Real estate investing offers a great way to grow your savings and build wealth. While many people want to get involved in this possibly lucrative venture, the responsibilities that go along with owning property may be keeping them from acting on their interests. However, there are many options for investing in real estate that don’t include becoming a landlord.
Buy Real Estate ETFs
As mentioned in a previous post, an ETF is an exchange-traded fund that’s comparable to mutual funds in that they consist of stocks relating to a particular theme. However, unlike mutual funds, an ETF is traded publicly on the exchange. Vanguard’s VNQ is one such real estate themed ETF. This fund invests in REITs, or real estate investment trusts, which focus on stocks concerning commercial real estate, such as office buildings, hotels, and similar buildings.
Real Estate Mutual Funds
A more traditional route may be to invest in real estate mutual funds, which provide the possibility of growth without the high risk. DFREX is a favorite in this category, partly because it offers lower fees than other funds. Additionally, DFREX consistently performs well. The fund shows great promise for future gains, because it’s supported by decades of professionally driven research. Nobel Prize winners help to develop the fund’s strategy.
Invest Directly in REITs
This is another option for investing in real estate without taking actual ownership of any property. REITs are like funds in that they stick to a general theme, such as commercial real estate, so you can opt for whichever category appeals to you the most. If you choose to explore this option, do so with caution. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued warnings against REITs that aren’t publicly traded. The agency highlighted a lack of liquidity, lack of value transparency, and high fees as factors that create unnecessarily high risk.
Invest with Commercial Real Estate Developers
These can be hotel corporations, resort or timeshare operators, or commercial contractors. By buying stock in these types of organizations, you can benefit from their growth without having the responsibility of buying property yourself. You will have to thoroughly research each company to ensure you’re making a sound investment, but, otherwise, this can be a promising alternative.
These are just a few ways you can invest in real estate without getting your hands dirty. Most people live lives that are too busy to add maintaining a rental property to their schedule, so these options let you reap the benefits of real estate investing more freely. As your money grows, you may find more opportunities for investing in real estate centric funds, stocks, and companies.
There are two ways investors make money in real estate: renting and selling for profit. Of course, the savvy investor can use both methods, even on the same property. Here we will go over some details of each method.
It should be emphasized that whether renting out a property or selling for raw profit, the importance of location can’t be overemphasized. The fact is that nearly any model of residential or commercial building can be replicated in many locations. However, the local amenities, culture, atmosphere, weather, or historical value cannot be duplicated. It is such factors that give rise to widely different prices and rents for otherwise identical structures.
Cash Flow: Rent
When renting, the first priority is attracting and retaining tenants. Generally, home-like rental properties or long-term commercial leases are a better option than short-term rentals that, admittedly, fetch a comparatively higher monthly rental. This is because vacancies take their toll and are bad for cash flow. Make sure to specify clear lines of responsibilities for tenants and the property owner. Maintenance, repairs, utilities and tax responsibilities accrue as costs to the property owner, so make sure that rental cash flow at least matches maintenance and other necessary expenditures.
Fix and Flip
Buying low and selling high is the holy script of investing. When buying real estate, beware that the purchase price essentially traps liquidity upon sale completion and for as long as it takes to renovate and resell the house. Also consider the opportunity cost of other income-producing activities, including renting, that the property owner could be doing. Such opportunity costs can add up, but if the buyer were to completely outsource the “fix” to others, the added cost would reduce or even eliminate the profit margin upon resale.
Note that both methods of making money from real estate entail unexpected costs along the way. Vacancies, irresponsible and toxic tenants, as well as competing units can take the steam out of anticipated cash flow from rental properties. Costly repairs, illiquid funds, and all-in marketing and resale costs can deflate profit margin from fix-and-flip properties. Consider the time and expertise required for each investment method and pick whatever works best. Real estate can be lucrative, but is not risk-free.
In an effort to separate themselves from the pack, businesses owners and entrepreneurs alike have turned to social media platforms to give their products and services an edge. Some companies create short viral video campaigns for YouTube, live stream their latest product launch on Facebook, or produce compelling photographs for their audience on Instagram.
One social media platform that’s sometimes overlooked by people in the business world is LinkedIn. While some entrepreneurs believe that LinkedIn is just a network for resume posting, the platform actually offers a wide range of tools for business people looking to grow their company.
To learn more about the ways that LinkedIn is a vital tool for entrepreneurs and businesses, read on below!
LinkedIn is Great for Professional Networking
While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram focus on the social aspect of networking, it can be difficult to make serious inroads on these networks if you’re interested in growing your network on a more professional basis.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, makes growing your professional social network easy by allowing users to search for like-minded professionals in their particular area of expertise. LinkedIn allows users to build relationships with people on both a local level, as well as on national and international levels, too, making the social network unique in its ability to help entrepreneurs quickly find other business savants who are revolutionizing the business landscape in their cities.
LinkedIn has message boards and groups that further allow people to identify who they might want to connect with to grow their business venture. This feature can be an extremely invaluable tool for entrepreneurs who want to expand their product or service into new areas.
Using LinkedIn as a Tool for Product Launches
One innovative way that business owners are using LinkedIn as a vital tool to grow their companies is by creating product-specific LinkedIn pages. That’s right — not only is LinkedIn an excellent option for those posting up your resume, but the platform is also great if you want to showcase the benefits of a product you’ve recently launched.
On LinkedIn, entrepreneurs can create a page for their product or service that is similar to the resume-style profile pages the platform offers. These product pages are a great way to quickly highlight what makes your new product great.
LinkedIn is such an effective tool from a marketing standpoint that a new study indicates that 81% of business-to-business companies are using LinkedIn to advertise their product launches.
