Real Estate Marketing

Upgrade Your Driving for Dollars Campaign With This Awesome Hack!

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driving-for-dollars-hack

Driving for dollars is probably the single greatest way for new investors to start finding awesome properties without breaking the bank.

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If you haven’t heard of the term “driving for dollars,” here is a quick 3-step checklist to get you started.

  1. Get in your car (or bicycle/roller blades/Vespa/golf cart/Segway/tuk-tuk/horse-drawn buggy)
  2. Drive around
  3. Find awesome properties

It’s that simple! Obviously, after you find these properties, you have to run the numbers, secure financing, put in an offer, have the offer accepted, close on the house, fix it up, rent it out, etc.

But that is a post for a different time.

Today we are talking about a little-known hack that can drastically amp up your driving for dollars campaign.

The Problem

You wake up in the morning and decide that you’re going to spend the afternoon driving for dollars. You grab a cup of coffee, take the top off your Jeep, and start blasting The BiggerPockets Podcast so loud that dogs start barking and old people shake their fists as you drive by.

Related: Driving for Dollars Bible: Finding Distressed Properties and Marketing

No? Just me? Whatever… don’t judge.

Unfortunately, at the end of three hours, you’re left with chicken scratch on a notepad with random addresses from neighborhoods that you can no longer remember the names of. You get back to your computer and spend an additional two hours finding the properties on GoogleMaps, just to realize that you can no longer remember which houses were fix and flippers and which ones were for buy and hold. To top it all off, one of your addresses says it’s located 300 miles away? That can’t be right. Did I spell it wrong? What if that was my golden egg!?

I know what a lot of you are saying… #MillennialProblems, right?

Ok. I’ll accept that criticism on behalf of my generation. I will never know the struggle of driving for dollars before the internet or the automobile, but that is my burden to bear. In the meantime, let’s just agree that saving time is awesome. So for the sake of promoting efficiency, I’ll continue.

Enter BatchGEO.

The Solution

BatchGEO is a highly functional and beautifully designed website that creates a map from the data that you provide. Imagine this scenario.

You hop in your car and spend three hours driving around in your car on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. You travel to five different neighborhoods that you’ve designated for investment and compile a list of 45 unique properties that all fit your criteria. You have your computer sitting on the passenger’s seat and have been diligently typing in the addresses as you go along (while stopped, of course).

Besides just the address, you designate whether the property is for fix and flip or buy and hold purposes. If there is an FSBO or wholesaler contact number, you include it on there as well. You finally get home, grab yourself a cup of coffee and upload your spreadsheet to BatchGEO. The website then provides you with a beautiful GoogleMap that shows exactly where all of the properties you found are. This allows you to cross-reference the location with neighborhood demographics easily, which saves you hours of mindless data input.

Seem too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s how you do it.

The Process

Begin by creating an Excel spreadsheet to track your information. Here is an example of one that works well with the functionality of BatchGEO.

Photo 1

Simply drop your file on the BatchGEO website just like it shows below. Then press “Map Now.”

Photo 2

View your image easily through the GoogleMaps product that it creates. Zoom in as far as you want. You can even use Street View!

Photo 3

Lastly, click on an individual property to see all of the data that you input initially. Use this function in order to record names, numbers, email addresses and websites for later use.

Photo 4

Related: 3 Ways to Automatically Generate Leads for Free Using the IFTTT System

Other Uses for BatchGEO

Driving for dollars isn’t the only time you might want a map of all your addresses. Here are a few other possible uses to get your creative juices flowing.

  • Auction Sales
    • Does your county have a website that publishes a list of properties in foreclosure? Instead of going through the properties one by one, format the list into an Excel document and use BatchGEO to view them all on one map. This will help to eliminate properties that are outside of your neighborhood quickly.
  • Wholesaler Website
    • Are you a wholesaler with a ton of properties for sale? Try turning that list into a beautiful map for your website (or email campaign). This will save your cash buyers time and keep them coming back to your website every day.
  • Professional Presentation
    • Are you trying to buy, sell, or finance a number of properties? Use the BatchGEO map to create a professional presentation that will wow your audience.

