It Was Just Supposed To Be Some Holiday Cash: Uber Money

Real Estate Agent 6501392216

Give me a break, of course I'm poor. I'm new to this!

Getting a Real Estate business started isn't easy, or so I've been told by friends, family, and colleagues right from the start.  I'd say my experience thus far would prove that to be true.  I spend, on average, about 10 hours/day, 7 days/week working toward Schueller Realty and getting it off the ground.

With all that said, the business is still in its infancy and the money isn't exactly rolling in yet.  So when my wife and I were discussing Christmas presents, the Holidays, and our finances in general, it was pretty clear we needed a little extra boost.  She's a High School teacher and between classes, homework, planning, and 3 hours of daily commuting, she works roughly 1 million hours/week (There's some margin for error in that number). Clearly it needed to be me who'd step up and get the additional income.


Uber enters my world

In spite of it being obvious that I should take responsibility for the new income, it just felt wrong to take time and effort away from my fledgling Real Estate business in favor of low-paying part-time job.  The short-term neccessity was clear, but the long-term was all I could think about.  It was also a struggle to find a position that was worth my time and still allowed me the flexibility my Real Estate business would require.

This is where Uber enters the story (don't know what Uber is? It's a new kind of cab company. Check it out.  I did some investigative work and it seemed like a good fit for what I needed.  I could work when I wanted to, could stop working at a moments notice, and it was supposed to be some decent cash relative to the time commitment.  Plus, with Uber I'd be an independent contractor, which would save me the hassle of needing to quit in a month or two when I didn't need/want this job anymore.


It's Been 2 Weeks of Driving and I've learned...

This is not an Ad for Uber.  However, after 2 weeks of driving for Uber, I love it.  Let me explain.

First, it met my criteria; it's easy, it's decent money, and it's flexible.  It's also been really, genuinely, fun.  It's given me a chance to drive around my city in a way I never have in the past.  It's allowed me to get a more detailed, intimate look at the neighborhoods, the Real Estate, and the people in/around Grand Rapids.  In short, there's a lot to like.

What I LOVE, though, is that it's turned out to be a great lead generation tool.  As it turns out, a lot of Uber clients in my area are renters, potential first time home buyers, or have recently relocated, or are about to relocate, and will be looking to purchase and/or sell a home.

I don't "pitch" everyone who gets in my car for a ride (neither me, nor Uber would be happy with that).  However, most riders make polite conversation and ask about my "real job".   Mentioning that I'm a Real Estate Agent opens the door to the topic of how they need help with Real Estate.  Boom.  "I'm here to help!"

In fact, in my first few days I wasn't prepared and simply didn't have enough business cards in the car.  In the second week I changed my strategy a little.  In addition to a business card, I keep my tablet in the car running the same "Sign In Sheet" software I use for Open Houses.  I let them know that I'd love to collect their info, but as I'm busy driving it isn't really practical.  I hand them my tablet and ask them to "sign in" so that I can get their contact info and get back in touch with them.  It's works perfectly.  My riders are excited about the service, I get a lead, and I make a few bucks to help out for the holidays.  Win!!

Maybe Uber will be a part of my strategy for longer than the holidays!

Comments (68)

Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Way to go on thinking outside of the box.  Great Post!

Dec 22, 2015 10:17 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

I wish we had UBER around our area. I have slow days too. 


Dec 22, 2015 10:41 PM
JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

I've heard a lot of good things about Uber. I am glad it has worked out so well for you.

Dec 22, 2015 11:48 PM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Clever way to build on you sphere of influence ( SOI we call it in RE) 

Welcome to real estate, the Rain and blogging !!

Dec 23, 2015 12:13 AM
Matt Brady
Finance Of America - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Lenders

Well done! Real Estate and lending are about finding solutions and you have shown your cut out for it.

Dec 23, 2015 12:48 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Ross Schueller It looks like you're driving your business in the right direction.

Dec 23, 2015 01:03 AM
Ross Schueller

Ha!!  Best comment yet!!!  Thanks Michael Setunsky 

Dec 23, 2015 04:12 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Sounds like you found a great benefit to Uber...besides the part time income. Good luck!

Dec 23, 2015 03:13 AM
Malendaz Coleman

Hi Ross, You may have found a niche... It's all about meeting new people and planting seeds. 

Dec 25, 2015 01:41 AM
Sajy Mathew
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
Making your real estate dreams become a reality!