Investing in real estate meanings putting the money you have today to work for tomorrow. Simply put, real estate is a business that requires a healthy dose of foreknowledge, confidence in your research, and skill in assessing the lucrative real estate markets of today and tomorrow. The revenue you make on your return must be enough to cover things like taxes and the cost of owning real estate investments like paying for utilities, maintenance, and insurance.
Basically, real estate is the real world equivalent to monopoly. But just because the concept is easy to grasp doesn’t mean that the industry is easy to excel in. Below are a few helpful tips for those who are novices in real estate investing.
Deciphering the best cities and bustling towns to start investing in real estate is crucial. If you can develop the foreknowledge it takes to scope out lucrative areas, then you are already off to the best possible start. An old real estate investing adage is to look for the worst house on the best street. Why? Well, a good location provides strong potential for tourism, and “fixer-upper” property allows you to buy low, invest your money into renovating and upgrading, and then sell for a price that reflects your renovations.
The 1% Rule
If you plan on purchasing a property that you’ll rent out to one or more tenants, then you should utilize the 1% rule.
The 1% Rule states that an income producing property must produce 1% of the price it costs you every month. For example, if you buy a property for $150,000, then the monthly rental income should be 150,000 x 1% = $1,500. Simple enough, right? Well, the true skill in this area comes from searching out and capitalizing on properties that are conducive to the 1% rule.
Appreciation is when the land and market around you goes up due to an outside factor in the community. A major new shopping mall, city upgrades, and even the investments you put into your properties that make it more appealing to potential buyers all help produce appreciation. While extremely lucrative, this is one of the riskiest elements of real estate investing, and caution should be taken when playing the tricky game of real estate appreciation.
Real estate investing is a great industry to enter into, and simple as it may be in its description, the application of it is something that requires skill and precision. However, difficult as it can be, implementing these three steps will prove to be extremely useful for you in the long run.
All around the world, there are organizations whose sole purpose is to help others. Most of these, are nonprofit organizations. With so many causes that need the support of society, it isn’t hard to find one that you can help. Being a part of a community, of any size, includes giving to those who are less fortunate. There is great value for all parties when community involvement and engagement has a strong presence. Here are just a few ways that you can gain from giving.
One of the most powerful takeaways from working with those in need is a new outlook in life. Especially for first time volunteers or donors, seeing the people who need the aid from nonprofits, can leave a lasting impression. These encounters often help us see that what we have is good. Life could be a lot worse and getting a glimpse into that life can drastically jolt one’s perspective. There is no greater gift then understanding the true meaning of being grateful for what you’ve got in your life.
If any for-profit company doesn’t give back to their community, they are doing it wrong. Sure, the CEO can write a check every year, but the entire company does not benefit from the donation. Coming together and collaborating to help others is a fantastic way for teams to bond. Many organizations offer incentives to companies who send large groups to volunteer. In addition, it is a great way to build up a positive reputation within your community. Patrons are more likely to choose a business who partakes in philanthropic acts over ones who refrain.
Health & Wellness
If the first two reasons weren’t enough for you, this will surely spark your urge to get your charity on. Those who participate in volunteer opportunities gain countless health and wellness benefits. Mental and physical health, both improve from partaking in charitable acts. Choosing an event that includes physical activity (5k run, donation drive, children’s activities) keeps one in shape while contributing to the community. Additionally, those who work closely with nonprofits often have less stress in their lives. Less stress means a clearer conscious and improved mental health.
Attempting to dominate the ever-evolving nature of real estate, single-handedly, is as illogical as it is unnecessary. With the passel of agents, forums, and news outlets who’ve flocked to the Internet to impart their wisdom, staying ahead of the real estate trend is a breeze. Among the most beneficial online real estate resources include:
Real Estate Marketing Machine
Spearheaded by Chief Marketing Officer, Lisa Klinkhammer, Real Estate Marketing Machine underscores the importance of fusing agent expertise with marketing knowledge. The underlying purpose of their content is to delve into the intricacies of marketing, allowing agents to hone their skills and “grow their business in a digital age.”
Focused on tackling the vast complexities of technology, GeekEstate Blog illustrates how to make modern-day advancements a friend, not foe. No doubt a nod to their astute knowledge in machinery, the “geeks” who run this blog are well-versed in evolving technology trends.
This all-encompassing forum touches on relevant real estate events. Delivering “accurate, innovative, and timely information about the business,” Inman has universal appeal. From up-and-coming technology articles to proactive stances on foreboding topics, Inman covers all things real estate.
Primarily inspired by real-life stories, Redfin is committed to providing subjects of topical interest. Using real estate professionals to validate their findings, Redfin unveils examples of real estate in its purest form.
Designed to combat the stagnancy associated with outdated education, McKissock offers a raft of educational resources. From helpful tips to legitimate how-to’s, McKissock provides a viable outlet for agents who are looking to polish their real estate knowledge.
Allowing readers to express their varying standpoints, Housing Wire takes real estate market trends and feeds them to the public. While “open commentary” is their shtick, Housing Wire volunteers their advice on pressing matters as well.
Real Estate Tomato
The blog that inspires blog, Real Estate Tomato is a platform that promotes the use of real estate blogs. Their articles broach blog ideas and strategies, fostering blog startups from infancy to execution. Well-versed in the blog realm themselves, Real Estate Tomato’s advice is nothing short of authentic.
Miller Samuel Inc.
Incorporating a unique facet to their forum, Miller Samuel Inc’s inclusion of podcasts give them an undeniable edge. Offering auditory learning and fresh perspectives, author Jonathan Miller provides a blog second to none.