5 Ways of Earning Alternative Income With Real Estate

By: Melanie Speed

When people think of real estate income, they usually think of the two most popular ways of gaining this: buying/selling and renting. These are very successful methods of gaining income through real estate, but there are other ways that you can get some cash using real estate as your focus:

1. Invest in home improvement loans

Basically, the premise is that you invest in loans that other people want and are willing to pay a high rate of return on. Sites like Prosper.com, Zopa.com and Lendingclub.com facilitate these loans for relatively small fees.

Pros: High rate of return on your investment. Ability to invest smaller amounts of money over a wide range of loans.

Cons: Some people might default on the loan. Many lending sites don't guarantee the money you loan to people and, if they do collect it, charge high fees for the agencies they use.

2. Blog about real estate

You can sell ads, review real estate-related products, or use your blog to promote e-books or other online sources of revenue.

Pros: It's just you and your computer - no boss, no co-workers, no cubicles. And you get to write.

Cons: You have to write. Not only that, you have to be passionate and original about your blog content. There is also no guarantee that you will get a steady income from blogging - like writing novels, only a few make it to the top.

3. Write E-books and sell them on the internet

If you have useful information, E-books are all the rage. With a little research, you can package your knowledge up into a .pdf or other user-friendly format and sell it online.

Pros: Relatively easy to produce and package. Sales are automatic and can generate a lot of income if there's a demand for what you're selling.

Cons: You need to learn about producing and selling E-books and set up your website to reflect this. You need to figure out how to price your E-book so it doesn't lose you money, but also isn't too high. You might never make any significant money off of your E-book.

4. Start a real estate-related website and sell ads

Like the E-book, quality content is what will bring people to your site and keep them coming back. If you're passionate about real estate and have a lot of good, constantly updated information, you could possibly make money with a good website. It doesn't have to be about real estate; people looking for homes are also looking for sites about the area they're considering. If you have special knowledge of the sights, amenities and trends of your city/town, you might have a money making scheme on your hands.

Pros: Cheap to start, relatively easy to learn how to make simple web pages.

Cons: Takes a long time to get pages co-ordinated. Periodically you'll need to check links, write new content, etc.

5. REITs

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are companies that are held in shares and available for public purchase. A REIT releases dividends to its shareholders through the profits of owning income-producing properties. Check with your financial adviser or stockbroker for more information.

Pros: Allows you to invest in stocks that have a steady, proven rate of return.

Cons: Can dip like other stocks and end up losing you money if you've paid a lot per share.

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