19 Real Estate Side Hustles to Save & Invest Money Faster

People with no imagination love to tell you that it takes money to make money. If that were true, explain to me how plumbers earn $50-150/hour.

It doesn’t take money to make money — it takes initiative, effort, and sometimes a little creativity. 

Which is not to say that having money doesn’t help. It certainly does, and as a real estate investor, you need plenty of cash. 

But you don’t need to be born with a silver spoon and a trust fund to get rich. You just need a high savings rate and perhaps a real estate side hustle or two to earn more money for investing. 

 

19 Real Estate Side Hustle Ideas

As you research ways to earn money from real estate side jobs, consider the following gig ideas. From working as a real estate agent part-time to becoming a landlord to Airbnb arbitrage and beyond, you have plenty of options for real estate side hustles.

 

1. Become a Real Estate Agent

Take a course, pass a test, join a real estate brokerage. You can start earning money quickly as a part-time real estate agent. 

Just bear in mind that the overwhelming majority of the work of being a realtor isn’t showing houses. It’s marketing. 

Building a name for yourself and finding clients is hard work, given how saturated most markets are with real estate agents. And while part-time agents can earn strong commissions on just a few hours’ listing-related work, that ignores the hundreds of hours invested in marketing. 

Which brings us back to the course you take, which teaches you nothing about marketing or the skills required to be a realtor. It teaches you the laws you need to follow, which won’t actually help you in your day-to-day work. Plan on learning the skills required to succeed as a real estate agent from your brokerage. 

A real estate agent part-time may or may not make much money, but if you like the work, you can always ditch your day job to become a full-time agent. 

 

2. Become a Notary

It takes far less skill and education to serve as a notary. 

Notaries do many types of work, but as a real estate side hustle, you’re largely looking at becoming a settlement agent. You present real estate transaction paperwork to buyers and sellers, verify their identities, and notarize the documents. Mortgage lenders also need notaries to conduct refinance settlements. 

While some settlements take place at the title company, many take place off-site. That gets you out and about, driving to wherever the parties decide to hold the settlement. That may or may not appeal to you, depending on how much you like driving and leaving home. 

However, lenders and title companies increasingly accept virtually notarized documents. If you prefer working from home, look into earning extra income as a virtual notary. It’s one of many ways that technology is disrupting real estate

As a final thought, your volume of work (and earnings) depend on your ability to network with settlement agencies and have them hire you for closings. If you go this route, network early and often to build a roster of clients. 

 

3. Add an ADU to Your Home

One of the many ways to house hack involves adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to your home. 

This separate living space includes a full bathroom, kitchen (or kitchenette), and its own entrance. You can rent ADUs to either long-term tenants or short-term renters on Airbnb and VRBO. 

The rent ideally covers most or all of your housing payment, scoring you free housing. 

You don’t have to worry about networking and potential client lists, or building a real estate business from the ground up. You just add a steady stream of income from your home. 

 

4. Rent Your Home on Airbnb

Everyone and their mother knows this real estate side hustle. We won’t dwell on it, but consider a few ideas that may not have occurred to you.

You could rent out a room, a suite of rooms, or your entire home when you’re not using it. For example, if you travel frequently, or spend a lot of time crashing with a significant other or your parents, you could list your home for rent on Airbnb. Or if you’re a snowbird or otherwise spend a lot of time elsewhere, you could rent your home while you’re not using it.

No construction or alternations to your property necessary. You just collect some supplemental income while your home would have otherwise sat vacant. 

By the way, you don’t need to own a home to do this. A friend of mine rented her spare bedroom/bathroom suite in an apartment she rented. She found that if she rented it for two long weekends each month, it covered most of her rent payment. 

For that matter, you don’t even need to live in the rental unit to rent it on Airbnb.

 

5. Rental Arbitrage

Rental arbitrage involves signing a long-term lease agreement on a unit, then furnishing it and renting it out on Airbnb or VRBO. Or better yet, to an extended stay renter such as a travel nurse or business traveler who needs a furnished home for a few months.

You take advantage of the difference between the cost of a long-term rental and the premium paid for an Airbnb or extended stay accommodation. And you earn rental income each month, without having to actually buy a rental property. 

It’s a great way to get started in real estate investing with little cash. 

 

6. Buy Rental Properties 

Or, of course, you could buy your first rental property. Or second, or tenth, and keep growing your real estate portfolio and passive income streams. 

Not everyone wants to become a landlord, of course. But for those who don’t mind a more hands-on approach to their investments, rental properties offer some great benefits.

There’s the rental cash flow, of course. You can predict the average monthly income in advance using a rental cash flow calculator. That means you never have to buy a bad investment again. Plus, your cash flow only gets better with time, as rents rise but your mortgage payment stays fixed. 

Properties also appreciate in value over time (usually). Your renters pay off your mortgage for you, even as your property goes up in value. 

Landlords also get excellent rental property tax deductions. You can deduct every conceivable expense, from travel to a home office to property management fees and repairs. Plus you can deduct for paper expenses like depreciation, showing a loss on your taxes even as you collect cash flow in real life. 

Want all those benefits, without the headaches of becoming a landlord? Invest in passive real estate syndications. And if you don’t feel like going it alone, we pool funds to invest in a new syndication in our real estate investing club every month.


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