Well done and I wish you luck getting your Real Estate sphere built.  Once this sphere is healthy and you keep feeding it you will thrive.  All the best!

Dec 25, 2015 01:20 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I thought, when I read your title, that you were going to say "it was supposed to be some holiday cash"... but then it turned into a decent business.. and now I'm doing it full-time.

I'd be curious to see how many of those Uber passengers you've handed your card to, will ever become buyers or sellers with you.

I tend to agree with Ken Jones , that it makes you appear as an unsuccessful Realtor (clearly you're not making enough money as a Realtor to make a living)... and he's correct.  People want to do business (any type of business) with a succesful practioner. It's just human nature.

This is a consulting business.  People hire a Realtor for their insights and advice... and when you're telling people that you're brand new and driving an Uber to make money until you're successful... I'm sure they admire your spunk, but you've also just told them that "you're new to this", and why would they hire a "newbie" who may not have the knowledge-base (yet) to help guide them through the minefield that is a real estate transaction.

And while I agree that you can't start day one as a successful agent, I don't think it does your RE career any good to telegraph that you're not making a living (yet) as a Realtor.

Dec 25, 2015 11:01 PM
Jason Potrzeba
Webster Bank - Providence, RI
Mortgage Banking Officer

Way to go. Fight for you dreams any way you can!

Dec 26, 2015 01:18 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Ross!

I included this post in today's "Last Week's Favorites".  Oh, and Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2015 08:18 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Patricia Kennedy !

Dec 27, 2015 09:52 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I'm with Ken Jones  and Alan May on this one. When I started my Real Estate career I owned a Welcome Wagon business, nothing coulod be better for lead generation. Other agents thought I lost my mind when I said I was dropping Welcome Wagon, they would kill for the leads. I was determined to be a REALTOR and a successful Realtor at that. I made the million dollar club my 1st year in Real Estate just fine without Welcome Wagon by getting out there and making the calls. I also LOVED working the front desk shift anytime I could get it.

Dec 27, 2015 09:10 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Sounds like an interesting approach to earning some income and promoting yuourself all at one time... a Guys gotta do what a guys gotta do in this world! Gor for it with Gusto!  Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2015 03:16 PM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Debra!!

Dec 27, 2015 09:52 PM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Thanks for sharing!  There is business all around us, we can choose to find it or roll on by it!

Dec 27, 2015 10:43 PM
Ross Schueller

So true!  Sometimes we need to look around and see what we're missing.  In this case I stumbled on it accidentally!

Dec 28, 2015 12:25 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yours is a very interesting post - and so are the comments from other agents! Lots and lots of food for thought here. 

Dec 28, 2015 06:22 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I've stopped back by to read the comments, I know this has become quite the discussion. While I suppose you might seem too "green" to your potential clients from this business....I also think some might see you as someone who does what needs to be done. I think it's great. 

Dec 29, 2015 12:13 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Karen!  I'm new and I'm learning...but I'm using my experiences to make me a better agent.  I think that's probably a process that should never stop.  I should always be learning.

Jan 12, 2016 09:03 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Ross - I have to say that working as a Uber drive has obviously helped you get in front of more prospects, and that can only benefit your real estate business.

Dec 31, 2015 02:01 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Troy!  It does seem to have some benefits!

Dec 31, 2015 03:18 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Buckhead - Midtown - Westside ... Love our City - Love our Clients! - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Ross Schueller 
The part I like best is that you got to explore different neighborhoods in DEPTH by driving and looking at specific addresses a different times of the day. So smart - you got paid for learning about your market!

Even if you never mentioned what your "real" job was - you wuld have been paid to do research you needed to do anyway!

Inexperienced isn't the same as being  "unsuccessful".  You have demonstrated strengths. You can think outside the box. You are not afraid to do anything positive to reach your goals. That mentality is very impressive.

After all, eventually you want your wife to drop her work hours down to only one half a million a week - right?

All the best -

Jan 07, 2016 06:43 AM
Ross Schueller

Lynn, thanks so much for the comment.  I agree completely about the's an aspect of Uber that I'd never anticipated but is proving to be valuable!

Jan 12, 2016 09:01 PM
Anthony Saunchez
Campa Properties - San Bernardino, CA
How can we be of service

Pretending to be a success is not the same as success. People respect and want to work with a hard working practitioner, not a pretender. Keep on doing what you need to do to achieve what you must. 

Apr 08, 2016 07:58 AM

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