Real Estate Side Hustles

The Best Real Estate Side Hustles In 2024

June 10, 2024

Produced by:
Richard Stevens

Richard Stevens is an active real estate investor with over 8 years of industry experience. He specializes in researching topics that appeal to real estate investors and building calculators that can help property investors understand the expected costs and returns when executing real estate deals.

Reviewed by:
Carmel Woodman

With over 8 years of expertise, Carmel brings a wealth of knowledge as the former Content Manager at a prominent online real estate platform. As a seasoned ghostwriter, she has crafted multiple in-depth Property Guides, exploring topics such as real estate acquisition and financing. Her portfolio boasts 200+ articles covering diverse real estate subjects, ranging from blockchain to market trends and investment strategies.

Real estate is a great way to earn extra money, even if it isn’t your full-time job. There are many different real estate side hustles that allow you to earn significant returns just by doing it in your spare time. Whether you’re just looking to replace your full-time income or just looking to make some extra cash on the weekend, here are a few of the most common strategies you can use to earn money with real estate.

Best Real Estate Side Hustle Ideas

House Flipping

House Flipping

House flipping is one of the most lucrative real estate side hustles. It’s become a popular investment technique thanks to all the reality TV shows that showcase the process. It’s also the best way to earn five or six-figure checks in real estate without doing it full-time.

House flipping involves buying a property for a significant discount, fixing it up, and selling it for a profit. House flippers look for abandoned properties and those where the owner is behind on the mortgage and needs to sell quickly. They offer to purchase the house for cash at a significant discount in exchange for a fast close. If the seller agrees, the flipper will buy the property and finance the repairs needed to renovate it to the standards of the local real estate market.

Once the work is complete, they will market it to buyers and real estate agents until they get an offer. Finally, they will close on the home and collect their profits, which will equal the difference between what they paid the seller, the cost of completing repairs and what they could get from the new buyer.

If done correctly, house flipping can be a very profitable endeavor. It is realistic to complete house flipping projects in 3 to 6 months if you have all your ducks in a row. Although it does take hard work and plenty of market research, house flipping is one of the best ways to earn good money from real estate while only doing it in your spare time.

To get a better sense of how much money you can make when flipping houses, try this free house flipping calculator.

Land Flipping

Land Flipping

Land flipping is another popular real estate side hustle that is similar to home flipping and often carries less risk. Land flipping is when you purchase a plot of raw land and then sell it later for a higher price. The main difference between this strategy and flipping houses is that you’re purchasing the land only with no existing structures versus buying a property with a home already on it.

There are a few different strategies you can employ when flipping land. If you’re willing to be patient, you can buy the land and then hold it for an extended period, hoping that the price will go up. You may need to sit on it for many years before you can expect any major return, and there is no guarantee it will appreciate. But if done correctly, it is possible to flip land for a major sum if it suddenly becomes more valuable. Plus, you don’t have to do any work beyond closing on the sale and finding a buyer.

Another method is to buy the land and make improvements to it (such as building a home or other structure on it), then sell it for a profit. This method requires more work but will likely result in higher profits. The key to land flipping is finding a plot that is selling for cheap today but will likely be valuable at a later date. For instance, if you see a previously remote area that is suddenly developing, you could buy the land in hopes that it will increase in value as undeveloped plots become scarce. If you time it right, you can find a buyer who is willing to pay far more than what you bought it for.

Real Estate Wholesaling

Real Estate Wholesaling

Wholesaling is another great strategy for making money from real estate in your free time. It’s similar to home flipping but only involves the first leg of the transaction. Although the profit margins aren’t quite as high, wholesaling often carries less risk, and you can close deals faster without spending your own money.

Wholesalers help house flippers find properties to renovate. They’ll go out and locate motivated sellers who are in foreclosure or can’t afford the maintenance required to renovate their homes. The wholesaler will offer to buy the property for cash, then turn around and sell it to a house flipper at a markup.

