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23 Real Estate Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Cash

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Finding a side hustle that can help bring in some extra cash is something that more and more people are looking to do in today’s ever-changing economy.

In some cases, a side hustle can become so lucrative that it ends up taking over as a main source of income and becomes more of a career.

Real estate is one of the best industries to find yourself a niche and start up a side hustle. Not only is real estate a strong and almost recession-proof industry, but it also offers many great side hustle options for people looking to dive in and start earning.

In this article, we will be covering the best real estate side hustle ideas to make extra cash.


Best Real Estate Side Hustle Ideas

The sheer variety of highly lucrative real estate side hustle ideas that can be taken advantage of is staggering.

The following is a simple breakdown of the best real estate side hustle ideas and what they entail.

1. REIT Investing

A REIT (real estate investment trust) is a private or publicly traded company that owns, operates, and/or finances real estate that generates income. People can invest in REITs in a variety of ways.

Most REITs are publicly traded companies listed on stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the Nasdaq, so investors can easily purchase a fraction of the entity that holds the properties via a stock exchange. Some popular publicly tarded REITs include:

Investors can also access publicly tarded REITs by purchasing REIT exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds. Some of the most popular REIT ETFs and mutual funds include:

Private REITs, on the other hand, can be accessed through real estate crowdfunding sites, regardless of whether you’re an accredited investor or not.

Investing in REITs can be a great real estate side hustle as it boasts the incredible potential to generate passive, recurring income, as well as substantial dividends.

High-yield REITs offer even more lucrative, as they are known to provide their investors with dividends that pay 7% or more (typically monthly or quarterly). These REITs are found in the commercial real estate, mortgage, and healthcare sectors.

Baron Real Estate Fund Institutional Shares ETF
Source: Google Finance — Baron Real Estate Fund Institutional Shares

2. Vacation Rental

Vacation rentals are furnished residences that are provided as accommodations for travelers and vacationers to rent on a short-term basis.

Renting out your residence as a vacation rental can be incredibly profitable, especially if you are in a location that attracts a good amount of tourists. This could be because of a nearby beach or lake, proximity to sports venues, or other desirable location-based features of your property.

These income properties are great options for people who are looking to avoid expensive hotels and opt for a more “local living” feel while they enjoy their time away.

Vacation rentals are a great way to generate income using property that you already own.

To get you started with this side hustle, you should check out some of the most popular vacation rental marketplaces today. These sites do all the heavy lifting for you and can help you maximize your reach with your desired target market. Here are the most popular marketplaces today:

3. Real Estate Crowdfunding

Real estate crowdfunding involves the pooling of money within a group of investors to fund real estate projects that will turn a profit, which is then divided among the group.

This is a great way for people who may not have all of the capital necessary to purchase property to get involved in real estate and the incredible income potential that it has to offer.

It does come with its own set of risks. Projects can fall through, the market can take a downturn, and money can be lost. Always be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

Real estate crowdfunding sites are a great way to get started with this side hustle. Keep in mind that some of these sites require investors to be accredited. If you’re not an accredited investor, you should check out these platforms which accept non-accredited investors:

If you want to learn more about these sites, check out our best real estate crowdfunding sites for non-accredited investors guide.

4. Fix and Flip Houses

One of the more popular real estate side hustles is fixing and flipping houses. This involves purchasing “fixer-upper” houses, doing renovations and restorations, and then selling the houses for a profit.

House flippers do not need a real estate license and, with experience, can turn this side hustle gig into a full-time lifestyle.

Learning how to find great deals on undervalued properties and stay on top of the market will increase your profit margins and lead to more lucrative opportunities. It is also important to establish connections with quality contractors who charge reasonably for your renovation and restoration work.

Fixing and flipping houses can be extremely profitable: however, it is important to keep in mind the fact that substantial investments are typically necessary to get going. In some situations, unforeseen problems that occur during the flipping process can lead to costs running higher than expected.

Some of the benefits of flipping houses as a side hustle include the following:

  • Potential to make great money on the side
  • If you are good with your hand, this is a great real estate side hustle
  • Less risky than other real estate investments
  • Opportunity to gain experience in real estate
  • Opportunity to gain knowledge of your local market

The bottom line is that if you have a solid plan and understand all the financial implications of flipping a house, house flipping can be a great side hustle option that could turn into a full-blown business.

