Do Independent Real Estate Agents Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, a freelance real estate agent can earn anywhere between $28,000 to $144,000, with an annual average of $86,000.

You can maximize your income by building rapport with clients, establishing a networking system, and perfecting your marketing input.

How Do Independent Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

As one of your hobbies that make money, you’re likely wondering how payments will come in. You’ll likely receive a percentage of the property earnings from your clients.

If you’re an independent property manager, your payment can come from a percentage of the owner’s rent.

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Independent Real Estate Agents

Working as an independent real estate agent isn’t a job for anyone. It requires multiple skills, such as negotiation, persuasion, and research.

You can also increase your chances of getting hired with a solid educational and experiential background.

Who Should Consider an Independent Real Estate Agent Career Path?

If you’re considering the solo real estate path, you’ll need to hone effective time management, problem-solving, and communication skills.

If you enjoy networking and negotiating with clients to get the best offers, the job will be a breeze. You can also consider the career path if you have experience as a salesperson or in the real estate industry.

Who Should NOT Consider an Independent Real Estate Agent Career Path?

Whether at an open house or conducting a real estate sale, your personality needs to be flexible and friendly.

Independent agents will interact more with clients. In turn, you’ll expose yourself to several personality types, the difficult and the stubborn.

In turn, if keeping a level-head sounds too challenging, the role isn’t for you. Plus, the role requires lots of organizational skills.

Remember, you’re in charge of your schedule. If you can’t make profitable use of your time, your business growth can decrease.

Being an independent real estate agent can be a thankless job. Consumers usually complete a single transaction and may not contact you further.

Instead, they can refer you to friends and family. You won’t receive the best recognition, so if that motivates you, look elsewhere.

Is It Hard to Become an Independent Real Estate Agent?

Becoming an independent real estate agent means that you’ll start a business. Breaking into the market will become difficult as you wade through relevant connections and networking opportunities.

You’ll need to complete additional duties, such as registering your business and creating marketing channels.

Overall, we suggest having extensive prior experience in the field before stepping an independent foot in it.

What Do I Need to Become an Independent Real Estate Agent?

You can start your business and become an independent real estate agent right away. Now, becoming a successful independent agent is another story.

Requirements for Becoming an Independent Real Estate Agent

Before initiating your independent real estate business, you need to have an active real estate license.

That said, you’ll need to research your state’s requirements through the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) directory.

Some states allow you to use the same license originating from other states.

For example, if you have one from New York, it applies to nine other states, including Connecticut, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

You can also consider membership in the National Association of Realtors. The organization is one of the largest alliances in the U.S.

It holds over 1.5 million members including property managers, appraisers, and agents.

You can tap into the network for additional support and knowledge of market trends and resources.

What Skills Does an Independent Real Estate Agent Need?

An independent real estate agent requires multiple skills, such as

  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Persuasion
  • Sales
  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
  • Integrity
  • Teaching

You can use each skill in your day-to-day tasks. Your active listening can decide how well you retain clients, whereas teaching skills are critical to guiding and educating your customers through the process and paperwork.

What Education Does an Independent Real Estate Agent Need?

Education-wise, you don’t need a formal degree to become an independent real estate agent.

Instead, you can opt for smaller-scale real estate courses to prepare you for the license application and examination.

You can take the course with a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. Besides that, we suggest applying for a certification, especially if you’re targeting a niche market.

For example, you can become a certified luxury home market specialist. A more general option can be a real estate negotiation expert certification.

Each certification will allow you to distinguish yourself from competitors. Your edge can garner more effective leads.

What Experience Does an Independent Real Estate Agent Need?

Experience is necessary when starting your independent real estate journey. You’ll need to know all the ins and outs of the industry before going solo.
You can gain experience from a sales job or varied real estate positions, such as property manager.

How to Become an Independent Real Estate Agent

If you meet the requirements, skills, and education level of becoming an independent real estate agent, it’s time to take the next steps.

Create a Business Plan

After getting your licensing in order, you’ll need to create a comprehensive business plan. It’ll include your services, budgetary allocations, operation radius, and more details that’ll keep you settled.

You’ll better understand if you have a niche target and whether you need employees. It’ll also detail your work schedule, marketing and branding strategy, and annual financial projections.

Register Your Business

Next, you need to register your business. Decide on whether it’ll be an LLC, corporation, or sole proprietorship.

Afterward, you’ll have to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

Market Your Service

Advertising your service is one of the most essential steps. We suggest creating a website and social media platforms to establish your professional presence.

You can include testimonials from previous clients to acquire credibility. We also suggest showcasing your certifications and qualifications.

As a member of the NAR, you can apply for networking events and webinars. You can also attend other events hosted by stakeholder organizations.

Find Job Posts

You can locate job posts from platforms like Upwork and LinkedIn. Don’t restrict your position to property selling. You can offer your appraisal, management, or consulting services as well.

Similar Careers to Check Out

Check out other similar career pathways that’ll yield similar returns.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a Broker and an Agent?

Both positions hold similar descriptions and tasks. The prime difference is that a broker can hire real estate agents and work independently.

How Much Does It Cost to Be a Real Estate Agent?

Getting a license can cost anywhere between $400 to $1,000. Business and marketing expenses can go between $1,500 to $2,000 annually.

Wrapping Up

If you have patience, dedication, and integrity, you can successfully earn an independent real estate agent position.

Entering the industry requires professional education, experience, and specific skills. From critical thinking to negotiation, working independently requires a lot of prerequisites.

Having a broad background in the field and passion will allow you to stay one step ahead of competing real estate agents and firms. If this sounds like you, this career path can be your calling.

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