Is Real Estate a Worthy Side Hustle?

Click here, complete the course, and get paid triple what you earn in your 9-5! Oh, and you don't need to put any time in, earn in your sleep!

We've all heard these types of advertising or seen a video about them.

Enter the infamous side hustle!

You've seen the TikTok videos....dropship this, Etsy that. Or my favorite, become an affiliate of a company and get a commission for each time someone uses your link to purchase an item online.

Earning a commission for a sale, that sounds so familiar! 🤔

But before we dig in, I'm Aly Janmohamed a Calgary real estate agent. I help individuals buy or sell homes here in Calgary and the surrounding areas. I've been in the business "full-time" for over 6 years and help over 20 clients each year consistently with their home purchasing needs.

Now let's get into this potential side hustle.

The True Real Estate Industry

There are over 5,000 real estate agents associated with our Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB). I can almost guarantee a significant portion of that number is "part-time" agents.

Why? Because the average agent only does 3-7 transactions a year. Producing agents will do 2+ a month.

I use parentheses to describe agents because real estate is not really a full-time or part-time role, but more so your own business. You wouldn't describe a restaurant owner that also has a job as a part-time restaurant owner.

Real estate, like any of the businesses I mentioned above, is a business. If done correctly, the agent will be incorporated and be a contractor or employee to their own business. However, unlike the businesses above, real estate demands one thing these businesses above fail to advertise.

When I first started in real estate, I had no clue how to run my business. Coming from a corporate salary role, I knew that every two weeks I get an income. That income goes to where I need it to go and then rinse and repeat.

I learned very quickly that is not the case in real estate. Our income is not guaranteed, and in most cases during a sale is the last one to be paid. This is after inspectors, document reviewers, lawyers, etc (all, by the way, invest significantly less time in the transaction).

But not directly to the agent. That would be too easy.

It is paid to the brokerage, which then deducts fees, etc, and then pays out a gross income to the agent (the keyword is gross there). The brokerage you are with is important, but I will discuss this in a later article.

Finally, you are what? Well, guess what. You are still the President, CEO, CFO, Operations Director, Marketing Director, etc of your own business to get the next sale in.

So that gross income you just earned needs to be managed throughout your business to ensure you can make the next sale and potentially grow and earn more.

A lot more work than sharing a link...

Time - The Side Hustle's Kryptonite

Now you might be asking, "Aly, why are you going into this detail? This is supposed to be a side hustle!"

The keyword again is supposed to be.

Most agents come into the industry with training to not be sued during a sale. This is a big part of the training, and very important. However, you are taught nothing about the business side of the business.

And we don't have the TikTok gurus that tell you to buy a magical course and earn triple your monthly income 🙄. We have in-depth training courses, yearly courses to maintain licensing, etc.

Or you might join a team and get this training. But that also comes with accountability and you have to earn your keep on the team with your time and actions.

The reason I am bringing all this up is that how side hustles are being advertised, they involve little to no time commitment and allow you to earn insane amounts of money behind your computer.

By this definition, real estate is not a side hustle.

Time is the most important investment we have to put into our businesses to ensure they succeed. From developing marketing plans for ourselves and our listings, showing homes, working with different components of the sale (all those other services mentioned above), etc. The goal is to build the business to a point where we can save our time and allow the business to earn on its own. But a lot of sweat equity needs to be invested to get going.

Side hustles are advertised as income replacement businesses that don't require any time. Real estate demands all of your time. It demands your evenings, weekends, time away from family. You need to invest time into the business to develop it to succeed.

If you don't invest this time, you will be like the 80% of the business that does 3-7 sales a year, which is below the poverty line in terms of income. And for the cost of getting licensed, maintaining brokerage fees, board fees, and your time to find that next client, this side hustle might not be the one to dive into.

I hope this helps shed some light on the real estate industry. Those of us that work full time in our businesses know when we are working with our clients, our livelihoods are affected by our level of service and time to our clients. Getting into this without the investment of time, will not only be evident to others in the industry but also to your clients, who, let's be honest, can sell their home in their off time themselves. Why do they need you if you are putting in the same amount of time they are?

As always, thank you for your time. If you have questions about joining the industry or are curious about how I help my clients buy and sell their properties, feel free to email me at

Take care, talk soon.


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