Financial Challenges: Expert Money-Saving Tips for Real Estate Professionals

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Insights and Strategies to Secure Your Financial Future in Real Estate Amid Economic Uncertainty

In the midst of unsettling economic news, your financial concerns might be causing a sense of unease. The existing market slowdown, referred to as a “housing recession” by National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, could be particularly daunting for real estate professionals, whose income fluctuates with the ever-changing real estate cycle.

As recent as November, a survey conducted by Alignable, an online network for small business owners, revealed that 37% of agents were grappling with paying office rent. This financial pressure is not unique to real estate, as a late November poll by PYMNTS and LendingClub indicated that approximately six out of ten consumers, even among those earning over $100,000 annually, are living paycheck to paycheck. Adding to the context, the median gross income for REALTORS® in 2021 was $54,330, with earnings generally increasing as experience accumulates according to NAR data.

In light of potential business challenges, financial experts have compiled ten invaluable money-saving recommendations:

1. Strengthen Your Reserves

  • Establish a reserve account to cover unforeseen expenses, a critical lifeline during financial hardships.
  • For the self-employed, a rule of thumb is to have savings equal to six months’ expenses in a secure account.

2. Reassess Spending Habits

  • Scrutinize expenses to identify areas where you can trim excess.
  • Trimming non-essential expenditures like daily lattes, memberships, and extra television services can yield substantial savings.
  • Shopping around for services like auto insurance can save a considerable amount annually.

3. Review Investment Allocations

  • Evaluate the value of your various accounts such as checking, savings, investments, and retirement.
  • Keep funds needed in the next three years in stable, cash-like investments, while considering a more conservative approach in economic downturns.

4. Optimize Tax Strategy

  • Collaborate with a qualified tax adviser to maximize available tax-reducing strategies.
  • Tailor your income distribution between W-2 pay and dividends based on your business structure.

5. Develop a Comprehensive Budget

  • Create both personal and business budgets to estimate earnings and expenses.
  • Utilize tools like, banking resources, or the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness for budgeting assistance.

6. Establish Specialized Savings Accounts

  • Open separate savings accounts for emergencies, taxes, retirement, and business expenses.
  • Allocate a portion of each paycheck for taxes and savings to ensure disciplined financial management.

7. Continue to Invest

  • Adopt a dollar-cost averaging strategy to maintain consistent investment during market fluctuations.
  • Leverage apps like Acorns to round up everyday purchases and invest spare change.

8. Explore Side Income

  • If funds are tight, consider supplementing income with a side hustle that aligns with your skills.
  • Research platforms like and for additional opportunities.

9. Prioritize Retirement Savings

  • Allocate a minimum of 10% of gross income towards retirement savings.
  • Capitalize on catch-up contribution limits during peak earning years to boost retirement savings.

10. Seek Expert Guidance

  • Consult financial advisers and tax planners to devise personalized strategies for achieving savings goals.
  • Leverage resources like for ongoing webinars and comprehensive financial planning.

Amidst economic uncertainty, these expert strategies will empower you as a real estate professional to navigate financial challenges with foresight and confidence.

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