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Online Shopping for Single Family Home Investments


Other than driving around neighborhoods and spotting "For Sale" signs in front of homes - and in employing one or several real estate agents - what are the best ways to do your own homework in finding investment properties? A proper primer may include both national and regional sources:

ONLINE

Craigslist.org. Craigslist is the regionally focused, design-free, and mostly cost-free online classified site that pretty much killed the newspaper classified ad business. You can search for a job, a baseball card collection, a set of kitchen knives, or an investment home.

Ebay.com. The “world’s largest marketplace” has plenty of properties for auction nationwide.

Homes.com. Homes.com, Inc. is the fourth-largest real estate portal by traffic market share. It began as the primary website for Homes and Land Publishing.

Realtor.com. Realtor.com is the official site of the National Association of Realtors, which at any time may list more than three million properties for sale and rent.

Redfin.com. Redfin’s site appeals to the do-it-your-self buyer. Unlike traditional brokerage firms with a commissioned sales force, Redfin’s agents are paid a salary. So listing fees are lower.

Trulia.com. Trulia is a nationally syndicated portal for regular homebuyers as well as investors. While the site search function is cool, beware: a new property for sale it may hit your local MLS in minutes, but may take up to one week to be listed on Trulia.

Zillow.com. See Trulia. And one more thing: a study commissioned by Redfin calculated that up to one-third of all listings on Trulia and Zillow were no longer for sale. Bad data is not good for good investors.

Real Estate Agencies

The national agencies - Century21, Coldwellbanker, ERA, Keller Williams, and ReMax – as well as many fine regional agencies can assist in your search for investment property.

OFFLINE

Birddogging. What is birddogging? From Investopedia, a bird-dogger is “Someone who spends their time trying to locate properties with substantial investment potential. Usually, the intent is to find properties that are distressed and selling at a discount that can be repaired or remodeled and sold for a sizable profit.” However, many bird-doggers simply scour the MLS, which you can presumably do yourself.

Inbound Marketing. Inbound marketing is when you bring sellers in to you with website content, such as blogging, eBooks, email marketing, among others.

Real Estate Clubs. Most major cities have local real estate investment clubs. Great clubs are a networkers dream, with reputable trade vendors. Watch out for the groups with self-proclaimed gurus or boot camps looking to charge big fees.

For more information on why you should consider investing in a professionally managed portfolio of single-family homes, please contact Harold Willig at 917-209-4452.

Harold Willig is the Manager of SpringView Investment Management, LLC, which he founded in 2012. Mr. Willig also served as HFZ Capital Group’s Chief Financial Officer, and was responsible for the oversight of HFZ's Finance and Accounting team. He has over 16 years of finance and accounting experience. Mr. Willig also ran a consulting practice and provided valuation, analysis, and transactional support services to multi-billion dollar real estate companies. Previously, Mr. Willig served as the Senior Controller and Vice President of Financial Analysis and then the Chief Financial Officer of the Athena Group, a multifamily development company and fund manager.

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