How To Flip A House For Beginners (Start to Finish)
Source: YouTube

5. Bird-Dogging

A “bird-dog” in the context of real estate is someone who searches for undervalued properties and good investment opportunities. They can then exchange this information with house hunters, flippers, and real estate agents for a standard fee or a portion of the profits if an agreement has been made.

Income potential for a real estate bird-dog will depend largely on market conditions but also on their ability to network within the industry, make important connections, and build a good reputation.

The good thing about this real estate side hustle is that it is low risk and low commitment allowing you to work on it part-time or if you prefer, you can do it full-time too.

The process is rather simple; to get started, you should build up your network with real estate agents and other real estate professionals. Then you should have a clear understanding of the legal restrictions or ramifications of bird-dogging in your local area.

Once you determine you are allowed to bird-dog and define your compensation strategy (commission or finder’s fee), it’s time to find leads. You can find leads using the MLS, foreclosure auctions, trustee sales, real estate events, etc. After finding viable leads, the last step is to sell the deal or opportunity to investors. Remember that you only make money once the investor decides to purchase the property.

6. Part-Time Real Estate Agent

Getting your realtor’s license does not mean you have to jump into real estate as a full-time agent. Working your way into the industry by doing a few showings in your free time on the weekend is a great way to get started.

Finding clients and closing deals will obviously still take a real investment of time and effort, but going at it from a part-time standpoint is a good way to mitigate pressure and ease into the hustle.

These are the basic steps to becoming a part-time real estate agent:

  • Step 1: Get your real estate license
  • Step 2: Join a real estate brokerage firm
  • Step 3: Find ways to generate leads
  • Step 4: Find a schedule that works for you
  • Step 5: Plan your marketing strategy
  • Step 6: Profit!

This side hustle is scalable, and you can always pursue a full-time career. The national average part-time real estate agent salary is $58,145 a year or $28 an hour. Not bad for working part-time.

7. Real Estate Staging

Home staging and interior design skills are highly sought after in the real estate industry. Home stagers are people who have an eye for detail, design, and the flow of home aesthetics.

Home stagers are paid to come into a home that is getting ready to go on the market (typically before ad pictures are taken) and use their skills to transform the inside into a beautiful setting that will make a good impression on potential buyers.

Real estate home stagers will often bring in furniture, pieces of art, and other aesthetic-enhancing items to bring life to the space and emphasize the home’s best features.

If you’re passionate about design and would like to pursue this real estate side hustle, you can take a staging course that can teach you how to start, where to get your first jobs, and how to turn your passion into a full or part-time business.

How I Started My Home Staging Business
Source: YouTube

8. Real Estate Photography

Whether you are a professional photographer or someone with a good eye for photography and have the will to make some extra cash, real estate photography is a great side hustle option.

Sellers that are preparing a home for sale will almost always need photography services advertisements, online listings, and real estate catalogs.

Taking some of your spare time to provide photography services for local real estate agents and/or organizations can be a great way to make some extra money on the side.

If you’re just starting out a real estate photography side hustle, you could easily charge anywhere between $70 to $90 for 15-20 photos to get some experience under your belt.

Of course, your rates may have to be adjusted depending on the market you are working in.

9. Real Estate Notary Public

Real estate notary publics specialize in aiding with the process of signing legal documents by acting as licensed witnesses. Buyers and sellers will need a notarized signature for certain aspects of the sale process, and as a result, notaries are in high demand.

Offering mobile notary services can boost your profits, as people will often hire purely for the convenience of having a notary come to them to handle document signings.

Not all states require formal training to be a notary, and it is quite inexpensive to get started compared to some of the other real estate side hustle options we have discussed.

To become a real estate notary public, you first have to become a licensed notary public in your state. In general, to be licensed as a notary public, you have to be 18 years of age and pass a background check (but requirements may vary by state).

Once you are licensed and meet the state’s requirements, most likely, you will need to get a surety bond and get your supplies (i.e., a journal, a seal for stamping, and certificates). To learn more about the process, check out the National Notary Association website.

10. Real Estate Videographer

Like photography services, videography has become just as important for the process of selling a house on the public market.

Videographers are paid to shoot and develop “property films” or virtual tours. These are essentially collections of different video clips that have been strategically taken around the home and turned into a video presentation.

