Avoid the Pitfalls of Purchasing Property- 6 Reasons to Invest in REITs Right Now

The answer for those who wish to avoid all of the downsides of purchasing real estate outright while still reaping the rewards of the market is to invest in REITs. For those looking to invest in the real estate market, purchasing commercial or residential properties and renting them out is one of the most popular ways to earn income. Unfortunately, this method of real estate investment comes along with a hefty price tag, ongoing repairs, uncertainties with tenants. It is more time-consuming than many investors care to take on.

What Are REITs?

REITs, or real estate investment trusts, refers to companies who own or lease income-producing properties in various sectors. They are often traded on public stock markets and offer high returns for investors interested in real estate. Unlike purchasing an investment property outright, there is no high initial purchase price, no time-consuming buy and sell process. Investors do not have to concern themselves with the day-to-day operations or maintenance of each property. They are an excellent way for those who want to invest in the real estate market to get started with little capital without making a long-term commitment. 

6 Reasons to Invest in REITs:

1. Affordable for Average Americans

From Wall Street brokers to hedge fund millionaires, those who typically benefit from valuable real estate properties have the capital to purchase properties outright. Average Americans do not have the capital needed to compete in these scenarios, particularly when it comes to commercial real estate. REITs are unique because they trade on the major stock exchanges and must meet several requirements to reach this status. This allows everyone, regardless of their income, to invest in real estate assets. Likewise, REITs can be obtained differently, whether the investor purchases individual company stock or opts to invest through a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF).

2. Diverse Property Sectors

One of the biggest reasons to invest in REITs is their diverse nature. REITs exist in sectors across the board, offering plenty of variety to investors who want to diversify their portfolios. The most popular types of REITs include:

Retail

Retail REITs make up around 24% of all REIT investments in the country. They include shopping malls and standalone retail fronts. In this day and age, many brick-and-mortar retail facilities are struggling to keep their doors open in the age of online shopping. That said, there are retail industries, such as grocery stores, that continue to thrive. As your investment returns will largely depend on the tenants generating income and paying rent, it is crucial to do your research before forking over any cash. 

Residential

Residential investments typically refer to large, multi-family buildings like apartments or mobile homes when it comes to REITs. Although residential property REITs are a solid investment, location is key, and properties in large cities tend to yield the highest returns to investors in the long run.

Health 

Health-based REITs include everything from hospitals and doctors’ offices to retirement homes. The need for healthcare will rise along with America’s aging population. It is important to note that many of these investments rely on Medicare and Medicaid to receive payments. Despite this, it is still important to invest in a diverse healthcare market.

Office

Another popular REIT sector includes office buildings which typically come with long-term leases. While the office space can bring solid returns, it is key to consider strong economic areas before investing. For instance, a booming California city investment will likely bring higher returns than several properties in a small town where employment rates are low. 

Although these are some of the most popular property sectors for REITs, they are certainly not the only ones available to investors. Other top choices include industrial, resorts, time, infrastructure, and data centers. 

3. High Dividend Yields

To be classified as a REIT, the company must meet a precise set of requirements. Those who gain the title are rewarded by avoiding any corporate tax obligations, regardless of how profitable the company is. Instead, they must pay 90% of the taxable income earned to shareholders. This requirement typically results in high dividend yields of over 5 percent for investors versus other stocks, which average less than 2 percent.

4. Liquidity

When a person buys a residential or commercial property, it takes time and money to complete the process beyond the initial purchase price. The same is true when a person wishes to sell a residential or commercial property–with the added hassle of waiting to find a buyer. When investing in REITs, there is no wait time if you need to access your cash quickly. Instead, investors click a buy or sell button and can have their funds within a short period of time without any uncertainties such as inspections or legal processes. 

5. Competitive Long Term Growth Compared to Other Stocks

Historically speaking, REITs offer competitive long-term growth compared to other publicly traded stocks in the United States. While long-term growth can vary depending on the specific property sector of the REIT, real estate investments typically hold up well over time. Whether to provide shelter to the world’s population for farming, or retail purposes, it is a necessity. Because of this, many REITs come along with predictable appreciation. While it’s true that the trends may skew towards urbanization and the most desirable locations may change over time, the pure need for real estate makes a REIT investment more solid than investing in the latest tech trend, which may fade just as quickly as it arrived. 

6. Lower Risk Than Individual Properties

The risk of investing in a REIT is much lower than if you invested in an individual property. The income-generating properties rely on multiple streams of income instead of a single residential renter or storefront. If you purchased a property outright with the intent of renting it out to a single resident, you would be heavily relying upon that single tenant to make your investment-worthy. Likewise, all your eggs would be in one basket regarding location, employment rates, natural disasters, and the likes. Much like diversifying your portfolio by purchasing stocks in varying industries, a REIT is a way to maximize your investment. 

