Staying in tune with your local market

6 Replies

Hello BP Community,

As I have been researching developing markets lately, I have taken the time to immerse myself within my community that I live in to learn more about my immediate market. I currently reside in Gloucester City and If you are not familiar with this part of New Jersey, it is directly over the bridge from Philadelphia. I have found that it is extremely beneficial to get involved with your city’s community if you want to gain a little extra insight on your own market, and the “5-year plan”. I am lucky enough that my wife is involved as well, I get to hear all the details and the ongoing city plans, discussions, and new businesses and investors coming into town.

For example, there has been a plan in place for years now to incorporate a high-speed rail line that extends from Glassboro (South Jersey) to Gloucester City/Camden area and this would give a more direct line to connect with Philadelphia. As I said, the plan has been in place for many years but being connected with community and attending meetings has led me to believe that there is a high possibility that this will come to fruition sooner than later. With this, there is potential value in the areas that would have train stops. There are a few other plans in the works to connect Gloucester City directly to Philadelphia as well.

Rutgers Camden is another area that is being continuously built on and it seems that a lot more students that attend class on the campus are looking for affordable housing for rent. I have seen the slow migration into Gloucester City in search of these affordable rentals.

We all know that you can never count on all the hearsay to be followed through with and should not put your monies into investments based on speculation. However, paying attention to your surrounding communities and the proposals that are being thrown back and forth can always lead to some ideas; as well as, give you better understanding if plans look to be moving forward. Currently the team I work with works with investors of all levels and at all aspects of the so feel free to PM me with any questions.

I am curious to know if others find beneficial to get themselves involved in the communities they plan on investing in? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.

To me this is a huge advantage! Knowing what direction the community is going is vital if you plan on holding property.

One of the biggest reasons I want to invest in my native west Philadelphia Area is I know where UPenn and Drexel are planing to build and how that effects the homes in the area. That with the building of the new police building and other factors help we decide if or when to get involved.

Hi @Yashar E. I definitely agree with you that being involved in the local community gives you insight that others won't have. I've done some deep research in both Gloucester City and Camden City as long term buy and hold markets but I'm not quite ready to commit to those areas. I'm currently investing a few miles over in Haddon Township. I have not heard about this transit line though so perhaps that's something that may sway my decision. 

Interested to learn more about both areas though. What particular neighborhoods to you find most suitable for buy and holds?

Thank you,

Knowing your market is always a huge benefit. This way you can know where to invest and not to, which could at times be as narrow a factor as one side of the street or the other. Being able to speak intelligently to buyers and sellers about the local community and market, the up-and-coming areas, etc. always beneficial. Hyper local always good. 

@Wesley Mitchell would love to hear any West Philly market insights you have. I bought my first property near 54th and Walnut, and feel good about the area's long term opportunity. 

@Yashar E. has a lot of great points. It's really good to be involved in the community, especially if you like where they're going. In Atlantic County, there's more and more talks about jobs coming back into AC due to Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resorts (previously Revel) opening this year. Stockton University will be opening it's Atlantic City campus this year which consists of a Residence building on the beach block, Academic building across the street and a shared garage with South Jersey Gas. South Jersey Gas Headquarters will now be a tower that is attached to the same shared Parking garage which is also on the beach block. Small businesses have been gradually opening up in different spots now. The surrounding towns have been adjusting to the news as well. My town Ventnor City will be putting money in street landscape, businesses, etc. in the area close to AC. So it's been a bit exciting for me to see what's in store for my community, the market that it's in and opportunities that can happen.

A couple tips I learned over the years to figure out the market/community I'm involved in South Jersey:

  • Attending SoPro Professional Networking Events. These events are held once a month to every other month in South Jersey and will have a wide range of professionals in different industries. They're typically held at places of new business or places not everyone knows about yet. Just last week it was held at a new brewing company in Atlantic County which intrigued me since it's where I live. I was able to establish connections and hear anything that's going on in the community. I connected with 2 gentleman from an Environmental company in Glassboro that has a lot of knowledge and experience about the remediation projects in Glassboro. Typically these events are free admission. I recommend anyone from South Jersey to check it out.
  • Sometimes joining your local political party will provide you with community activities and persons that may interests you. I don't have heavy interests in politics, but the Democratic Meeting I attend in my town are proactive in bringing guests that help in the developments of my area. You will meet person(s) that have long or heavy interests in the area, so it's good to have a conversation with them.
  • If you're into social media, finding businesses that hold events is a great way to understand what's going on in the community. In Atlantic City, there's a Yoga Studio that's been holding some great events for the area that involves social justice, developing the area, etc. I'm attending an event tonight.
  • Using Google Alerts. If anyone is familiar with the keyword alerts on biggerpockets then Google Alerts should be a breeze. google.com/alerts allows you to put in and save keywords into Google. Google will collect any articles that pertain to the keyword and send you a report with links via email. This helps me keep track of any developments going on in my area. For example, I have mine set to Atlantic County, Atlantic City Developments, Ventnor City Developments, etc.
  • If you're into sports, join your local sports league. I'm in the Ventnor City Volleyball league. You don't really talk about real estate or what's going on in the community since you're playing a game, but eventually you'll strike a conversation with someone who knows a lot about the area as well. Plus it's good to get a little fit. haha!

Yashar, 

Curious to see the proposals leading you to believe this is coming sooner rather than later?

Kevin 

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