Running A Business

8 Real Estate Business Ideas

Apr 19, 2023 • 10+ min read
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      The real estate market is always changing. Currently, the threat of a “housing crash,” skyrocketing interest rates, and faltering housing prices is looming. Despite this, however, it’s still a great time to break into the real estate market business.

      The past few years have caused many to pursue careers that are steady and stable through economic challenges. Real estate is a great recession-proof career path, as today’s buyers and sellers need help in the current market. Inevitably, they’ll look to experts like you to assist with their real estate needs.

      Here are real estate business ideas and tips to consider if you’re looking to start a career in the field.

      Real Estate Business Ideas

      1. Residential Real Estate

      Helping others purchase or sell a home, also called residential real estate, is a common real estate business idea. Residential real estate agents assist sellers with marketing their properties to potential buyers and assist buyers with finding the right properties that align with their needs and budgets. The residential real estate industry continues to grow each year and provides great opportunities for experts in the field. 

      To become a residential real estate agent, you should be well-versed in administrative work, research, and marketing, and check your state’s licensing requirements to ensure compliance. On average, residential real estate agents earn $50,000 per year.

      2. Commercial Real Estate

      Similar to residential real estate agents, commercial real estate agents assist with buying, leasing, and managing properties for businesses. Because the commercial real estate market is more data-based, this career involves more research to identify trends. Additionally, commercial real estate deals more heavily with leases than residential real estate does. 

      A commercial real estate career is an attractive option for many real estate professionals because of its financial benefits. The average annual salary of a commercial real estate agent is $94,383—almost twice as high as that of residential agents. However, licensing requirements are typically the same as those for residential real estate agents.

      3. Real Estate Investment

      Another common real estate business idea is investing in a pool of real estate properties through crowdfunding or real estate investment trusts. 

      Real estate investors can earn between $70,000 and $124,000 per year—and even more, depending on the number of deals you strike and the time you invest. Salaries also depend on the area of real estate in which you’re investing. 

      For instance, rental property investing typically earns a lower salary ranging between $27,500 and $121,000. Home flipping averages at $62,900 per flip. Short-term rentals earn you between $35,120 and $61,097. Wholesaling earns you between $21,500 and $98,500. Essentially, the more work you put into your career, the higher the salary you will reap.

      4. Home Cleaning And Staging

      Preparing a home to be shown for real estate agents’ clients involves cleaning the home so it is “move-in” ready, as well as making it look presentable for potential buyers to walk through. Home staging aims to transform a house into an appealing and inviting environment in which potential buyers can easily envision themselves living. Those in the home staging industry say home staging can raise seller’s profits by anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000.

      On average, a home stager can earn between $300 to $800 for a two-hour consultation at the potential client’s home. If the client wants to proceed with home staging services, the potential to earn an additional $1,000 is the minimum threshold. A home staging project can see a price as high as $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the size of the home, its location, and the expertise of the home stager.

      5. Property Management

      The need for a property manager often comes when the owner does not have the time or expertise to manage their real estate properties. A real estate property manager generally works full-time and is responsible for the daily operation of properties, including but not limited to residential, commercial, or industrial properties. Property managers meet with potential renters and show them properties, collecting monthly fees from tenants, paying bills, arranging for repairs and maintenance, complying with fair housing laws in the area, and more. 

      In recent years, the average property manager grossed $54,183 in the United States. Although that is the average, salaries have been as high as $79,000 depending on the manager’s education level, certifications, experience, and the property type they are responsible for managing.

      6. Real Estate Development

      Real estate developers are responsible for overseeing the new construction or renovation of residential or commercial properties. Job responsibilities may include securing financing, working with construction companies to ensure timely project completion, and marketing the new development to clients.

      If you’re interested in real estate development, start by taking on a role as a land development project manager. The average land development project manager salary is $99,100, with salaries expected to increase to $112,100 in the next five years.

      If you’re looking to establish your own real estate development company, your take-home income can be largely influenced by both the project and the broader market. Assuming you can sell a property at full occupancy, you can get a return on investment of between 16% and 20%.

      7. Real Estate Photography

      If you have an artistic eye, you might consider starting a business in real estate photography. A real estate photographer takes high-quality pictures of properties for marketing purposes, working closely with realtors, designers, architects, and other professionals. They are also often responsible for pre-photo and post-photo work—such as staging rooms, adjusting the lighting, and editing photographs—to create the best possible final product.

      To get started in real estate photography, you’ll need some background knowledge in photography (whether through a degree program, work experience, or self-study) as well as basic camera and editing equipment. You can make an average of $42,940 each year as a real estate photographer, with increased earning potential for high-end real estate clients or higher volumes of properties being photographed.

      8. Real Estate Coaching

      For experienced real estate professionals, real estate coaching can be a rewarding and lucrative career path. As a real estate coach, you can help new agents get the best possible start in the industry by providing feedback and professional insights. This career path also offers flexibility—you can take on as many or as few clients as you want.
      Real estate coaches typically charge between $400 and $500 per month for individual sessions. Depending on your experience level and how many clients you have, you can make anywhere from $69,337 to $103,606 annually, with an average take-home pay of $86,002.

