After dropping off passengers at a Broadway play, Johan Nijman, a for-hire driver who runs his own service and also drives for Uber on the side, drives through the West Side of Manhattan on Wednesday evening, August 8, 2018 in New York City.

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The Unexpected Role Of Uber Drivers In The Real-Estate Industry

Susan Leigh Taylor
May 29, 2019 - 11:27 am

Some app drivers are using their time on the road for a potentially lucrative "side hustle" in real estate. 

Real-estate firms that specialize in flipping houses are partnering with Uber and Lyft drivers, "because they drive all around," said Sarah Kessler, author "Gigged: The End of the Job and Future of Work." 

The firms "are asking them to look for properties that need a lot of work," said Kessler. 

Drivers collect a fee if a deal is done. There's a a firm based in Atlanta that pays $1,500 for referrals that lead to purchases, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Houses with high grass, a dilapidated car or notices plastered across the entrance are indications that a property could be targeted by flippers. 

Some drivers, because they drive all around, some real estate firms who are flipping houses are asking them to look for properties that they need a lot of work. 

The world of property flipping, however, has become corporate. The image of couples on HGTV who spruce up a house and make a quick profit is becoming less common in reality. Now, companies, compared to individuals account for 40% of flipping. 

The recruitment of drivers from the ride-hailing apps is the latest sign that the housing-flipping business has become more institutionalized and tech-driven.