Virtual tours are a great way for sellers to showcase their home and all of its spaces in a nicely composed video that can be featured online to attract attention and allow potential buyers to take an initial look at the house on their own time.

Similar to the rate for the photography services, you could charge anywhere between $150 to $200 for aerial photos and $200 to $350 for 360 tours and walk-through videos.

Grand Production Films
Source: Grand Production Films

11. House Hacking

House hacking is the practice of buying real estate with the intention of strategically dividing the property into multiple units that can be rented while you live in one of the units for free.

House hacking is a great way to earn some substantial supplemental income that is consistent, as well as a great way to offset housing costs for yourself at the same time.

There are a variety of property types you can use for house hacking purposes. The most common type of properties are duplex units, but you can also use triplex, spare bedrooms of a single-family home, basements, on-site cottages, garage apartments, mobile homes or rental RVs, and even renting parking spaces.

Beyond cash flow, one of the main benefits of house hacking is that it can allow you to access better financing (mortgage rates) for the property you intend to buy. This is because the property is categorized as “owner-occupied” since you live in one of the units.

12. House Appraiser

Real estate appraisers provide an essential service, as every house that goes onto the market needs to be appraised first. Appraisers are hired to determine the most accurate valuation of a property based on an on-site inspection, current market trends, and other determining factors.

This job does require a fair amount of education and some sort of appraisal licensing, depending on where you are located. However, the earning potential is substantial, and there is a lot of freedom to create your own ideal schedule.

Becoming a house appraiser is not that complex. Most states have a 3-tiered licensing system, each step of which requires education and documented training hours (Licensed Residential, Certified Residential, or Certified General). The step of becoming a house appraiser are:

  • Step 1: Become an appraiser trainee and complete and pass 75 hours of appraisal education from a certified school
  • Step 2: Gain work experience depending on the appraiser’s classification (0 for Trainee Appraiser to more than 3,000 hours for a Certified General Appraiser)
  • Step 3: Upgrade your license so you can make more money

House appraisers can make around $61,340 or 29.49 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

13. House Inspector

Home inspectors are hired to do a thorough visual inspection of homes before they are approved to be listed. They arrive on-site and inspect both exterior and interior aspects of the property, including:

  • Roofing & chimneys
  • Gutters & downspouts
  • Structural & foundational components
  • Heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems
  • Fireplaces and fuel-burning appliances
  • Insulation, ventilation, unfinished areas

Home inspectors must have the proper licensing and credentials to operate legally.

House Inspector
Source: Upwork

14. Property Manager

Property management is another great real estate side hustle option. Rental properties are popping up all over the place, and these property owners are often in need of a property manager.

Property managers are paid to handle the day-to-day things that a rental property needs to stay maintained, approachable, and pleasant for renters to stay in. They are crucial to the success of a rental property and, as such, are typically well-paid for their work.

Some of the benefits of becoming a property manager include the following:

  • The property management industry is growing. The property management market is set to be worth $22.04 Billion by 2023.
  • Your earnings potential is substantial. The national average salary of a property manager is $105,577 per year, as reported by Salary.com.
  • Ability to learn the ins and outs of real estate.

This is another side hustle that could turn into a full-time gig if you wanted to.

15. Rental Arbitrage

Rental arbitrage is essentially an adaptation of the “buy low, sell highreal estate investing strategy. Instead of actually needing to own a home, rental arbitrage involves leveraging a long-term lease on a property instead.

With this long-term lease, property owners can rent the home out on a weekly or monthly basis while making their own payments on the property with those funds. Done right, the leftover profits from your tenant’s payments can be quite substantial.

The main advantage or benefit of starting a rental arbitrage side hustle is that it requires low start-up capital. For instance, you can become an Airbnb host without actually owning the property. You can just sign a long-term lease, re-rent the property on Airbnb, and collect the difference.

The other benefit is that you can do this in multiple properties allowing your side hustle to scale fast and potentially turn into a full-time business.

16. Real Estate Wholesaling

Real estate wholesaling works kind of like flipping houses does, except for the fact that you do not actually have to take possession of the property. It is another great real estate side hustle that can generate another income source for you.

The real estate wholesaler will instead be searching for good deals on investment properties, which they will secure under contract and then immediately pass off to a real estate investor.

