4 Side Income Streams to Sustain You As You Pursue Real Estate Full Time

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Today, I am reminded about how excited I was when I quit my very stable, very awesome day-job, to jump full force into real estate.

I was very stupid, but very excited all the same.

I remember thinking, “All I have to do is just get 1 deal and I’ll make more money than I would in one year working where I am now.”

And it would of been true if I had actually been able to come up with the funds, or facilitate the rehabs, both which I had no experience doing.

What I got instead of my “one deal and I’ll be more wealthy than ever before” fantasy was a promise of 1% of the purchase price as well as mentorship in exchange for door-knocking for some established fix and flippers in my area.

It definitely wasn’t what I thought I was signing up for, but it was a great situation all the same…or so I thought.

You see the truth is, it is very typical to not make any money your first year in real estate. If you are going to jump in full force like I did, you need to have a plan, and some side income to cover your bases while you make your real estate business happen.

How do you do that exactly? That’s why I wrote this post.

4 Ways to Generate Side Income While Pursuing Real Estate Full-Time

You see, I’ve now had to leave “full-time” real estate in order to go back into the work force so that I could survive.

When I quit my job, I justified it, and fought through, believing that in a couple of months I’d become successful enough to get by. But 10 months later, I still didn’t get any money from my real estate pursuits, so I ended up needing to change course.

Looking back, I realized there were somethings I could of done differently that would of made it so I could sustain myself and push through.

You see, at the time my thinking was, “I can’t get a day job! It will take away my focus and energy off of real estate!” and in a lot of ways this was true.

But recently I’ve found out there are some “odd side-jobs” that are completely flexible and doable around your primary passion, and once I found them, I was like, “Man, if only I had known my whole real estate situation would of been different!”

Today I want to share 4 of these “side-jobs” with  you, and hopefully, help make your living situation a bit more feasible as you pursue real estate full time. So with that, let’s get into it!

1. Become a Driver for Lyft/Uber X

So I’ve recently signed up as a driver for Lyft, which is a bay-area version of Uber X, a new taxiing app-based service that is super easy to sign up and make money with using your own vehicle.

There are no set hours and you typically make about $25 – $28 per hour, part time at your own leisure!

Now there is a bit of a location game to this, you really need to be in or near a big city to make this worth your time, but if you met that criteria, this may be a very easy solution that you can do in the late evenings ( I typically go out from 6pm – 2 am) around your real estate pursuits during the day.

It’s sure helped me a ton!

Related: Why I’m Glad I Chose Now To Quit My Full Time Job to Pursue Real Estate Investing

2.  The Fulfilled By Amazon Program

Amazon has a department, where you as a consumer can became a vendor and outsource the headache to Amazon.com.

There are a ton of courses and books on how to do this right, but the premise is you use an app to go around retail stores, buying things on sale that would sell for premium on Amazon, and then you simply ship your items to them, upload your products online and start getting paid.

I have heard of people who literally make their full time living doing this, working only 1-2 days a week!

As an aspiring real estate investor, if you could take just one day out of your busy week to do this, you could easily be making a really comfortable base while making real estate your priority.

3. Mobile Notary

Becoming a notary only takes a day of classes and a couple weeks to get things processed.

Once everything is set up, if you were to go around to all your notary republics in your area and say, “I’ll be your on-call mobile notary,” you’ll definitely get business, and can make a pretty good source of income (you can set your own price for the driving distance, so you could easily make between $60 -$150 per day).

This one is a little more time consuming than the ones above, but if you set your hours around real estate, it could easily work.

Related: Is Real Estate a Good Investment? (Nope, However…)

4. Craigslist Furniture Flip Business

Something I’ve done in the past when I really needed money, was scour the “For Free” section on Craigslist.org for items I could turn around and resell.

I’d simply look for gently used furniture and mattresses people were getting ride of, and then simply turn it around and list it right back on Craigslist for a price.

This definitely is the most time consuming option, but again, it’s something you could do evenings and weekends, and if you set it up correctly, it can be done around pursuing real estate.

Another condition to this is that it also needs to be in a highly-populated area.

Being in the Bay Area, we have a lot of affluent people who don’t realize the value of the stuff they’re getting ride of, so it works really well here.

