7 Sharing Economy Side Hustles Real Estate Investors Can Use to Earn Extra Cash


Welcome back to our series on the sharing economy. If you’re reading this, it means we didn’t scare you off with our first post introducing investors to the sharing economy.

This is good. Don’t be afraid of a little sharing.

In the first article, we introduced you to this growing billion dollar industry. Remember, we went from $15 billion in 2013 to what research suggests will be $330 billion by 2025. The sharing economy, we explained, is composed of a series of online platforms that provide access, usually paid, to underutilized assets.

Now it’s time to get into specific sharing economy tools that can help real estate investors make side income. Like Jeff from Montreal in the first article, you can use some of these tools as a complement to your real estate income.

Specifically for Jeff, these income platforms allowed him to quit his day job and focus on his real estate business. Even though his current cash flow didn’t cover his expenses, the income supplement from working in the sharing economy gave Jeff an extra cash cushion.

“Glenn, enough about Jeff,” my colleague Stephen tells me firmly.

I know this tone; it’s Stephen’s polite way of telling me to shut up. And he’s right.

OK, but there’s one more story I want to share with you.

Meet Jessie

Jessie and I have been emailing over the past few weeks. We met through my website and Jessie is a part-time real estate investor from Atlanta.

Jessie has been living with her friend on and off over the past six months while renting out her primary residence on Airbnb. You have my attention!

Jessie makes an average of $1,500 a month renting out her primary residence. But, because her friend helps her, Jessie pays her $500 a month. And, Jessie treats her friend to dinner out once a month.

Now I want to be Jessie’s friend.

Jessie also works two other part-time sharing economy jobs. Jessie is a math whiz and teaches Algebra to numerically challenged people, like me, on Wyzant and TakeLessons (more on this below). Jessie makes about $30 an hour and teaches four hours a week. This brings in $480 a month.

Related: The Upsides & Downsides of Airbnb: A Landlord’s Perspective

Finally, Jessie is an Uber driver on weekends when she isn’t out with friends. On average, Jessie works about eight hours a weekend and brings in $600 a month.

In all, Jessie’s part-time sharing economy endeavors bring in $2,080 a month. Couple that with her real estate cash flow, and Jessie can now afford to “retire” from her day job. Her idiot boss Frank won’t miss her. The feeling is mutual Frank!

You get the point right? You’re all smart people. You are on BiggerPockets after all. But what are some of the specific platforms that may apply to your situation? The answer is, as always, it depends on your lifestyle.

If you have a spare room, rent it out. If you have free hours in your day to Uber, Lyft, or deliver goods on PostMates, go for it. If you have a teachable skill like Jessie, put on your professor sweater. If you have a vehicle you can rent out, rent it!

What follows are some of our favorite sharing economy platforms.

And please, do us all a favor. If you currently work on a particular sharing economy platform, share your experience with us in the comments.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.51.14 AM

1. Uber and Lyft

If there are any readers out there who live under a rock and still haven’t heard of ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, then listen up.

Step 1: You need a ride. Step 2: Jessie has a car and some free time. Step 3: You both agree to a pre-arranged fare decided by the Uber or Lyft algorithm. Step 4: Jessie picks you up and takes you to your destination.

It’s a win-win scenario. You get your ride to WrestleMania XXXII, and Jessie gets your money. Best of all, you get to avoid the universally unpleasant experience of taking a conventional taxi. Don’t get me started.

“But Glenn,” my colleague Stephen interrupts, “Taxis are a regulated industry. Uber and Lyft are not. How do I know my Uber passenger or driver isn’t an ax murderer?”

Stephen has a lot to learn, but it’s a legitimate concern. Uber’s rating system of both drivers and riders is one of the strongest accountability mechanisms of our time. And this system is across all sharing economy platforms. This is a topic for another day. But know that the sharing economy isn’t the wild West; there is order and safety in the rating system.

Try it, you’ll see.

Ride-sharing platforms are a great way for anyone with a vehicle to make some extra cash, especially if you find you have time gaps in your day. Have a break in the afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00? Skip the nap or thumb twiddling. Turn on your Uber app, and make some money.

While chatting with Jessie, she noted that the only problem she ever encountered with her Uber driving was music selection. Jessie continued.

It was a crisp Friday evening in Atlanta. Jessie had just picked up her last fare of the evening.

