Many real estate investors today are buying residential rental property without physically visiting it first. This might have seemed impossible 20 or even 10 years ago. What’s changed?
There are far more online listings that buyers can visit from across the country. There’s a tremendous amount of technology that delivers virtual tours, video conferencing, and electronic signing capabilities. There are plenty of local experts in the market you are interested in who are ready to help you.
Investing remotely without seeing the property first is becoming a more common practice.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t risky, however. Investing in a rental property sight unseen comes with its own unique set of challenges. Let’s talk about what you need to know before taking the leap and investing in a rental property sight unseen.
Do More Due Diligence than You Normally Would
Before investing in a rental property sight unseen, it’s a very good idea to thoroughly research the property itself. You can find plenty of information about it online by reviewing tax records and histories of purchases and ownership transfers. You also want to explore the area and the neighborhood. Who will the potential tenants be in the area?
Find out what you can about the property’s history, including any previous damage or repairs, and check the local crime rates. Additionally, research the neighborhood to ensure it’s the right fit for your target tenants. Don’t forget to also consider the resources in the area, as you will certainly need vendors and contractors who can help you prepare the property for the rental market. You’ll also need cleaners, landscapers, painters, and other experts.
You don’t have to visit the property yourself. You do, however, need to learn as much as you can about the property you’re planning to buy and the area it’s in.
Invest in and Utilize Innovative Technology
Technology will be an absolute necessity when you’re investing in property sight unseen. This is how you will see it; by taking video tours and looking at detailed photos and reading inspection reports online.
Fortunately, technology has made investing in a rental property this way much more accessible. Many websites and apps will provide you with virtual tours and 3D floor plans. Take advantage of these tools to get a sense of the property layout and condition. Additionally, consider using video conferencing when you have a real estate agent or a property manager walk through the property for you. You’ll also want to use video chats and online meetings for discussions with vendors and inspectors as well as other local service providers such as brokers and insurance agents.
Partner with Local Real Estate and Property Management Experts
You will have a much easier time investing sight unseen when you work with local experts.
A real estate agent will help you identify a property and negotiate a deal. They’ll help with the closing and they’ll share information with you about the property. What you’re really looking for, however, is a company or a professional who can help you buy the property and then take care of managing it and leasing it and maintaining it once it’s yours.
As a remote real estate investor, you’ll need local experts who have invested heavily in technology. This will allow you to stay connected to your management company and your rental property.
Your property management partner will have detailed and expert insight into the local rental market. You won’t have to guess at what the local rental values are. You will understand your competition and your investment property’s potential. You’ll know how long of a vacancy you’ll likely need to endure and what kinds of renovations and repairs will be necessary before the home is ready for the rental market.
With our experienced and proactive management team, you can expect more than assistance when it comes to finding and buying a new investment property. You can also expect:
- A quick leasing period. We rent out properties that are occupied quickly, avoiding long vacancies and financial loss.
- An immediate response to emergency maintenance issues and routine repairs.
- On-time rent collection.
- Lease enforcement and tenant accountability.
- Lower turnovers and higher tenant retention.
A local property management partner will understand the requirements of your portfolio and develop a good relationship with your tenants. You won’t have to worry about investing sight unseen – we’ll see it for you. You won’t have to worry about leasing out your property or managing it or maintaining it. We can do that for you, too.
You need a real estate agent and a broker to help with financing. You might need local insurance help and even an attorney. You’ll need a list of vendors and contractors. Your most important partner in this process, however, is your property manager. A local property manager can help you invest in a property without seeing it with ease.
Is It a Good Idea to Invest Without Seeing a Property?
Still a little uncertain? That’s understandable. Remote investing is easier and more profitable than ever, thanks to great technology and online platforms that allow you to view listings, negotiate deals, and transfer funds without being in the same room or even the same state as the seller.
However, it’s still a risk, and you’ll have to review your own investment goals to determine whether it’s a risk worth taking. A lot of your decision will, of course, depend on the market you’re thinking about buying in.
Seeing the property yourself is not always feasible. It shouldn’t hold you back from making a smart investment. You’re going to succeed when you have the right technology and the best local support in place.
Understand how a specific property in a specific market fits into your portfolio and your goals. Don’t buy something just because it’s priced well. If you’re going to invest in a property without seeing it, you have to know it’s the right property at the right time.
We can help you work through this process. When you’re ready to invest, or if you have any questions, please contact us at Action Properties.