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Thread: Suggestions for supplemental income....?

  1. #1
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    Suggestions for supplemental income....?

    I looked through some previous threads and its been a little while since anyone posted info here on being a real estate agent.

    I have been trying to think of what I can do to supplement my income as I work full-time but would like to make more and was thinking of looking into getting my real estate license - schooling is rather short but not sure if it is possible to do it via part-time.

    Thoughts? suggestions? constructive criticism..?


  2. #2
    Senior Member MoneyGal's Avatar
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    In my experience (as a tax preparer for real estate agents), it is very, very hard to do this on a part-time basis and have it make any money.

    Realistically, in my view, you need to sell (on average) four homes a month to make a decent living from real estate - one to cover the tax bill, one to pay your fixed license and other fees, and two to provide the profit you'll take as earnings.

    Keep in mind that your fixed costs are a very large proportion of your earnings if your earnings are low (as in "part time"). You should be aware of all of those fixed costs before you investigate this much further.

    Finally, there are a lot of people trying to make a living as part-time real estate agents. You will be competing with them, as well as with all the people who are established AND working full-time in the biz. And, given the choice, most people are going to want to work with someone who is experienced AND working in the field full-time -- kind of like how you don't want a plumber who's a lawyer on the side, or a teacher who also sells mutual funds a little bit, or a stay-at-home mom who dabbles in engineering design.

    I think there are lots of things you can or could do part-time which have a higher probability of success. I personally think people entering real estate at this point is further evidence of a coming bust in real estate - like a form of odd lot theory.

    Sorry if this sounds overly harsh -- you asked for opinions, and those are mine.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyGal View Post
    In my experience (as a tax preparer for real estate agents), it is very, very hard to do this on a part-time basis and have it make any money.

    Realistically, in my view, you need to sell (on average) four homes a month to make a decent living from real estate - one to cover the tax bill, one to pay your fixed license and other fees, and two to provide the profit you'll take as earnings.

    Keep in mind that your fixed costs are a very large proportion of your earnings if your earnings are low (as in "part time"). You should be aware of all of those fixed costs before you investigate this much further.

    Finally, there are a lot of people trying to make a living as part-time real estate agents. You will be competing with them, as well as with all the people who are established AND working full-time in the biz. And, given the choice, most people are going to want to work with someone who is experienced AND working in the field full-time -- kind of like how you don't want a plumber who's a lawyer on the side, or a teacher who also sells mutual funds a little bit, or a stay-at-home mom who dabbles in engineering design.

    I think there are lots of things you can or could do part-time which have a higher probability of success. I personally think people entering real estate at this point is further evidence of a coming bust in real estate - like a form of odd lot theory.

    Sorry if this sounds overly harsh -- you asked for opinions, and those are mine.
    I totally appreciate your honesty! My background is accounting and bookkeeping and while I work currently for a company doing their internal acctg and bookkeeping, I keep thinking there must be something I can do to make some more dough on the side.

    I thought about doing bkpg and tax on the side but here is my fear: if I lose my current job due to the economy or no fault of my own, I still want to be able to collect EI - hell I paid into the damn thing for so long might as well be entitled to it until I could locate a new job.

    So I always have that little voice of fear saying "what if...?"

  4. #4
    Senior Member MoneyGal's Avatar
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    You could collect EI if you lost your job. You are not required to keep your self-employment activities should you lose your employment.

    Editing to add that I personally think bookkeeping is a GREAT thing to do to pick up extra money. There are so many small businesses that need their books done and are overwhelmed / uninterested in doing it themselves. They don't need a full-service accounting firm - they just need someone to organize and enter their data. Plus this is seasonal work (mostly) - it doesn't need to take over your whole year.

    If you want to add in tax preparation, this is also a very seasonal, part-time form of work.

    Since you already have expertise (and presumably interest) in this area, that's where I'd go - the risk is lower and the potential for payoff is much higher, and faster.
    Last edited by MoneyGal; 2012-02-21 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Add detail

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyGal View Post
    You could collect EI if you lost your job. You are not required to keep your self-employment activities should you lose your employment.
    But if I was doing work on the side and lost my main job, EI would say: sorry U are a registered business, therefore not entitled to EI.

    Believe me, if EI can find any little piece of reason not to pay a person benefits they won't.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MoneyGal's Avatar
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    No, in my experience, they will not. You are not compelled to continue self-employment activities, even if you've engaged in them in the past. And you are under no obligation to "register" your business in any form unless you start hitting the HST/GST registration limits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyGal View Post
    No, in my experience, they will not. You are not compelled to continue self-employment activities, even if you've engaged in them in the past. And you are under no obligation to "register" your business in any form unless you start hitting the HST/GST registration limits.
    BUT, if I wanted to print up some business cards, the first time that I alter my name from say John Doe to John Doe Consulting - I would have to register the business and thats where the problem arises.

    I see what you are saying as far as the reporting HST re: over 30K.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MoneyGal's Avatar
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    Well, you don't need to print business cards. Or, you can print business cards with just your name on them. Or, if you want to make your life complicated, you can add a word to create a business name, as you've suggested.

    See this link from the EI site for more clarity on self-employment and EI:

    http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/e...oyed.shtml#Are

    p.s. Service Canada is not connected to the business registration process federally or provincially. There's no flag from business registration to an EI claim. Don't let yourself get distracted by this red herring.
    Last edited by MoneyGal; 2012-02-21 at 10:45 AM. Reason: add detail

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    Harper77, you can be a part time real estate agent/broker and it's possible.

    I know several people that work full time making a decent salary and work part time in real estate and do pretty well, however, their are many factors and tricks to be successful on a part time basis and I can share those with you in a private message if you like.

    Lastly, as for the comments by MoneyGal, I respect them because she crunches numbers for a living, however, in Montreal if you sell 4 properties a month, you are making $30,000.00 (gross) average and that translates into $360,000.00 a year! The last time I checked, GP's and Lawyers don't even make that much money in Canada.

    If you want more information, send me a private message.

  10. #10
    Senior Member the-royal-mail's Avatar
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    Yes, I think what the OP is afraid of is that question in the weekly reports to EI (when you are collecting benefits) that asks "Are you self employed?" if you answer YES to that question then you don't get any further benefits IIRC. He might be afraid that if he answers NO to the question, they might later come across or learn about his side business somehow and accuse him of lying on the reports, and require the money be paid back on the basis of "undeclared income" or some darn thing. Those UI people can be sticky sometimes! They pull the plug first (leaving you no money to EAT!) and ask questions later.


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