There are three phases to a real estate rental investment.
- Find the deal
- Acquire the deal
- Manage the deal
Most real estate investors find it is easier to handle the three phases in a local market.
Finding deals requires implementing lead generation strategies. Lead generation strategies are either remote (i.e., direct mail, online advertising, cold-calling) or in-person (i.e., bandit signs, driving for dollars, door knocking). If you are investing in your local market, you can take advantage of both lead generation categories.
Once you find a deal, you can drive to the home or building yourself to perform due diligence to determine and offer price.
After you have acquired the deal, you can either self-manage or oversee a third-party property management company.
When investing out-of-state, your options for finding, acquiring, and managing deals are limited…or are they?
Theo recently interviewed Andrea Value on my podcast, Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever. She lives in the highly competitive Denver, CO market, so she buys rentals out-of-state. In that interview, Andrea debunks the myth that you cannot invest out-of-state and provides interesting ways to generate leads and perform due diligence remotely.
The first phase is to find a deal. Andrea finds her out-of-state deals in three ways. First, she works with a real estate agent who sends her on-market deals off the MLS. She says that ignoring the MLS results in ignoring low hanging fruit.
Secondly, she creates a list of motivated sellers. Andrea’s targets home that have been owned for more than 20 years and where the owner is 55 years old or older. She finds that these owners are often motivated to sell. They are approaching retirement and are thinking about the next phase in their life, which may require the selling of their home.
Andrea uses ListSource to create this list.
Then, she sends a sequence of three mailers for each address. Rather than using a generic “we buy houses” letter, she creates a message that speaks more directly to the 55+ years old demographic. The letters include questions like “are you looking for your next adventure?” or “do you want to eliminate the stress of owning a home?”
These first two strategies (direct mail and MLS) are remote lead generation strategies. The third strategy Andrea implements is traditionally performed in-person – bandit signs. However, rather than flying to the market and placing the bandit signs herself, Andrea hires someone local to the area.
The process is simple. She creates a job posting in the “gigs” section on Craigslist with the purpose of hiring someone to place bandit signs in the local market. Andrea sends them the bandit signs, which have a GPS tracker. The GPS tracker allows her to confirm that the sign was places in the correct location. Once the bandit sign is place, she requests that they send her a picture. Lastly, Andrea will send them their payment via PayPal.
Andrea uses a similar strategy for the second phase of the real estate investing process – the acquisition. If someone is interested in selling her their property, she performs basic due diligence to determine an offer price.
Back to Craigslist. She will create another job posting. But this time, she is hiring someone to take pictures of the prospective property, as well as to do a Zoom Tour. With the combination of the pictures and video from the Zoom tour, she has all the information she needs in order to submit an offer.
Overall, it is a myth that it is harder to or that you cannot invest out-of-state. All it takes is a little creativity and the use of technologies.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.