[Editor’s Note: We are republishing this article to help out our newer readers.]

Have you used BatchGEO in the past? Can you think of any other uses for a map like this?

Feel free to leave recommendations or advice below in the comments section.

Tyler is a pilot by day and aspiring entrepreneur by night. He started investing in April of 2014 and acquired three properties in the first 8 months. His goal is to become financially independent through real estate in order to free up time for travel and starting businesses.

    Matthew Nixon Real Estate Agent from LONG BEACH, California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great resource. Thanks Tyler!
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Anytime Matthew. Thanks for the comment.
    Daniel Ryu Specialist from Irvine, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    That was great Tyler! So easy to understand with those screen shots. I love Google maps. Haven’t used with Batch Geo yet.. but seems like an easier way to get the info uploaded. It’s really helpful to look back on the maps I’ve created 3, 6 months down the line and see how prices have changed, what’s sold, etc, etc. Great solid tip. And for others wondering if it’s worth the hassle, I definitely think it is. It’s so hard to ‘forget’ houses.
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for the comment Daniel, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I definitely agree…I lot can be gathered from going through historical data. Best of luck!
    Matt Slakey Investor from Salem, Oregon
    Replied over 4 years ago
    There needs to be an integration of BatchGEO and homesnap: Take a pic of the house, confirm the address, select category (fix & flip, buy & hold) and done. Gives you a spreadsheet with the info you got plus county tax/sale info, a pic of the place, and map of all the properties. Maybe even populate your property analysis spreadsheet/calculator. Somebody steal this and make it happen! And then let me use it for free.
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Haha. If only I knew how to program. Thanks for the comment Matt, glad you enjoyed it.
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Glad it can help! Thanks Andrew.
    Ray H. Developer from Dorchester, MA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Like the idea – we use the website for showcasing a list of comps versus our subject property when putting together our loan proposal for bank financing. Your suggestion for wholesaling is also excellent. We typically drive around with 2 people in the car, one keeping the car from crashing/hitting things and the other to record addresses. Once we get home, we have standard instructions that we send to our friend on upWork (formerly oDesk) and she puts the owner information together for $3-4/hr. Saves us about 20-30 hours and now we have a custom direct mail list.
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Ray! Thats an awesome idea. I’m going to check out upWork immediately. Thanks for the advice!
    Brian Hartfield
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Ray, Would love to hear more about your Upwork usage? I see it is a freelance site. So, you hired someone and tought them how to look up the owner information on county websites and what not? Then they do it for you now?
    Ray H. Developer from Dorchester, MA
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Hi Brian, we only use UpWork when we have a list ready to go, which is once or twice a year. We typed up instructions on how to look up property owner data from the assessor’s database. It’s a pretty easy process once we got it up and running.
    Ryan Thomas from Center Moriches, New York
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Quick hack for you. Get Evernote on your phone. When you find a property, create a new note using the property address. Tag the Note #Drivingfordollars. Now you can also take pictures within the note and input any other relevant data. So you now have a note with the address, info and pictures. Create a Google spreadsheet named Driving for Dollar and just make a column for the property address and date. Go to Zapier and it is very easy to make a Zap that will take any notes created in Evernote tagged w/ #Drivingfordollars, and automatically create a row in the Google spreadsheet with the note title (address) and date note was created. Now you have a note with a picture and any relevant info and the property address in the Google spreadsheet. Plus, Evernote, Google Sheets and Zapier are all free apps! I then pull the records on these properties from my MLS public records and upload to Zoho and add to the D4$ mailing campaign.
    Brian Hartfield
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Ryan, This is great! It will take me some time to really understand what you are doing here, but I am definitely interested! Thank you for sharing!
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Awesome stuff Ryan. I absolutely love Evernote and will look into Zapier as well. I’m all for efficiency!
