Becoming a property investor is a fantastic way to build wealth, due in part to its reliability and sheer flexibility. Depending on your location, your goals, and your area of expertise, you could work on residential properties or commercial properties. You could set up rentals with tenants paying rent in excess of your monthly expenses, or you could focus on properties with long-term growth potential.
But whatever your approach is, your success will be dependent on your ability to find better investment properties—better deals you can use to turn a better profit.
Thankfully, there are many strategies that can help you do this.
How to Find Better Investment Properties
If you’re struggling to find good deals on investment properties in your area, consider using some or all of these strategies:
1. Get your real estate license.
One of the best things you can do is get your real estate license in your home state. Getting your real estate license can be time-consuming, but the process is straightforward and can be done mostly (if not entirely) online. The exact requirements vary by state, but typically, you’ll spend several hours in classes, after which you’ll take an exam to showcase your knowledge.
If you pass, you can get your real estate license; when you have it, you’ll be able to broker real estate deals on your own, you’ll have access to more potential deals, and you’ll have a better knowledge of what constitutes a “good” deal. It’s a massive advantage for your real estate investment prospects.
2. Rely on multiple channels.
Too many real estate agents end up focusing heavily on one channel, or a small selection of channels. They check the same platforms and the same listings every day, hoping for something new to show up. But if you want to maximize your potential prospects, it’s important to rely on multiple channels simultaneously.
Experiment with different listings and different approaches; you never know what you might find.
3. Market yourself.
Instead of waiting for the right properties to show up in local listings, consider investing in marketing and advertising for yourself. If you’re looking to buy homes in a specific area, set up a billboard or invest in a direct mailer letting residents know that you’re interested in buying. If you find even one homeowner in the area that wants to sell to you, rather than listing their property, it could be a massive gain.
4. Ask about off-market properties.
You can also look for off-market properties, which haven’t been listed. These properties aren’t technically for sale—but with the right motivating factors, you may find that the owner is willing to part with them.
There are several individual approaches you could take here, searching for properties within a neighborhood that meet certain criteria, or talking with individual homeowners. In any case, you’ll be able to avoid much of your typical competition, and hopefully, find a property for a steal.
5. Network more aggressively.
One of the best overall ways to find new investment properties is to network with other people. Networking expands the circle of people in your contact network, and increases the number of people who will alert you when they encounter properties that meet your chosen criteria. If you have a big enough social presence, you may be able to generate a steady stream of new investment opportunities for yourself.
Start by networking with other real estate agents and property investors in your area; these are the people most likely to be on the lookout for property options. Even if they’re competing with you in some areas, they’ll be willing to cooperate with you in others.
6. Consider new locations.
If you’re having trouble finding investment properties in your specifically chosen area, like a nearby neighborhood, you may want to consider expanding your range. It may be that your first choice is too crowded with competition, that prices are too high overall, or that owners are too unwilling to sell. If this is the case, you may have to move on.
7. Look for foreclosures and auctions.
Finally, you can look for deals by evaluating foreclosures and attending auctions. Obviously, you’ll need to be careful here; foreclosed properties are oftentimes in poor condition, and may make it difficult to get a return on your investment. However, these are also great opportunities to find inexpensive gems.
Improving Your Skills
Your ability to find and evaluate investment properties will likely improve over time, as you exercise these skills in a live environment. Spend more time searching for and analyzing potential properties in your area, even if you don’t ultimately add them to your portfolio. It will make your process faster and more efficient the next time you make the attempt.
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