As a real estate investor, there are 5 things you want to be sure to carry in your prospecting tool box. Each one has a specific purpose and can save time, money and wasted energy. In Part One of our two-part series, we’ll discuss a few things you might not consider tools, yet they are every bit as important as your hammer and screwdriver.
The most valuable item to carry along the whole prospecting is your mobile phone. This might seem a silly thing to mention—everybody carries a cell phone, right? I’ll add to this by saying, your cell phone has little value if your battery is LOW and only a fraction of charge remains.
I suggest two things:
- Be sure your mobile device is fully charged
- Carry an extra battery or mobile charger
If you invest in condemned properties in less-than-desirable areas, add this item:
- A second cell phone from a different company
One thing you never want to be out of is service, and not all companies have service in all areas—especially if you’re prospecting in rural areas. Can you hear me now?
Today most of us carry smartphones with video capability, making video tours of properties easier. However, there are drawbacks. Cell phone videos drain power and your phone might go dead before your video is complete. Worse yet, you might lose power and have no cell service.
Carry a video camera and film everything, inside and out, if allowable. By everything, I mean to include the neighborhood. Shoot footage from the front of the house to the right and to the left.
Who lives next door—not literally, but what to flanking properties look like? What’s the condition of other properties on the block? Are there empty lots?
Before you even enter the house, remember to film curb area, front, and back yard, and driveway, and landscape (or lack thereof). Is there debris? Will you need a bin or can you haul it away in a pickup truck? Each of these things influences your investment:
- What you will pay to purchase
- Cost to make the property sales-worthy
After you’ve recorded the exterior features of a prospective investment property, video every room inside, corner to corner. Remember the doors and windows. Are the bathroom and kitchen in good shape? Know what you’re investing in BEFORE you bid.
Along with your video device, pack a digital camera. Of course, you can use a traditional camera, but why add steps to your process? Digital pictures are always close at hand and can be dumped onto your computer instantly. You can also email to partners from the field.
Are pictures important even though you have video? YES!
Your video tour gives you an overall picture of the prospective investment property. It’ll act as your eyes, offering a recorded video tour you can review in detail later. Digital pictures isolate specific features you want to highlight, such as:
- Water Damage
- Condition of Appliances
- Rodent droppings
- Broken Windows
And on the good side:
- Amenities (increase value)
The point is this: record what you see. The most dangerous thing you can do is try to commit specific features of an investment property to memory. Trust me, after you’ve seen a few properties, you won’t remember accurately. It doesn’t mean you’re headed toward dementia, it just means we forget. Our minds also jumble things up and our imaginations can create things that aren’t even there.
Part two of this series may hold some surprises for you!