Just as with other investment opportunities, it can be challenging to break into the Portland real estate investment market when first starting out. However, you can carve a space for yourself if you choose the right investment strategies. Take a look at what habits successful private real estate investors rely on to see how they find those hidden gems on the market that pay dividends.
1. View properties like an investor, not a homeowner
Property investments have a minimum horizon of five years or so. Keeping that in mind, things that would be a deal breaker for the average tenant – peeling paint, a loud construction site next door – may work in your favor. Construction will be completed and hopefully leave the area with greater property value and repainting doesn’t generally cost an arm and a leg. If you can maximize this differential between your priorities and that of potential tenants, you can start ahead of the game.
Most investors buy to rent the property. There’s nothing wrong with this in principle, and many have been quite successful with it. On the other hand, it’s important to remember the difference between liquid, short-term money and illiquid capital. It’s no good owning a property that will earn you a bundle of cash in two years if you can’t cover the mortgage payments this week.
2. Keep ego out of real estate investment process
As an investor, you have the luxury of waiting for the right market; even a change of season can affect what prices are seen as reasonable. Occasionally, a property owner will be willing to sell cheap as long as it’s quick, so make friends with a few real estate agents.
Don’t let your ego get in the way, though: you want to make money, not impress your friends. A good rule of thumb is to buy the worst property in the best neighborhood you can afford, not vice versa. Unlike day trading the stock market, most people can intuitively understand what makes home prices go up or down. Take your time, do your homework, and remember that property ownership is for the long haul.
3. Make a name for yourself
Dig deep as opposed to wide, as they say – the best investors are the ones who have deep knowledge in a niche area. You may focus on commercial, foreclosures or fixer uppers, perhaps. You want to stand out from other investors, and expanding your knowledge within a specific niche is a great way to do that.
As with starting any new venture, the early goings will be tough. You need to be patient, especially so you don’t jump at the first available rental you see. And remember, beyond identifying value, this industry is all about relationships. Invest in expanding your communication and negotiation skills.
Working in real estate is all about making sales. Brand yourself and get recognition. Your success and your ability to get out and interact with the community will go hand-in-hand. Once home buyers and sellers are familiar with your personal branding, they’ll reach out to you the next time they are looking to sell or invest in a home.
4. Educate yourself and gain referrals
The market you decide to focus on is paramount. You want one that’s upcoming, on the rise, or at least with long-term value. Once you’ve found your spot, research it deeply: develop a proper plan for value appreciation and rental increases, etc. Stay up to date on trending topics and industry standards in your market. Forbes’ real estate is a great resource to check regularly, as is REIT Magazine. Don’t let your knowledge on your market or your niche get outdated.
As you begin to work in real estate, referrals are going to be one of the best ways to get your personal branding out there. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if they know anyone in need of your skills. Lastly, always leave a professional and respectful first impression with everyone you meet. You never know who may know someone they could refer you to.
Invest in private real estate with Portland Development Group
One facet of what we do Portland Development Group is seek out properties ripe for development. Once acquired, we work with seasoned investors to transform these properties into stunning homes. We are always seeking investors who wish to work with us to build beautiful, functional homes where there once were fixer-uppers. Contact Portland Development Group and start investing in Portland homes with us today.
This blog post was updated Aug. 9, 2017.