8 Side Incomes For Real Estate Agents INSIDE the Industry
Here are my top 8 side hustles you can do that are within the real estate industry to make income and quit your other day job. It is imperative to go all in and get into the industry as fast as possible after getting your real estate license. Here’s how.
Side Income For Real Estate Agent Requirements:
- This position had to be related to the real estate industry.
- It must have a learning curve from the real estate tasks that I would be providing that would benefit my education / training in real estate sales.
- It had to be flexible enough to sell real estate as my real estate business grew.
- It had to have a social component where I could attract new prospects to my my real estate services or meet others inside the real estate industry.
- And finally, it must make enough dough to cover my bills.
1. Must Be Related to Real Estate
Well this is important as it immerses you into the real estate industry. If I never quit my job at Red Bull would I really have remained excited about real estate? I don’t think so. That is why I needed to act fast. The momentum was there. This is why I am providing this plan below. Write down your thoughts and you will achieve. I also gave myself a timeline of 60 days. Essentially I had 60 days to build something from nothing in order to make $1,000 a month (at the time of a poor college kid, this was my overhead).
2. I Must Learn From This Position
What ever I chose to do, it had to better me as a real estate agent. I was looking for growth, not just a quick buck or another “job.” I see so many people, including real estate agents who either hate their side job, watch the clock tick by or are not using their true potential. When we working in the field we wish to pursue, it is inevitable that we will learn, grow and gain some really good ideas.
Speaking of Potential, take a look at the graph at the bottom of the article on Why Do Real Estate Agents Fail. Potential is controlled by your Beliefs. Beliefs are controlled our Results. And our Results are controlled by our Actions. If you are reading this right now, have a shitty job and want to get into real estate right away, then pick up the phone right now and call 10 real estate agents who have 20+ listings and offer one of the services below that you are comfortable with. TAKE ACTION.
3. This Position Has To Be Flexible
The last thing you want to have happen is get back into the same trap that you are in right now. You have to have flexibility so you can schedule appropriately your tasks for them but also go and sell real estate when the opportunity arises. Caution – If a position arises that will take away from this flexibility then you may have to pass or negotiate your terms a little better.
4. It should have a Social Component
You are in sales. So being able to meet new people and market your business would be ideal. You are working a task in real estate, making money and growing your real estate business all at once. If you have the ability to meet a handful of strangers a day, add them to your database and stay in front of them. This will result in referrals.
Also, communicating with others within in the real estate industry will just help expedite your learning curve. So the more people you are engaging with inside the real estate industry, the better. These include other REALTORS, appraisers, home inspectors, surveyors, title companies, attorneys, etc.
5. The Side Income Position Must Make Money
Obviously this real estate position needs to cover your bills. Even if you have to sacrifice in some areas to keep your overhead low, it will be worth it. If it costs you $2,500 a month to live, you may want to figure a way to sacrifice and try your best to eliminate certain bills. This reduction will help expedite this process which you can read in the Income / Expenses Survival Guide.
Also, can you scale this service as well? Meaning can you provide this service for multiple people and double or triple the income stream. This side hustle could lead to consistent money to eventually hire someone else for and begin building your team.
You Have To Create The Situation
Before we get to the 7 positions, just like real estate, you have to be the one to go out and get it. Create the situation. If you want a side hustle but are not willing to do this, then you may want to reconsider getting into real estate all together. Remember, luck is made. It is those you will continually put themselves out there that get results.
Below are a handful of top side income jobs that real estate agents can do. This can be a combination of sorts depending on your skill level and / or what you are willing to learn. The basics of these items can be learned just by watching a hours of YouTube.
My recommendation is to figure out which position(s) you are going to offer. Then I would reach out to your real estate broker and find out if they or any agents in their office could use these services. It is also recommended if you are targeting your office that you go with a larger office with multiple successful agents.
If you are going after a broad market of real estate agents, you can have your broker likely help you pull the stats for top producers in the area. These are the agents who maybe willing to invest money to further their growth. Read up on Building A Real Estate Team. This article will make some sense on some of the positions below as well.
1. Transaction Coordinator
A transaction coordinator is a fantastic way real estate agents can make side income. This position can pay anywhere from $150 – $400 per closing depending on your scope of work. Many times this is paid on the completion (closing) of a real estate sale. Many times, how it works, is if it doesn’t close you do not get paid, but likely the client will go into contract again. So there is a little risk on working a file that you do not get paid on.
Another terminology for this is Contract To Close. Real estate agents should be spending their time generating more business and not babysitting their pending deals. By alleviating these tasks you free their time to go get more listings and close more buyers. This is an important part of selling this to real estate agents.
The role of the transaction coordinator is not that difficult. However, it is extremely important. The coordinator will handle all initial introductions and ensuring everyone has all the appropriate paperwork and contact info to transact. They will handle scheduling appraisers, survey companies and inspections. They will work with the closing company whether it be a title company or an attorney to ensure things are moving forward and title has been pulled. The TC will pay strict attention to timelines not limited to escrow deposit(s), inspection periods and financing contingencies.
