Make Money in Real Estate

How many ways are there to make money in real estate? Countless!! From full-time careers to short-term part-time projects... if you like real estate, there's a way for you to make money in real estate. There are careers that require 80 hours a week to keep up and be truly successful, and other part-time projects that can be done with only a few hours a week, and sometimes from a home office.

The market of potential customers within residential real estate is massive and earnings potential can be significant. And the commercial real estate industry is just as massive, with a separate set of challenges and income potential.

How to Make Money in Real Estate

Real Estate Agent

Agents assist in residential and/or commercial transactions for sales and leases. Can be done part-time or full-time, and requires licensing, continuing education, and association membership. In addition, business costs include dues to belong to a Realtor association, insurance, and fees to brokerage. Education is essential in this field as legal contracts involving large sums of money is at the heart of every transaction. Generally, there is no salary or base pay for agents as they are not employees. They work as independent contractors. For smart self-starters, becoming a real estate agent can be a great way to make money in real estate.

Real Estate Broker

Brokers have additional licensing beyond agents, and can then be in a supervisory role or open their own agency. Typically brokers have been in the field for more years and work in the office as opposed to out in the field. As with agents, brokers must adhere to strict licensing and post-licensing requirements which includes ethics curriculum and exams. Brokers may be paid by the brokerage with base pay or a salary, and/or also work as an agent in the field.

Mortgage Brokers, Loan Specialists, Loan Processors

Mortgage brokers help find and secure funding (loan origination) for buyers of real estate. They are considered experts in the financial aspect of funding and loans, and will work with a buyer from beginning of the process up until a bank funds the loan on closing day. Mortgage brokers are usually independent contractors, and get paid by charging fees. They can research different programs and banks and find their customers the better deals.

Other ways to make money in real estate involves mortgages and financing: Loan Originators, Loan Specialists and Loan Processors typically work for a bank and are employees. They work in an office and deal with loan applications.


Property Appraisers are called in either by residential or commercial customers to appraise (assess) the value of a real estate property. These professionals research and apply industry standards to adjust for square footage, improvements, market conditions, etc . In residential sales transactions, a mortgage lender will send an appraiser out to the property to produce an appraisal to verify the purchase price (and loan amount) is in line with the value of the property. Appraisers are typically independent contractors and/or small business owners.

Property Inspector

Inspection companies are needed for most every residential and commercial sale transaction. Once a contract is signed between a seller and a buyer, the buyer will pay to have an inspection company look at all elements of the house from top to bottom, and write an extensive report on the condition of the property. This report includes estimates for repairs, photos of potential issues, etc. The inspector must be generally very knowledgeable about all key construction elements including plumbing, electrical, roofing, and more. The inspection and report generation usually takes a couple of hours, and costs charges usually start around $350 and go up depending on square footage of the property.

Commercial inspections cost more, and can be much more detailed, time consuming and intensive as they may require a crew of inspectors.

Inspections are also popular with investors that buy distressed and foreclosed properties for the purpose of flipping, and these inspection reports are usually paid for prior to entering into a sales contract - for the purpose of due diligence and researching potential profit margin. Learning to become a property inspector can lead to a good, steady stream of income as a way to make money in real estate either part-time or full-time.

Title/Escrow/Closing Agent

Closing agents are impartial professionals that finish a sales transaction for both buyers and sellers. They handle title and lien searches, and draft all needed paperwork including closing documents, warranties, title insurance, name affidavits. They are responsible for coordinating funding from the lender to the seller, initiating large monetary transactions. They can also hold escrow (deposits). Typically title/closing agents are salaried employees of the title company.

Real Estate Accountant/Bookkeeper

Real estate agencies, both residential and commercial have someone (or a team) dedicated to the bookkeeping of all real estate transactions performed. These careers in real estate  are getting less common as many brokerages are opting to outsource their bookkeeping needs to an outside company specializing in real estate accounting.

Real Estate Project Manager

This career can be high paying and quite challenging. These professionals may not come from backgrounds or careers in real estate. Instead, they may come from many different backgrounds including construction, real estate, and basic business management and a basic desire to make money in real estate surrounded by the high pace of projects and construction and deal making. Usually in commercial projects, the project manager is responsible for keeping everything together and moving forward. This is usually a high demand job with many hours. For smaller companies, the project manager must deal with everyone from vendors, construction crews, inspectors, attorneys as well as internal bosses as they must consistently report issues, progress, and paths forward. Budgeting is a large piece of this job, and some accounting skills as well as keen organization skills are a must.

Property Tax Appeals

Property tax appeal professionals know how to research market values, and put together the arguments needed to appeal the property tax bill. The goal is to get the tax bill lowered. Professionals get paid when they have successfully saved their customers (owners) money. They normally charge a small percentage of the savings. If you want to make money in real estate part-time or from a home office, this up and coming service might be a great fit.. MORE INFO ON TAX APPEAL BUSINESS HERE:

Investor - Flipping Property

Buying distressed property, or at a price point that is well below current market value then fixing it up and selling it quickly and for top dollar is the goal, and can be a lucrative real estate venture when done right. Buy low, sell high. How do successful property flippers do it? They do their research, they know how to buy low and what pitfalls to avoid. They can tell when a property has great potential, they know what improvements to make and how much they'll cost (often doing a lot of the work themselves to save money), and they know how to make sure the property sells for a profit, which usually means a quick sale. Flipping houses is most commonly a part-time venture for quick cash, rather than one of the more prominent careers in real estate. Make money in real estate with fix and flip projects?  MORE INFO ON FLIPPING PROPERTY HERE:

Investor - Flipping Wholesale

Wholesale flipping is a system where a person isn't an investor themselves. A wholesale flipper is more of a "scout". They look for great real estate deals, enter into contract, and assign that contract over (flip the property) to a new buyer before the sale transaction closes. This "wholesale flipping" system is attractive to people that want to make money in real estate but don't have the money or credit to invest/buy themselves. MORE INFO ON WHOLESALE FLIPPING HERE:

Investor/Landlord - Residential or Commercial Rental Property

Buying rental properties to make rental income can be a great investment choice, depending on costs associated with the property versus rental income, and whether it is a short-term or long-term venture., Sometimes owners have no other alternative but to become landlords, because they aren't able to sell their house. Having a good handle on math and being able to research and budget is key in managing rental property and avoiding many of the common pitfalls. No licensing is needed to be a landlord. And there are currently great tax deduction opportunities when owning rental property.

Other related businesses/ways to make money in real estate:

- Pest control companies have contracts and regularly service most condo communities and buildings, as well as servicing commercial buildings, residential homes, residential buildings and multi-plexes. You may not consider pest control as a way to make money in real estate, but it's actually an essential service! From extermination service to inspections to termite tenting... sales don't close, properties don't get managed properly without pest control services!

- Landscaping companies handle maintenance of grass, shrubs, trees as well as designing and implementing landscaping for aesthetic curb appeal. Most municipalities, commercial and residential buildings, parks, condo communities, gated communities, etc have monthly maintenance contracts with these companies

- Home Staging professionals will ensure a property looks its very best in order to sell.  Efforts can include providing temporary furniture and accessories, or making changes like paint colors, window treatments and rearranging furniture to ensure the property shows as attractive and appealing as possible to the broadest range of potential buyers. Most home staging professionals also make money in real estate in other ways, like as a real estate agent, with both niches of expertise working well together. There are a multitude of ways to make money in real estate, and most can be tailored to fit your own personal strengths, weaknesses and interests.