There are so many free online resources that we use on a daily basis at my company, it is hard to narrow it down to the top 5! We use free stuff online all the time for things like adversing our listings, looking up comps, looking up rental comps, finding deals, finding buyers for our deals, brand-awareness, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Now of course we use TONS of paid subscription services, often times for the same things. Regardless, here are my top 5 free online resources for real estate investors:
#1 – www.Craigslist.org
Who doesn’t use craigslist? I don’t give a darn what you’re trying to sell, SELL IT ON CRAIGSLIST! I have sold multiple houses using craigslist, bought a few off there as well! In addition to that, it’s a great place to list and sell the nice junk in the houses you buy! Why not have someone go into your new house (that you found on craigslist), tell them, “Here’s the deal: go into my new houes, take pics and sell anything that isn’t fastened, and all I want is 50% of what you make.”
#2 – www.zillow.com
Before you write me off as crazy, let me tell you why I LOVE zillow.com. It’s an easy and FAST way to gauge how much stuff is sitting on the market and how much has sold around a given property. It’s simple, just type in the full address in the search bar, then zoom “out” on the map and look at the yellow and red houses. The yellow ones are recently sold, and the red ones are for sale. Of course, the more yellow the better, and the more red, the worse, or at the very lesat, the more carefully you need to analyze the deal before you buy it.
#3 – www.facebook.com www.facebook.com/JimmyZTheHouseGuy
Seriously! Where would this world be without facebook? How would we know what each other has had for lunch and all sorts of other dumb stuff. In all seriousness, there is arguably not a better way to let people know about you, your business, and what you can do for them. Obviously there are host of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” when it comes to social media, but I am telling you, it is a VERY effective means of marketing!
#4 – www.youtube.com www.youtube.com/JimTheHouseGuy
Hold on a second there Jim…isn’t youtube just a bunch of random videos of botched-up celebrity performances? While that can make for a few good hours of brain cell-killing entertainment when you should be sleeping, but if it’s used properly it’s a VERY powerful tool for us real estate investors. At the very least, you should take a video tour of EVERY one of your listings. Oh, and don’t forget to give your phone number and website address in the video! I also post a video on each of my websites that tells visitors what we can offer them.
#5 – www.googlemaps.com
I use this one all the time. It’s great for getting really good idea to a property’s surroundings while sitting at your desk in your underwear. It’s also great for finding a meeting place if you’re not terribly familiar with an area. Just find an area on the map, zoom in with “satelite view” function turned “off” and drag the map until you find a suitable place to meet your client…starbucks, dunkin donuts, or whatever.
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See you next time!