Those who’ve found real success in real estate will tell you that you have to hustle to make that money. We agree. Put in the work and stay consistent, and we believe that you will find success.
But let’s say that your hustle isn’t quite getting you where you want to be. Maybe the market is sluggish or sales are plateauing. Or perhaps your schedule’s recently opened up and you have extra hours in the day to chase your dreams. We have some tried-and-true ways to make more money as a real estate agent so you can build a thriving business no matter what.
1. Engage Your Sphere of Influence With Regular Communication
Your previous clients know you, and they know that you’re the expert who can get them what they want. Chances are these people will buy or sell again, so keeping in close contact with them is key to making more money as a real estate pro.
Stay top of mind by maintaining regular communication, even if that communication is automated. A great customer relationship management (CRM) tool will allow you to schedule regular email communication (and even texts), and remind you periodically when a phone call is in order.
If you’re looking for a robust CRM with all the bells and whistles, check out Elevate, which consistently ranks as one of our top picks for best CRM. Elevate provides an entire lead capturing and nurturing ecosystem, and we’re especially impressed with their social media content creation features. If you want to stay top of mind with your sphere of influence, Elevate will help you do it.
21 Best Real Estate Email Templates & Scripts
2. Become a Real Estate Investor
Given your expertise, you’ve got a golden opportunity to translate your knowledge into investment profit. The easiest way to get started in real estate investing is to join or form an investment club. Rather than putting up all the money yourself to invest in a property, find four or five other people who are interested in doing the same. Ideally, form a team that includes a real estate agent, an attorney, a contractor, and a banker.
In addition to making more money from your investments, this practice gives you real-world experience. You’ll be positioned to demonstrate to real estate investor clients that you know what you’re doing and can serve their needs better than the competition.
3. Get Guaranteed Quality Leads
Sometimes the leads just roll in because that automated communication through your CRM does its job. But when leads dry up, you need another solution in order to make more money as a real estate agent. You might want to consider a lead generation provider like Market Leader.
We rated Market Leader as our top choice for lead generation for several reasons, but perhaps the most important is that you are guaranteed a certain number of leads every month.
Market Leader almost acts like an ad agency and puts targeted ads on Facebook, Google, and other popular sites. These ads direct potential sellers to Market Leader’s landing page and potential buyers to your personally branded, IDX search-enabled site. Leads are collected and automatically added to your CRM, where you can take over nurturing and converting them to clients.
Market Leader Review +Video Walkthrough
4. Control Your Own Destiny by Hitting the Phones
Don’t wait for prospects to call you. Call them instead and own your productivity.
There’s proof that this strategy works. The Keller Center at Baylor University conducted research on the effectiveness of cold calling in real estate and found that agents who consistently prospected on the phone for an hour a day, seven days a week, would get a listing appointment or a referral for every 209 calls they made.
If you don’t want to cold call on weekends, figure on 90 minutes a day, five days a week to get an extra listing appointment or referral. Not a bad exchange.
Whether you’re working on prospecting expired listings, converting FSBOs, or building a real estate farming operation, we recommend a platform called REDX. The company links with an agent’s MLS to provide an up-to-date list of all the expireds and FSBO listings in your area, along with the property owners’ names and telephone numbers. They also offer a power dialer, which eliminates the potential for you to misdial and cuts down on the time it takes to make those 209 calls.
REDX Review: Why Smart Realtors Use REDX & Power Dialer
5. Become a Property Manager
In most states, in order to facilitate real estate transactions involving the securing and enforcing of a lease on a residential or commercial property, the property manager must either own the property themselves or hold a real estate license. Many real estate agents act as part-time property managers, often for their real estate investor clients, and typically earn about $32,000 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
This is especially true in markets where short-term vacation rentals are popular. Real estate agents may work with an investor to purchase a property, then act as the property manager for the Airbnb or VRBO property after the transaction is complete.
6. Focus on Rental Clients
For agents who operate in and around major metropolitan areas, working rentals is a great way to make more money as a real estate professional.
A typical rental commission is a month’s rent (or a little less), and you’ve still got to split that with your broker, but often the work required to secure a tenant for a rental can be done in a day or less, which makes it possible to rack up a number of rentals in a week.
This particular strategy can also bolster your business in other areas. If they have a good experience with you, renters might come to you when they’re ready to buy or refer your services to others. You might even get an opportunity to demonstrate your skills to developers wanting to fill newly built apartments or condos.
7. Build a Relationship With Developers
When property developers are considering a new project, the first two questions they always ask are, “How much is it going to cost?” and “How much can we sell it for?” The developer is only an expert in answering one of these questions. That second question is where you come in.
