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How to Differentiate Yourself in an Overcrowded Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is brimming with eager agents ready to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Every year, real estate agents look for emerging trends and new inspiration at national conventions and workshops alike.

The real industry trendsetters, however, are those professionals that are driving the new trends and teaching innovative concepts. Still, many agents try following in the footsteps of the most successful professionals, instead of paving their own unique path.

Differentiation always starts with one step: brainstorming. Every agent has something that sets them apart, but it is not always obvious. Even talents and interest that are not directly relevant to real estate can help immensely with branding and marketing.

Key Takeaways

  • Brainstorm to determine your unique gift and its potential benefits for your career
  • Reach out to family and friends if you are having trouble identifying your gift
  • Take control of your idea and think about exactly how to use it in your business (i.e., branding and marketing)

First, you need to understand that the gurus making industry headlines are not much different than you. The only difference is that she took a creative risk, tried something different, committed to an idea, and made sure that it would pay off. Metaphorically speaking, she got up from her window seat, walked right past her colleagues, kicked open the door to the cockpit, and bumped the pilot from his seat and took the controls.

Now, let’s assume you’re currently a passenger. How do you truly separate yourself from the other passengers and take off on your own direction? I’d like to suggest a process. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you break away from your clones and redefine your identity in real estate.

Determine your gift (and un-lame it if necessary)

First, realize that we all have our own gift. Your gift might seem lame. You might realize that the only gift you have is that you can make a ridiculous strawberry cake. Uh oh. It’s up to you to un-lame the gift.

For many, our first response to this realization that our gift is ‘not cool enough’ is to very quickly end our work in this process. I’m going to argue that a killer strawberry cake, as irrelevant as it might seem, could become your secret weapon (see below).

But if you’re not happy with that outcome, copy this email and send it out (privately) to your best of friends and family:

“Hey Brad (or Natasha, or Stewart, or Dad, or Mom…),

I feel a little silly doing this, and I promise I’m not just looking for an ego boost, but I’m doing a bit of a marketing exercise right now. Without telling you too much about it, it’s requiring that I reach out to some people who know me well, who can tell me what’s exceptional about me. I have no idea. Does anything come to mind?

Talk to you soon, Mark”

Read whatever responses you get. Often, we perceive ourselves differently than our peers.

Take control of your idea

Now that you’ve got your idea, it’s time to plan; what’s one thing you could do with your gift?

Let’s go back to our strawberry cake example.  Mmmm it’s such a good cake. Everyone loves it.  But it has nothing to do with real estate. Welcome to the pilot seat. You’re now spiraling down to earth. Better think fast or die.

How could your strawberry cake define you and your brand?  By reverse engineering the problem, I’m seeing an influx of happy buyers, celebrating the close of their new home, digging into an ingeniously-presented strawberry cake in their new, empty kitchen. I’m seeing hundreds of pictures of happy customers posting to social media (with hashtags galore) photos of themselves holding a strawberry cake.

Be consistent

Is making a strawberry cake every time you close on a house going to catapult you into the big leagues of real estate?  Probably not. But when you apply that one unique identifier to your business over and over again—compounded months and months and years down the road—that’s when you develop your signature differentiator.

Let it evolve…

I said it—everyone’s on the Facebook Live kick.  The message here is not to ignore the other marketing tactics that your competitors are doing.  Facebook Live is hot for a reason. But rather than going live for the sake of being live, give yours a theme; only film Facebook Live videos in your kitchen as you’re pulling your next cake out of the oven, and talk about how excited you are to leave it on the counter for your client.  The excitement of knowing you’ve got another transaction will become apparent to your audience.

Source: Realvolve

5 Obnoxious Sales Tactics Used in Real Estate… and What to do Instead

Not every real estate agent has their clients’ best interests in mind. There are some bad apples in the industry that come across as a vocal minority much of the time.

Luckily, consumers today have the internet: a wealth of information, knowledge, and resources. It is easier than ever to see through slimy and dishonest sales tactics.

Today, honest agents are rewarded for putting their clients first. Here are five slimy sales tactics you should avoid, and some recommended alternatives:

Key Takeaways
A perfect sales pitch in real estate often involves more listening than talking
Respect your clients’ boundaries; don’t push their budget or insult their tastes
Communicate honestly when answering questions and making commitments
Source: Realvolve
Excerpt
1) Pushing them to make an offer before they’re ready.