The investor will purchase the property at a slightly higher price point than the original bid price, which provides the wholesaler with a nice, healthy finders fee. Repeating this process on multiple deals can bring in a significant amount of extra cash.

How To Wholesale Real Estate Step by Step (IN 21 DAYS OR LESS)!
Source: YouTube

17. Real Estate Virtual Assistant

If you are organizationally inclined and enjoy the administration assistant style workflow, the real estate virtual assistant side hustle may be a perfect choice.

Virtual assistants are people who typically work for a realtor or other real estate professional and serve to help streamline their workflow. Tasks can range anywhere from answering phone calls, managing email correspondence, and updating social media to handling online listing maintenance and other administrative processes.

Set up your own business as a real estate virtual assistant and charge hourly for your services based on your qualifications, skills, and general scope of work.

Full-time virtual assistants can make around $58,057 per year or $28 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter. So you need to take that into consideration when adjusting your hours working part-time.

18. Real Estate Blogger

Creating a real estate blog can be a great side hustle to get some extra income going in your off-time. Bloggers should offer valuable real estate knowledge, expertise, and insight to their readers to attract a larger audience and build authority in the space.

Focus on things like market trends, promising housing projects, important changes to legislation, and other valuable content that will keep people reading.

One thing to remember is that blogs do not generate income right off the bat and must be developed into an online resource that attracts substantial traffic before the money is made. 

However, a well-established blog that brings in readers can be further monetized in many ways. The earning potential is virtually unlimited.

19. Contractor

Real estate contractors are almost always in high demand, as their services are often needed to coordinate the renovation and restoration of properties.

General contractors hire specialized subcontractors to handle different aspects of a project. They oversee all of the work that occurs at a given property and manages the synchronization of different subcontractor teams to ensure a smooth process.

As a contractor working for either a house flipper or working on house renovations, the services you can potentially offer include the following:

  • Managing a renovation project
  • Creating estimates and construction schedules to complete a project
  • Creating comprehensive scopes of work
  • Managing engineers, architects, and designers
  • Obtaining approvals, permits, and inspections from Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
  • Ordering and paying for materials and or equipment
  • Managing risks and resolving issues as they arise
  • Maintaining quality standards for a renovation project
  • Managing the budget of a renovation or project

Overall, a contractor manages all aspects of a project, including house flips and renovations. You will ensure the project gets delivered on time and on budget. It goes without saying that this side hustle can turn into a full-time business.

Real Estate Contractor
SourceL Thumbtack

20. Offer Lending Services

Lending services provide individuals or organizations with financial loans needed for the purchase of a property. The home acts as security for the loan itself, and lenders charge interest on the loan based on an interest rate and payback schedule that has been agreed upon.

Mortgage brokers bring borrowers and lending institutions together by acting as an intermediary. Once an agreement has been figured out and a loan is provided, the mortgage broker will make a commission on the deal. Licensing is required to become an accredited mortgage broker.

People may opt to go the direct-lending route. If they have capital that they would like to invest in real estate, they can work with a lending provider to find borrowers and invest their money that way for a potential profit.

21. Real Estate Consultant

Real estate consulting is another great way to leverage your knowledge of real estate and make some extra money on the side.

Consultants are paid to advise their clients and provide valuable, applicable knowledge regarding the state of the current market, potential investment opportunities, up-and-coming developments, hot locations, etc.

Being a quality consultant requires a substantial amount of knowledge and access to information, as well as a willingness to stay up to date on the real estate market. 

That said, a real estate consultant who builds a good reputation and delivers results can make some really good money.

22. Farmland Investing

Farmland investing is another great way to make some extra money by leveraging a property that offers the opportunity for farming operations.

This investment method involves the purchasing of farmland (usable cropland or pastureland) and the subsequent renting of the property to a farmer or rancher. The set periodic payments will eventually pay for the initial cost of the property and then turn into pure profits going forward.

Farmland does require a substantial up-front investment, so the risk factor does exist; however, done right, it can be incredibly profitable.

The good news is that there are a few companies like FarmTogether and AcreTrader that make it very easy for retail investors to invest in farmland.

AcreTrader screenshot
Source: AcreTrader

23. Invest in Raw Land

Instead of investing in a developed property that has had a home built on it and other modifications made, investing in raw, untouched land is a great alternative.

