Making a Profit in Real Estate

Nov 1 | 8 minutes read
Making a Profit in Real Estate

Rental income and property value increases are just two methods to profit

Whether you're fascinated about real estate's investment possibilities or you're tired of infomercials offering little-known ways to "profit from your property," it's worth studying, for real, how real estate builds wealth.

Rather than investing in real estate investment tactics or a tutorial on homeownership for first-time purchasers, this article will concentrate on how to generate money from real estate. It will cover both fundamental methods that haven't changed in millennia, no matter what type of gloss the gurus of the day try to put on them, and special opportunities that have emerged recently.


Profits from Rising Property Values in Real Estate

The most typical approach for real estate to profit is via appreciating—that is, increasing in value. This is accomplished in many ways for various sorts of property, but it is only realized in one way: by selling. However, there are various strategies to maximize your return on investment on a property. If you borrowed money to purchase the property, one option is to refinance the loan at a reduced interest rate. This reduces your cost basis for the property, increasing the amount you receive from it.

The most obvious source of respect for undeveloped land is, of course, development. Land beyond city limits becomes increasingly valuable as cities grow because developers may buy it. Developers increase the value of dwellings or commercial structures.

Land appreciation can also result from the discovery of precious minerals or other commodities, providing the buyer owns the rights to them. Although striking oil is an extreme example, appreciation can also come from gravel deposits, forests, and other natural resources.

When it comes to residential properties, location is frequently the most important aspect in appreciation. As the community around a home evolves, adding transit routes, schools, shopping complexes, playgrounds, and other amenities, the value of the home rises. Of course, this pattern can also act in the opposite direction, with house values declining as an area deteriorates.

Home upgrades can also increase the value of a home. Adding an extra bathroom, heating a garage, and updating a kitchen with cutting-edge equipment are just a few examples of how a property owner can try to raise the value of a home.

Commercial real estate appreciates for the same reasons that raw land and residential property do: location, development, and improvements. The best commercial properties are always in high demand.


Inflation's Impact on Property Values

When contemplating appreciation, consider the economic impact of inflation. A 10% yearly inflation rate means that your dollar will only buy around 90% of the same things (including real estate) the following year. If a plot of property was worth $100,000 in 1970 and sat idle and unused for decades, it would be worth much more today. Because of rampant inflation throughout the 1970s and a consistent rate subsequently, purchasing that land in 2021 would very likely cost more than $700,000, assuming $100,000 was fair market value at the time.

Thus, while inflation might lead to real estate appreciation, it is a bit of a Pyrrhic victory. While you may receive five times your money when you sell owing to inflation, many other items cost five times as much to purchase, thus purchasing power in your current environment remains a factor.


Real Estate Income Profits

The second major way that real estate builds wealth is by delivering regular income payments. Real estate income, commonly referred to as rent, can take several forms.


Income from Land

Companies may pay you royalties for any discoveries or recurring payments for any structures they build, depending on your land rights. Pump jacks, pipelines, gravel pits, access roads, and cell towers are examples of these. Raw land can also be hired for production, typically agricultural activity, and land tracts with trees may be valuable for the timber that can be taken on a regular basis.


Income from Residential Property

Basic rent accounts for the vast bulk of residential property income. Your tenants pay a fixed sum per month, which rises with inflation and demand, and you deduct your expenses, claiming the remainder as rental revenue. A good location is vital to ensuring that you can easily get tenants.


Profit from Commercial Real property

Commercial properties can generate income from the aforementioned sources, with basic rent being the most prevalent, but they can also provide option income. Many business tenants will pay fees for contractual benefits such as first right of refusal on the office next door. Tenants pay a fee to keep these options, whether or not they use them. Options income is occasionally available for raw land and even residential property, but it is uncommon.


Profits in Residential Real Estate

Here is a closer look at some of the many ways you might earn money from residential properties.