In a competitive real estate market, you have to move fast if you’re serious about a listing. This is where some agents might be tempted to push their clients to make an offer they aren’t ready to make.

Do this instead: Inform your clients that this listing won’t last long, but also stress the importance of only making an offer on a home they LOVE.

2) Talking more than listening.

We’ve all experienced the dreaded Sales Pitch—a sales rep yammering on and on about why we need THIS product NOW! In real estate, this translates to the agent telling the buyer what they want…instead of listening.

Don’t do all the talking.

Do this instead: Learn about your client’s wants and needs so you can connect them with the perfect home. It’s not about you, and what you want them to buy. It’s about helping them find their dream home.Here’s a great blog post that might help!

3) Disregarding their budget.

When my husband was apartment hunting (way back in the day, before we were married), he asked the leasing agent for the cheapest unit they had.

The leasing agent’s reply: “Oh, you don’t want the one-bedroom. The layout is weird. You walk through the door, and the living room is RIGHT THERE.” Um, okay.

It was annoying, and even though my husband did end up living there (he was a recent college grad with no money, so he didn’t have many options), he did stay in the one-bedroom, and he did tell everyone what a crappy experience it was.

Don’t try to stretch your buyer’s budget just so you can get more commission.

Do this instead: Focus on saving them money. They’ll love you for it, and they’ll reward you with repeat and referral business.

4) Insulting them.

If they have their heart set on a galley kitchen, don’t try to push a different property on them by laughing and saying, “Really? A galley kitchen? When you could have this gorgeous open plan?” Don’t act like they’re stupid for wanting something that doesn’t have as high a resale value or isn’t as “stylish.” Don’t insult prospects’ tastes, opinions, or budgets.

Do this instead: Ask them WHY they want the galley kitchen, and LISTEN to their reasons. Then, if you feel they truly might like an open plan, tell them about the benefits of that layout, but remain objective and informative. Let them make their own decision.

5) Dodging their questions.

Let’s say your buyer client asks, “Has this house ever had water damage?” The deceptive agent will answer, “Look at these beautiful baseboards! Absolutely no evidence of water damage!”

But that’s clearly dodging the question.

Say this instead:“That’s a good question. I can understand why you might be worried about that since this is in a flood zone. I’ll find out and let you know.”

Source: Realvolve

Proposed Regulations Allow Majority of Homes to be Sold Without Human Appraisal

The battle between man and bot has a new front: your mortgage.

Federal regulators have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser. That potentially opens the door for cheaper, faster, but largely untested property valuations based on computer algorithms.

The proposal was made earlier this month by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve. It would increase to $400,000, from $250,000, the value of homes that can be bought and sold without a tape-measure-toting appraiser visiting a property.

Key Takeaways
Federal regulators have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser
Some worry, though, that dropping appraisal requirements would introduce new risks into the $10.7 trillion market for home loans.
“The appraisal profession is suffering a death by a thousand cuts,” said Joan Trice, chief executive of Allterra Group
More than two-thirds of U.S. homes sell for $400,000 or less, according to U.S. Census data and the National Association of Realtors. If the regulators’ proposal had been in force last year, about 214,000 additional home sales, or some $68 billion worth, could have been made without an appraisal, regulators said in their 69-page proposal.

Some worry, though, that dropping appraisal requirements would introduce new risks into the $10.7 trillion market for home loans.

“We still would prefer a human being doing the appraisal,” said Lima Ekram, a mortgage-backed securities analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

One issue: Automated valuations done by computers are largely unregulated. The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul required regulators to propose quality control standards for so-called automated valuation models, but they have yet to do so.

“There are a lot of problems with appraisals, but there are voluminous standards,” said Ritesh Bansal, chief executive of Appraisal Inc., a New York-based provider of automated valuations. “On the AVM side, it’s a wild, wild West. And that just invites abuse of all kind.”

Regulators say the immediate effect of dropping appraisal requirements would be limited because a vast majority of home loans in that range are bought these days by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , or guaranteed by other federal agencies. Those typically require appraisals regardless of home value.

Appraisals help “ensure that the estimated value of the property supports the purchase price and the mortgage amount,” regulators wrote in their proposal. “However, the agencies also are aware that the cost and time of obtaining an appraisal can, in some cases, result in delays and higher expenses.”

