15 True Real Estate Side Hustles
Alternatives jobs for real estate agents

15 True Real Estate Side Hustles

Real estate side hustles give you three ways to earn extra cash while working full-time or part-time in a different job. You can make money with a real estate side hustle as a: job, an investment, or a business venture.

How to Get Into Real Estate

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Part Time and Full Time Real Estate Jobs

In real estate side hustles, you can make money as a full-time employee or a part-time contractor.

Real Estate Agent

Do real estate agents make good money?

You can make 2% to 8% from the sale, or an average of $50,000 a year. You would usually work under an umbrella company that provides you referrals, virtual assistants, and training.

As a real estate agent, you connect buyers and sellers that should end in a real estate transaction. You earn your commission and find both partners through cold calls, networks with other real estate agents & professionals, and websites or digital marketplaces that do trade in real estate. 

For real estate side hustles like these, you have the flexibility of time to determine whether you can do it as a day job, or just on evenings and weekends. 

You do need to get the right real estate license to become a real estate agent in your area.

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Alternative Jobs for Real Estate Agents

People experience with buying, selling, maintaining or managing real property have a lot of opportunities. Some alternative jobs for real estate agents include managing long-term rentals, short-term rentals like Airbnb or VRBO properties, photographing, inspecting, or writing about real estate.

Property Manager

Employed by a company that takes care of real estate rentals, you attend to the maintenance of a particular rental or sometimes a set of them for a monthly fee.

Your tasks involve finding a tenant, routine maintenance requests, and rent collection. Except for major repairs or property setbacks, the rest of the work can be put on cruise control. Finding and building good relationships with clients, and then hiring a superintendent to do maintenance around the property make all that possible. All these earn you 8% to 10% of the monthly rent. The most adept property managers can manage over 10 properties while spending minimal work on nitty-gritties.

Airbnb Manager

Real estate side hustles have this variation to property management.Your job is to look for a property owner looking for Airbnb tenants, but who does not have the time to manage guests coming in and out of their rental every other day—even if it could potentially mean more money in their pockets.

To avail of this opportunity, you’d be paying rent as an Airbnb manager. Throughout the period of the Airbnb tenant’s stay, you would clean the property, welcome the guests, pay the right insurance payments, and collect their payment. You could earn 30% of the rent.

Real Estate Photographer Side Hustle
Real Estate Photographer Side Hustle

Real Estate Photographer

A talent in photography can also land you real estate hustles that lean on the artistic side. You could have your own photography shop orare a freelancer reaching out to brokerage firms who are looking to list properties. Your job is to take photos of properties that would make them look attractive to prospective tenants or buyers. This hustle can both be for residential rental listings or home sales. You can earn between $100 to over $1,000 per assignment. 

Real Estate Blogger / Financial Writer

If you know the ins and outs of this industry, writing or blogging about it could be your additional hustle. This could be an internal assignment of your current umbrella company, or a freelance job for any number of clients or companies needing writers to promote their property. Your subjects can include best practices, ideal locations, best buys, locales, or industry trends, just to name a few. You pick your niche and earn from $15 to $45 an hour. If you up-skill as an editor, you could earn about $80 an hour or $63,400 a year. 


Real estate side hustles like being a traveling notary are important for deals to come through. The documents you make are vital to ensuring the transaction and proving its validity. As a notary, you would be a trustworthy licensed individual who certifies that the transaction is compliant with state rules and regulations, certifying them with the right paperwork or e-work. The more seasoned real estate notaries earn a few hundred dollars for just 30 minutes of work.

Virtual Assistant

The tasks of a virtual assistant (VA) of busy real estate agents include managing appointments, responding to client requests, writing and sending personal newsletters, updating mailing lists, maintaining property listings, or creating marketing materials, all of which can be done virtually. These are real estate side hustles where you don’t have to meet your clients face to face. You could make $30 to $70 an hour, and offer discounted rates if clients agree on a retainer arrangement or work on an advanced time block. You could average $40,000 a year for 17 hours a week. 

Real Estate Inspector

Real estate inspectors are used to evaluate the condition, characteristics, size and properties of a property. Inspectors are usually used before a real estate transaction is completed to evaluate the condition of the property before it is sold. 

If the real estate inspector identifies issues or concerns with the property, the buyer and seller must address or acknowledge the issues before the transaction can be finalized.

Each state or providence has different requirements for becoming a licensed inspector.

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Real Estate Investments

These are real estate side hustles for those who have the money to invest in, and the time and courage to grow those investments. Real estate investments are not for everyone---but for those who succeed in them, they can become lucrative streams of revenue.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) / Stocks

This is one of the ways to get started investing in publicly-traded real estate companies where you don’t have to assume an active role in their day-to-day operations, but can benefit financially when they do well. You begin by opening a brokerage account then buying at least one share of a REIT, usually costing less than $100 each.

Many REITs focus on investing in a certain sub-sector of commercial real estate, such as traditional ones like multifamily, office, and retail, as well less common ones like farmland, infrastructure, and data centers. They must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders, which is excellent for investors who are income-seeking and who want long-term capital appreciation. Usually this earns you over 6% dividends monthly.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platform

You may also look for real estate investors who have turned to crowdfunding platforms. They typically focus on either peer-to-peer lending or equity investment options for single-property deals or diversified funds. You earn either from interest payments or dividends. Some of these platforms have reported investor earnings of 12-13% a year.

