If you’re into real estate investing, you know that it can require a lot of capital to get started. Down payments are usually about 20% unless you get special financing.
But there are other ways to get started in real estate without breaking the bank. They’re called real estate side hustles.
Side hustles, aka as a side job or side gig, are part-time jobs that help supplement your income. As the COVID-19 pandemic took a hit on the US economy, side hustles have become more and more popular. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans reports having a side hustle.
In real estate, there are a lot of unique side hustle opportunities. Here are our top 5:
1. Become a real estate agent
We know becoming a real estate agent sounds like a full-time job, but actually, 22% of realtors do it part-time. This is because realtors work on commission so it can be hard to secure a full-time salary right off the bat.
Many take an online course to get their real estate license and then start off small. If you don’t mind a lot of networking, cold calling, and scouring the MLS for deals, this could be a great side gig for you.
2. Drive for Deal Machine
Deal Machine is an app for finding property deals. As a driver, you can follow routes in your neighborhood to look for distressed properties. Once you do, you stop to take a phone picture and upload it to the app for investors and wholesalers. It’s like Uber for real estate.
But unlike Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, Deal Machine requires no human interaction. It’s the most hands-off driving gig out there. As long as you do it during daylight, you can drive on your own time while listening to music or audiobooks. Rates will vary, but most of the time it pays by the hour.
3. Freelance write for real estate brands
If you like to write, freelance writing for real estate brands can be a nice side gig. Brands that want an online presence need content—whether that’s website landing pages, blog posts, emails, ebooks, white papers, or property listings.
These days, it’s easier than ever to offer your freelance writing services online. Get on LinkedIn or other platforms like UpWork or Fiverr.
Set your own rates (charge per word or project) and increase them over time. And if you market yourself as a real estate writer specifically, real estate brands are more likely to choose you over a general writer.
4. Become a real estate virtual assistant
It’s easy for real estate agents and investors to get swamped with administrative tasks. If they’re smart, they’ll outsource some of these to a virtual assistant (VA), so they can use their time doing what they do best—closing deals.
As a VA, you can help with repetitive tasks like managing email, arranging house showings, data entry, and much more. Essentially, you help alleviate some of the burden that realtors and investors carry.
To get started, offer to help someone you know in the real estate industry with a project (for free if necessary) and use it to start building a portfolio. Then market yourself online as a real estate VA to start landing gigs. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can start making some extra cash by working hard and meeting deadlines.
5. Become a real estate photographer
Last on our list is becoming a real estate photographer. Every property listing needs high-quality photos. These include exterior and interior photos of the property and could even include aerial shots done with drones.
Depending on experience and the size of the house, real estate photographers can make anywhere from $100 to $1000 per house.
Starting a real estate side hustle has many benefits. It allows you to diversify your income, which protects you financially in case you lose your full-time job.
Most side gigs are also extremely flexible. You can work at your own pace and on your own time.
Plus, most of these side hustles have unlimited earning potential. You set your own rates, so you decide how much your time and services are worth. And if you charge per project instead of per hour, you can increase your earnings by getting faster at the job.
So if you want to get into real estate but you don’t have a lot of money, try out one of these side hustles and see how you like it. The beauty of each of them is that you can start or stop them whenever you like. Or even use them as a springboard to get into other areas of real estate—the possibilities are endless!