8 Money-Making Ideas
8 Money-Making Ideas
Find new ways to expand your business services and bring in extra money in return.
Revenue Generating Ideas
Has the tough economy taken a toll on your business? Several real estate professionals have found opportunity in the down market. They've expanded their services or applied their skills set in new ways to generate extra revenue.
Certainly when you venture into a new business or service, start-up costs will inevitably be involved. Also, your earning potential will depend greatly on your location, skill level, and how much time you devote to your new side business. But whether you're just starting out in real estate or in need of some extra income to get you through the difficult times, get inspired with these money-making ideas from your peers.
Operate a Housesitting Business
Earning potential: Diana and Kevin Uphus of Select Real Estate in Spokane, Wash., earn $6,500 per month, on average, from their housesitting business.
Make those vacant listings more salable and earn some extra income along the way. Housesitting is catching on in real estate. A house sitter moves in -- furniture and all -- to a vacant listing and keeps the home in perfect showing condition. These screened house sitters pay rent at a discounted price to your business. The home owner pays nothing and gets their utilities paid for. Home Tenders of America, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., works with house sitters for a range of properties, as high as $8 million. They are in the process of franchising their business.
Channel Your Inner Design Star
Earning potential: Stagers can make $50-$150 per hour, according to StagedHomes.com.
Do you have a knack for great design? Serving as a professional stager can complement your real estate business. Get training to set you on your way: Certified Staging Professionals and Accredited Staging Professionals offer home staging courses that teach interior design techniques and how to prep a home for sale. Then, start building your portfolio to show off your stylish home projects to land jobs. Home staging services are generally paid at an hourly rate, allowing flexible work hours. And sometimes all you might have to do is a written consult, earning between $150-$350.
Become a Property Manager
Earning potential: With full property management, expect to earn 5-20 percent of each month's rent; for leasing only, typically earn a fee equal to the first month's rent.
Property management can entail collecting rents, arranging for maintenance, and dealing with tenants on behalf of owners, or you might just handle leasing. Laurie Cobb of RE/MAX Unlimited in Mason, Ohio, leases single family homes, apartments, and condos, which will generate about $12,000 extra in income this year. She'll also schedule showings and do background checks as a property manager.
Serve as a Real Estate Instructor
Earning potential: $55,896 per year as a full-time real estate instructor, according to cbsalary.com.
Show off your real estate expertise as an instructor at a community college, university, or for a continuing education real estate course. If you have real estate experience and a proven track record in the business, approach a local university about teaching opportunities. Consider serving as an adjunct instructor; compensation may range from $2,000-$3,000 to teach one college-level course. Or if you hold a real estate designation, check to see if the real estate council, institute, or society offering the designation needs instructors to teach their training courses or continuing education classes.
Do Broker Price Opinions
Earning potential: $50-$150 per BPO
Real estate broker Bette McTamney, CRB, CRS, ERA Platinum REALTORS® in Worcester, Pa., does about 20-25 interior and exterior broker price opinions a month, averaging her about $1,500 extra per month. BPOs are reports that provide a recommended property price; appraisers do more formal market valuations. McTamney filled out numerous online applications for lenders and mortgage and loss mitigation companies to generate business (try bpo4agent.com for a list). Now she gets daily calls to do BPOs. "A nice reward is every now and then you get a listing from it," McTamney says. Check your state's regulations to make sure it's allowed.
Become a Licensed Title Insurance Agent
Earning potential: $20,000-$30,000
Besides selling real estate, Kerstin Stoval, ABR®, GRI, RE/MAX Allegiance in Midlothian, Va., has been a licensed title insurance agent since 1998. In Virginia, she also can conduct real estate closings, which she does for third-party transactions. For her title insurance license, Stoval must do 16 hours of continuing education every two years and have her notary. "The great thing about this is the flexibility,” Stoval says. "Whenever my real estate business slows, the settlements keep me busy." She types 20-30 policies per month from home, which takes 8 to 10 hours. Check with your state's insurance department for education and licensing requirements.
Showcase Your Video and Photo Skills
Earning potential: $5,000-$10,000 per year for side jobs
Have you become a master videographer or photographer for your listings? Real estate pro Jerry Dugan was producing online video tours of homes for his listings when the owner of O'Neill Realty in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he works, commissioned him to shoot video tours for office listings too. Eventually, Dugan offered the service to agents outside the company as owner of Reel Tours, Corpus Christi, Texas. He uses the video platform Wellcomemat to promote and distribute his work. He does online video tours of listings for $87.50 per 2-4 minute video, set to music, and that are MLS compliant.
Turn Your Brokerage Into an Art Studio
Earning potential: Prices of artwork sold at the brokerage range from $75-$165,000. The brokerage keeps 30 percent from sales; the remaining 70 percent goes to the artist.
UrbanSpace Real Estate Services in Oakland, Calif., is attracting high-end buyers and generating extra income by selling artwork at its brokerage. Displayed throughout the office, American and European modern and contemporary fine art is featured by 24 artists. The brokerage is listed in the Art in America magazine's annual museum and gallery guide, giving art enthusiasts reasons to drop in. "Our goal is to let them know not just about the art but about our real estate services too," says managing broker Gloria Fangon-Hitz. They also do art leasing arrangements with stagers.