(Part 9 of a Series)
For the beginner, getting to know your market might seem like a monumental challenge. It is not. Take it one step at a time. Get some 3X5 cards, a clipboard and your laptop and get set up in a quiet place to work. Begin to think about what you are learning in terms of your target neighborhoods. Start getting the word out that you are looking for single-family houses that can be bought inexpensively and/or on terms. Terms will allow you to acquire much more real estate than cash. One tends to run through a lot of cash very quickly if you pay cash for real estate. Terms and leverage are what work. You’ll learn more about this in this in future Series.
Remember, a major key is getting the word out (so order your business cards if you haven’t already!), followed by research and more research and more talking. You will begin to get a feel for where the opportunities lie. People, slowly, will begin to call you with leads. Owners will inquire if you are interested in their properties.
Remember to always follow up on every lead. Many times, even though a lead doesn’t work out, it can lead to other leads. Keep the dead leads on a spreadsheet or your 3X5 cards with phone numbers, addresses and dates – call them back in a month or two. Their situation has likely changed and maybe in your favor. You must be persistent in the pursuit of your goals.
You can easily look up an owner’s name in the public records and if someone has a lot of properties, you can be sure you are dealing with someone who is probably pretty sharp. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to know when you may be out of your depth. Local REIAs such as www.MetrolinaREIA.com, offer you a good source of deals and create opportunities to network with people who are familiar with the local market and the players in that market.
JC Underwood is the director at the Metrolina Real Estate Investors Association, which provides education, mentoring, and networking for real estate investing in the Charlotte region. He can be contacted at jcu@MetrolinaREIA.org. For more information, visit www.MetrolinaREIA.org.