What if you had access to any market in the U.S.?
What if you had access to the most profitable markets? Or the most under-leveraged markets?
What if, instead of settling for the real estate market that you call home, you could invest anywhere you wanted?
Further, what if you could live anywhere you wanted without your business deciding where you have to settle down?
What if you could manage your business from anywhere in the world?
Sounds pretty great, right?
You can do the exact same thing.
But before I show you how, let’s talk about why remote or “virtual” real estate investing might not be your cup of tea.
Why you might hate managing a Virtual Real Estate Business…
The truth about virtual real estate investing (or running any kind of remote business, for that matter) is that you’ll need to let up on the reigns. You’ll need to delegate, to outsource, to trust others with little to no over-the-shoulder access.
That’s not to say that you should blindly trust anyone to help with your business – use phone interviews and ask for references before building your team.
But it is to say that you can’t be a control freak.
If you want to manage every deal from A-Z, if you want to watch your salesperson interact with sellers as they visit the seller’s home, if you want to have consistent in-person meetings with your team, then you’re probably going to hate remote real estate investing.
If, though, you care less about micro-managing your business and more about making a living, enjoying the time and location freedom that a remote business offers, and/or living wherever you want when you want, then you’re going to love building a remote real estate business.
I don’t care either way, though.
Virtual or local are both a wonderful, tried-and-proven way to build a real estate business. You simply have to determine what you value most in life, how much control you want over day-to-day operations, and what kind of business you want to build.
Virtual Real Estate Business Pros
- You can live anywhere you want
- You can work anywhere you want
- You’ll be forced to streamline and/or automate processes and delegate tasks (might a pro or con)
- Lots of growth potential since you’ll be used to working on your business from a high level rather than in the details
Virtual Real Estate Business Cons
- You can’t work over your team’s shoulders
- You can’t have in-person meetings
- You can’t interview the people you hire in person
- Time-zone differences could create some challenges
- You’ll have to learn each areas regulations before operating
Step #1: Leverage the most profitable markets in the U.S.
The first step to creating your remote real estate business is to choose the first U.S. market that you want to operate in. To help you choose, we have a list of the 10 most profitable real estate markets around America right now.
You can choose from that list or do some of your own research.
However you do it, make a list of some of your top choices. Then narrow that list down to one to start with (you can get into the others once you have a stable business built in the first one).
Here are some of the things you’ll want to consider in each market…
- Time-on-market for inventory
- Amount of inventory
- The density of competition (some competition is a good thing – it means that the area is profitable)
- Population (more people usually means more opportunity)
- Median home price
- Market trends over the last 5 years
- Job growth and vacancy
Step #2: Familiarize yourself with local regulations
Next, research the regulations of the place that you’ve chosen to operate. More than likely, those regulations will actually help you make a choice about which market you want to start with.
But one thing is for sure: you don’t want to go into a new market without fully understanding how the market works and what it requires of real estate investors who’re trying to turn a profit. Every state will be a little different.
Hop on a call with a real estate agent or investor in the area if you have to to find out more. Here are some things you’ll want to consider.
- Property taxes
- Documentation process and requirements
- Employment laws (for delegating to a team)
- Any other miscellaneous regulations that the market might have
Step #3: Network with local experts
Once you’ve chosen a market and have at least a beginner’s understanding of that market’s regulations and laws, the next best use of your time is to network with as many local real estate experts as possible.
Get a feel for the area, ask questions about profitability and competition. And most of all, build relationships with the like-minded people in the market you’re entering into. Those relationships will pay off big time when you need help understanding certain regulations, need help with comps, or just need a brain to pick.
Consider Facebook and cold calling for discovering these experts and building relationships with them.
Step #4: Get some boots on the ground
Next, you’ll need to hire some boots on the ground – someone within the market who works for you (maybe even just as a contractor). They can help you with taking pictures of properties, talking with sellers in person to improve credibility, local marketing methods (like bandit signs or door knocking) and lots of other things.
This person is absolutely vital to getting your business off the ground.
Since most of their tasks will be quite menial, even hiring a college student who’s looking for some side-income might do the trick (so long as they’re friendly and give your business a good reputation).
Use social media and cold calling colleges to find a pool of people, interview them, and choose the right person.
Step #5: Delegate as needed and enjoy true freedom
You might need to hire more than one person to help you. How many people you hire will depend on how big you want to grow your business, how many deals you want to do per year, and how involved you want to be in the process.
Here are some tasks that you might want to consider delegating so you can spend less time on your business and more time enjoying true freedom:
- Property management – if you’re managing rentals, then consider using a property management company to deal with more menial to-dos.
- Running comps and doing market research
- Creating a signing contracts
- Overseeing deals from A-Z (consider hiring an Acquisitions Manager)
- Marketing (local and online)
The more you delegate, automate, and streamline processes, the more that you’ll reap the benefits of a business that runs itself.
With a remote real estate business, you’ll have more time to spend with your family – more time to spend working on the things that matter most to you (other than your business).
It won’t solve everything of course. But it will make your life far more enjoyable. Heck, it could even make your business more profitable since you aren’t limited to markets that you live in and you’ll be forced to streamline processes.
Ready to either build a remote real estate business or transition your local business into a virtual one?
Use the above 5 steps to get started. And hit us with questions in the comments as you have em’. :-)