Research the major developers in town and get familiar with the sorts of projects they take on. Next, develop a strategy for reaching out and building a relationship, just like you would with any other type of cold outreach. Your local experience will be invaluable to developers tackling new projects, which means you can become a consultant throughout the planning and implementation process.
In addition to your consultation fees, you can advocate to be the listing agent for the new properties as well. Becoming a listing agent for one large development is an exciting opportunity to make more money as a real estate professional. It offers security, guaranteed inventory, and usually a support team that handles marketing and scheduling.
Ben Caballero, the most successful real estate agent in the world in terms of closed sales for the last decade, works exclusively with developers on new construction projects. If you still aren’t sure that this strategy is effective, consider this: in 2021, Caballero closed 4,671 homes, totaling $1.98 billion.
8. Identify an Underserved Niche in Your Market
Agents who’ve established themselves as specialists often find leads come to them, rather than having to go in search of prospects. Not sure where to start? Here are some questions that can help identify areas of opportunity in your market.
Does your community have a college or university?
Housing in a college town can be a very lucrative niche for agents who know how to work it. Students who aren’t living on campus will need rental agents to help them secure housing for the year. Though the fee for this service is considerably less than a commission for a residential sale, these transactions are much simpler and faster, so the income earned per hour invested is roughly the same.
Are short-term rentals popular in your town?
Vacation rentals are quickly dominating the real estate investing landscape. Helping investors find properties they can turn into Airbnb hotspots is a great way to secure yourself buyer clients for life. Learn what makes a great rental, stay up on local regulations for short-term rentals, and get an understanding of the sort of risks that exist and the factors that dictate them. The better your recommendations are, the more likely clients are to use you again and refer you to others.
6 Red-hot Real Estate Niches That Can Double Your GCI
Is there a housing shortage in your community?
When less housing exists than what is needed, smart real estate agents start focusing on vacant land. Housing shortages can throttle the growth and health of a community quickly, so oftentimes municipal governments authorize tax incentives and other programs to encourage builders to create more housing. Builders are going to need to buy land, so be ready to become the go-to agent for local land deals.
Are people moving to your town?
The role of relocation specialist is essentially one you already embody as a real estate agent, but branding yourself as an expert gives you even more credit. Utilize your circle of referrals (movers, mortgage brokers, bankers, lawyers, and storage companies) to create a seamless transition for people moving in from out of town. You know your area better than anyone, so use that to your advantage.
Relocation specialists make about $63,000 a year, according to Indeed.com, which you could add to whatever commissions you’re already earning!
Is there distress in your housing market?
Short sales help sellers avoid the disastrous impact a foreclosure can have on a credit score, while at the same time helping the bank avoid losing money on an investment. Learn the ins and outs of short sales and how they can be a lifeline for sellers to establish yourself as the expert support that distressed homeowners need.
Are seniors retiring in your town?
As people look to downsize in their later years, they require agents who understand their needs and goals. Get to know this demographic and learn how you can help them make a smooth transition. Schedule a lunch-and-learn at a local senior center, add cleaning out and staging to your offerings, and market strategically within the senior community.
Are there ways to serve military families?
Military families often have special circumstances related to their housing. Specializing in helping military families relocate can be both rewarding and a steady source of business. You can even earn a Military Relocation Professional certification through the National Association of Realtors.
Is there a luxury market?
Breaking into the luxury market isn’t as hard as you might think. We have some great tips from agents around the country who’ve done it themselves.
Image is important, however, and luxury agents need high-end branding. Luxury Presence is an all-in-one platform that manages your online presence with aesthetically beautiful websites that generate leads. We also like that they manage your content marketing and social media strategy. If you’re focusing on this particular real estate niche, Luxury Presence can help you tell the world.
9. Become the Expert Other Agents Turn To
No matter what the market is doing, agents are going to lean on each other for advice and motivation. If you can figure out what your unique contributions are to the industry, this can be another opportunity to make more money as a real estate professional.
Use your experience to figure out where you really excel. Maybe you’re exceptionally good at leveraging your sphere of influence, balancing work and home life, managing a team, understanding sales personalities, or recruiting new agents.
Many agents earn a living coaching their peers on how to succeed in the area where they are experts. Start by getting your name out there: Write for local publications, leverage your LinkedIn profile, and even contribute to TheClose.com! Start to build your relevance and reputation.
From there you can blog, create YouTube videos, and build a brand around coaching others. For some agents, this is even more lucrative than selling houses!
Bringing It All Together
Whether you’re looking to supplement your income, diversify your activities, or build new skills, we hope these suggestions inspire and encourage you. Do you have more ideas of how to make money as a real estate agent? Questions on any of these strategies? Leave us a comment below!