Side hustles aren’t for everyone. But if you’re in real estate or are interested in learning more about the industry, a real estate side hustle could be an effective way to make extra money and discover a new passion.
In fact, there are plenty of ways to earn extra cash that are related to the real estate industry. Since some side jobs are either directly or loosely related to real estate, you may not need much training before jumping in.
In this article, we’ve listed the best side hustles to earn an active or passive income in the real estate industry.
17 Best Real Estate Side Hustles
Whether you’re a real estate agent wanting to supplement your income or would like to test the waters with a side job close to the industry, these real estate side hustles can put real cash in your pocket:
- Host a Rental Property
- REIT Investing
- Real Estate Crowdfunding
- House Hacking
- Real Estate Photography
- Fix & Flip Houses
- Bird Dog Real Estate
- Traveling Notary Public
- Real Estate Videography
- Become a Home Stager
- Home Appraiser
- Home Inspector
- Property Management
- Real Estate Consulting
- Get Your Lending License
- Creative Services
- Direct Lending
1. Host on Airbnb or Neighbor
While not totally hands-off, vacation rentals like Airbnbs aren’t as involved as having a side job where you’re offering your services day in and day out.
- You can hire a property manager and cleaning crew to ease the workload.
- It’s a practically guaranteed source of regular income if you live in a desirable area.
- You don’t need to purchase a separate property in order to profit; extra bedrooms can be rented out.
- This is a high-demand service that can result in a very successful real estate side hustle.
If you have a little extra space, but you’re more comfortable hosting inanimate objects than people, consider renting out storage space with Neighbor.
List your space, set your terms, then start earning easy cash by converting unused space into money-making revenue streams.
2. REIT Investing
REIT investing is all about investing money in real estate trusts that own a variety of commercial properties that bring in steady profits.
A real estate investment trust is an entity that owns, finances, or rents out lucrative commercial real estate. These properties can include anything from shopping malls, entertainment venues, apartments buildings, and hundreds of others.
Investing in REITs can provide real earning potential if done wisely. These come in the form of stocks, mutual funds, and EFTs.
As a possible source of regular monthly income, REITs can be especially helpful since they’re required to pay out profits as dividends on a regular basis.
DiversyFund is our top-ranked crowdfunding company because they only invest in multifamily cash flow positive properties in high growth areas, which is one of the least risky types of real estate.
3. Real Estate Crowdfunding
If you’re not up for purchasing your own rental property or don’t have the upfront cash to put down on a mortgage, crowdfunding can be a great passive investment in real estate.
This is where you pool your money with other investors to fund commercial real estate projects and reap the rewards when they turn a profit.
There are many types of properties and projects to invest in — as well as rates of return and timelines for when you’ll get paid.
Real estate crowdfunding isn’t without risks, so be careful. Some projects are never completed, and some real estate doesn’t appreciate as expected.
Fundrise offers crowdsourced real estate investing, most real estate investing platforms are only open to accredited investors, but Fundrise makes it accessible to all investors.
4. House Hacking
This is essentially buying real estate with the purpose of dividing up the house or multifamily property into rental units while you live in another part of the dwelling for free.
The supplemental income you can earn with this practice can be substantial. One of the primary benefits, if you live in an in-demand area, is that your rental income can pay for your own housing.
5. Real Estate Photography
This is an excellent way to get some exposure to housing transactions. If you’re a professional photographer, or an amateur with a good eye, providing photography services to real estate agents could be a great fit.
Every property that’s being offered for sale needs photographs for online listings as well as paper flyers. If you can photograph houses in your spare time, this can be a very steady money maker.
6. Fixing and Flipping Houses
An obvious side hustle choice for real estate professionals is buying fixer-uppers and restoring them to sell for a profit.
Some distinct advantages for agents who want to fix and flip:
- You know about fixer-uppers before they hit the general public market.
- You probably know lenders who can help get you approved quickly in a hot market.
- As an agent, you’ve likely worked with trustworthy contractors you can use to improve your investment property.
- When it comes time to sell, as an agent, you’ll likely have no problem finding buyers.
7. Bird Dog
A real estate “bird dog” is someone who looks for undervalued properties for real estate investors in exchange for a flat fee or cut of the profits. The name originated from hunting, where just like dogs help hunters find birds, real estate bird dogs help house hunters find properties.
How much money you can make will depend largely on market conditions and where you’re working. If you are good at networking and can build a trusted reputation, you could easily earn thousands in extra income.
8. Traveling Notary Public
A notary public helps people sign legal documents by providing a licensed witness. Sometimes it’s hard to make time to search for a notary, so having one come to you is very convenient.
This can be done for extra money on the side when buyers or sellers need a notarized signature for their paperwork.
The great thing about becoming a mobile notary is that not all states require formal training. And it’s a relatively inexpensive side hustle to start.
Check with your local secretary of state to get the requirements for your particular location, and you’ll be in business in no time!
9. Real Estate Videographer
Another great side hustle in the real estate business is taking video of houses that are going on the market. Both interior and exterior videos — as well as aerial drone views — are in demand.
These days, due to the pandemic, most people like the option of a virtual house tour — not to mention the fact that it’s convenient.
So this is the perfect opportunity for a creative who likes video to make extra money. It’s also extremely flexible and can be done in your spare time.
10. Become a Home Stager
If you love interior design and have a good eye for a clean, minimalistic look, you’d be perfect for a side job in house staging.
This is where a home seller clears out their home completely and a designer comes through with high-end furniture and art to give the home a polished look.
Staging a house usually happens before photographs are taken for the listing. Putting nice touches on a home and clearing the owner’s clutter makes it more appealing to buyers.