Scrapping the appraisal requirement would open a swath of new turf for upstart property valuation companies, like HouseCanary Inc., which use artificial intelligence, algorithms and sometimes even drones to value homes. Jeremy Sicklick, the company’s chief executive, said that replacing appraisers with computers will speed up home sales by weeks, reduce costs for buyers and eliminate human bias and error from the process of valuing mortgage collateral.

“The technology has reached the level to where this change creates a win-win for the consumer and lender,” Mr. Sicklick said.

Although appraisals are based on criteria such as sales of recent comparable homes, they are sometimes more art than science. And appraisers came under fire following the housing crisis, shouldering much blame for inflating home prices at lenders’ behest.

Their latest turf battle comes months after a defeat at the hands of lawmakers rolling back some financial-crisis-era banking rules. That change eliminated a chunk of appraisers’ business by exempting many rural properties from appraisals.

“The appraisal profession is suffering a death by a thousand cuts,” said Joan Trice, chief executive of Allterra Group, a Maryland firm that tracks the industry.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

National Association of Realtors: ” Real Estate will continue to see growth, amid a strong economy”

National Association of Realtor’s chief economist Lawrence Yun’s remarks came during a talk at the Realtors Conference & Expo in Boston last week, where he added that in his opinion another recession seems unlikely in the short term due to the country’s sound economic fundamentals.

Yun also forecast around six million new and existing home sales by the end of this year, and slightly more in the next couple of years. The economist also believes home prices will continue to grow at a modest rate, around 4.7 percent in 2018, 3.1 percent in 2019 and 2.7 percent in 2020.

Key Takeaways

  • Yun forecast around six million new and existing home sales by the end of this year
  • New homes are being added to the market at a rate of around 1.2 million per year, but that’s below the historical average
  • Yun said there’s little chance of a recession happening as inflation remains under control, and so any interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve will likely be moderate.

However, Yun said these positive trends would only occur if homebuilders are able to keep up with demand by adding new inventory to the market. New homes are being added to the market at a rate of around 1.2 million per year, but that’s below the historical average and well off the 1.9 million homes that were built in 2004.

There are no signs of a housing bubble at least, Yun added. He said that even though home prices have been outpacing income for several years now, the overall economy in the U.S. is still fundamentally sound, that mortgage quality is high, and that due to the persisting inventory shortages in many markets, there is no danger of the overbuilding that preceded the Great Recession.

Some risks do exist though. Yun said the threat of a full-scale trade war between the U.S. would hamper economic growth, and lead to higher interest rates for long-term debt instruments. If that happened, it’s likely a recession would occur, Yun said.

One piece of good news is that Realtors themselves can help do their bit by reminding their clients that the economy is still healthy and that all signs point towards positive home price increases. Yun said there’s little chance of a recession happening as inflation remains under control, and so any interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve will likely be moderate.

In other words, it’s a good time to buy a home, Yun said.

“All indications are prices will keep moving higher, and buyers who wait risk missing out on wealth gains,” he said.

Source: Realty Biz News

9 Ways To Invest In Real Estate Without Buying Property In 2019

Last year’s housing market was one for the record books, with the gains partly driven by tightening inventories and exceedingly low mortgage rates. In some pockets of the country, housing prices rose well over 10 percent on average.

But, it’s not only the big coastal cities that are seeing huge growth. A survey from GoBankingRates revealed that many cities with the most growth were inland, including: Buffalo, New York (34.6%), Atlanta, Georgia (24.54%), and Cincinnati, Ohio (20.6%).

With this in mind, you may be wondering if you should throw your hat in the ring and invest in real estate — or, if you’re too late. You may also be wondering if you should invest in real estate in a traditional sense — as in, becoming a landlord.

Now, here’s the good news. Not only is now still a good time to invest in real estate since more growth is likely on its way, but there are also more ways than ever to invest in housing without dealing with tenants or the other minutiae of landlord work.


Here are some of the best options right now:

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#1: Invest in real estate ETFs
An exchange-traded fund, also known as an ETF, is a collection of stocks or bonds in a single fund. ETFs are similar to index funds and mutual funds in the fact they come with the same broad diversification and low costs over all.

If you’re angling to invest in real estate but also want to diversify, investing in a real-estate themed ETF can be a smart move. Vanguard’s VNQ, for example, is a real estate ETF that invests in stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs) that purchase office buildings, hotels, and other types of property. IYR is another real estate ETF that works similarly since it offers targeted access to domestic real estate stocks and REITs.

