Careers geared to helping people buy and sell their homes can include flexible work hours and decent pay.

Still, the real estate profession may not be as lucrative or offer sufficient business to only choose that field. Conversely, some workers may want to do real estate part-time as a second venture to supplement their main income.

The result is that agents can find it difficult to balance their time and assignments, even if the jobs don’t completely overlap.

“Starting a new career as a real estate agent can be intimidating, to say the least. Gone are the days of that ‘guaranteed’ paycheck that most people depend on to survive,” says Valorie L. Ford, an agent in central Virginia, in an online story on Inman industry website that originally appeared on ActiveRain online community of real estate professionals.

She spells out a few tips for part-time agents seeking to get into real estate full time and for workers jumping into the field while holding down another job.

One key starting point is to find a broker who’s used to part-time or newer agents. “Keep in mind that brokers fail or succeed as a direct result of the efforts of the agents who work for them,” Ford notes. “Office space and other resources need to be allocated to those who are producing results. The limited work schedule of a part-timer usually equates to less business,” she says, while adding that some brokers are well-suited to team with part-timers.

A broad-based challenge can be the work schedule. “Obviously it’s not easy to be available for your clients at a time that is good for them if you work limited hours. This is especially true of buyers who want to see new homes,” Ford days. Other parts of the job such as dealing with lenders can be manageable since they can take place during “normal” business hours, she says. “But if you work elsewhere during this time period…