      Why Real Estate Is A Lucrative And Worthwhile Industry For Entrepreneurs

      • High Earning Potential: It’s no secret that owning real estate can pay off over time—roughly 90% of millionaires are real estate investors. By purchasing property, you can continue to work on your current business, while letting the investment earn a profit for itself by appreciating value, developing it, or renting/leasing it out to tenants.
      • Flexibility And Independence: As an entrepreneur, if you’re looking for a place to house your next business, investing in real estate can offer a cheaper, long-term solution than renting with the added benefit of flexibility. Instead of paying money each month to an outside source, owning a property allows you to pay rent to yourself and make changes/renovations to tailor the property to your business’s needs.
      • Tangible Assets With Potential For Appreciation: When you invest in real estate, you own a physical property with the potential to grow in value over time. As inflation rises and areas develop, your property’s value is likely to rise too—when it comes time to sell, your investment will earn you a higher profit than the cost you paid.
      • Diversification And Risk Mitigation: By diversifying your portfolio with a real estate investment, you can mitigate risk by having additional assets and ensuring you maintain positive cash flow, even if one of your income streams dries up.
      • Opportunity For Personal And Professional Growth: Owning property can lead to opportunities for growth because it offers entrepreneurs a chance to earn passive income through syndication deals, which can help cover mortgage payments or be used to invest in something new. Additionally, should you need an influx of cash down the line for your business (or personal reasons), your investment is a tangible asset with accessible equity for the funding you need.

      Tips For Success In The Real Estate Business

      Build A Strong Network

      Networking is one of the most important aspects of a highly-competitive real estate business. As a real estate professional, connect with colleagues at your brokerage, participate in networking events, and join associations to build a positive reputation. Building relationships with other agents can lead to referrals, increasing your success. 

      Additionally, build friendships with other related professionals—such as inspectors, appraisers, and mortgage officers—for advice and recommendations. Having an interdependent relationship with other agents can also provide clients with an elevated level of service.

      Develop A Solid Business Plan

      A business plan should outline your business’ growth and success and include:

      • A mission statement
      • An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
      • Specific and reachable goals
      • Marketing and lead generation strategies
      • Income goals
      • A timeline for revisiting the plan. 

      Defining these elements will help you achieve success by providing a clear path forward.

      Continuously Educate Yourself

      Real estate agents can differentiate themselves from the vast information the internet provides to homebuyers by becoming an expert in the field. Providing valuable experience and staying current with industry news and trends will set you apart from your competitors. 

      Agents must also renew their licenses every one to two years by continuing education hours that cover the laws and required state regulations. Plenty of online real estate schools offer classes to help you fulfill these requirements.

      Stay Up To Date With Market Trends And Changes

      You’ll want to know the specific market you’re serving by researching and visiting properties in the area and analyzing real estate statistics (Ex: interest rates, price points, inventory, and days on market). Once you have an understanding of current market trends, decide on a real estate farm area to focus on and target the right audience of buyers and sellers with marketing materials.

      Provide Excellent Customer Service

      Successful real estate agents should prioritize building and maintaining customer relationships, regardless of busy schedules. Going the extra mile and putting in long hours should be the norm for agents striving for higher levels of success. Building lasting relationships with clients is crucial for success in the real estate industry, as it often leads to multiple deals with the same clients and their networks. 

      As a real estate agent, listen to each client’s individual needs instead of focusing on only the financial gains.

      Embrace Technology And Digital Marketing

      Technology plays a crucial role in successful marketing campaigns for new real estate agents. Establishing a strong social media presence and creating a website is essential to reach a larger audience and differentiate yourself from more experienced agents. 

      A website allows potential buyers to visualize the services you provide. Additionally, Facebook is a great way to advertise and showcase properties; LinkedIn is ideal for networking with real estate professionals; Instagram can reach a younger audience with visually appealing content; and Twitter can help you share updates and engage with followers.

      Obtain The Funding You Need

      Assess your financial situation to ensure you have the correct funding while building your business. Consider initial costs, such as education, licensing, and board fees. You are responsible for recording income and expenses, and those expenses will increase as your business grows. If you’re looking to apply for a commercial real estate loan, Lendio details everything you need to know during the process.

      Additionally, account for your expenses that might impact profits—marketing, MLS fees, lead generation, and client meals. You can use accounting software like QuickBooks Self-Employed to help you manage expenses, track mileage, calculate tax deductions, and generate reports to allocate money wisely.

      Bottom Line

      Despite the current threat of a housing crash, high-interest rates, and declining housing prices, now may still be a favorable moment to enter the real estate market. Real estate is a great, recession-proof career path, and, now more than ever, today’s buyers and sellers need help from skilled professionals to navigate the market. 

      Although specific salaries and pay per job will depend on expertise and experience in the field,  it’s clear that the real estate market presents a host of lucrative and satisfying business avenues for those ready to jump in.

      Interested in commercial real estate financing? Learn more in our guide.

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      About the author
      Sean Peek

      Sean Peek has written over 100 B2B-focused articles on various subjects including business technology, marketing and business finance. In addition to researching trends, reviewing products and writing articles that help small business owners, Sean runs a content marketing agency that creates high-quality editorial content for both B2B and B2C businesses.

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