There are plenty of other ETFs that offer exposure to real estate, too, so make sure to do your research and consider the possibilities.

#2: Invest in real estate mutual funds
Just like you can invest in real estate ETFs, you can also invest in real estate mutual funds. A colleague of mine, Taylor Schulte of Define Financial in San Diego, says he swears by a real estate mutual fund known as DFREX. Why? Because its low costs and track record help him feel confident about future returns. In addition to low costs, Schulte says the strategy of DFREX is backed by decades of academic research from Nobel Prize winning economists.

TIREX is another real estate mutual fund to consider with $1.9 billion in assets, broad diversification among real estate holdings, and low fees.

#3: Invest in REITs
Consumers invest in REITs for the same reason they invest in real estate ETFs and mutual funds; they want to invest in real estate without holding physical property. REITs let you do exactly that while also diversifying your holdings based on the type of real estate class each REIT invests in.

Financial advisor Chris Ball of BuildFinancialMuscle.com told me he personally invests in REITs for the diversification and for the “non-correlation” with other types of equities. He says he likes the long-term data despite the typical mood swings and ups and downs of the real estate market.

“It also gives me exposure to real estate without having to be a landlord,” he says. Ball also says a lot of his clients agree with that position and invest in REITs as part of their portfolio as a result.

With that being said, I typically suggest clients stay away from non-traded REITs and buy only publicly-traded REITs instead. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently came out to warn against non-traded REITs, noting their lack of liquidity, high fees, and lack of value transparency create undue risk.

#4: Invest in a real estate focused company
There are many companies that own and manage real estate without operating as a REIT. The difference is, you’ll have to dig to find them and they may pay a lower dividend than a REIT.

Companies that are real estate-focused can include hotels, resort operators, timeshare companies, and commercial real estate developers, for example. Make sure to conduct due diligence before you buy stock in individual companies, but this option can be a good one if you want exposure to a specific type of real estate investment and have time to research historical data, company history, and other details.

#5: Invest in home construction
If you look at real estate market growth over the last decade or longer, it’s easy to see that much of it is the result of limited housing inventory. For this reason, many predict that construction of new homes will continue to boom over the next few decades or more.

In that sense, it’s easy to see why investing in the construction side of the industry could also be smart. An entire industry of homebuilders will need to develop new neighborhoods and rehabilitate old ones, after all, so now may be a good time to buy in.

Large homebuilders to watch include LGI Homes (LGIH), Lennar (LEN), D.R. Horton (DHI), and Pulte Homes (PHM), but there are plenty of others to discover on your own.

#6: Hire a property manager
While you don’t have to buy physical property to invest in real estate, there’s at least one strategy that can help you have your cake and eat it, too. Many investors who want exposure to rental real estate they can see and touch go ahead and buy rentals but then hire a property manager to do all the heavy lifting.

Lee Huffman, a travel and lifestyle writer for BaldThoughts.com, once told me he owns rental property in North Carolina but actually lives in California. While he tried to manage his properties from a distance at first, he ultimately chose to work with a property manager to save his sanity and his profits.

While he forks over 8-10% of gross rent to his manager, it was still “one of the best decisions he’s ever made” as a real estate investor, he says. “They take care of the rental property basics – minor repairs, vetting prospective tenants, collecting rents – so that I can focus on my career, family, and locating the next profitable rental property investment,” notes Huffman.

In that sense, he gets the benefits of being a landlord without all the hard work. “One of the most important roles that a property manager plays is that they act as a buffer between the tenant and me,” says Huffman. “I don’t receive random calls, texts, or emails from tenants at all hours of the day or night.”

The key to making sure this strategy works is ensuring you only invest in properties with enough cash flow to pay for a property manager and still score a sizable rate of return.

#7: Invest in real estate notes
Real estate notes are a type of investment you can buy if you’re interested in investing in real estate but don’t necessarily want to deal with a brick-and-mortar building. When you’re investing in real estate notes through a bank, you’re typically buying debt at prices that are well below what a retail investor would pay.

I’ve invested in real estate notes in the past via an individual investor I know who purchases and renovates property. So far, my experiences have only been positive. However, I would conduct due diligence to ensure you know what you’re getting into whether you invest into real estate notes with a bank or a real estate investor who is actively pursuing new properties.