These riders were a small group of entitled and reasonably intoxicated 20-year-olds heading back to their hotel. The ride went well, except the group was extremely disappointed that Jessie had no Taylor Swift to play for them. Jessie only got a four out of five-star review that evening.

Jessie’s Uber Lesson: Always have some Tay-Tay at the ready.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.52.22 AM

2. Airbnb

The most obvious money-making platform that many real estate investors have already cashed in on is Airbnb. For those who still haven’t discovered the internet, Airbnb is a home-sharing platform. Specifically, homeowners and travelers can list and book private residences all around the world.

Airbnb is available in over 34,000 cities across 190 countries. We’re still waiting for an Airbnb in Antarctica though.

While renter turnover is higher, cash flow is also typically higher. We experimented with Airbnb to see how it would compare against a long-term rental. Yes, it was more involving than a long-term rental. Yet, as a result, we were able to make two to three times as much money. But this is a story for another day.

You can not only rent out your entire home but a room as well. Have a basement apartment? Live in a downtown condo with a spare room? All these are great ways to make some extra money. How much money? Check out AirDNA for income projections for your particular location.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.52.49 AM

3. TaskRabbit

As real estate investors, we are all experts in assembly Ikea furniture. And, lucky for you, this is just one of the ways you can earn side income on the tasking platform TaskRabbit. OK, maybe not lucky for you, but the money is good.

On average, TaskRabbit Taskers make $40 an hour from cleaning, moving, yard work, online research, shopping, delivery, home repairs, handy work, the list goes on and on.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.53.12 AM

4. Wyzant

Are you an expert in your field? A knowledgeable know-it-all? A child genius? An idiot savant? If you are any of these (and even if not!), you might want to try your hand in the online learning industry.

This multi-billion dollar industry can be profitable for those who have a teachable niche. And by “teachable niche,” I don’t just mean traditional topics such as language, computers, math, or science — although these are good too.

Your teachable topic can be obscure such as public speaking, oyster cooking, Instagram, or juggling. Seriously, juggling.

Online learning platforms exist in many shapes and sizes, but one of the largest digital marketplaces for tutors and teachers is WyzAnt (or “wise ant”). WyzAnt boasts approximately 80,000 active tutors and over two million registered users.

WyzAnt tutors earn $45 an hour on average. With a bit of knowledge and hard work, you can turn the online learning industry into your own personal online earning industry. Maybe I should offer a tutoring service on making puns.

Related: AirBnB vs. Traditional Rental Income: A Creative Way for Investors to Cash Flow in Expensive Cities

But Wyzant isn’t the only option out there. Check out similar platforms such as Takelessons, Chegg, Udemy, and Skillshare.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.04.15 AM

5. WeGoLook

Similar to TaskRabbit, WeGoLook is a tasking service setting up patrons with “lookers.” In our case, a looker is not just someone who is dreamy; it’s someone who is making money.

WeGoLook lookers are dispatched to examine assets and verify claims made by sellers. Lookers will take pictures, videos, and collect specified data about the object or property and will send that to the potential buyer. The typical inspection object can be a car, home, or land.

For real estate investors, this is an amazing tool. You can make money by inspecting properties for remote buys. Likewise, if you are looking to buy a property remotely, WeGoLook is a great option.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.53.58 AM

6. Turo

Do you have a car, but don’t want the hassle of driving people around on Uber? Formerly known as RelayRides, Turo is a car-sharing platform where you can rent out your car to others for a fee.

You begin by listing your vehicle on the Turo platform with pictures and a description. Potential renters will then contact you about availability. Once your vehicle has been rented, you meet the renter to inspect the vehicle and provide keys. Simple as that.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.57.35 AM

7. JustPark

As urbanization increases globally, parking spaces are becoming an increasingly valuable asset. Take San Francisco, for instance. It’s estimated that on any given date, 30 percent of cars on the road are looking for a parking spot.

JustPark can be a great money-making platform if you live in a big city with few parking spaces. Like other sharing economy platforms, the idea is simple. If you have a parking space you don’t use, you can rent it out to someone looking for a parking spot.

Whether you have an open parking spot, a commercial space, or a garage, you can rent it out on JustPark.

JustPark has an awesome rental price guide that will give you the average price you can charge in your area. Checkout JustPark’s rental price guide to see what you’re missing out on.

Conclusion — For Now

So there you have it, several sharing economy options you can start today to make side income. The purpose of this post is to give you specific websites that you can register for now if you’re looking to supplement your income.

