This is a question I frequently get from new Realtors and even some veterans on occasion. While the goal in being a Realtor is typically to create a long-term career, getting started on the right track is often quite difficult especially in a rotten economy. There are several things you can do that will generate immediate income for you. None of these will necessarily give you money instantly, but all can get you paid within the next 30 to 60 days from right now.
1. Broker Price Opinions (a/k/a BPO's). There are plenty of BPO companies that you can sign up for online that will pay you between $40-$80 to do interior and exterior (drive-by) BPOs. Back during 2007-2008 when nothing much was selling and short sales were getting rejected left & right, I was able to get by partly by doing 15-20 BPOs every week. I've slowed down a lot on the BPOs since then, but the regular steady checks were great and I still do 2-3 per week even now. BPO companies typically pay you within 2-4 weeks after completing the work. A great resource for lots of BPO companies is on Garypedia.
2. Cash buyers. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but here in Central Florida about 40-50% of all deals selling are from cash buyers. If you can constantly attract cash buyers, you can sell them any property on the MLS or the auction websites. Typically these cash deals close within 30 days of signing the contract. Putting together a cash buyer list is all about marketing, but there are plenty of ways to advertise using internet marketing, social media, classified ads, roadside signs, floor time, free foreclosure lists, etc.
3. Market the listings of a top producer. Listings are the lifeblood of a successful long-term real estate business, but it takes a lot of marketing and referrals, and time to generate a large amount of these. However some top producers may be looking for a buyer agent to help sell their listings and work with their buyer calls. If you cannot convince a top producer to team up with you, then simply ask them if they will allow you to market their properties for them at no charge. You can market their listings by online ads like Postlets, Craigslist, roadside signs, etc. I've told all the agents in our office to feel free to market all of my personal listings - which I have always had at least 50 or more active listings for years now. Please sell my listings and I will pay you whatever we are offering buyer agents in the MLS.
4. Open houses. Any vacant listing is a potential open house. You can do a lot of aggressive marketing to attract people and neighbors into the open house. If you do not find a buyer for that particular house, you can always sell them any other property in the MLS that they like. Our office has nearly 100 vacant houses available at the time I am writing this article - many are short sales and foreclosures.
5. Home buyer seminars. These take some time to organize and the venue may cost you something, but these are a great way to attract motivated buyers. You could even hook up with a mortgage professional and get them to share in any costs as well as pre-approve the buyers right then and there.
Hopefully these ideas will get your brain churning. You really can fast track your career in real estate and start earning checks right away. Just remember buyers and BPOs. And like I said above, you can always market any and all of my listings.