Let’s say you were getting an average of $225 per deal. If you acquired 5 real estate agents who are decent producers that each gave you 2 deals a month = $2,250. This is highly scale-able side income which allows you a lot of flexibility to continue to work the plan of action on your real estate business. You just have to ensure you are scheduling right. Also, think about the learning curve you will get from this position. Reach out to your broker and have them train you on this position. If they are not willing, consider going to with another broker.
2. Buyer’s Agent
If you read the article above, this is another very important role of a real estate team. However, what if you presented this with a twist? Before we jump into it. The BA will handle prequalifying, meeting with buyers, performing a buyer’s presentation, setting showing appointments, showing them properties and closing the deal.
Ok. For the twist. Many buyer’s agent will work exclusive for a listing agent. Because the listing agent has so many listings, prospective buyers emerge as they call on signs, websites, etc. Many listing agents are too busy getting inventory that they simply do not have time to service buyer leads. However, this is an opportune time for them to leverage other people and make good money. Begin going through your local MLS. Find agents who have 25-60 listings and call them with the following.
“Hi, my name is Steve and I just got my real estate license. I see you are a top producer with a lot of listings. The reason for my call is I am new to the business but very motivated and I work extremely hard. I wanted to see if we could meet sometime on how I can help you by working with some buyer leads. Does Thursday at 7am for coffee work, or would Friday be better for you?” **Use this script to a tee. They will appreciate the close at the bottom, which it vital in real estate sales.
You will get agents that will say no or they already have a buyer’s agent. However, calling and reaching out is all about timing. There are plenty of agents in your market who are either not happy with the buyer’s agent or they have grown to a position where they need one and just haven’t had time to find one. Again, luck is made.
Now with a twist. Find out what that agent would give as a split. Let’s say they offered a 50/50 split. But what if they agreed to pay you $500 a week and you took only 25% and 75% to them? It is a hybrid approach that many may agree to. I would explain the goal is to quit your other job. Jump into this full time with a goal to be 100% commission in 3 months.
You can also explain that you will help them with other day to day tasks (within reason). Now if they are not willing to do this, but they claim to have a ton of leads coming in, then it maybe time to “Burn the Boats” as Tony Robbins says and take the risk of going full time.
**This may require you leaving your current brokerage but this is business and you will need to make moves in order to build your business. I appreciate loyalty very much. However, as a business person you have to make calculated decisions all the time. Some easier than others.
3. Home Watch
Good old home watch! This will depend on your area of course. It is a big money maker in areas that are seasonal where people leave for extended periods of time. For example, in our area of Southwest Florida, our main season months are Jan, Feb and March. So many people in our area live here for these 3 months and the remaining 9 months are back up north in their other homes. They are concerned not having an eye on their Florida property which is prime opportunity for a home watch business. It is also essentially cheap insurance.
Home watch consists of weekly inspections of the property including but not limited to inspecting the grounds / landscaping, roof, windows, screens, turning on water, flushing toilets, ensuring no water leaks, handling contractors and ensuring they are doing their jobs like lawn and pool service, ensuring no break ins and sometimes turning on or driving their cars.
Now something very important if you decide to do Home Watch. Be sure you concentrate on homes in one area all close together. You have to be efficient with your time, so it is imperative all the homes are close together. One of our agents had a Home Watch company and he is so spread out. I told him he needs to refer at least 20 doors to other trusted home watch companies in those areas. He is working on it as well all which getting a small monthly referral from each.
What kind of money can you make? Let’s say you visit each property every week and charge $30 per visit on average. That is $120 per month per property. 20 properties would equal $2,400 per month. Many times these people refer you to others if they are happy with their services.
Quick Story – Get creative. A home-watch company I refer business to will buy these little stands and place golf balls on them. These are balls that have broken their screen lanais as their homes that are directly on the golf course. So when they arrive in season, they will see the little stands with the golf ball and a note card saying “We had an intruder on your lanai 2/1/2017.” These are the little things that spark conversations with their friends in the community. Leading to more referrals.
Home-watch works hand in hand with real estate sales. These people trust you with their homes. They will be a solid source for referrals for real estate sales as long as you market to them. Get to know them. What do they do. Do they own other real estate / investments? Many an opportune time to sell them a multifamily 4 plex. ** And even get monthly revenue for Property Management!
4. Staging Homes
Staging / organizing homes can be a great source to make money if you have an eye for it. I am not talking about up-fronting a bunch of cash to furnish an entire house. I am talking about targeting listing agents from MLS with the following message.
“Do any of your listings need some sprucing up in order to help sell them faster and at a higher sales price? We offer a free consultation with your seller and have very competitive pricing to assist in organizing, moving furniture around for better flow, cleaning and painting.”
The cleaning and painting you can outsource if you wish. But majority of this service is labor. 1 to 2 of these jobs could cover your personal overhead. Ideally you want to scout the MLS in your area. Looking at photos where you know they need work and call each agent on the spot.
