Real Estate Scouting
So you want to invest in real estate, but you don’t have the time or the money to purchase and renovate a property. Real estate investing is much more than just “flipping” houses or renting out duplexes. You don’t have to give up your dream of being an investor just because your time or cash flow is limited; you just have to get a little more creative. Whether you just want to whet your feet or are looking for a way to earn money for your first down payment, real estate scouting may be the answer.
Real estate scouts look for investment properties and pass the leads on to other investors. This is a great opportunity for both investors and scouts. Investors find good deals on properties without using their own time. Scouts make some quick cash without the risk of using their own money. This is an ideal way to learn about the real estate market with minimal risk; it’s much less expensive than buying the wrong property and losing money on it.
To get started as a scout, you will have to start talking to investors in your area. Find out what kinds of properties they look for (you don’t want to send home leads to a commercial investor). Keep your eye out for properties as you drive around town. Look through the newspaper classifieds and search Craigslist each day for discounted properties. Tell your friends and family that you are looking for investment properties. When you find something that will work for an investor, get the information they will need: property owner, contact information, asking price, location, etc.
Before you pass along leads, however, get an agreement in writing that spells out how much and how you will be paid for your work. Some investors may want to pay you at closing; while others might pay as soon as they sign a contract for the property. Most people you work with are ethical professionals, but you never know when someone might forget or even intentionally choose to pay you. Have something in writing to protect yourself.
Don’t let your resources keep you away from a lucrative opportunity in real estate investing. Learn about the market by looking for investment properties. Build your cash supplies with little risk by saving your finder’s fees. Meet your fellow investors and make a name for yourself by working with them to find the best deals. Pick up Dean Graziosi’s Book and be a real estate scout.