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10 Different Second Career Options for Real Estate Agents

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You may know that real estate agents can make pretty good money.

Their average salary is around $45,990 a year according to the Department of Labor, but the range in income can be anywhere from $23,000 to $101,000 a year.

Even though this sounds like a great salary to live on, you need to understand that this is not a steady income.

There’ll be periods of no sales or small commission sales – the average real estate agent makes 11 sales in a year, even when they work 35 hours a week.

So, what can the real estate agents do during their sales slumps?

There are several side jobs real estate agents can do while working, here are 10 of them:

1. Appraiser

This is a fun and interesting side job, but takes a bit of extra training to begin.

Starting as an appraiser you’ll need to either apprentice under an experienced appraiser, take some classes and get licensed with your State Board.

How much time and money it will cost to start as an appraiser depends on your State board.

But once you’re ready, you can work about 10 hours a week and make about $200 – $400 per appraisal.

Appraisers are used by a variety of people and businesses such as:

  • Financial lenders – To determine if a sale is valid for their loan.
  • Private owners – Before they privately list, they’ll want to find its value first.
  • Insurance companies – To determine the home’s value before insuring it.

A real estate appraiser closely examines a property to determine its value and they do this by:

  • Walking around the outside of a property to evaluate the exterior conditions.
  • Conducting a room-by-room evaluation of interior conditions.
  • Note any amenities – swimming pool, finished basement, etc.
  • Note any health or safety hazards or code violations.
  • Records the layout of the property.
  • Takes photographs of the interior and exterior.

If this side hustle interests you, you can read up more about it.

2. Notary

A great side hustle to have while working real estate is to become a notary.

A notary is someone who confirms the authenticity of a document and verifies the identity of those signing it, signs the document themselves, stamps their notary seal onto the document, then records the signing in their notary journal.

Becoming a notary isn’t difficult or expensive, but processing the paperwork can be confusing.

To become a notary, you need to be a US citizen, a resident of the state you’re applying in, 18 years old or older, and have no felony convictions.

If you meet these qualifications, you’ll then need to:

  1. Complete and submit an application with your State
  2. Pay the State filing fee (around $25)
  3. Get training from an approved site (if applicable in your state)
  4. Pass a state-administered exam (if applicable)
  5. Get fingerprints and a background check (if applicable)
  6. Receive your commission license and surety bond (if applicable)
  7. File your surety bond and paperwork with your Notary regulation office
  8. Buy your notary supplies

After you become a notary, you then can notorize:

  • Wills
  • Divorce Papers
  • Contracts
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Investment Authorizations
  • Wedding Officiant (in some states)

Most notaries can make anywhere from $75 – $200 per appointment and if you’re able to arrange for one signing per day, that can add up fast!

It’s not hard to become a notary once you get past all the paperwork.

3. Home Stager

If you have a good eye for design and décor, being a home stager would be a great side job to have.

A home stager is someone who prepares the home for sale, this includes cleaning, decorating with the ideal furniture and décor to make it more attractive, and extras (like baking bread or cookies for the aroma).

The point of the stager is to make the home more attractive, look “move-in ready”, and gives potential buyers a vision of how their belongings could look in the space.

It’s hard to judge how everything that you have will look in an empty home.

You don’t need any extra training to become a home stager, but there is certification available to improve your job leads.

A staged home averages only 6 days on the market as opposed to 48 days without.

Professional home stagers are paid by the hour and make about $50 to $150 an hour, according to the Accredited Staging Professionals.

An average consultation takes about 3 hours – travel, time at the property, and follow up contact.

Some appointments turn into follow-up work – renting furniture and décor (if needed), preparing the home, and preparing for open houses.

To learn more about home stagers, Amazon has a great book on everything you need to get started.

4. Assistant Property Manager

Many property managers manage more than one large property (such as apartments and condos), and they often need an assistant to help out.

An assistant property manager’s role is to:

  • Interviews potential tenants and gives tours
  • Processes new tenant applications
  • Addresses tenant disputes
  • Oversee maintenance and repairs
  • Anything else the Property Manager delegates

Some extra bonuses from this side job for you as a realtor:

  • Learn about Tenant Laws in your area
  • Learn the rental market in your area
  • Improve your negotiation and resolution skills
  • Add to your administrative skills

Assistant property managers work about 10 to 25 hours a week and make about $15 an hour.

This would be a great side job for those realtors living in larger cities with plentiful of rental buildings.

5. Flipping Houses

Property flipping, or house-flipping as some people call it, can be a profitable way to earn money if it’s done right.

Since it requires a sizable investment of your own money, becoming a property flipper can also be a risk that doesn’t always reap rewards.

But already being a real estate agent can lower that risk as you have experience with evaluating the neighborhood, house prices, and the like.

Again, being a real estate agent, you already have several advantages over the average home flipper:

  • More buying opportunities
  • Understand all the paperwork involved
  • Exempt from some fees – MLS listing fees, commission fees, etc.
  • Can spot the red flags of a bad property
  • Have a network of agents that can market the flipped home for you

I mentioned earlier that it requires a sizeable investment, how much depends on where you are but there’s a general rule – the 70% rule, which an investor should only pay 70% of the ARV (After Repair Value) of a property minus the repairs needed.

For example, the ARV is $150,000 and it needs $25,000 in repairs, then the 70% rule is you should pay only $80,000 for the home.

The average profit that house flippers report is around $25,000 profit. But some have made as high as $65,000.

If you have the handyman know-how or a dependable crew, some investment money, and a good area of properties available to upgrade, then home flipping might be a good side hustle to start.

6. Property Inspector

Being a property inspector is different from being an appraiser.

