Blog Posts

Should Realtor's Have Side Hustles?
By Kokila Kothandan


One of the biggest challenges for real estate agents is creating a steady flow of income that enables you to comfortably pay your bills, invest in your business, and plan for the future.

Unfortunately, if you are like most real estate agents, you live on an income roller coaster in which you have periods of great prosperity and periods of financial drought. It is because of this struggle that many real estate agents start looking outside their chosen career for additional work and income, otherwise known as side-hustles.

There are many people out there that argue that they would never be able to make it without the extra income generated from their side hustle. There are others that promise if you stay focused on your real estate career full time your efforts will pay off at some point.

This leaves many Realtors to wonder, should they have a side hustle?

If you have ever considered picking up part-time work, wondered how it may be beneficial or harmful to your real estate career, or pondered what type of side hustle would make sense, this post is for you!


The Benefits Of Side Hustles For Realtors

Let’s kick things off by reviewing the benefits that you stand to gain from taking on some extra work.

You Can Add Valuable Services To Your Real Estate Clients

If you choose to take on a side job that ties into the real estate industry, you can actually use it to set yourself apart from the competition by making it an additional service offering. This could be something like home staging, photography, or moving.

Keep in mind that this is NOT an excuse to start trying to be a Jack-of-all-trades in your business! In order for this to actually work in your favor and not hinder your real estate business, you need to make sure you are being paid separately for this service that you provide. Better yet, choose one that you are passionate about and compliments the type of clientele you are targeting.

Your Real Estate Business Becomes More Recession-Proof

Whether we want to admit it or not another recession is inevitable. It might not happen tomorrow or even a year from now but eventually, our economy will dip as it always does. When that happens, you need to be prepared to withstand the struggle or your business will become a casualty.

When a recession hits, there are two types of business owners; the ones that lose their shirts and the ones that strike it big. The difference comes down to those that are prepared to not only weather the storm but use it to their advantage.

Even if you are enjoying moderate success in your real estate career, you may want to consider taking on a side-hustle as a means of preparing for the next recession. Perhaps you don’t need the money now. However, if you save everything that you make from your additional income stream you can leverage it during the next downturn to be one of the people that becomes megarich while the competition crumbles around you.

The earlier you begin to prepare, the more power you will have when the time comes to rise or fall.

Passive Income Can Empower Your Real Estate Business

As you learn from day one working as a real estate agent, this business is expensive. Between your dues, commission splits, marketing costs, and everything else you need to have a hefty bankroll to be able to successfully run your business.

While many rely on their commissions to fund their life and career, others have discovered that establishing passive income streams can do that better.

One of the all-time best ways that you can begin generating passive income is through your original real estate content. Real estate blogs, podcasts, videos, Alexa skills, books, and profiles are all goldmines for generating both real estate clients and passive income. In my article How To Monetize Your Real Estate Podcast, I share how you can use affiliate links, sponsorships, and ads to start making boatloads of extra cash passively.

If you would like help getting started with your real estate content or learn how to begin monetizing the content that you already have, book a free strategy call with me here.

The Drawbacks Of Side Hustles For Realtors

All of the benefits we just discussed are legit and are also the main reasons why many real estate agents like you begin hunting for extra streams of income. However, there are also some very definite drawbacks to picking up a side hustle and you need to be aware of them before you make a decision that could completely derail your career. Remember, this is about bolstering your success, not sabotaging it.

You Can Become Distracted From Your Real Goals

My favorite Chinese proverb says “The man who chases two rabbits catches none”. I normally use that when I am discussing the importance of choosing a real estate niche but it is very fitting here as well.

I can’t tell you how many real estate agents I have coached that have completely lost their way in their career because of their side hustles.

Remember how demanding it was on you when you started your real estate business?

What makes you think starting a secondary business will be easier?

In most cases, it won’t be.

Even if you decide to select a strategic side-hustle like home staging services, you still need to set up a new business license, begin branding and marketing, and doing everything else it takes to get a business off the ground.

Sure you can use your real estate business and your staging business to feed one another. However, in the beginning, stages of your new company, it can become far too easy to become distracted from your real goals and stay true to the mission of generating a secondary income stream.

Unless you choose to make your side hustle something more passive like monetizing your real estate content, you can bet on the fact that your workload is about to increase and you need to be prepared to keep your eyes on the real prize.

There Can Be Costs Involved

Just as starting a new business means you’re looking at a long to-do list, you’re also likely looking at new drains on your bank account. If done strategically, these could be wise investments that will pay healthy dividends.

However, if you are in search of a real estate side hustle because you’re already broke, you probably aren’t in the position to begin a secondary business at this point anyway. If you can’t afford to fund and reinvest in your real estate business, what makes you think that you will be able to fund and reinvest in two businesses?

You can’t half-ass two businesses in hopes that one will fund the other.

Before you go looking for a strategic real estate side-hustle, you need to make sure that you can afford to allocate the necessary resources to it without taking anything away from your existing business.

You Could Become Burnt Out

As business owners and entrepreneurs we hate to admit that we aren’t invincible. The truth is that we are all bound to become burnt out at one point or another. However, you could become burnt out far sooner or more often if you start increasing your work and stress more than you can reasonably sustain.

