This week I want to tell you about a really clever way to make money from writing. Well, it’s hardly writing. Just jotting down a few notes really! Anybody could do it.

Yet you could make £20-£30 an hour for it … or £300 a week… maybe more if you’re a dab hand with a tape measure!

I can’t claim all the credit for this one. Claire emailed me about it. It’s a really brilliant way she’s found of making money from writing. Clare tells me that she doesn’t mind me sharing the basic details with you – thank you Claire.

So let’s get started…

You know how, when you enquire about a house for sale or to rent, the estate or letting agent usually gives you some printed particulars listing all the rooms, describing them and giving their sizes. Often it’s a fairly skimpy one or two page document but it’s essential for every house for sale or to let on the market.

Well this is what Claire is doing: Providing a service compiling written house particulars for estate agents in her area.

I have to admit it’s something I’ve never thought about doing. But, come to think about it, it’s a really clever little part time or sideline writing business idea. It could be duplicated in most areas and wouldn’t need a lot of cash to start nor really much writing skill.

Here’s how to make money from writing … First you’d need to find some customers.

Now, if you talk to estate agents (and I have) you’ll find they’re not too keen on compiling written house particulars. It’s a bit of an unwanted chore to them. They’d much rather be signing up new properties and selling property (and of course driving round in their expensive BMWs!)

So I bet you would find plenty of interest if you offered a service like this locally. After all, as you might know most agents pay a sign contractor to take care of their ‘For Sale’ signs for them. So there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be interested in other ideas for farming out tasks like this.

Make up a mailing list. Contact the estate and letting agents in your area. Tell them you’re starting out and ask if they’d be interested.

How do you actually write property particulars?

To be honest, I can’t see it being very difficult. Once an agent has signed up a new house to sell arrange to go round and write the particulars. Make an appointment with the householder for when it’s convenient. You could do it in the evenings and weekends, which might suit them perfectly.

Get some particulars from your agent to see how they usually do it and just copy the same style. Most particulars are just a list of each room, sizes, and a brief description.

That’s where the tap measure comes in! Measure each room carefully and note down its size. (For about £30 you can get ultrasonic/laser room measuring devices that can measure a room in seconds without the need for a tape measure.)

Now, when it comes to writing the room descriptions you don’t need Shakespearean writing skills, nor to write long, flowery descriptions of each room.

In fact it’s very important that you don’t. Estate agents can get into hot water for descriptions that are wrong or exaggerated. Don’t say a flat is ‘deceptively spacious’ if it’s the size of a rabbit hutch… the words ‘compact and bijou’ were invented by estate agents for reason! Just note down what type of room it is, how many windows there are, what view it has, whether there is a fireplace and so on. Nothing too complicated.

Also, house particulars today are using more and more photos. So you could offer a photograph of each room as an extra cost service. All you need is a cheap digital camera or phone. It will cost next to nothing to do.

Once you’ve got all your information write it all up. If you have a laptop you could even do it as you go round the house. What I’d do is create a standard template on your computer. Then just cut and paste it for each house or flat you do.

When your property particulars are finished just email it over to your customer. They can then print copies off and send them out to prospective buyers. They can also post the information to their website. Simple.

How much might you make from such a service?

Because this is a new service (I’ve never heard of it before) it’s tricky to say how much you might charge or make. I think £20 to £30 per property is very reasonable indeed. In fact, for larger properties or where you have to travel further I think you could probably charge a lot more. I reckon most estate agents would be happy to pay this to save them the hassle of doing it all themselves.

How much you might make would depend on how many agents you signed up and how many property particulars you wrote. One agent just giving you a couple of property particulars to write a week would still make a nice little part time money earner. By working for several agents you could easily get a couple of assignments a day.

And remember, the property business isn’t doing too well right now so demand is likely to be fairly subdued. If and when things pick up, and I’m sure they will, this could be a much bigger writing business opportunity.

I hope you find these ideas for ways of making money from writing interesting and that they’ll help you get started cashing in on your writing skills.

Also, if you’ve discovered a new or unusual way of making money from writing please do email in and let me know. I’d like to share it with our other readers if I may.