Conclusion

So I hope this post helped you start thinking about ways to make side-income while you make your real estate dreams come true.

Is there anything else you’d add to this list?

Be sure to leave your comments below!

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About Author

Jaren Barnes is passionate about what the BiggerPockets community has to offer and is very active in his local real estate market. Come say hi to him on Twitter!

21 Comments

  1. Very helpful. I am interested in learning more about #number 2. This caught my attention because I am currently in this situation right now! I will get more money, I will…
    Thanks! :)

  2. Great ideas. Thanks for the awesome post. Short and to the point. All options have their merit but I agree with Lutonya, #2 might be the one best for me and my wife. I’ll have to research it some more. I’m retiring from the USAF this fall and will be searching for more income. Thanks.

  3. Brett Synicky on

    Hi Jaren.

    I got my notary commission back in February but only recently started getting after jobs. During the past few weeks I have spent countless hours calling signing companies, title companies, and escrow offices asking them what it takes to be added to their “database”. Then they usually have you fill out some kind of application and either fax, email, or upload it to a website along with all your other documents proving that you’re a notary public and notary signing agent. I can’t say I recommend others do it (at least not yet since it hasn’t paid off) but I’m really hoping my efforts will begin to pay off not too far down the road…I do know there are tons of successful signing agents out there…

    Thanks for writing a great ariticle!

    • Hi Brett,

      I’d try reaching out to insurance agents as well.

      Have you thought about putting up an ad on Craigslist? That might bring in more traffic than you’d think.

      • Brett Synicky on

        Jaren,

        Good call on the insurance agents. I’ve been using Craigslist and finally figured out how not to get my ad flagged and deleted. lol. I’ve been using CL for about a month and received one job for it. I’ll try different ad copy each time to find what works best.

        Thanks!

  4. Brandon McCombs on

    “Would of” and “could of” don’t exist as proper phrases in the English language. When people say what sounds like those phrases they are saying contractions that are spelled “would’ve” and “could’ve”.

    As for jobs, home inspections are more profitable while still allowing you to set your own hours for the most part (obviously you still have to work during the day) and it takes only a couple thousand to get started if you take a course and then the test. You can easily get your name out there by contacting realtors, Craigslist, bulletin boards, etc.

  5. I totally agree with you.

    It’s better to have a “job” to finance while you are pursuing real estate full time.
    Or else it is very easy to get too stressful when things go wrong.

    But at the same time, an investor has to take “risks”. Life’s a roller coaster =)

    • 100% agree Eric! Thats what happened to me! Because I didn’t have side income I ended up burning out. Do you happen to have any additional side income sources you could add to the list?

  6. David Zuhlke on

    JAREN,

    Great input on income options. I too signed up for UBER but found out that you need to know regulations on transportation in the counties you might serve. I am in Tampa Florida and you cannot provide this service in Hillsborough county without charging the client a minimum of $50.00. That would be just across the street if they got in the car.
    Uber is making a big push nationally but for your readers check in to see if your county allows these services to be provided. You may sign up and not hear from them for months. This is probably the reason why. So hang in there. We are trying to address this issue here now.
    continued success!
    Z

  7. Love the ideas and hustle mentality. Yes, there are many ways to legally make $100.
    Once you know you can money when you have to, you’re able to sleep easier.

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  8. You’re a great writer Jaren, I always feel drawn in to your articles and this one is no exception. These are 4 cool ideas (as Al said, I love the hustle mentality). I appreciate your honesty too – it’s okay to shuffle things around until they fall into place. Some people would just give up but I love how you keep trying to figure it out and learn more along the way. Keep it up buddy!

  9. Great ideas Jaren, exactly the kind of ideas I’ve been looking for to create income while studying and getting into REI. Can you expound on what types of products you’re selling via Amazon to generate income? I was laid off from my full time job here in the Sacramento Ca (company merged with Intuit and laid off local sales force) area in April as I was just starting to research RE investing, flipping etc. I’m a musician as well , so gigs are getting me by for now but it’s a meager and unstable income by itself. That said, any of you here that have musical skills, another side income that doesn’t interfere with REI type hours…thanks again for a helpful article!

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