Take me for example. For the first two+ years of my business as a real estate copywriter and consultant, I worked 18-20 hours a day, seven days a week. I was energized, determined, and hyperfocused. Then year three hit and the burn out finally settled in. I was prepared with additional streams of income and a very healthy savings account. However, I had to admit to myself that I needed to make some changes in order to ensure that my business would have longevity.

This all comes down to self-awareness. If you already have too many demands on your energy and motivation, a side-hustle may not be in the cards. Or at least not one that requires you to actively work consistently.

Beware that burn out is real and it is costly to both your health and your business and a side-hustle is not reason enough to put those both in jeopardy.

Real Estate Side Hustles That Make Sense

If you decide that you are ready to take on a side hustle to supplement your real estate income and prepare for the recession without getting in your own way, it is important to be strategic. I have breezed over a couple of the best approaches but now lets dive in deeper to explore the most proven options with the best potential to empower you.

Become A Real Estate Affiliate Marketer

As an affiliate marketer, you earn a commission for referring people to another company’s product or service through a unique link. The beauty of this side-hustle is that once you invest the initial time to promote your affiliate link it will work for you 24/7 365. However, you can also set aside a couple of hours a week to promote your affiliate products and services more aggressively to increase your commissions even more.

The trick to being successful with affiliate marketing in real estate is to carefully screen the products and services that you add to your roster. NEVER EVER recommend anything that you wouldn’t use and love yourself because you will compromise the trust you have worked so hard to earn from your audience. Trust me, it isn’t worth it!

The best way to promote your affiliate products and services is through your real estate blog, podcast, videos, email newsletter, and social media platforms. Pinterest can also work as a powerful tool that will not only grow your audience and generate leads but sell your affiliates products on a massive scale.

There are plenty of products and services out there that align beautifully with real estate including mortgages, moving companies, storage companies, virtual staging companies, and so much more!


Monetize Your Real Estate Content

In addition to including affiliate links in your real estate content, you can also earn passive income through sponsorships and ads.

If you are anything like most real estate agents and brokers, you already have a list of preferred vendors that you work with. Why not offer them ad space on your real estate website and within posts that are relevant to their products or services?

In many cases, you won’t be able to get a fortune but many of my clients have covered the expense of their blog with me through ads like this. If they seem hesitant, remind them of the benefits of advertising on your content:

  • They will get an SEO boost by having links back to their website

  • They will gain exposure and social proof

  • They will earn exclusive referral rights to your clients

I’m not suggesting that you try to charge a fortune here but most people will be happy to pay $250-$500 per year for that kind of advertising. If you get just 10 local vendors to agree to that, you will have an extra $2,500-$5,000 in your pocket!

Sponsorships are different from ads. Unlike banner ads and random backlinks, a sponsored real estate blog post is one that is entirely designed to sell a particular product or service. For example, let’s say that you have a preferred roofer that you work with. You can charge them to create and promote an entire post about roofing, how important it is to hire the right roofer, and why they are the absolute best roofer in your market.

Once they agree, all you have to do is have me write the article for you, promote it, and collect the profits. As an added bonus, both of your websites will get an SEO boost, tons of local exposure, and more leads for your sales funnel.

This is a win-win-win situation because you, your partner, and I all get to profit without you having to do any real work! Pretty cool huh?!

Invest In Real Estate

Investing in real estate is another way for you to earn extra income strategically. Again, the key here is to exercise self-awareness about your available time, resources, and education in order to decide how you want to become involved in real estate investing.

Although flipping was all the rage about ten years ago, the margins have thinned over the last decade. Of course, if you make money now in preparation for the next recession, you will be in an excellent position to take advantage of larger margins when it hits.

In the meantime, longterm investing is in the best interest of most. Buy-and-hold properties are a great way for you to generate steady revenue, increase your tax breaks, fund your retirement, and generate leads of future buyers.

Property Management

Speaking of generating buyer leads, what better way to gain access to renters and make money off of them until they are ready to buy other than property management?!

If you are already targeting real estate investors as your ideal clients, offering your services as a property manager is a no-brainer! On average, you can charge between 9-14% of a property’s rental rate as the manager.

Your investor clients will love the ease of using you as a one-stop-shop and you will be able to generate extra income, as well as, buyer’s leads. Even if you don’t enjoy working with buyers, you can pass those clients off to another agent in exchange for the referral fee or use them to feed a buyer’s agent on your team.

Sell Real Estate Courses

If you are well-versed or consider yourself to be an expert in a particular area of real estate, why not monetize your knowledge in an online course? Again, putting your course together will take some time and resources upfront. However, after your course is finished you will be able to sell it indefinitely as a means of passive income.

n addition to creating an additional stream of income, having an online real estate course about topics like staging, preparing a house for sale, or investing in real estate can better position you as an expert in your field. This perception will help your ideal real estate clients to trust you faster and hire you.

Need Help Generating Extra Income In Your Real Estate Business?

In addition to working with real estate agents to attract their ideal clients on autopilot, I love helping them to protect and propel their business through strategic side hustles. If you would like help to generate passive income streams I am your girl!

Remember, time is of the essence here so let’s hop on a free strategy call to determine the best option for you. During our call, I will save you time and reduce or even eliminate your risk of falling prey to the drawbacks that sabotage other real estate agents. I will also make recommendations on resources you can use to make the most out of whatever real estate side hustle you choose.

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