#8: Hard money loans
If you don’t like any of the other ideas on this list but have cash to lend, you can also consider giving a hard money loan. My friend Jim Wang of WalletHacks.com says he is currently investing in real estate with this strategy since he wants exposure but doesn’t want to deal with being a landlord. He also says the ROI (return on investment) for his time wouldn’t be as great as other opportunities since his time is valuable.

Hard money loans are basically a direct loan to a real estate investor, he says. Wang offers real estate loans to an investor he knows in person, and he receives a 12% return on his money as a result. Wang says he feels comfortable with the set-up since the investor is someone he knows, but he isn’t sure he would be comfortable with a stranger.

Either way, hard money loans directly to real estate investors are another strategy to consider if you want to invest in real estate but don’t want to deal with a property and the headaches that come with it.

#9: Invest in real estate online
Last but not least, don’t forget about all the new companies that have cropped up to help investors get involved in real estate without getting their hands dirty. Websites like Fundrise and Realty Mogul let you invest into commercial or residential real estate investments and receive cash flow distributions in return.

Investing with either company is similar to investing in REITs in that your money is pooled with cash from other investors who take advantage of the platform. The cash you invest may be used to purchase residential property, commercial real estate, apartment buildings, and more. Ultimately, you get the benefit of dividends and distributions and long-term appreciation of the properties you “own.”

While neither company has been around for too long, they are both performing well so far. Fundrise returned an average of 11.4% on invested dollars in 2017 net of fees and 9.11% in 2018 after all, and you don’t have to be an accredited investor to open an account.

sing market was one for the record books, with the gains partly driven by tightening inventories and exceedingly low mortgage rates. In some pockets of the country, housing prices rose well over 10 percent on average.

But, it’s not only the big coastal cities that are seeing huge growth. A survey from GoBankingRates revealed that many cities with the most growth were inland, including: Buffalo, New York (34.6%), Atlanta, Georgia (24.54%), and Cincinnati, Ohio (20.6%).

With this in mind, you may be wondering if you should throw your hat in the ring and invest in real estate — or, if you’re too late. You may also be wondering if you should invest in real estate in a traditional sense — as in, becoming a landlord.

Now, here’s the good news. Not only is now still a good time to invest in real estate since more growth is likely on its way, but there are also more ways than ever to invest in housing without dealing with tenants or the other minutiae of landlord work.

Here are some of the best options right now:

#1: Invest in real estate ETFs

An exchange-traded fund, also known as an ETF, is a collection of stocks or bonds in a single fund. ETFs are similar to index funds and mutual funds in the fact they come with the same broad diversification and low costs over all.

If you’re angling to invest in real estate but also want to diversify, investing in a real-estate themed ETF can be a smart move. Vanguard’s VNQ, for example, is a real estate ETF that invests in stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs) that purchase office buildings, hotels, and other types of property. IYR is another real estate ETF that works similarly since it offers targeted access to domestic real estate stocks and REITs.

There are plenty of other ETFs that offer exposure to real estate, too, so make sure to do your research and consider the possibilities.

#2: Invest in real estate mutual funds

Just like you can invest in real estate ETFs, you can also invest in real estate mutual funds. A colleague of mine, Taylor Schulte of Define Financial in San Diego, says he swears by a real estate mutual fund known as DFREX. Why? Because its low costs and track record help him feel confident about future returns. In addition to low costs, Schulte says the strategy of DFREX is backed by decades of academic research from Nobel Prize winning economists.

TIREX is another real estate mutual fund to consider with $1.9 billion in assets, broad diversification among real estate holdings, and low fees.

#3: Invest in REITs

Consumers invest in REITs for the same reason they invest in real estate ETFs and mutual funds; they want to invest in real estate without holding physical property. REITs let you do exactly that while also diversifying your holdings based on the type of real estate class each REIT invests in.

Financial advisor Chris Ball of BuildFinancialMuscle.com told me he personally invests in REITs for the diversification and for the “non-correlation” with other types of equities. He says he likes the long-term data despite the typical mood swings and ups and downs of the real estate market.

“It also gives me exposure to real estate without having to be a landlord,” he says. Ball also says a lot of his clients agree with that position and invest in REITs as part of their portfolio as a result.

With that being said, I typically suggest clients stay away from non-traded REITs and buy only publicly-traded REITs instead. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently came out to warn against non-traded REITs, noting their lack of liquidity, high fees, and lack of value transparency create undue risk.

