I'm looking to connect with fellow investors who invest out of state as long term buy and hold in good cash flow markets. What areas have worked for you? How do you like the team you work with? How did you find your team? What are some lessons you have learned along the way?
I invest in my state but where I live and invest are 3 hours apart.
1. Join the local REIA's, the investor communities are pretty tight so you will get referrals and folks who will tell you who the real deal is and who isn't. The thing with REIA's is that they are everywhere so definitely check them out.
2. Real Estate Agent -I had to kiss a few frogs before finding the right "one". Once you find an agent that knows the area and understand what you are looking to achieve, this becomes a beautiful match. I made a lot of calls until I found the right agent that was willing to work (and return a phone call).
3. Local Home Depot/Loews -Surprisingly this is a great place to network. I found my contractor here (who is amazing) which was a referral from a lady who ran the kitchen/bath department at the local home depot.
A lesson I learned was you don't have to saddle yourself up to the first person you meet. If you are patient, you'll attract the right people to your team.
I'm in a similar situation to Rachelle in that I invest in state, but my properties are all over an hour from where I live. This has led me to treat them more like out of state investments.
I invest primarily in Eastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee and Racine) because the rent to price ratio is pretty good. I've also been looking at Rock County (southern Wisconsin - Janesville & Beloit) but have yet to jump into that market.
I found my team through networking here on BP. I searched and made posts about my local markets to find investors to connect with and get recommendations. I love my team in Milwaukee but am disappointed with my team in Racine.
Overall, PM will make or break your success. Focus on finding the right PM for you, and if you can't find one in the market you're looking, then maybe that market isn't right for you. I found a great PM in Milwaukee (two actually) while my Racine PM leaves a lot to be desired. I will be either selling that property this summer, or finding a new PM.
Hi @Christine Lawrence .
Very exciting that you are becoming an out-of-town investor. Here are some suggestions if you want to succeed at investing out of your area:
- Hire Smart: This is a given but can't be stated enough. If you are out-of-town then you are relying even more trust in your team than if you were in-state. As Rachelle suggested, take your time.
- Test Hires: This is moreso for vendors than PM's or realtors, but feel free to test out different vendors. I suggest you give them a small task to see how they execute. Don't wait until an emergency to figure out they can't execute. Things to consider with your vendors:
- Communication: How do they prefer to be reached and does it align with your style? Text, email, call, smoke signal, etc.
- Response: How quickly do they respond to your needs? What is the quality of response you get? As in, can they comprehend your requests or do they get confused or ignore.
- Quality: Obviously a major item but remember sometimes you get what you pay for. If you start them on a small task/project then you can quickly tell if they are a band-aid fixer or do-it-the-right-way fixer. Band-aids are short term and will only cause more issues in the future.
- Cost: Yes we all want affordable, not cheap. On smaller tasks you will pay more simply due to their minimum trip charge, which should be completely acceptable by a landlord. This small task will at least indicate if they are reasonable with their costs and how they typically bill.
- Other: Other is huge! It's the small intangibles. The vendor went out there, coordinated with the tenant on their own, and even corrected a few additional small items to keep the tenant happy. Oh, at no cost because they were there. That's a sign of a fantastic vendor! Don't bank on that often but do keep track of those small 'other' things they do to help make your life easier. It's worth the few extra pennies they might charge but you'll avoid headaches in the future.
- Testing PM's: Some landlords with enough properties like to test 2 PM's at the same time, then award the better in 1-2 years. There's nothing wrong with this but make sure you're comparing them both evenly. If one has a much tougher property to manage, give them some slack.
How to go about finding your team?
- Vendors: As Rachelle mentioned, call up the local Lowes/Home Depot and see if they have any recommendations for contractors in the area. You can find them through marketplaces like Thumbtack.
- Property Managers: There are a variety of PM's out there. Don't be fooled by their Google or Yelp reviews because majority of those ratings/reviews come from upset tenants. It's a rare industry that the vast majority of reviews aren't from their primary customer. You can utilize NARPM.org, Burbz, Thumbtack and AllPropertyManagement to find PM's. They all have their strengths to help the landlord.
- Realtors: A great place to start would be the same sites you search for PM's because a lot of PM firms also have a buy/sell service as well. Plus they are accustomed to working with investors moreso than only primary owners. You can also check out Realtor.com or Zillow for properties in the area you are searching.
- Recommendations: BiggerPockets is a great source for leads as well, one of the best values they offer here. Make sure if you do ask for recommendations that you provide enough details to get a good quality recommendation. "I'm looking for a PM in Cleveland, OH" doesn't do much. You'll get recommendations for PM's that are extremely selective in areas of town they manage. A good recommendation request should state the area, quality and property type. This is way better: "I'm looking for a PM in Cleveland, OH that will manage my triplex in 44120. Ideally less than 9% monthly fee". Same goes for realtors and vendors, the more info the better BP users can provide recommendations.
Congrats on starting your out-of-state investment portfolio! BiggerPockets is a great forum to help you solve issues or concerns.
@Christine Lawrence I Flip a lot In Cleveland Ohio and now that I have my construction company rolling, I’ve realized that when I start working with someone who’s really solid, I hold onto them for life. I’ve structured my construction company to do projects on my own, so I keep the best deals usually for myself, but I do have the capabilities of subbing out my guys to do larger scale construction products projects for other investors. So I would definitely say that when you work with someone really solid try to keep them busy. Same thing with a good realtor and obviously networkingwIn Cleveland Ohio and now that I have my construction company rolling, I’ve realized that when I start working with someone who’s really solid, I hold onto them for life. I’ve structured my construction company to do projects on my own, so I keep the best deals usually for myself, but I do have the capabilities of subbing out my guys to do larger scale construction products projects for other investors. So I would definitely say that when you work with someone Really solid try to keep them busy. You can usually get better prices out of them, or partner with them on things.
@Kenny Dahill , Thank you so much for the really great pointer. This is very helpful information.
@Veera Vala , absolutely! Hopefully it helps you find success.
Hey - would love to connect and help out!