The real estate market is seeing strong demand for homes right now, and if you are already a real estate agent, are considering buying a home or simply enjoy browsing Zillow in your spare time, then you know that homes are flying off the market as soon as they come on. Real estate agents are living in a world of multiple offer scenarios, buyers offering well over asking price and home prices skyrocketing.
Even if you aren’t a licensed real estate agent, there are plenty of ways to make money by starting a business in real estate. Sometimes it’s quick and easy to make fast money in real estate, and sometimes you need to be in it for the long haul. Regardless, real estate can be a great industry to invest your time and money.
To get you started, here are five interesting ways to make money in real estate.
Specialize in Real Estate Services like Photography or Staging
Real estate agents are always on the lookout for a great real estate photographer. Capturing a home with the correct angle, best lighting and perfect editing is essential when it comes to marketing a home in real estate. As a real estate photographer, you can specialize in this subset of photography and perfect it. Starting out you may work with multiple real estate agents, or you can acquire a contract with a single agent with an agreement to only do photography for them/their brokerage.
The options for specializing don’t stop with photography. Staging is an increasingly popular go-to option for real estate agents, particularly in high-end homes. A poorly staged home will likely be on the market longer and sell for less profit than one that is properly staged. If you are an interior designer, or just love staging, this is an excellent option to go a little outside your comfort zone and specialize in real estate staging.
Become a Real Estate Marketing Guru
In real estate, a big part of your business is selling yourself as an agent, not just selling homes. If you are especially good at this, considering cashing in on it when the market is slow. Perfect your marketing game and hit social media hard. Start a blog and talk about your experiences, do live video walkthroughs of homes, Instagram a beautifully laid floor or creative tile arrangement and get comfortable with TikTok.
The more viewers you have, the more likely you can bring in a secondary income with advertising and sponsorships. This has the added bonus of advertising your brand as your name grows in popularity. Creating interesting content is easy as a realtor because you are on the go all the time, but you can run a real estate-themed blog even if you aren’t a licensed agent, as long as you make that clear in your advertising. If you find that marketing is your niche, you can hire your services out to other real estate agents and create another layer of profitability.
Manage Airbnb Rental Properties for Owners
In recent years, lots of people have started to rent out their homes or buy rental properties to rent on Airbnb or other platforms. Another good real estate business idea is to become a property manager and market your services to these rental property owners.
Especially if the property owner lives out of state and doesn't want the hassle of dealing with property maintenance, there could be an opportunity for you to serve as a local property manager for Airbnb owners. The great thing about this business idea is that you don't have to actually own the property. You can add value for other property owners by being their local "hands-on-deck" to manage their properties, deal with cleaning and maintenance issues or handle customer inquiries or requests as needed.
Being a property owner can be time-consuming, and many Airbnb owners might want a good reliable property manager.
Create Real Estate Digital Products
Do you already know how to fix up property to sell, how to rent property on Airbnb or how to be a landlord for investment properties? Why not share your experience and expertise? You can start a real estate business by creating and selling digital products for real estate investors. Types of digital products might include:
Online courses: Share what you know about real estate investing, with information specific to your local market or other areas of interest — do you have expertise in certain types of homes, apartments or rental properties? What are renters and buyers looking for today in your market? How can real estate investors make the right choices about design to maximize their sales?
Ebooks: Is there a quick and easy Real Estate 101 guidebook that you wish you had when you got started in the real estate business? Why not write a book and sell it to others? Or you can create a few short, focused ebooks on different topics, like "How to Fix Up Old Houses" or "How to Stage a Home to Boost the Sale Price" or "What Are the Top 5 Design Features that Airbnb Renters Want to See Today?"
Templates for landlords: Are there any contracts or forms that landlords need? What about a real estate investing business plan? You can create template versions of these documents to sell to other real estate investors — but make sure that any contract language is in compliance with state or local laws or regulations.
Start a Real Estate Brokerage
This is not an easy undertaking; however, starting a brokerage is a great way to make money in real estate. If you have been a real estate agent for quite some time, starting your own brokerage could be the next step in your career. Once you know the ins and outs of real estate, you might find yourself comfortable branching out and being your own boss. With your own brokerage, or even as a group within a larger brokerage, you can bring on real estate agents under you and expand your business.
The sky’s the limit with a brokerage; if you have the correct support staff lined up, you can bring on an entire team of real estate agents to help you succeed. The more business you do, the more well-known you become and the more interested people will be in working with you.
The opportunities available to you to make money in real estate are endless. It is a huge industry with a vast reach. Regardless of whether you have a real estate license or not, you can still get involved. These five ideas can get you started in creating a lucrative real estate business of your own. Real estate success awaits!
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.