Also, more expensive unfurnished homes maybe ideal to furniture shop with the seller paying for it. They can provide a budget of say $15,000 and you charge 10% of amount spent. Or a flat fee no less than $1,500. Furniture and staging can have a tremendous effect on how saleable the property is as well as getting a higher sales price. The seller can then sell the property furnished or partially furnished at close.
Partial Staging. In the past we have helped in partially furnishing houses. The main thing we would include was a couch in the living room, kitchen table and bar stools. Use brand new furniture that goes well with the theme of the house / community. You can add towels in some bathrooms and some wall decor inexpensively. This also gives prospective buyers the ability to sit, relax and think about living there.
5. Open Houses
Many times sellers request listing agents to hold open houses. And many times, listing agents are just too busy to do these. You can approach listing agents with a twist. ** Check out our article Open House Guide.
“Hello my name is Steve with Maxim Realtors. I see you have a lot of listings and likely do not have time to do open houses for your clients. I have come up with a unique scenario that will help you make money from the open houses and get you more listings in the area of your existing listings. Are you open to meeting tomorrow at 4pm or Friday at 10am?”
Now you may want to have some brochure outlining the following. You will use the listing agent’s branded signs. The neighbors will see on a regular basis that the listing agent has these homes open. In many cases they will never come to the open house. However, if they are considering listing their home, the listing agent will likely will be a contender. This is one aspect that you would want to sell the listing agent on.
Secondly, his current sellers will be every pleased that he has a crew who are keeping these doors open on a regular basis. This will show them hard work and make it easy for future price adjustments.
Third, the listing agent will be able to use this as part of their future listing presentations. “We have a team in house to hold our inventory open to gain as much traffic as possible for your house. That is what you want isn’t it?”
Compensation – The listing agent pays you say $80 per open house for 4 hours. We need to incentivize the agent. So, you also agree to split any lead with the them 50/50 (buyer or seller) that you procure directly through the open houses.
If you can get one listing agent to commit to one open house a week, that is $320 per month. You can do two open houses in one day easily. 8-12 and 1-5. All while working on your personal business plan. Spend your down time at these open houses building and contacting your Sphere of Influence. Be sure to read this article as well.
6. Personal Assistant
In your initial interview with your broker you can find out if they or anyone in the office needs a personal assistant. This can be a great intro into learning the business quickly, picking up tips from a veteran agent and even growing into other positions within their team.
If there is no one in your office looking to invest into a personal assistant, then go find someone who is. Again top producers in your area are a good start. Again, you create luck. Put yourself in the position. Use a simple script as follows. PS – Call, don’t email. Email after you left a VM. Then call a day later following up 4-5 times. Show you are persistent. That is what I look for in anyone I hire. Too bad they are few and far between.
“Hi my name is Steve. I am currently a REALTOR with Maxim Realtors. I see you are doing really well in the real estate industry and would like to be a part of a winning team. Are you in the market for an assistant to help grow your real estate business?” Everyone wants recognition and this is what you are doing.
**Caution** Be sure when you meet, that you fully disclose, stating you want to ensure you have the flexibility to grow your own business, take calls, etc.
7. Write Content For Real Estate Websites
In our article How To Build Your Real Estate Website, I go into detail of the importance of fresh content on the website.
Start searching successful real estate agents out. Get on their personal websites and see how much content they have on them. Many times successful real estate agents rely on their aggressive tactics of cold calling and mass mailings for their lead generation. They tend to neglect the power of a good website. Which I did for years!
You can explain that you would like to meet to discuss how you want to be part of a winning team and have some ideas you want to run past them. If you were to write 2 articles a day with 700 words each, 5 days a week, charging $25 per, that is $1,000 per month. Each article should take you under an hour. Not that bad of an hourly rate.
You could get a few agents to write for, do the same above and have $3,000 a month coming in. You will write community pages, specific search pages and blogs.
Now with 40 new pages of fresh content hitting their website each month, Google will begin to rank that site quickly and in about 4-6 months they will start to see leads generating.
8. Real Estate Photography
If photography interests you then get out there and network with REALTORS. Provide them high quality still photos, video and arial shots with your Drone!
Look…. Opportunity is everywhere if you go get it. With that said, there will be opportunities you will have to turn down. As mentioned in our article 7 Tips on Choosing A Real Estate Broker, I explain to use your gut and intuition.
Does this feel like the right fit? Can I see working with this person? Do I feel I can trust them? Do I feel they are respectful? Do I feel I can learn from them? It is not all about the money. This is an investment of your time to better you and your business. Choose wisely.
With that said, any one of a combination of these positions could lead into something larger like building a team. You may link up with a great listing agent and become the main Buyer’s agent, Listing Coordinator and Web lead developer / lead distributor.
I think everyone needs a team. Those who work alone are not living up to their true potential. Sometimes it takes a small team, even one part time assistant to help growth. This is where you come in. Sell yourself and you will be rewarded.
I wish you much luck! If you find value in this article, please take the time to review all the posts on this site. I am sure you will get some really useful ideas.