#4: Invest in a real estate focused company

There are many companies that own and manage real estate without operating as a REIT. The difference is, you’ll have to dig to find them and they may pay a lower dividend than a REIT.

Companies that are real estate-focused can include hotels, resort operators, timeshare companies, and commercial real estate developers, for example. Make sure to conduct due diligence before you buy stock in individual companies, but this option can be a good one if you want exposure to a specific type of real estate investment and have time to research historical data, company history, and other details.

#5: Invest in home construction

If you look at real estate market growth over the last decade or longer, it’s easy to see that much of it is the result of limited housing inventory. For this reason, many predict that construction of new homes will continue to boom over the next few decades or more.

In that sense, it’s easy to see why investing in the construction side of the industry could also be smart. An entire industry of homebuilders will need to develop new neighborhoods and rehabilitate old ones, after all, so now may be a good time to buy in.

Large homebuilders to watch include LGI Homes (LGIH), Lennar (LEN), D.R. Horton (DHI), and Pulte Homes (PHM), but there are plenty of others to discover on your own.

#6: Hire a property manager

While you don’t have to buy physical property to invest in real estate, there’s at least one strategy that can help you have your cake and eat it, too. Many investors who want exposure to rental real estate they can see and touch go ahead and buy rentals but then hire a property manager to do all the heavy lifting.

Lee Huffman, a travel and lifestyle writer for BaldThoughts.com, once told me he owns rental property in North Carolina but actually lives in California. While he tried to manage his properties from a distance at first, he ultimately chose to work with a property manager to save his sanity and his profits.

While he forks over 8-10% of gross rent to his manager, it was still “one of the best decisions he’s ever made” as a real estate investor, he says. “They take care of the rental property basics – minor repairs, vetting prospective tenants, collecting rents – so that I can focus on my career, family, and locating the next profitable rental property investment,” notes Huffman.

In that sense, he gets the benefits of being a landlord without all the hard work. “One of the most important roles that a property manager plays is that they act as a buffer between the tenant and me,” says Huffman. “I don’t receive random calls, texts, or emails from tenants at all hours of the day or night.”

The key to making sure this strategy works is ensuring you only invest in properties with enough cash flow to pay for a property manager and still score a sizeable rate of return.

#7: Invest in real estate notes

Real estate notes are a type of investment you can buy if you’re interested in investing in real estate but don’t necessarily want to deal with a brick-and-mortar building. When you’re investing in real estate notes through a bank, you’re typically buying debt at prices that are well below what a retail investor would pay.

I’ve invested in real estate notes in the past via an individual investor I know who purchases and renovates property. So far, my experiences have only been positive. However, I would conduct due diligence to ensure you know what you’re getting into whether you invest into real estate notes with a bank or a real estate investor who is actively pursuing new properties.

#8: Hard money loans

If you don’t like any of the other ideas on this list but have cash to lend, you can also consider giving a hard money loan. My friend Jim Wang of WalletHacks.com says he is currently investing in real estate with this strategy since he wants exposure but doesn’t want to deal with being a landlord. He also says the ROI (return on investment) for his time wouldn’t be as great as other opportunities since his time is valuable.

Hard money loans are basically a direct loan to a real estate investor, he says. Wang offers real estate loans to an investor he knows in person, and he receives a 12% return on his money as a result. Wang says he feels comfortable with the set-up since the investor is someone he knows, but he isn’t sure he would be comfortable with a stranger.

Either way, hard money loans directly to real estate investors are another strategy to consider if you want to invest in real estate but don’t want to deal with a property and the headaches that come with it.

#9: Invest in real estate online

Last but not least, don’t forget about all the new companies that have cropped up to help investors get involved in real estate without getting their hands dirty. Websites like Fundrise and Realty Mogul let you invest into commercial or residential real estate investments and receive cash flow distributions in return.

Investing with either company is similar to investing in REITs in that your money is pooled with cash from other investors who take advantage of the platform. The cash you invest may be used to purchase residential property, commercial real estate, apartment buildings, and more. Ultimately, you get the benefit of dividends and distributions and long-term appreciation of the properties you “own.”

While neither company has been around for too long, they are both performing well so far. Fundrise returned an average of 11.4% on invested dollars in 2017 net of fees and 9.11% in 2018 after all, and you don’t have to be an accredited investor to open an account.

Source: Forbes Media LLC

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