You’ll need to analyze the deal carefully and crunch the numbers to ensure you can buy the property for a low enough price to attract an investor and still make a profit. But most flippers will be fine with letting you collect a fee for bringing them a deal, and many motivated sellers will agree to a fair cash offer if you’re willing to move quickly.

You can even use an assignment contract to transfer the ownership directly from the seller to the other real estate investor. That way you are entitled to your fee without ever having to purchase the property or invest your own money. Even wholesalers who do it part time stand to make anywhere from $5,000 or more and deals can typically be completed in as little as 30 days.

Real Estate Bird Dogging

Real estate bird dogging is a similar concept to wholesaling that may be more manageable for new investors. It involves scouting properties on behalf of an investor in exchange for a flat fee or percentage of the sales price.

Real estate bird dogs use the same methods as wholesalers to locate distressed properties. However, they typically pass the lead along to an experienced flipper, rather than negotiating the terms themselves.

Wholesalers act as a middlemen and negotiate with both the buyer and the seller. A real estate bird dog will simply alert real estate investors about a potential deal and collect a finder’s fee if it goes through.

Wholesalers typically earn more, but they also have more responsibilities. However, real estate bird-dogging is also a good way to learn the ropes without having to worry about negotiating prices or getting cut out of the deal.

House Hacking

House Hacking

House hacking is also a great way to pay for housing expenses using real estate investment techniques. It involves renting out a part of your primary residence to help cover or offset your mortgage payment.

Traditionally, house hacking involved purchasing a multifamily building and renting out the other units. You can then use the rental payments to cover the mortgage and build equity to maintain the property. However, the technique can also work if you have a spare bedroom or guest suite and want to rent it out to help pay the bills.

It’s a popular strategy for those who want to invest in real estate but don’t want the added pressures of managing a separate property. You don’t have to hire a property manager if you’re willing to do any maintenance yourself. Plus, you can be readily available on-site if your tenants have problems or a situation requires your attention.

Real Estate Photography Services

Another great way to get into the real estate industry while minimizing your personal risk is to offer real estate photography services. Real estate agents, investors, and other industry professionals always need quality photography.

Agents need photos to help sell their properties and market them on the MLS. Investors may need photos of the interior and exterior of a property to evaluate a potential deal. Not to mention, they both may need head shots and other promotional materials to help them market their own brand.

Marketing photography services is a great way for creative people and the visually inclined to find a very low-risk real estate side hustle. Perhaps you want to learn more about the industry so you can eventually become an investor. Or maybe you’re more interested in the creative aspect and want to build a business around your passion. Either way, real estate photographers are in high demand, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding work.

Rental Arbitrage

Rental arbitrage is a newer real estate side hustle that is beginning to gain more and more popularity. It involves renting a property with a long-term lease and then renting it out to temporary tenants on a short-term basis.

Real estate investors will rent an apartment with a one to two-year lease. They will then furnish it and list it on vacation rental apps like AirBnB and VRBO. Renters on these sites are usually willing to pay a much higher rate per day than long-term tenants. So, if you manage to keep the unit occupied, rental arbitrage allows you to collect the difference between the monthly rent and the amount you collected from the vacationers (minus any cleaning or marketing fees).

Airbnb arbitrage can be a slightly risk strategy as you’ll need to make sure you have a steady stream of temporary tenants who will cover the rent. You’ll also need to be sure that the landlord will accept this type of arrangement and that there are no local laws against short-term rentals in the area.

However, in some popular tourist areas, you may be able to pay the entire month’s rent in a few days or weeks of renting it on a short-term basis and pocket the rest as profit.

Notary Services For Real Estate Transactions

Offering notary services is one of the most underrated real estate side hustles. A notary is a public officer who is legally commissioned by the state to serve as an impartial witness to the signing of an official document. Notaries play a vital role in many different property transactions. They are used to verify the identities of the homeowners signing the closing documents. Loan signing agents are also a particular type of notary that specializes in notarizing home loans.