Purchasing raw land to rent it out to individuals or businesses can be a great way to make a steady profit while the land itself appreciates. Investors may also leave the land untouched and simply sell it for a profit after a period of time. Some of the most popular and profitable land investments include:

  • Residential development land
  • Commercial development land
  • Land for crops
  • Land for livestock
  • Timberland
  • Land for mineral production
  • Vineyards
  • Orchards

There are a variety of financial instruments you can use to get started with this side hustle. For instance, you could invest in the Barclays iPath Bloomberg Agriculture Subindex Total Return ETN Series B (NYSEARCA: JJA), which can give investors exposure to soft commodities like wheat, sugar, cotton, and coffee. You could also invest in the iPath Series B Bloomberg Livestock Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA: COW), which provides investors with exposure to cattle and hogs.

Or, if you prefer to invest in timberland, you could invest in the Invesco MSCI Global Timber ETF (NYSEARCA: CUT), which gives investors the opportunity to get exposure to the ownership and management of forests, timberlands, and production of products using timber as raw materials.


Benefits of Real Estate as a Side Hustle

Taking on a real estate side hustle as a way to earn some extra income comes with several attractive benefits.

Earning Potential

Many of the side hustle options we have discussed provide the opportunity for virtually limitless earning potential.

Instead of having a capped salary or an hourly wage that restricts your maximum earning potential, taking on a real estate side hustle will allow you to have control over this and determine the extent of your income.

Flexibility

Real estate side hustles allow for a significant amount of flexibility when it comes to creating your own schedule, choosing what kind of workflow works best for you, and ultimately providing the time freedom that so many people desire.

Scalability

Another one of the awesome benefits that a real estate side hustle can provide is the ability to scale your business based on your needs, goals, and time availability.

These occupations may start out as part-time, one-man hustles but can also be developed and scaled into larger operations that may even turn into a full-time passion.


Real Estate Side Hustle Ideas FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions focused on real estate side hustles.

What Is a Real Estate Side Hustle?

A real estate side hustle is a secondary occupation, activity, business, or investment that creates income through one or more aspects of the real estate industry.

How Much Can I Make With A Real Estate Side Hustle?

The earning potential of a real estate side hustle depends on a variety of factors, but the accessibility and scalability of these hustles make it possible to build a substantial income.

Earnings can range anywhere from an extra $1,000 a month to a monthly income of more than $10,000.

Is Real Estate a Good Side Hustle?

Real estate can definitely be a good side hustle, especially thanks to the inherent scalability and flexibility. The industry is accessible, and many of the side hustles that people take advantage of do not require any extensive education or credentials.

Who Should Consider Real Estate as a Side Hustle?

Picking up a real estate side hustle is a great option for anyone looking to make extra money in the industry.

Examples of people who would be perfect candidates include:

– New realtors who are learning the industry and making connections
– Buyers and investors who are looking to boost their earnings and generate more capital
– People who have extra time aside from their main occupation and want to earn some extra money in real estate
– People looking to get into the real estate industry and test out the waters

What Do I Need to Get Started With a Real Estate Side Hustle?

The first and most important thing that you need to get started with a real estate hustle is free time. If all of your working hours are taken up with your primary occupation and other factors (i.e., family, friends, leisure time, etc.), you may have difficulty finding the time to get started.

It is also important to remember that some of the jobs may require education, training and/or qualifications which can result in some initial costs to get your hustle started.

What Are the Tax Implications for a Real Estate Side Hustle?

Depending on the side hustle that you choose to take on, there will be different applicable taxes to be paid on earnings. For example, the sale of a property has its own set of capital gains tax, while the hourly wage a virtual assistant earns will be handled as taxable income.

Do some research of your own to determine the specific tax implications that your real estate side hustle will come with.

Do I Need to Invest to Start a Real Estate Side Hustle?

You do not need to invest in property to start a real estate hustle.

Some hustles may not require any investment at all other than the time required to work, while others may require some sort of investment for training and/or licensing.


Final Thoughts

The real estate industry is constantly growing, and with that comes opportunities for people to get involved and start earning supplemental income.

In this article, we have highlighted the best real estate side hustle ideas that can provide a way to make extra cash. From REIT investing, flipping houses, and crowdfunding to bird-dogging, real estate photography, and so many more — the options are numerous.

We hope you have learned everything you need to know about real estate side hustles and can use that knowledge to decide which hustle is best for you.

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