10 Profitable Real Estate Side Hustles

Real Estate Side Hustles That Require A License

Referral fees

Referral fees are an interesting opportunity the real estate industry. There’s one catch: You have to be licensed in order to receive them. 

Your real estate license can be in any of the 50 US states (which all have different licensing laws and licensing authorities). Every US state has an agreement with every other US state that allows their licensees to share fees across borders.

When you have a client who needs to buy or sell property in a market where you are not licensed, you can refer that client to another real estate licensee in exchange for a percentage of the commission. 

There’s no “standard” commission percentage, but most of the time in my experience it has been between 20% and 30% of the commission earned. 

Apartment finder

The rental side of the real estate business is ignored by most real estate agents in the world. The fees are much smaller than they are on the sales side of the business and renters are notorious for not being loyal to any one agent. I don’t blame the renters. 

Most landlords are not interested in paying real estate agents to find tenants for them and they don’t list their properties in the MLS. That means the properties that match the renters’ needs the best may not earn the agents any commission. 

The people who specialize in finding apartments for renters can do very well. It’s a specific niche and having good inventory is key to the entire process. Once you get good at explaining your value to the apartment hunters, you can require them to pay you a fee for your services. This is an ideal situation because you can show them all the properties on the market, not just the ones where landlords are willing to pay you a fee. 

Part-time real estate agent

Dirty little secret: Many real estate agents you know are part-time agents. 

They won’t SAY they’re part-time agents, but they are. Many agents make a respectable annual income and work part-time hours. Or even a fraction of what a normal person would consider “part-time hours.” 

With the current real estate agent compensation setup in the US and Canada, agents can work part-time and no one is the wiser. I can’t blame them, though. If you can hit your financial goals with part-time work, why try harder? 

The opportunity here is for you is to become a part-time real estate agent yourself! You either work the system or the system works you. Which do you prefer? 

Not all real estate agents make this job their whole hustle. A few showings on the weekend could be the key to that extra cash you need for a luxury vacation or a down payment. Plus, there’s no better way to get to know your local market than to become an agent.

Of course, you will need to put in a bit of time, effort, and money to make this side hustle work. Fortunately, it’s a career that can always catch you if you need some extra cash.

The Bottom Line

You can spend as much or as little time earning income through these side hustles—just know that you will get out what you put in. If you’re interested in any of these particular gigs, reach out to people who are already making money doing it. A quick cup of coffee and a chat will help you determine whether it’s the right hustle for you.

Do you have any other ideas or thoughts I missed? Let everyone know in the comments!

For more general side hustle ideas, there are many blogs on the topic but my favorite book on this is The Side Hustle by Nick Loper. Full of really great ideas and how to get the ball rolling.

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