We will assume that if you are reading this article you already know how to or you are already making money through buying and selling real estate because that is basically what real estate agents do. However, this is not what we will be talking about here.
We are here to review how you can use the skills, knowledge, and experience you have as a real estate agent to make extra money on the side.
This you can do while keeping your day job as a real estate agent.
Most people who are not familiar with the real estate industry assume that real estate agents make a lot of money.
The truth, however, is that for that to be the case, the real estate agent has to put in a lot of work or be part of the select established firms that handle most of the transactions while leaving the rest to be scrambled for by the rest of the estate agents.
A real estate agent handles about 13 transactions per year on average. That said, many real estate agents have free time on their hands. We would like to provide you with tips on how you can earn extra income by doing something on the side.
Real Estate Appraisal
You should have taken an appraisal course as a prerequisite to becoming a real estate agent. It is one way you can earn consistent income as you still keep your eyes on your profession since it is close to real estate agency.
Real estate appraisal entails estimating the value of the real property for various purposes including but not limited to property insurance, taxation purposes, listing, determination of asking price, and financing purposes.
To carry out appraisals, you need to equip yourself with the knowledge of property characteristics such as floor plan, amenities, and location. Y
ou will also need to have a grasp of market concepts such as demand and supply. Lastly, you have to learn the various real estate appraisal methods.
Three main methods are used; the sales comparison method, cost approach, an income approach.
You can choose whether to carry out appraisals for residential, commercial, or agricultural properties among others, or a multiple of those options depending on your expertise and schedule.
The good thing with property appraisal is that you can get referrals and clients who can hire you as a real estate agent.
Property Tax Appeals
This is one of the neglected income streams a real estate agent can explore. Depending on the prevailing tax laws and the market condition, you can make a lot of money helping people with their tax appeals.
Property taxes are usually based on the estimated value of the property as established by the County Assessor.
These estimations are prone to errors because honestly speaking, the Assessors are not able to inspect and ascribe value to all properties within their jurisdiction individually.
They employ certain formulas by the submarket to come up with the estimations.
If the property owner can show the officials that the actual value of the property is less than the estimated value used to come up with their taxes, they will be given a tax reduction.
As a professional, you are best placed to review these value estimations.
This involves carrying out a valuation exercise and presenting your value findings to the county taxing officials.
You can either charge a fixed amount of money or a percentage of the tax savings. This is a smart option, come to think of it.
When there are many sales taking place, the tax appeal rates are low, but when sales reduce, tax appeals increase. This way, you can balance your operations by tapping into both cycles.
Since you have worked as a real estate agent and probably handled a few transactions, you know how vital staging is to home sales.
Additionally, you may be aware that many sellers struggle in this process.
Even if you are not a skilled decorator, you know what buyers look for, and you know how to stage a home for sale.
This is an opportunity to earn extra income by being paid for staging the home, and additional commission when the property is sold for a higher amount of money than would have been earned without staging.
The seller is likely to hire you again since you got them higher sales prices and enabled their property to take less time in the market.
Since staging is, to some extent, part of your roles as a real estate agent, actively taking time to paint, rent furniture and store items will earn you extra cash.
Many people are renting residential properties, and many absentee landlords need property managers.
You just need to help them find great tenants, work on the paperwork, and wait for the rent to come in every month for several years. In between, you will help the tenants with minor repairs and handling maintenance issues.
In ideal cases, the fee earned is a percentage of the rental income. The rate may vary depending on the landlord and the market, but 5% is standard.
The property manager also earns additional income for finding new tenants. In some cases, they could keep the first month’s rent, but in most cases, they keep 50%.
Through property management, you can earn a stable income throughout the year. And to make your work easier, you can invest in a good property management software.
Real Estate Writing
You must have acquired a great wealth of knowledge and insights from your engagements as a real estate professional. Why don’t you consider earning a few extra bucks by writing about these?
One of the options you can consider is writing an eBook and selling it. You may wonder how this will work out for you given that there are quite several books on real estate in the market, some of which you used yourself.
This is enough proof that they are on-demand, right? Well, just make your work unique and niche down. You can sell them through your website or publish them on Amazon.com.
You can also work as a part-time writer for companies in real estate or related industries. You can write articles for national real estate publications, mortgage companies, contractors, etc.
Through this, you will improve your online profile as you earn income on the side. Additionally, you can start a blog and earn from it. Whatever option you choose, you must provide correct, unique, and attention-grabbing content.
Start a Real Estate Podcast
Some people would rather get information by listening as opposed to reading. You can tap that opportunity and earn some income from it. As with writing, you will niche-down.
Have your main focus on real estate investment, ownership, real estate professions, or the legal aspects of real estate
Podcasts give your audience more flexibility since they do not have to sit at the study table to take in the information.
They can listen during an early morning run over their earphones, or through their car stereo system while driving, or as they carry on with their house chores.
Podcasts can be monetized the same way as you would blogs and vlogs, the difference being that this time the content is in audio format.
Since you are a real estate agent, we would imagine you are familiar with the process of carrying out a home inspection.
Have you ever pictured yourself carrying out home inspections? Get certified as an inspector and see how much you can earn from it.
A home inspection, in a nutshell, is an assessment of the home; visual inspection of its performance. There are generally two documents that are used during a home inspection.
You need a pre-inspection agreement and an inspection report. Buyers use the findings from the home inspection to make an informed decision about the purchase price of the home.
According to a recent survey conducted by the ASHI, 72% of Americans think their home inspection before buying their home helped them avoid issues that could arise with their home. Therefore, it is a lucrative business opportunity.
To avoid conflict of interest, consider centring your inspection business on property types different from your real estate agency business.
You are going to love this one if you are passionate about taking photos. This time and age could even save you the hustle by allowing you to take quality photographs using your smartphone.
You can take photos for other agents to use in their listings. Be careful not to confuse buyers into thinking the listing is yours. You can use social media networks to look for buyers using those photos.
We cannot refute the importance of good photos in the sale of real property. Also, you can be the one behind the camera during a new home photoshoot.
The new generation of buyers, mostly millennials, have photoshoots to mark milestone life events like marriage, college graduation, pregnancy, etc. A new home is not left out either.
You can be called upon to make a few shots of the buyer posing on their front yard, or accepting the keys to the home.
Or you could be hired to capture the events that would take place in the home on a normal day like cleaning, family times, gardening, or games; this can take hours. At the end of the day, you pocket your extra income.
Drawing a real estate contract may look simple, but it is not so easy especially for someone who is not well equipped with the legal aspects of a contract.
Therefore, some actors in the real estate industry may need help with their contracts for the reason above or because they do not have enough time on their hands for the same.
To earn extra income from writing contracts, you need to do so for transactions in which you are not a party. For instance, you can assist a seller who wants to sell their property without an agent draw an FSBO (For Sale by Owner) contract.
You can also draft contracts for other real estate agents who may not have the time or motivation to write them on their own.
In most cases when people read such an article, they are tempted to try everything all at once. After all, who wouldn’t want to be a jack of all trades? The pitfall, however, is that you will risk being a master of none.
Pick just one stream of income that is right for you, thoroughly research on it, and bring together all the resources you will need and commit to getting down to do it.
You do realize that all these options require some work, right? Some even demand you to get extra training. Trust you me the returns are worth the input!