Multiple State Portfolio

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Does anyone have any success stories from multi-state investing? I'm seeing some things in the news that are making me consider some different markets, but wanted to get some feedback first.

I manage properties in several states. Not a problem. Especially with the Internet and equipped with my trusty BlackBerry (actually, T-mobile MDA now) I'm better connected than most landlords down the street.

Most problems can be solved by phone, email, and UPS.

In terms of the investing part, I plan a 1-2 week road trip periodically, to spend time in 2-3 cities, meet with the chamber of commerce, talk with local business people and everyone around town, and meet with one or two good realtors. My intent is to find out what both people and companies think about the town -- is it growing? Why? Is there enough housing? Is it crappy or all new construction? What school districts are hideous? Is traffic terrible? How about unemployment and who are the big companies in town? Who's hiring and who's laying off?

Try and track down some of the major macro trends before deciding to dig deeper: are there plenty of jobs, a shortage of housing, improving economic prospects, and sufficient infrastructure (traffic not bad, plenty of amenities..)? If a city looks promising at this level, then I start digging deeper and forging a specific team (agent, maintenance folks, inspector...). A 1-week road trip can flush out 2 cities and help narrow your search.