    Daniel Ryu Specialist from Irvine, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Ryan, I love systems and automation! Thanks for the quick tip with both. Huge fan of all those apps though I haven’t used Zapier much yet. Great contribution
    Brandon Sturgill Real Estate Broker from Columbus, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Sweet!
    Ariel Cohen Investor from Valley Stream, New York
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great info. I am actually doing a marketing campaign to area with multiple types of properties from duplex’s to apartments. Never thought about using Google Maps to give a visual of how the properties are actually distributed. I just was able to import my list into a map directly through Google Maps. What is the benefit to using BatchGeo?
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Personally, I like the way BatchGEO formats the information. Plus it’s a lot more customizable since you get to develop the basic excel spreadsheet yourself. To each their own though. Thanks for the comment Ariel.
    Rashad S. Investor from Modesto, California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    You are awesome! Thanks for sharing, this will be so useful.
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Anytime Rashad! Thanks for the comment.
    Cody Koronko
    Replied over 4 years ago
    One of my appraisers uses this to denote comps. Works nicely.
    Tyler Flagg Investor from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Glad to hear it. Thanks for the comment Cody!
    Curtis Merrick Investor from Pullman, WA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I’ve never heard of this before, but this sounds awesome! Thanks for the info!
    Colin Smith Realtor from Colorado Springs, CO
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Definitely something I would recommend to the wholesalers I meet.
    James Hiddle from Altus, Oklahoma
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for the tip.
    Todd Campbell Investor from Austell, Georgia
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thank you for the tip Tyler! This will definitely come in handy.
    Josh Anderson Rental Property Investor from Tea, SD
    Replied about 4 years ago
    I wish I would have known about this 6 months ago. I’m a storage facility investor and I’ve personally been using a combination of driving for dollars and GoogleMaps to find facilities then mapping them out in Google MyPlace. I like to know where all the competion is located and a little something about the property. I’m going to have to give this a try when I start mapping out the next market area. Does anybody know if BatchGEO allows you to put in a little comment about each property?
    David White from Edgewood, Maryland
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Thanks for the recommendation.
    Ian Price from Michigan City, IN
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks Tyler! This will help me a ton with one of my first marketing campaigns.
    Adam Spencer from Ypsilanti, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great find Tyler that is a great way to keep track of your info from driving for dollars!
    Brian Hartfield
    Replied about 2 years ago
    The chicken scratch in your notebook… I’m all too familiar! haha Thanks so much for this. So many great extras in the comments too!!! I love this type of stuff!!
    Nate Pummel Flipper from Littleton, Colorado
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Hey guys, If you want a great hack check out http://www.godrivingfordollars.com. It’s super easy, you press start, flag the properties you want by pressing them on the map and the owner info is there instantly. And all the streets you drive are marked as well. Tons of other cool features on both the web and mobile apps.
    Erik Orozco from Mcallen, Texas
    Replied about 2 years ago
    I haven’t checked out the other apps but awesome tip Nate! Used the app today on my D4D sesh. Quick, easy, convenient! A couple critiques just to keep expenses down 1) for the monthly prices it would be nice if they didn’t cap the number of leads, but I do understand we pay for convenience. 2) So far most leads are up to date, but I have cross checked with my county info and some important info such as owner and absentee owner address is not up to date. Overall great app!
    Nate Pummel Flipper from Littleton, Colorado
    Replied about 2 years ago
    @Erik Orozco, thank you for checking it out! I appreciate the feedback!
    Ethan Fisher Real Estate Professional from Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
    Replied about 2 years ago
    There is another app out there called Deal Machine. It is for iOS, not sure about Android. You can take a photo of a property, verify the address, and it automatically sends them a direct mail piece in which you customize yourself. You can add in a current photo of their property for those out of state owners. If you’d like to download it, you can use my referral code: H2KDFJ for more free leads!
    David Lecko Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Hi, I am the author of DealMachine and glad you’re enjoying the app Ethan!