Purchase and Hold

This is a more traditional method of generating money from real estate. There are several options for doing so: You can rent out a single-family home; buy a multifamily home and live in one of the units while renting the others—ideally to cover the mortgage and your own housing expenses; or buy a multifamily home and rent all of the units—either managing the property yourself or hiring a management company to handle renting units, collecting rent, addressing needed repairs, and so on.



Property flippers specialize in quickly making high-return repairs to houses and then selling them. Flipping can be profitable if you know how to discover properties to fix up, if you have the ability to undertake the repairs yourself or supervise a crew to do them, and if you understand the underlying expenses and potential value of a property.


Vacation Rentals and Airbnb

The popularity of home-away-from-home rentals has skyrocketed in recent years, as many travelers prefer it over staying in a hotel. Homeowners might earn money by renting out a house or even just a room on a short-term basis, especially if the property is in a popular tourist region. It is unknown when that market will reopen. However, if it reappears, keep in mind that short-term rentals are restricted and, in some cases, prohibited in specific cities. Before listing a property on a website like Airbnb, Vrbo, or HomeAway, check your city's ordinances. Consider how much more deep cleaning and sanitizing between guests will cost.


Alternative Real Estate Income Opportunities

Within the real estate sector, investment options include real estate investment trusts (REITs), mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), mortgage investment companies (MICs), and real estate investment groups (REIGs). They are generally regarded as vehicles for generating real estate income, but their methods of operation and admission differ.



A REIT is formed when the owner of many commercial properties sells shares (typically publicly listed) to investors (generally to fund the purchase of more properties) and distributes the rental revenue. The REIT is the landlord for the tenants (who pay rent), but the REIT's shareholders record profits after deducting the costs of maintaining the buildings and the REIT. An REIT is evaluated using a unique process.

REIGs, MBSs, and MICs

These are a step further removed because they invest in private mortgages rather than the underlying properties. Unlike MBSs, MICs hold whole mortgages and pass on interest from payments to investors, rather than securitizing sections of principle and/or interest. Nonetheless, both are debt investments rather than real estate assets. REIGs are often private investments with their own distinct structure that provide investors with equity investments or partnership servicing.


Other Real Estate Investment Options

An informal residential real estate option requires you to pay a fee, or premium, in order to have the right to buy a house for a certain length of time at an agreed-upon price. Then you discover investors willing to pay more than your option price for the property. In this situation, the premium is effectively a finder's fee for pairing someone looking for an investment with someone looking to sell—not unlike a real estate agent's commission. Although this is revenue, it is not derived from owning (i.e., holding the deed to) real estate.


Other alternatives include:

Short sales entail purchasing a home from a lender when the mortgagee has fallen behind on payments. Short sales can be a time-consuming and difficult process.

Lease options are just what their name says. In a bull real estate market, where prices are rising, you may be able to finalize the purchase later at a lower, predetermined price, or earn a profit by selling your buying rights.

Contract flipping—Rather of flipping residences, this sort of flipping entails transferring the rights to a purchase contract to another buyer. You may be able to earn a profit if you can find distressed sellers and eager buyers and bring them together.

Is it possible to become wealthy through real estate?

It might, but it's not a sure thing. The real estate market goes through boom and bust cycles, and real estate investors can profit or lose money.


How can a novice make money in real estate?

The most typical approach to generate money in real estate is through appreciation—an increase in the value of the property that is recognised when it is sold. This is the most straightforward approach to generate money in real estate, but it is still dangerous.


How can I profit from real estate?

There are several options. Rents from both residential and commercial properties can be used to generate income. Companies may also pay you royalties on raw land for discoveries of minerals or oil. You can also invest indirectly through real estate investment trusts (REITs), mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), mortgage investment companies (MICs), and real estate investment groups (REIGs).


In conclusion

There are various tried-and-true methods for making money in real estate. Appreciation, inflation, and income are all high on the list, but there are also other options for real estate investments. It is up to you to understand your investments, dangers, and if the total procedure is worthwhile.

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