Is Selling Real Estate a Viable Side Hustle?
There has been a lot of conversation in the real estate world about whether or not there is a role for Realtors in a technology driven world or if a real estate app will replace humans with a more rational, cheaper, market based approach.
My opinion is going to be biased because I am inside the world of real estate but I'd like to put my opinion out there.
I believe that listing real estate is going to die out as a path to riches for the majority of agents. This is because I believe that the vast majority of agents will do the exact same things to sell a home; list the property on MLS, syndicate it to on-line sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com, maybe hold an open house or two, put a sign in the yard and send out an email flyer letting local agents know that a property is available. Realtors can differentiate themselves with their customer service, their availability to their clients and their friendliness which are important but do not necessarily add value to the equation. And by value I mean something a seller is willing to pay extra for. If you want a Big Mac you are going to the closest McDonald's whether or not the cashier is friendly. When Zillow and other sites will buy homes directly from a seller for a flat fee and a guaranteed price there is very little a local Realtor can do to compete. Listing real estate for sale has become a commodity with a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. This is why I offer 1% commission on the sales side if I'm the listing agent. Note, this is not a 1% overall commission - at this time in the market the seller will still have to pay the buyer's agent.
I think that as the listing role becomes commoditized the role of the buyer's agent is going to become much more valuable. If I am representing you as a buyer I need to know a lot more about you to successfully help you navigate the purchase process. I need to know your goals, your biases and your quirks. I need to know your finances so I know which loan products you qualify for and which houses qualify for those loans. I need to understand the market, I need to be able to quantify the pros and cons of different properties and give you an honest opinion of what I believe will happen to the value of the property in the future based on everything from zoning to schools to freeway construction. In short, to successfully perform in the role a buyer's agent I need to develop a relationship with you and I don't see an app being able to do that in the foreseeable future.
So to answer the question, yes I believe that I can develop a successful side hustle as buyer's agent but only if you as an investor or consumer believe in the value that I can bring to the team. You can always DIY the process but why would you when you can access all of my knowledge and expertise and the seller will pay the bill?
Thanks for reading!!!