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. https://www.uber.com/). 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!