Real estate is one of the best paths toward building long-term wealth, and there are tons of excellent real estate side hustles, whether you’re already an agent or just someone interested in a lucrative side hustle.
Fortunately, you don’t need to have the cash ready for a down payment to get started with most of these side hustles. There’s really something for everyone, from digital marketing for agents to generating passive income through rentals and much more.
Let’s check out the best real estate side hustles for 2023.
1. Commercial Real Estate Investing
This might not sound like the most beginner-friendly real estate side hustle, but hear us out! You can now start investing in commercial real estate for as little as $10, which is a great way to start growing your real estate portfolio.
Fundrise specializes in eREITs, and allows average (as in: not wealthy) investors to buy into private commercial and residential properties by pooling their assets through an investment platform.
This is a long-term real estate side hustle, and Fundrise recommends holding your investment for 5+ years to generate the best return. However, Fundrise has a redemption program if you want to sell your shares back before then.
Learn more in our full Fundrise Review.
2. Advertise for Real Estate Agents
Running Facebook ads for real estate agents is a great real estate side hustle if you’re looking for a flexible, work-from-home option. This side hustle involves working with local or out-of-state real estate agents and helping them run effective ad campaigns on Facebook.
See, Facebook continues to be one of the best ways for real estate agents to find buys and sellers because the Facebook ad platform offers a robust and deep level of ad targeting.
Facebook ad managers are digital marketers and can make $1,000 to $2,000 per month per client. And you can go beyond real estate agents and run ads for small businesses, online clients, and more.
3. Real Estate Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants (VAs) can be a massive asset to real estate agents, freelancers, and other small business owners. VAs manage a variety of behind-the-scenes tasks that make a business run smoother, such as:
- Inbox management
- Scheduling appointments
- Updating listings
- Creating buyer’s packets and powerpoints
- Updating websites
- Tracking marketing analytics
- Social media management
- Basic bookkeeping
- Data entry
- Collecting feedback from clients and team members
That’s just a sample of what real estate virtual assistants do, and this is incredibly flexible side hustle — many VAs work for multiple clients making anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month per client.
4. Buy Farmland
If you’re an accredited investor, you can invest in stakes of farmland through FarmTogether, which is a real estate investment platform that curates diverse portfolios of farmland real estate for accredited investors.
Why is buying farmland a great real estate side hustle? Well, farmland yields an average return of 10.74% since 1991!
BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) is a real estate investment strategy that can become a somewhat passive side hustle. Here’s how it works:
- Buy: Buy a property, ideally a distressed property that needs some work to get up to code and ready to rent. The distressed condition means it will likely cost less to buy.
- Rehab: Depending on the condition of the property, the rehab process can be more lengthy and expensive. This step involves making the property safe, structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing, and ready for renters.
- Rent: When the property is ready, determine the rental price and list it.
- Refinance: Do a cash-out refinance on the property to convert your equity into cash. This involves taking out a larger mortgage, borrowing more money than you owe, and the cash is used to purchase another property.
- Repeat: Start the process all over again using the funds from your cash-out refinance.
This real estate side hustle takes a lot of hard work if you plan on rehabbing yourself, and you’ll need to research your mortgage and refinance options.
6. Rental Arbitrage
Rental arbitrage is a real estate side hustle that involves capitalizing on the difference between long and short-term rental rates. The way it works is that you sign a long-term lease with a property owner, and then sublease the property on a vacation rental site, like Airbnb or VRBO.
Before you get started, you need to see if short-term rentals are allowed in your area. You also need to see if hospitality licenses are required in your area and ask the landlord if they approve of your rental arbitrage business.
7. Become a Notary
A notary public is an official of integrity appointed by the state government, typically by the secretary of state, and they notarize documents needed to complete the buying and selling of real estate property. You can make $2,000+ per month.
Here are the qualifications to become a notary:
- 18 years old or older
- Be a legal resident of the state you want to become a notary in
- Have no felony convictions
You'll want to research the exact requirements for your state and municipality.
8. Buy Rental Property
Owning rental property can become a real estate side hustle that brings in somewhat passive cash flow.
One of the most obvious places to look is your local real estate market, but if that’s too expensive or the right properties aren’t available, you can use a platform like Roofstock, which lets you browse and buy single-family rentals across the U.S.
Roofstock has a certification process that each property must go through before listing on the site, including a walkthrough inspection.