Whether you start a little business of your own or work for a staging company in your spare time, staging homes can be a really fun way to make money in real estate without being a realtor.
11. Real Estate Appraiser
Every house that’s on the market has to be appraised. Meaning, it’s assigned a market value in the area in which it’s being sold. Becoming an appraiser can be a great real estate side hustle that doesn’t require a real estate license.
While this job takes some education and training, it can be a very rewarding way to make money on the side and be involved in real estate at the same time.
And since most home appraisers are self-employed, this could give you the flexibility you need to earn cash on the side of a regular job.
12. Home Inspector
A home inspector thoroughly inspects houses before the final sale so buyers will know if there’s anything seriously wrong with its structure, inside systems, or basic safety.
Similar to a real estate appraiser, a home inspector must have some training and certifications in most states. When looking into this side hustle, read your state’s requirements carefully.
13. Property Management
With rental properties being so popular, property management is definitely in demand. If you’ve been a real estate agent for a while, your expertise would make this a great fit.
There are many different types of properties that could potentially require someone to manage the day-to-day rental operations. From rental homes to duplexes, apartments, and even Airbnb rentals.
Having dependable property management is especially valuable to out-of-state homeowners or commercial rental property owners.
14. Real Estate Consultant
Becoming a real estate consultant can be a great source of side income for a real estate agent. There aren’t any clear-cut requirements for becoming a consultant unless you choose to work for an agency.
This type of consulting involves advising clients, who could be commercial buyers, real estate investors, or developers, about real estate market health, various transactions, advisable investments, and the like.
15. Get your Lending License
These days, it’s fairly common to see real estate agents doubling as loan officers or lenders. If you’re already in real estate, why not go for your lending license?
Also called a mortgage broker, a lender helps home buyers secure a mortgage so they can purchase their home.
Licensing requirements vary by state, but offering lending services on the side can certainly be a lucrative real estate side hustle. It can also be quite flexible if you’re working for yourself.
16. Creative Services
Staging houses, doing home photography for listings, and videography work can be great sources of flexible income for real estate agents as well.
In fact, if you have a strong creative side AND real estate experience, you’ll likely have no problem finding clients. After all, agents know the perfect angles for those photographs that can grab a buyer’s attention.
As for staging, most agents are well versed in the minimal, fresh, and roomy atmosphere most buyers expect when touring a prospective home.
The best thing about these creative side hustles is that you can offer them as a freelance worker. Just put together a portfolio of your work and start offering services.
17. Direct Lending is also an option
Direct lending is related to crowdfunding. would be If you have extra cash to invest and want to put it in real estate, you could go the direct lending route.
This entails working with a direct lending provider to find those who need funding. They do all the managing and finding clients for you. All you’d need to do is invest your money and hopefully watch it grow.
Benefits of a Real Estate Side Hustle
Whether your side hustle is related to real estate, or you’re looking for extra money as a real estate agent, there are many perks to having regular side income:
- More money to save for retirement or investment opportunities.
- Less stress about how to pay for your regular monthly expenses.
- You’ll have extra money to set aside for emergencies.
- You can learn new skills related to or within your industry which can add to the success of your full-time work.
- A side hustle can enrich your life and mind by diversifying how you spend your working time.
- If you’ve been looking for a way out of your regular job, building up a side hustle can potentially allow you to change your profession altogether.
- Side hustles can increase your networking opportunities which can lead to unexpected leads for your primary business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should consider a real estate side hustle?
A real estate side hustle could be the perfect answer for:
- A new agent waiting for those first few sales.
- Buyers or investors want to push earnings into overdrive to buy that next property or real estate investment.
- Those who’d like to try something related to real estate to see if it’s a good fit.
- People with extra time, singles without kids, military spouses, and anyone else wanting to learn a new skill and earn.
How lucrative can a real estate side hustle be?
The earning potential of any side hustle depends on many factors, such as the area you live in, the rates for your services, how many hours you dedicate, and which side job you choose.
Any of them have the potential to provide a nice steady side income. If you have little time, investing in real estate may prove to be very lucrative.
If you have time and money for training, home inspection or appraisal could reap some nice rewards as well. Loan officers can also make good commissions on mortgages they sell.
What do you need to get started with a real estate side hustle?
The first thing you’ll need to get started with a side hustle in or related to real estate would be time. Make sure you’re not already overextended in your primary job.
When you’re ready to move forward with a side job, check with your state for any necessary paperwork or licensing they require.
You may need to file information with your state if you plan to offer services as a self-employed contractor. Even if it’s part time.
Other things to consider are money and time for extra training, as well as any necessary equipment per your chosen service.
For example, notaries will need notary stamps and supplies, and home staging requires access to inventory for sprucing up a house that’s going on the market.
How can you get involved in real estate by investing only your time?
We’ve discussed many options for side jobs in real estate that don’t require much money. A few don’t really require any money.
If you’re already a real estate agent, you can offer consulting and advising services. This will likely require only your time.
For photographers or videographers who already own equipment, the only investment you’ll make is time when it comes to taking pictures and videos of real estate properties.
Real estate property management services are also mostly an investment of time. As is renting your home or property out on Airbnb or similar platforms.
What should you avoid in a real estate side hustle?
Avoid biting off more than you can chew when considering a real estate side hustle. If you don’t have spare time, consider waiting until you do.
It’s possible you’d want to avoid spending any money on costly training programs if you’re not sure about a certain service.
Try asking a professional in that space (an appraiser, for example) to discuss their daily tasks. Or better yet, see if you can join them on a few jobs.
Also avoid jumping into real estate investing or real estate flipping until you’ve consulted experienced professionals who can guide you.