female realtor helping her clients

Are you a high-performing real estate agent looking to generate passive income and gain financial peace of mind? If so, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this blog post, we open our Agent Optional Playbook, a series designed to provide practical steps for Realtors and agents like you to invest in real estate and build and protect their wealth.

(If you prefer audio, we have a whole podcast series. Here’s the first episode.)

Table of Contents

The Agent Optional Playbook

If you are an agent, you probably spend long hours, evenings, and weekends away from your family running appointments or showings. You feel burned out. Anxious. Maybe you’re sick of forking over so much of your income in taxes. COVID and interest rate hikes deflated your business. You ride the commission rollercoaster.

You don’t have the freedom to enjoy the lifestyle you want.

You need to find something that’s going to set you free so that you can become Agent Optional.

Agent Optional simply means that you can continue being an agent if that’s what you love, but do it on your own terms.

Your business and clients don’t control you. You have an additional income stream that helps you take care of things like kid’s summer camps and vacations. Your income is no longer entirely subject to things that are outside of your control, like the market, the Fed, or interest rates. You have enough passive income from investments that you could quit tomorrow and be totally fine. That’s when you totally become Agent Optional.


Investing in Real Estate for Real Estate Agents

What is this additional income stream? In our world, it’s not by finding and managing a bunch of rentals (if you don’t want to). 

In fact, it requires no property management from you at all. You can passively invest in commercial properties! We will go over this process in more detail in future blogs, but at a high level, these investments are called syndications.

What’s A Syndication? 

A syndication is a legal structure that allows passive investors to invest alongside an experienced active investor to acquire commercial properties.

The active investor sources, evaluates, and makes the opportunity available to their investors. These investors get to choose if they want in on the deal. Each investor contributes towards the deal, and by pooling their funds together, they buy the property. 

The active investor takes care of all the property management, and passive investors earn a return on their investment in the deal. They earn passive income from the income the property generates and share in the sale or refinance proceeds (as well as some of the tax benefits)! 

There’s more nuance to the process than this, but at a basic level, that’s how you can earn money through investing in commercial properties.

How to Start Investing in Real Estate as an Agent

Now, where do you start? Our Agent Optional Playbook is a useful framework to help you get started in the world of passively investing in commercial properties.

The Agent Optional Playbook has 8 steps. Here they are:

  • Evaluate Your Current Financial Situation:

Begin by assessing your current financial status. Identify what your average monthly expenses are to help set a benchmark for your passive income goal. Your Agent Optional number is the amount of passive income you need to cover your average monthly expenses each month.

Avoid the common mistake of lacking clear investment goals. Establish a specific financial target that you want to achieve through passive real estate investments. It must be a number.

Once you have this goal, you can reverse engineer your investments. Start with a small hurdle (like 10–20%) of your passive income target to help guide what kinds of returns you need from your first deal.

  • Learn, Learn, Learn! Education Is Key

Expand your knowledge of real estate investments by understanding different property types (houses, apartments, industrial, mobile homes, etc.), syndication models, and investment strategies. A well-informed investor makes better decisions.

  • Know Your Risk Tolerance

Identify your risk tolerance to determine the types of properties and operators that align with your investment preferences. Some investments may be riskier than others, and it’s essential to match your risk tolerance with your investment choices. (Here is a podcast about establishing your risk tolerance.)

  • Know Your Status

Commercial real estate investments are regulated by the SEC, so they’ve created rules around who can and can’t invest – “investor status.” Understand your investor status as accredited, sophisticated, or neither. Accredited investors have access to a wider range of investment opportunities, while sophisticated investors can participate in select offerings.

  • Find One Syndicator You Trust

Building trust with a syndicator or investment team is crucial. (This is what our team does!) Start by focusing on one syndicator and developing a strong relationship based on trust and transparency.

  • Talk to a Real Person

Initiate a conversation with a real person from the investment team. This call allows you to discuss your financial background, goals, and experience, building a genuine relationship with the team. 

You can get your answers from our team, so if you want to talk, just go here and we can connect!

  • Be Ready to Take Action

Prepare yourself to take action when investment opportunities arise. Time is of the essence in real estate investing, and being prepared ensures you don’t miss out on potentially lucrative deals. The worst thing that could happen is that you identify an opportunity that helps you meet your financial goals and you miss out!



As a high-performing real estate agent, you’ve dedicated your career to helping others achieve their real estate dreams. Now, it’s time to apply the same dedication to your financial future. 

The Agent Optional Playbook provides a roadmap for agents like you to transition into passive real estate investing and gain control over your time, financial freedom, and peace of mind.

Remember, you have options, and with the right knowledge and strategy, you can become Agent Optional, allowing you to continue doing what you love on your terms while securing your financial future through passive income from real estate investments.

It’s time to take the first step towards your financial freedom.

Want to Learn More?

If you have questions and want to chat, grab a spot on my calendar!

About the Author - Ava Bouwkamp

Learn about Passive Investing in less than 10 Minutes a Day

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Learn how investing in commercial properties can help you add an additional income stream, take control of your time, and make you more tax-efficient.

Investing for agents by a former #1 agent!