Jeff did it. Jessie did it, despite her poor choice in music. You can, too.

That’s all for now. Up next, we will be shifting from how to earn money to how to use the above platforms (and others) in your real estate business.

Before we go, please leave a comment on any sharing economy tools you use to earn money that has not been mentioned in this article. There are literally hundreds, and only our favorites are covered here.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below!

About Author

Glenn Carter

Glenn is a real estate investor and writer based in Montreal, Canada, who is the author of Secrets of the Sharing Economy. Glenn's passion is to teach people how to make money in the sharing economy through his website The Casual Capitalist. Special thanks to Stephen Cook for his outstanding contribution to the Casual Capitalist Community.


  1. Mike McKinzie

    The “sharing economy” is in it’s infancy and has a lot of kinks to work out. I DROVE for Uber for two months, and lost money. But stayed in an AirBnB house in Flagstaff and it worked out well. While more than a hotel, it was a three bedroom house and we had two couples and single adult, so we would have had to rent out three hotel rooms, and thus saved money. Back in 1982, I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car for a year and I have owned rentals since I was 19 or 20. Those two experiences proved that when someone does NOT own a thing, they do NOT take care of a thing! Working for Uber, I had to clean off ‘drunken vomit’ all down the side of my $70,000 car. I had to buy Fabreeze and use it AFTER EVERY RIDER! Two months of driving for Uber was harder on my vehicle than a YEAR of me driving it. So while I agree the SHARING ECONOMY is growing exponentially, it has some quirks that need to be addressed.

    • Glenn Carter

      Hey Mike, thanks for the comment. Working regularly with Airbnb I have never had an issue with renters (and I’ve dealt with over 100), and in fact have had the opposite experience. You note that when someone doesn’t own a thing, they don’t take care of a thing. I have simply found this to be not the case. The review and rating systems of sites like Airbnb are an amazing accountability mechanism. The growth in the sharing economy would not be possible without people treating other people’s “things” with respect. Otherwise, it would be dead on arrival. Appreciate the feedback, certainly people need to consider the potential downsides to making side income.

  2. James R.

    In regard to Airbnb, the company itself does not really have your back. It wants to maximize its billion dollar profits, with you putting your valuable real-estate on the line. Their liability is low, while yours, as a provider of rooms, is very high. If anyone thinks that Airbnb, is going to ‘jump right on’ your problem with a visitor when damages occur, you are going to learn a hard lesson. Make sure you have a very good home owner’s insurance policy and like renting your RE properties, SCREEN, SCREEN, SCREEN your Airbnb visitors. Airbnb does virtually nothing to screen people with the belief that everyone is good…until they are bad. With that belief, damages to your home could be an expensive lesson to learn.

    • Glenn Carter

      Hey James! Of course, Airbnb is a corporation with financial interests. No disagreement there. I have spoken to dozens of successful Airbnb hosts, many of them super hosts, and have only heard of a couple negative stories about renters. As real estate investors, we understand the need to screen tenants, whether they are long term or short term. So your point about screening is very well received. I have found that the Airbnb rating system is my best friend. With renters who have positive ratings, I have never ever had an issue. And yes Airbnb takes their cut, but I have been able to double my monthly income by switching two of my rentals from long term to Airbnb rentals. So I guess it’s a win-win for Airbnb and myself. I remember a discussion I had with one Airbnb host who had a problem tenant and the issue had to be resolved by Airbnb’s dispute resolution team. Apparently, this process lasted only a few days and the particular agent was extremely accommodating and professional. Both the host and renter we apparently satisfied with the outcome. Although I’ve had over 100 guests stay in my properties, I’ve never had an issue or had to go to dispute resolution, so I can’t comment personally. I don’t think it’s Airbnb’s job to screen renters, that’s for the owner. And, as always, if you don’t do it properly you’re leaving yourself vulnerable. I personally don’t rent to anyone who doesn’t have positive reviews or isn’t verified either through a social media account or government ID. So far so good!

  3. Steve Vaughan

    Thanks for the article, Gleñn. Great tips to earn some side money. I’d never heard of the share economy before. I liked your tips on monetizing special interest / quality skills the most. You are the fuñniest and most well-written dude I’ve read on a very long time. Keep up the good work and don’t let the little single issue whiners get ya down!

  4. benjamin cowles

    Wow, I wasn’t completely aware of this “economy sharing” trend and all of these potential income sources. Interesting. But too bad you can’t get reliable ratings on customers as you can with providers. But I like the many options and flexibility for income. Great article.

