How To Make More Money in Real Estate

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller,November 24, 2020


As a real estate broker, you spend most of your time acquiring listings, preparing them for sale, marketing the property, holding open houses, and closing deals. Sometimes the market is busy, and sometimes the market goes quiet. 

Fortunately, real estate agents have other means of making money during market downturns or slow seasons. As a real estate agent, you have skills that are in demand in many other industries. You have developed top-level skills in sales and marketing and a keen understanding of the real estate market. Here are some ways you can put these skills to work for you: 

Become a buyers’ agent

Listings are the lifeblood of a real estate brokerage. A listing on the market requires an investment that may pay you sooner, later, or never. Fortunately, being a listing agent is only half of what you can do. By becoming a buyers’ agent, you can expand your menu of services as well as your bottom line. As a buyers’ agent, you will work closely with buyers to determine their wants and needs. You will learn if they prefer the city or country, open concept or traditional, or need two bedrooms or four. Then, using your expertise and access to MLS, you will locate and present options for your buyers to consider.

Acting as their agent, you will accompany your buyers as they view these listings, guiding them from offer to closing. Was it your listing? No. Did it have to be your listing for you to make money? Also no. In some ways, being a buyers’ agent can be more rewarding because you don’t have to carry the upfront costs related to photography, marketing, and advertising.

moneyBecome a commercial real estate agent

Commercial real estate can be another great way to make money as a real estate agent. Commercial real estate is a specialty area where the rewards can be great – commissions for commercial real estate (and property values) tend to be much higher than for residential real estate. 

Working with corporations and businesses is different from working with individuals and families. That means that if you are already selling commercial real estate in conjunction with your residential real estate, using the very same playbook, you are doing it wrong. Take the time to fully develop the commercial side of your business as its own “thing”. Recognize that the needs of commercial customers are different, requiring additional expertise. 

Complete BPOs

Broker Price Opinions are another easy way to make money. Real estate agents, appraisers, and brokers are often asked to assess a property’s value. While this value does not carry the same weight as a full appraisal, the information is still helpful, particularly when the concerned party cannot visit the property in person.

Often these BPOs are requested by lenders on behalf of homeowners seeking to refinance their homes. Your task will be to visit the property, take some representative photos, scope out the neighborhood for any factors that impact valuation, assess curb appeal and condition of the home, and use comps to determine the property’s value. 

If the client needs interior photos, arrangements will need to be made for access. These BPOs take a bit of time and planning. Drive-by BPOs, on the other hand, don’t take very much time at all. For these requests, you will provide an opinion for value based on only what you see outside the property.

List homes for sellers

Sounds crazy, but real estate agents can also make money by providing services for people selling their own homes. These For Sale By Owner listings, FSBOs for short, are too often ignored by real estate agents. 

You may not even know you have access and expertise to offer FSBO sellers. There are actually many services you could offer that fall short of a listing agreement. You can offer to list homes on the MLS for FSBO sellers for a fee or even offer consulting or guidance for a set price. You could offer help with photography, staging, or marketing. You don’t know until you ask. Make the call. 

Write about itpexels-gustavo-fring-4173195

Remember the part about you being an expert with skills that are in high demand? Writing about real estate is a great way to share your expertise, make a name for yourself, establish yourself as an expert, and make money. 

Some real estate agents create their own blogs, while others find work writing about real estate topics for trade websites or publications. Getting started is so easy. Just set up a Medium account and write a couple of articles. Make sure to create a professional profile for yourself with information about your business. 

Not sure what to write? Start with your customers’ and clients’ most frequently asked questions. What could you write that would be useful to share with them? Over time, you will naturally find yourself making mental notes about the next topic you should add to your knowledge base. Along the way, you will become more knowledgeable, and others will begin to recognize you for your expertise.  

Long-term rentals

Managing tenants is not for everyone, but your expertise as a real estate agent gives you some excellent advantages. One of the biggest mistakes new investors make is buying the wrong property. You know how to accurately evaluate a property and determine if it is a good investment. From there, it is a matter of managing carrying costs and tenants, all while watching your net worth grow.

These are just a few ideas for generating more income from your brokerage. Real estate agents have unique skills and qualifications that are hard to find. They have deep knowledge of marketing, business strategy, sales, design, communication, and their communities. By finding new ways of sharing your knowledge and selling the services you already offer, you can maximize your impact and your profits.

devin-doherty headshot



Written By: Devin Doherty, a licensed real estate agent in California

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 5/20/2022



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