STORIES
February 18, 2020

Nurses Share How Selling Real Estate Is a Flexible & Lucrative Side-Hustle

Nurses Share How Selling Real Estate Is a Flexible & Lucrative Side-Hustle
Lee Nelson By: Lee Nelson

As a nurse, you see people at their most vulnerable times – scared, sick, and sad. But sometimes, a second job helps nurses satisfy a different need inside them. Some do it for extra cash, and some pursue their other passions.  

Here are two nurses who work full-time as nurses, spend their free time selling homes as a side hustle, and still make time for family. 

Single mother, Nurse, and Real Estate Broker

When she was raising three teenage boys on her own, it didn’t seem to matter how much overtime she signed up for. Stephanie Stewart just couldn’t make ends meet. 

“I put the pencil to the paper over and over again and couldn’t see how to work my way out of impending bankruptcy and foreclosure on our home,” she says.

Getting into selling real estate

Her father was a licensed real estate broker who owned his own company. He became a great resource and mentor. 

“He connected me with some of his clients who needed housekeeping services. So, outside of overtime hours, I took an online real estate salesperson course and set aside the money I made from cleaning houses to pay for my licensure,” she says.

Balancing working as a nurse with selling homes

Stewart now works two jobs --  one as operating room circulator at Panola Medical Center, Batesville, MS, and the other as broker/owner of Southern Properties and Services, LLC in Oxford, MS. She’s been a nurse for 19 years and has done everything from surgical to charge nurse to the director.  

“I eventually ended up going back to a smaller community atmosphere at Panola as a staff nurse in the operating room and started my real estate career.” 

It’s easy for her to balance both jobs because her hospital hours are 7-3 Monday through Friday.

“It works out perfectly, most of the time, as far as scheduling appointments with clients in the late afternoons, evenings and weekends. I can respond to priority emails, texts, and phone calls while I’m at the hospital during my break, but they can generally wait until after hours,” Stewart adds.

If she doesn’t have meetings or showings after she leaves the hospital, she comes home to take a 10-20-minute nap. She then works for the rest of the afternoon on her real estate business. 

How long will she work both jobs? 

How long she will continue doing two jobs is something she really doesn’t have an answer to. 

“I’ll continue to do it as long as I can. But it depends on the health of the housing market and how long the rural hospital where I work can afford to stay open with the Medicaid cuts and reimbursement rates. There has been a big boost in the number of Realtors in the university town where I do most of my sales, so the competition is strong.”

How being a salesperson has helped her become a better nurse

Being a Realtor and business owner helps her be a better nurse because she’s learned better how to listen to patients’ needs and their families’ concerns for their loved ones. 

“Communication truly is key. I can’t emphasize that enough for either career. I think being a nurse makes me a better Realtor because I don’t have to totally rely on selling properties to people to take care of my family. There’s no need for me to be a pushy salesperson because I have a steady income, health insurance, retirement plan and other benefits from my nursing career,” Stewart says.  

Making time for a personal life

For the first few years being a Realtor, she felt she didn’t have a life outside her two jobs.

“I worked every day from the time my feet hit the floor until I went to bed at night. After I got a few years of experience and gained confidence, I started relaxing. I have a two-year-old grandson that has just absolutely stolen me. I enjoy an occasional golf game, college football game, trip to the lake, camping weekend, and a good whiskey.” 

Real Estate Broker, Interior Decorator, and Nurse 

Amanda Brown spends Thursday-Saturday working 36 hours as an RN manager at the Outpatient Infusion Center at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, AZ. 

Brown then devotes Sunday and Monday to her family. When she has extra time, she works as a self-employed home decorator, home stager, and real estate agent at Realty One Group, Phoenix. She also is the mother of a 4-year-old daughter.

Real estate in her free time

“I do real estate and home design work any other time I am needed. Sometimes this means showing homes or answering emails after a 12-hour day, but only when absolutely necessary,” she says.

Brown is clear about her priorities and feels that by keeping her home businesses small and organic, she is able to still enjoy it while meeting the needs of her primary roles as wife, mother, and nurse. 

“Wearing different hats throughout the week meets the needs of my personality. I am a very self-disciplined, motivated, and enthusiastic person,” she adds.

She has worked for Banner Health 13 years, eight as an RN. She started as a health unit coordinator in the Intensive Care Unit then eventually started her nursing career after obtaining her bachelor's degree and Critical Care Registered Nurse certification. 

“After I became a mother, I transitioned to the Outpatient Infusion Center part-time, and after 1 ½ years, I was promoted to RN Manager. I fell in love with oncology nursing, as well as the team I lead and the patients we serve,” she says.

Why real estate? 

As for her second and third careers, Brown has always had a passion for homes and comes from a long line of home-enthusiasts. Her grandfather was one of Phoenix's first home flippers, her father is a real estate agent, and the women in her family are generally known for their beautiful homes. 

“Naturally, I married a certified home inspector and all-around expert handyman. I was raised listening to real estate jargon, learning about the intricacies of real estate deals, and surrounded by beautiful home design,” she says.

Nursing is still her main career

Her main career priority is nursing. Not only do the benefits and income help her family and herself, but being able to serve her community gives her a deep sense of pride and purpose.

“I enjoy connecting with people and doing what I can to make a difference in their lives. My work with homes is just fun. It allows me to flex my creativity and express my personality.” 

Making time for family

Brown and her husband have the same two days off, Sunday and Monday. They spend it traveling, camping, kayaking, mountain biking, doing home projects, watching football, and spending time with family and friends.

“It’s not always easy to make it all work, but we strongly believe in scheduling and prioritizing. We try hard to balance our professional responsibilities with what is important in life: each other and our loved ones. Work and business of any kind can come and go, what we will be left with is the memories we made together and the time spent living life to the fullest.”

How To Become A Real Estate Agent

Good news, getting into real estate sales is a lot easier than nursing school! Here are the 5 most common steps to take to become a real estate agent. 

1. Meet the licensing requirements in your state - like nursing, there is no national real estate license. That's why it's important to first do the research to make sure you are eligible to work in your state as a real estate agent. 

2. Take a real estate agent licensing course - this is required before you can sit for the real estate licensing exam. 

3. Pass the real estate licensing exam - once you pass the exam, you'll receive your real estate license in the mail!

 

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