Nowadays it seems as though there is too much information available for anyone in any particular field, at any given moment. Right now you can Google the words “real estate investing”, or “Chicago real estate investing”, and you will turn up millions of pages that vary in their effectiveness. How can an investor keep up with so much information? From navigating the internet, using websites and blogs, and social media, these tips will help many investors narrow their time online to be effective and efficient while they’re online.
1. Read local blogs when it comes to investing in real estate. When we want information, we find blogs from local Chicago agents, brokers, and wholesalers because it is a great way to get introduced to other professionals, learn the latest trends, and get a beat on the investing pulse of Chicago. Also, the Tribune and Sun-Times have many articles a week regarding Chicago and Chicagoland real estate. Since most newspapers are blogs, you can start reading and commenting on all the real estate articles that your paper posts, giving you much greater communication with others who are also involved in your area.
Extra TIP: To find blogs about real estate in Illinois or your own state, go to: real-estate-blogs(dot)com, pick our state and start looking at what blogs are listed. Only read the blogs who have posted most recently and are active.
2. Join the conversation online. Facebook is your key to getting in touch with people directly without really meeting. Do not join groups who have very generic names like, “Real estate investing”. Join groups with your city’s name in it. This narrows down the number of people in a group, but increases the quality per person within it. Sidenote: If your city does not have a group, create one! This will probably get you plugged in at a faster rate
3. Pick one real estate guru and stick with them! There are too many real estate guys who just want to get your email in order to sell you something. Many of these guys run in the same circles and do affiliate marketing for the same products. So if you sign up to receive one persons free ebook, they will sell you the same thing as the next. I suggest sticking with someone like Than Merrill from the Fortune Builders Group. He sells, but always offers great incentives and content. His company is still doing real estate deals on 2 sides of the country as well. If you are going to buy, buy from a credible company with great rapport like the FortuneBuilders Group.
4. Use Google Alerts to help you receive information regarding one real estate investing subject. Real Estate investing blogs can talk about financing, wholesaling, rehabbing, land lording, etc… In order to cut the clutter down, you can set up an alert so you only get notifications regarding whatever keywords you pick. Setting up the alerts is easy, and it can do all the local research for you. It is not complicated to set it up either.
5. FREE property sites are not reliable. Using sites like Zillow(dot)com and Trulia(dot)com to find comparables works when you are starting out, but it’s not enough. You must find a way to get MLS access, Whether you become an agent or just have an agent work with you does not matter, but you cannot get away with free all the time. The best FREE source in Chicago, for example, is Redfin(dot)com. However, it still falls short. MUST KNOW: Zillow is a bust. Never trust numbers from there.
6. If you are setting up a blog/website, do not worry about SEO right away. SEO is a very complicated and long subject that wont give you an immediate ROI. We suggest just setting up a blog and start writing about your niche and what you do. Content will drive people to your site over time. As an investor your priority should be getting deals done. If you are a seasoned pro, pay a specialist to set your site up! Your site should have up to date content and be posting frequently. However, if you do not have properties yet, don’t worry! Deals make money, not rookie blogs.
7. Twitter: Do you tweet? You should, but its OK if you don’t. I cannot say much about twitter since we don’t really focus on it much, other than just to have it and link back to your site. I would not get too spread out unless I can manage all my accounts and have actual value to offer to others. Investors, agents, and brokers have ruined twitter for business purposes because they all got spammy, In our opinion, having Facebook works just fine.