    • Glenn Carter

      Benjamin, my bad I should be clear. Most, if not all, sharing economy websites have a two-way rating and feedback system. That is, you can rate the customers. On Airbnb for instance, not only do I have a rating, but once guests leave my properties I give them a rating. When someone wants to book my place I can what other owners have said about them. It’s a fantastic accountability mechanism that hasn;t failed me yet. Almost all sharing economy platforms have this feature.

  5. Lou Ann Freeman on

    Very valuable article Glenn! And very timely for me as I have been searching for legit ways to earn income while I get back into the real estate biz in a new area. I like the stats and links you provided — very helpful. Thank you and I look forward to reading more of your articles!

  6. James R.

    Glenn, thanks for keeping things in this discussion balanced. In regard to another poster calling some commenters “whiners”, such a remark is really immature. Expressing one’s opinion good, bad or otherwise is what good discussion is about. Glad you set the record straight with your comment in that regard.

    Granted there is a very ‘cool’ group of people out there in the world who really get into the idea of the “shared economy”. I am one of them. I would much rather stay in someone’s home in the heart of Paris etc. than get a room in a hotel. However, there are people who could care less about sharing anything and they are just looking for a cheap room and will treat your home like a motel. Smart Airbnb hosts have an email exchange with these people and can quickly surmise what kind of person they are, that is if they do not have any reviews yet, which I have heard is about 50% of Airbnbers, i.e. first time users. You are correct that those people with already stellar reviews are a no-brainer when it comes to screening and accepting them as guests.

    I wish that Airbnbers also got 1-5 star ratings and not just reviews. I have read reviews and most of them are very vague, something to the effect, “Sandi, stayed here and then she left. Our place was not trashed.” Airbnb should have better guidelines for hosts leaving reviews.

    By the way, thanks for the tips on the other ‘side gigs’ in regard to making supplemental income. Most of these jobs can be done without too much hassle from home with a computer.

    Keep the SE information coming!!!

  7. Brian Hendrickson

    Great article Glenn, thanks! I currently drive for Lyft and Uber, and haven’t had any bad experiences yet (knock on wood). They’re especially good during events or weekend nights. During non-peak hours I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

    I also deliver food for Doordash. It’s kind of like Bitesquad meets Uber… as a driver, you can sign up on the app to deliver food whenever you feel like it (I’ve gotten about $20/hr during evening hours). It’s especially nice when you want to listen to your own music or podcasts instead of dealing with riders!

    I haven’t heard of some of these other sharing sites, but now I’m going to check them out!

  8. Hey Glenn!

    Very interesting stuff! How many of these examples are active and working in Montreal?? I don’t think TaskRabbit is here yet, nor Turo. As a Montrealer yourself, I’m hoping you can clear this up for me.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Glenn Carter

      Bonjour Mathieu, thanks for the question. TaskRabbit is most definitely in Montreal, I use contractors from TaskRabbit in my real estate business here. Unfortunately Canada is a bit behind the times when it comes to car-sharing, so unfortunately I have not come across a Turo or Getaround equivalent here in Montreal…hopefully that will change soon.

  9. Naeem Kapasi

    I really enjoyed this read! Opened up my mind to what I can do with my time and assets (it becomes an asset if i make money on it 😉 )

    I am planning to live in my house for a year before renting it out, while living there, I might as well rent out the extra rooms I have 😀

  10. Al Williamson

    Nice job Glenn! I’ve been an Airbnb host and guest since 2011. Not one bad experience to report.

    To further the discussion, let me add that rental owners are able to use collaborative economy. sharing economy tools such as Airbnb, VRBO to rent their space, Spinlister to rent bikes/kayaks, Turo to rent cars to their Airbnb/VRBO guests, and all the cooking services for drop off meals.

    Small owners can create something special and nearly impossible for a large corporation to compete against.

    Just a matter of opening our minds.

    Keep up the good work on your series.

    • Glenn Carter

      Hey Al, I appreciate the comment. I’m amazed you’ve been using Airbnb for 5 years and have had no negative experiences. Usually everyone has 1. I know I have. Maybe sometime I’ll introduce you all to Donald the Dumbell from Manhatten 🙂 We have many of our community members who make good income on the delivery platforms, maybe that will make for a good post in the future. Thanks again Al!

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account


Log In Here