A good notary is always needed by many different players in the real estate industry, including agents, investors, title companies, loan officers, and more. It’s also surprisingly easy to become a licensed notary. In most places, all you have to do is pass an exam and pay a small fee to the state. It may not make you rich, as most transactions will only be a few dollars. But the work isn’t hard, and top mobile notaries and loan signing agents can earn several thousand dollars per month. Plus, it’s a great way to build a network if you want to learn more about the real estate industry.

Turn Your Home Into A Short-Term Rental

Turn Your Home Into A Short-Term Rental

Using your own home as a short-term rental is another easy way to create a real estate side business. Apps like AirBnB and VRBO make it easy to take a few pictures of your property, add a few details and advertise it to vacationers and short-term tenants looking for a place to stay in your area.

Perhaps you have a spare bedroom or guest suite you aren’t using and want help covering the mortgage. Maybe you frequently travel out of town on business for extended periods, or you spend certain times of the year somewhere else. Short-term rental apps offer flexibility and convenience, so you can control when you rent out your property and how much you charge. They also save you from having to worry about maintaining and paying bills on a separate property.

You’ll have to get comfortable with strangers invading your space, and the income may not be as predictable as renting to a regular tenant. But it’s a fairly low-effort way to make passive income if you have the extra space.

Part-Time Property Management

Part-Time Property Management

If you’re looking for a stable and consistent way to earn money in real estate, part-time property management is a good way to go. Property managers are responsible for all the daily tasks required to run a building, including rent collection, property maintenance, dealing with tenants, handling evictions, and keeping units rented.

Some property managers are full-time employees, and others may be large companies. However, managing one to two buildings for a small landlord is something you can easily do as a part-time job.

Landlords pay property managers an hourly rate or set a salary to handle specific tasks on their behalf. If you know any real estate investors in your network who may need help managing a building, this is a good way to earn a consistent income without investing in a property yourself. It requires more hands-on work and isn’t exactly a passive income strategy. However, it has a low barrier to entry, and good property managers are always in high demand.

Estate Agent Assistant

Estate Agent Assistant

Another good way to better understand the real estate industry while earning extra cash is to work as an estate agent’s assistant. Real estate agents are busy people. They often need help setting up meetings, arranging showings, organizing leads, taking photos, and performing various tasks needed to run their business. So they always need good assistants who can help them manage their workload.

If you’re interested in real estate but need help figuring out where to begin, working as an assistant is a great way to learn the ropes without assuming any personal risk. There aren’t any formal educational requirements, and you can often make a decent income while only working part-time or even just a few hours per week.

Property Tax Appeals

Turn Your Home Into A Short-Term Rental

Property tax appeals are probably not the most exciting of all the real estate side hustles. But they can be a great way to earn side cash between other investment deals. Most people don’t know that any homeowner can appeal their property taxes if they think they are too high. Tax bills are calculated based on what a county tax assessor thinks the property is worth. But they aren’t always 100% accurate, which is why you have the opportunity to appeal.

However, most homeowners either don’t know this is an option or don’t know how to do it. If you’re willing to learn the process in your local area, you could offer a property tax appeal service for those who think they might be entitled to a refund. It doesn’t always work. But in some cases, it can result in a large payout for the homeowner, which they may be willing to share with you if you give them simple instructions.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing a real estate side hustle to supplement your income is a perfectly reasonable goal for any aspiring real estate investor. Whether you’re drawn to the dynamic world of house flipping, the patient investment of land flipping, or the hands-on approach of property management, there’s a niche for everyone. Wholesaling and bird dogging provide entry points with minimal risk, while house hacking and short-term rentals offer opportunities to leverage your current assets. Even creative skills like photography can find a lucrative place in this industry.

The key is to assess your skills, resources, and goals to find the side hustle that aligns best with your situation. Start small, educate yourself, and take calculated risks to turn your spare time into a profitable real estate venture.

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