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The term “side hustle” has become a major buzzword over the past decade.
If you haven't caught wind of it yet – a side hustle (which is fairly self-explanatory) is simply a project, business and/or entrepreneurial endeavor that can help you earn extra cash in your spare time – apart from your day job and your other daily responsibilities.
As author Chris Guillebeau defines it,
“A side hustle is not a part-time job. A side hustle is not the gig economy. It is an asset that works for you.“
When I think of a side hustle, I think of hope and freedom.
This is a great way to create more financial freedom for your future so your wellbeing isn't completely tried to the existence of your day job.
The good news is – in today's world, there are more opportunities than ever to make money with a side hustle.
Many of these opportunities can be used to generate a few extra bucks on the side, or they can produce a full-time income, it's just a matter of how seriously and diligently a person is willing to work at it.
If you're looking for other ways to make money – there are a TON of options available in the real estate industry. Here are five ideas you might want to consider…
1. Become a Notary
One of the easiest ways to start making money in the real estate business is to become a notary.
The purpose of a notary is simple:
To attest to the authenticity of a document and to verify the identity of those signing it.
When a document has been notarized, it is presumed by law to be valid and to have been signed by the people identified in the document.
Becoming a notary isn't difficult or expensive (though, the paperwork and process can be slightly confusing). Notarizing documents isn't difficult either.
Depending on where you get your jobs from, 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!
I've notarized hundreds of documents in my time, and if you're looking for an option that's relatively easy, this is one of the best ways to get your feet wet.
2. Birddogging / Wholesaling Real Estate
If you're gifted with a personality that does well with sales and networking, another way to earn income (without requiring much money) is to simply find great real estate deals and refer them to other cash buyers who are actively looking for investment opportunities.
Depending on the market conditions where you're working, real estate deals may be easy or difficult to find, but one thing is for sure – there are always real estate investors who are actively looking for great opportunities. If you're willing to invest the time into building a network and searching high and low to find these opportunities, you could easily start earning thousands in referral fees, simply for finding deals.
If you've built a good, trusting relationship with a buyer, it could be as simple as collecting these referral fees from the end buyer when the deal closes, but for most intents and purposes, it usually makes sense to get a contract involved (to make sure you actually get paid).
Birddoggers and wholesalers can make anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000 per property (personally, I wouldn't even consider wholesaling a deal if it paid less than $2,000), and it's possible to make a lot more.
3. Real Estate Agent
Getting licensed as a real estate agent is one of the most common ways that people start working in the real estate industry.
The funny thing about real estate agents is – the majority of licensed realtors are treating this business as a part-time gig. I've heard from some of my realtor friends that as little as 20% of agents are actually listing and selling properties as their full-time career, so if you only have time to put together a few deals each year, you definitely won't be the only one doing this in your spare time.
The cost of getting licensed in most states ranges from $1,500 – $2,000 all-in (this includes pre-licensing classes and training, examination and licensing fees, real estate broker fees and membership dues, among other things). You should also plan on paying an ongoing membership fee each year, in order to be an active member of the board of realtors. Again, this cost will vary depending on the board, but the cost for this (and any continuing education) will usually set you back $750 – $1,500 per year.
All this to say, there are costs associated with being an agent – so if you decide to go this route, you'll want to make sure you're actually selling some properties and bringing in some income to offset the costs of being an agent.
The standard commission that most real estate agents will collect is 6% of the sale price of the property. Do the math and you'll see how much money you stand to make, depending on what types of properties you decide to work with.
4. Affiliate Marketing
One of the best ways to earn money from a product that you didn't spend hundreds of hours creating is to become an affiliate marketer.
Essentially, the idea is to find a product or service (one that you've used and you believe in) and you simply let the world know about it.
When you send traffic to the thing you're recommending, you can do it through a unique affiliate link, which tracks when a sale is made – and if a sale is made, YOU will automatically earn a small commission from the sale.
I've done numerous affiliate promotions on this blog, here are just a few examples:
- How to Get Started as a Self-Managing Landlord (this one was for Cozy)
- Are You Using the Right Phone System for your Real Estate Business? (this one was for RingCentral)
- Have You Joined the Video Email Revolution? (this one for BombBomb)
Given my experience in this realm, I believe pretty strongly that there's a right way and a wrong way to do this.
As you'll notice – I don't just tell people about what I'm using, I actually explain how it works and I offer a ton of free education (even if they don't want to use it, they'll still learn something in the process). This takes a lot more time and effort to do, but it's WAY more effective at referring traffic that actually converts, and it builds a lot of trust along the way.
There are all kinds of companies out there who are actively looking for affiliates to help spread the word about what they do. If you're interested in this, two marketplaces where you can find these kinds of companies are CJ.com and ShareASale.com. If you find the right product and pair it with the right audience, you can do very well in a fairly short period of time. On more than one occasion, I've been lucky enough to make over $1,000 in one day!
One word of caution, I would only recommend promoting the products and services that you have personal experience with. Remember, you're putting your reputation on the line when you recommend something, and any negatives about the product will reflect negatively on you. The stuff I recommend is what I consider to be the best, and I wouldn't suggest you do anything different.
5. Become a Freelancer
Do you have any useful skills that you can put to work for other business owners in the real estate trade?
Think about what you're good at doing. Do you know how to work with photoshop (hint: graphic design)? Do you have a good speaking voice (hint: voiceover work)? Are you good with spreadsheets (hint: Excel specialist)? Are you a good writer (hint: business writing services)?
There are all kinds of jobs that need to be done in the real estate industry, and if you can brand yourself as an expert who works specifically for real estate professionals, that will put you miles ahead of all the other people who are marketing themselves to everyone.
Why Are Side Hustles Important?
A side hustle isn't just a way to make money on the side, it's a way to protect your future and diversify your income.
It allows you to take more control of your finances and ensure that your job isn't the only source of income you can rely on.
Side hustles aren't easy, and they aren't going to make you rich overnight… but if you work on it diligently for 6 – 12 months, I think you'll see how impactful they can be in the long run.
There are a lot more ideas than the ones I shared here – so don't be afraid to keep your eyes peeled for opportunities where you can add value to other real estate professionals and get paid for it.