A property inspector goes and inspects and reviews homes and properties and evaluates their overall condition in much more detail than an appraiser would.

The property inspector:

  • Checks the home’s HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical system
  • Checks the roof, attic, basement, foundation, and structure’s components
  • Checks windows, doors, floors, ceilings, stairs and access points
  • Reports any faults, safety issues, suggested repairs

The difference between a property inspector and an appraiser is that a property inspector suggests improvements to be made before a home sale is complete while an appraiser only gives the market value only.

Property inspectors are also different from municipal inspectors who inspect to see if a home meets the city code and they can pass or fail a property, while property inspectors only give reports and a list of what needs to be fist, but doesn’t give a pass or fail.

Real estate agents can also be property inspectors, there’s no laws preventing this, but there may be a conflict of interest for you to inspect your own property listings.

So, it’s best to inspect properties not associated with you (or your agency).

To become a property inspector, you’ll need to:

  • Look up your State’s Licensing requirements
  • Learn about home construction and systems through courses
  • Pass your licensing exam (costs $225)

A property inspection takes between 2 to 3 hours, or longer for larger properties.

This job can make you $450 per inspection, with 1 to 3 inspections in a day depending on the size of the city you’re in.

So, if you want to work only 2 days a week while not showing houses, you can make roughly $900 – $2,700, just inspecting properties.

7. Airbnb Manager

Maybe the idea of an assistant property manager is attractive, but you don’t really have that time commitment – you should try being an Airbnb manager.

An Airbnb manager works roughly 2 hours a day on the administrative work and about 5 hours a day during change-overs (checking guests in, checking guests out, and cleaning).

This is a lot less than the 10 – 25 hours for the assistant property manager role.

An Airbnb manager works to:

  • Cleaning
  • Restocking supplies
  • Check-in guests
  • Accept new reservations
  • Answer emails, inquiries, and manage the property’s online presence

Now, you could save time and delegate the cleaning and restocking out to someone else, but that will cut into your earnings.

You can work independently, part of a management group, or under Airbnb itself.

In general, an Airbnb manager makes about $15 – $24 an hour.

8. Photography & Video

If you have a talent for photography, video, or flying drones, there is money to be made by working for other agents.

You simply take quality photos, videos or drone videos of available properties for other agents to improve their sales listings.

If you already have all the necessary photography or video equipment from your hobby, there are no extra costs needed to get started – except marketing materials, which can be minimized by word of mouth in your network.

If you don’t, then a good quality beginner camera costs around $199.

Being a drone pilot requires a license which costs around $150 for the exam.

A good beginner drone that can take photos and videos costs around $260.

It looks easy to do – just take pictures of houses and rooms, and get paid.

But you actually need to do more:

  • Preparation and Photo shooting
  • Finding clients and communicating with them to get appointments.
  • Editing photos and videos

You can let other agents in your network know, or sign up on Stilio, a realtor photography site to get a head start on clients.

Your potential earnings doing this side hustle is about $30 an hour for photography, and about $200 an hour for drone photography and videos.

Optimize your earning potential with this useful reference.

9. Real Estate Marketing Services

If you want to stick to doing administrative work as a side job, then you can offer your real estate marketing services to other real estate agents.

If you have graphic design skills, are creative with creating flyers, brochures and the like, then you can create marketing materials for a price.

You can offer one product at a time, or a whole package for a set price.

You can sell products such as:

  • Business cards, brochures, flyers, etc
  • Create personal agent webpages
  • Create a Social Media Presence
  • Email management
  • Create personal newsletters

This will be a valuable service for other agents who are not so creative or who do not have the time.

In 2017, about 53% of real estate agents spent about $5,000 for their online and offline marketing.

However, 1 in 8 realtors spent over $20,000 for marketing alone.

Being a real estate marketing specialist can make you roughly $11 – $14 an hour.

If you already have experience in social media and marketing, you’re off to a head start and just need  to narrow it specifically for the real estate market.

If you don’t have any experience in this field but it sounds attractive, there is a free course online to get you started.

10. Be a Writer

Lastly, a side job where you don’t have to interact with people.

Being a writer in your home office is a nice, quiet escape from your real estate job where you’re interacting with people all day long.

There are all types of ways you can use your realtor experience for writing:

  • Write a realtor blog
  • Write eBooks on real estate
  • Write freelance articles on real estate topics for various sites
  • Create online courses to teach real estate topics
  • Create a city or neighborhood guide with reviews, interviews and more

It’s not hard to become a real estate writer, some things people look for are:

  • Creativity and variety of topics
  • Unique writing voice and style
  • Experience in the field
  • Research skills

How much you’ll earn depends on which direction you take – blogging, writing for a website, eBooks, or a course.

Here’s the average earnings I found for each one:

  • Real estate blog site$1,000 – $10,000 a month (many things factor into this)
  • Real estate article writer$15 – $20 an hour (depends on website)
  • Writing eBooks$1,000 a year
  • Selling realtor eCourses$200 – $2,000 a month (on Skillshare)

You can combine several of these opportunities together for more earning potential.

Overall, these are passive income earners where most of the work is in the creation, upload, and some marketing – but they sell themselves.

Final Thoughts

Many of these jobs can add skills to your main role as a real estate agent and improve your future sales.

Some perks of these side jobs can give you:

  • Knowledge of the rental industry in your area and can expand into representing the rental listings.
  • Knowledge of the costs of renovations in your area for clients wanting to renovate their new house.
  • Give advice to potential purchasers about paint and décor ideas for homes you’re showing.
  • Learn more about the realtor industry when researching for your blog or articles.

These side jobs also give you the opportunity to go full-time in case your “day job” doesn’t work out.

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