Investor Partner

You align with individual investor partners who want to be the active managing partner, and are agreeable to terms allowing you a proportional share of the incomes generated from the properties, and any profits made from sales of properties. Generally you’d earn $100,000 to 123,000 a year, or $51.28 an hour, and on a good season can go as high as $170,000 a year.

The vital thing to success here is finding and determining the investor partner who would be aligned with your goals, have the necessary resources to support them, and are trustworthy and reliable, especially when inevitably the stock market trends take the two of you on a rollercoaster ride.

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Real Estate Businesses Ventures

Businesses can become profitable investment opportunities. Real estate side hustles like this require that you have money to invest, and the interest and aptitude to be actively involved.

House Hacking

If you already own a home or a property, you already are positioned for this hustle. It’s one that can put you out into the accommodations market. You could rent out a room, an apartment converted from a basement or garage, or another unit or two after purchasing a multifamily property where you live on one of them. 

You could serve tenants directly, or simply host them through lodging platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo if you have less time to manage guests; in this case, you would need the help of a corresponding co-host. You would be able to earn 6.6% (plus the increase in the house’s value) annually once you’ve paid off the mortgage.

Buying and Fixing Real Estate as a Side Hustle
Buying and Fixing Real Estate as a Side Hustle is Called Flipping or Reselling Real Estate

Buying Houses to Fix and Flip (resell)

Real estate side hustles that require more participation include house flipping. You would purchase a small condo, a town home, or a single-family house needing a facelift, invest in all those changes---and then resell at a profit.

You can do the facelift yourself if you have the skill and the means to do it, or hire contractors you know and trust and take an equity split. You would be able to make between a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars flipping houses even while employed in a regular day job.

Purchasing Rental Investment Property

The other investment purchase alternative is buy-and-rent-out which can provide you a continuing cash flow. Again, you would purchase a small condo, a town home, or a single-family house, but lease it to a long-term tenant. It’s like another version of house hacking, only this time,your level of involvement can be lesser. Other options include vacation homes you’d rent out to other vacationers when you’re not using the place, and commercial real estate types like retail centers, office buildings, farmlands, or parking spaces for rent. A good return on investment (ROI) is usually above10%, but between 5% to 10% is an acceptable range.

Real Estate Wholesaling / Bird-Dogging

This hustle is where you act as the middleman between fix-&-flip investors and property sellers for a commission. It has lesser cost in terms of purchasing the properties, but will require more time from you finding worthwhile properties and building a network of investors.

As a wholesaler, you’d drive around spotting distressed houses or properties for fixing-and-flipping. Then you’d jot the addresses, locate the owners, make contact with them, and find out the price they’re selling at. Research and negotiation follow before obtaining a wholesale contract. Once secured, you look for your cash-buying and/or fix-&-flip investors and offer that contract at a price that covers your mark-up commission. If all parties agree to the transaction, then you close the deal.

Among the real estate side hustles, you earn large sums in a shorter period of time. While your upfront investment will not be cashless, as you would usually give earnest payment to the property seller, it will not require a full payment in cash. Nor do you have to deal with bank financing as investors usually do. And unlike real estate agents, you do not have to get a license for wholesaling distressed property, except in some states wholesaling is illegal in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Virginia and others.

Specialized Services

You can grow your own real estate side hustles by building on your unique skill set, and multiply your services with a team whose own abilities equal or complement yours. 

For example, the up-skilled real estate agent can grow his own agency by hiring, managing, and deploying other real estate agents. The up-skilled property or Airbnb manager can grow a property management agency and cover more ground to lease by hiring other qualified Airbnb property developers. His agency can then hire more people to do real estate assistant jobs, for example.

Real estate photography agencies are also included in this category, especially if their owners want to grow their business. Some marketing services suggest that they could diversify by adding virtual staging, designing floor plans, creating single property websites, and crafting walkthrough videos to their set of services.

Real estate bloggers or financial writers can come together to form a publication devoted to the industry, starting with a neighborhood, a town, a city, and then expanding it into a global network.

Notaries can also band together into a notarial firm devoted to real estate clients, and virtual assistants can network into a talent-pool type of agency.

Among the real estate side hustles, investors could grow to the point they could “switch places” with those they are investing in. The REIT investor could either join or build a company that becomes public and sells shares in the stock market. His earnings can become commensurate to that of executives of such companies. A crowdfunding investor could create his own crowdfunding platform that mobilizes its own “crowd” of investors.

The funding real estate partner can change roles to become a managing partner.

Real estate side hustles can grow into business ventures that have their own earnings and perks.

Choosing Your Real Estate Side Hustles

When considering real estate side hustles, you can start with the choices you made above. Would you like a working hustle, an investing hustle, or a business hustle? Would you prefer to work in real estate jobs or do part-time work? Study each option, match them with your own interests and resources; and then take the necessary steps to pick one side hustle and grow it.