The Secret Playbook for Making Money in Real Estate

One of the largest sectors in both the U.S. and world economies, real estate offers countless ways to make money. You can invest in it, of course, whether directly or indirectly

A study over 145 years in more than a dozen countries found that real estate offered the highest returns of any asset class with half the risk of stocks.

Medium Brush Stroke

When most people think of real estate investing, they think of buying and owning property directly. If you like the idea of owning property yourself, consider the following ways to make money.

1. Real Estate Wholesaling

Real estate wholesaling works like this: You find a great deal on a property, often a fixer upper. You put it under contract.

Then you turn around and find another buyer willing to pay a little more than your contract price. You assign the contract to them, earning the difference between the two prices as a margin or fee.

2. Flip Houses

Everyone understands the basics of flipping houses. You buy a fixer-upper, renovate it to force equity and then sell the finished property to a homebuyer.

It also requires a slew of other skills, such as negotiating with contractors, managing contractors, understanding which home improvements add value.

3. Buy and Hold: Long-Term Rentals

It’s the classic landlord model: you buy a property and then sign a long-term lease agreement with tenants. You have to maintain the property, collect rent.

Investors typically go one of two routes when finding properties for the buy-and-hold strategy. Some buy turnkey rental properties, ready for tenants to move in, or with tenants already living there


Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free quiz matches you with fiduciary financial advisors in your area or who serve your area. If you are ready to be matched with financial advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, take the quiz now.