Learn more in our full Roofstock Review.
9. Flipping Houses
Flipping houses isn’t as easy as it looks on HGTV. It takes a considerable amount of effort, financial resources, and knowledge of the market. Still, it can be a very lucrative way to make money.
The general idea is that you buy low and sell high. It might take rehabbing a properties interior and/or exterior, or if you can hold onto the property for a while, maintaining it and then selling it when the market goes up could bring a return on your investment.
10. Bird Dogging
No, this real estate side hustles doesn’t have anything to do with literal dogs or birds. Bird dogging in real estate terms is typically someone who spends their time trying to find properties that have a significant investment potential. The term refers to hunting dogs that are able to point to the location of birds.
Because you’re sniffing out good buys, it can be pretty lucrative. Even better, you carry far less risk because you’re not buying the properties.
However, to be a real estate bird dog, most investors will want to know that you’re a real estate professional yourself. So this is a good side job if you currently work in the industry.
11. House Hacking
House hacking is essentially buying real estate with the purpose of dividing the house or multi-family unit into rental units — you live in one and rent out the others.
The goal is to earn enough supplemental income through leasing out the extra space to cover your mortgage. That’s more likely to happen if you live in an in-demand market.
12. Become a Property Manager
If you’re a real estate agency looking for a side hustle, becoming a property manager is a natural fit. Your industry experience will help you find clients and navigate the rental market.
This is also a fairly in-demand side hustle with the number of out-of-state property owners. They are looking for trusted professionals to manage their property, and property management can be for duplexes, apartments, or even vacation home rentals.
13. Side Hustle as a Leasing Agent
Leasing agents find and screen tenants for landlords and property managers. It reduces a lot of the stress for them when it comes to finding qualified renters, and that’s why you can make anywhere from half a month to a full month’s rent as your finder’s fee.
You will need a property manager's license or real estate license to work as a leasing agent. This typically requires a couple of weeks of classes and a fee of $400 to $500.
14. Rent Out Your Extra Space
Did you know you can rent out your closet, garage, basement, side yard, shed, or attic? Yes, you can make anywhere from $50 to $500+ per month renting out your extra space though a company like Neighbor.
There’s no professional licensing or experience required for this side hustle, and you get to set your rates and how the space is used.
Learn more in our full Neighbor Review.
15. Stage Homes
For anyone who has an eye for design, this is an excellent real estate side hustle! Home stagers are paid to bring in furniture and decor to prep properties before they’re listed. Most people find it helpful to look at a house full of furniture to visualize themselves in the property.
You might get paid to stage the entire house or certain rooms, and it’s great for anyone who has a relationship with furniture stores.
16. Real Estate Appraiser
This job requires some education and training because real estate appraisers are responsible for an important step in the home-buying process. You don’t need a real estate license though.
Most appraisers are self-employed, so there is a lot of flexibility.
17. Photograph Properties
Good photos definitely aren’t the only thing that sells a house, but they certainly get people interested in looking at one!
If you’re a real estate agent looking for a side hustle, this is a great option if you have a good eye. You’ll already have a list of connections to find clients.
18. Drone Photography
Want to go above and beyond with your photography services? Drone photography is literally a level above, and it’s great when agents want footage of a property for a listing page, but it can also be helpful to appraisers or anyone who wants to get a full perspective of a property.
19. Rent Out Event Space
For anyone who has space that could be used to host events — weddings, retreats, parties, photo shoots, and so on — you can make somewhat passive income renting out the space on a platform like Peerspace.
You can start browsing listings in your area to get an idea of what properties rent for, but you’re in control of the price and fees.
Final Word on Real Estate Side Hustles
Whether you’re a real estate agent interested in making money on the side or someone interested in side gig related to real estate, you’ve just learned about more than a dozen options.
Our top picks are:
- Commercial real estate investing through Fundrise. It’s passive income, and as you know, real estate is one of the best paths toward long-term wealth.
- Running Facebook ads for real estate agents. Digital marketing is a solid way to find leads for buying and selling properties, and you can make anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000+ per month.
Becoming a real estate agent is a fairly flexible side hustle, but there is a licensing process to get started. It also takes time to build your client base. However, agents are typically paid 5% to 6% of the home’s selling price.
Getting into the rental real estate market is a solid choice if you want to make more money in real estate. Many who choose this path opt for the BRRRR strategy that involves buying, rehabbing, renting, and refinancing.