Finding Income in the Downtime

By Jessica Hickok

Jessica Hickok

Jessica Hickok

Although selling real estate can be a very lucrative career, there can be some downtime when listings are hard to move, ultimately casting a negative cloud over that whole lucrative career thing.

That’s where residential property management can swoop in and save the day.  Property managers typically charge a monthly management fee, which is usually a percentage of the collected monthly rents.  It is also common to charge a leasing fee to the owner/investor.  This leasing fee is a percentage of the first month’s rent in addition to the monthly management fee.  This covers the agent’s expenses for the time it took to show the property and prepare it for lease.  Not to mention, it gives you a nice profit.  Of course, these fees are all agreed upon, up front, in the Property Management Agreement.

Don’t want to do property management for the long haul?  Hate backed-up toilets?

No problem! Take on clients with overpriced listings.  You know, the sellers that need to sell, but can’t?  My company often gets phone calls from sellers who want us to rent out their property until it sells.  Many times we don’t accept them because these types of properties are generally not long term.

So if you’re a little phobic of the rental property management scene, but still need a monthly paycheck, consider taking on some of the short term-rental properties mentioned.  And keep in mind that a plumber is only a phone call away for the those backed-up toilets.  This is a good opportunity for you to test the waters of managing rental property without a long-term commitment.

I’m excited to be co-presenting this idea with Paul Dizmang, aptly titled “8 Effortless Tips to Tackling Rental Property Management” on Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 at the NAR Annual Conference and Expo.  The conference is held in San Diego this year and you won’t want to miss it.  Register online for this fantastic event by going to, I hope to see you there!

What are your suggestions that we, as REALTORS®, can do to find that extra income while still practicing what we love?

Jessica Hickok, a self-proclaimed blogging and twittering fanatic, is with Dizmang Properties in Springfield, Mo.

  1. Great idea Jessica. I manage about 10 properties in Kansas City – most of them I own. There are some upsides to managing properties around the city. I make a point to visit them about every month or so and make sure to drive around the area while in the neighborhood. Also, many times the tenants call me first when they decide to look for a home to purchase.

    The late night phone calls are not always appreciated, but you have to take the good with the bad…

  2. Yvonne C Burdette

    Jessica, you are a wealth of information. Always enjoy reading your blogs!!!!

  3. Great blog Jessica. Good points.