Want to learn more about how to invest in commercial or residential REITs successfully? You can avoid tedious research and get a complete overview of any relevant data in minutes, powered by Artificial Intelligence. Give us a call today at (888) 956-9998 to learn more about the process.

Everything to know about bank-owned commercial properties for sale

Bank-owned commercial properties for sale could give you a low-cost way to enter commercial real estate investing or grow your portfolio. The following article will help you make the right decisions that lead to success.

Related reading: How to Start a Commercial Real Estate Investment Company

What Is a Bank-owned Commercial Property

Bank-owned commercial properties have typically gone through the foreclosure process but failed to find interested buyers. As a result, the financial institution owns the real estate.

Commercial real estate goes through several steps before it becomes bank-owned commercial property. A common route to becoming a bank-owned property includes:

  • Missing several mortgages—or another loan—payments
  • Entering the foreclosure process, which returns ownership to the lender
  • Attempting to sell the commercial real estate as a foreclosure, usually at a reduced price
  • Failing to sell the property as a foreclosure

At this point, the financial institution completely owns the real estate. This can create challenges for banks and credit unions. They rarely want to own a lot of property because doing so can lead to higher taxes and maintenance costs.

This is an unfavorable situation for the lender that now owns the commercial property. At the same time, it creates an opportunity for investors.

Advantages of Buying Bank-Owned Commercial Properties

Commercial real estate investors can benefit from buying bank-owned properties in several ways. Most notably, the bank-owned properties sell at below-market prices. The bank has unsuccessfully tried to sell the real estate as a foreclose, so it wants to find someone willing to buy the property, even if that means slashing the price.

In addition to saving money on the overall price, you might find that loans for bank-owned commercial properties come with low-interest rates and down payments. Instead of making a 20 percent down payment, you could pay 10 percent. That saves you money upfront so you can start earning a return on your investment. The lower interest payments should also keep long-term expenses affordable.

Challenges of Buying Bank-owned Commercial Properties

Getting commercial property at a low price sounds like an excellent investment opportunity. Before you commit to buying real estate, you should learn about some challenges investors often encounter when getting involved with bank-owned commercial properties.

Some of the most common issues include:

  • A prolonged process as the bank checks your credit history, assets, and other financials to determine whether you can buy the property and make payments reliably. The bank doesn’t want to face another foreclosure, so it will take a close look at your finances to avoid another disruption.
  • Property titles don’t always get transferred as expected. Always verify that the previous owner does not have any stake in the property before you dedicate any money to the commercial real estate.
  • The reasons that made it impossible for the previous owner to make loan payments could become more evident after buying the property. Conduct research to determine why the previous business plan failed and decide whether you can avoid the same fate.

Every investment has some risks. The more you know about bank-owned commercial properties before you buy them, the more likely you can make money from the real estate.

How to Find Bank-Owned Commercial Properties for Sale

You have a couple of options when searching for bank-owned commercial properties for sale. The most labor-intensive option involves contacting financial institutions in your area and inquiring about any commercial real estate they want to sell.

The amount of time and effort that this takes can vary greatly according to your location. If you live in a small metropolitan area, you might find that you can reach out to every major lender within a few days. Keep in mind that it will take some time for them to respond. Then, you will need to comb through the listings to find properties that interest you.

If you live in an urban area with a high population density and many commercial properties, you could spend weeks contacting lenders to get property lists.

A subscription database makes it much easier for you to find and track investment opportunities. The ProspectNow commercial database even lets you target properties likely to sell soon. The database and its algorithm look for signs that someone will sell a commercial property soon. Those signs include:

  • Delinquent taxes that indicate money problems
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Missed loan payments that put them on the path to foreclosure
  • Losing tenants

Depending on your preferred investment method, you could approach commercial property owners during the pre-foreclosure phase—giving them away to avoid financial hardship—or wait for the property’s ownership to revert to the bank, which should mean you can buy the real estate at an even lower price.

Related reading: 7 Things to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate CRM

Choosing a Bank-owned Property

The growing list of businesses filing for bankruptcy during and the after the pandemic makes it more likely that you can find low-cost real estate. A low price doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes sense for you to buy a bank-owned commercial property. There are other factors you should assess. Here are some additional tips.

Scout the location

Take the time to visit the commercial real estate, observe it, and answer a few questions like:

  • Do you see a lot of traffic in the area?
  • Are nearby businesses thriving or failing?
  • Is the real estate located near a residential community?

Evaluate the property’s opportunities

The current version of a bank-owned commercial property might not serve your investment goals. Some work, however, could improve the property’s value and ability to generate revenue.

Opportunities often look like this:

  • Additional land you could use to expand or construct buildings
  • Developments that will soon introduce more residents or employees to the area
  • Infrastructure improvements that will soon make it easier for people to visit the property
  • Low-cost ways to improve the property and make it more attractive to tenants

Get the property inspected

A visual inspection can help you spot potential revenue opportunities. Always get the property inspected by a professional before you invest.

Once you have an inspection, you can estimate the money needed to repair and upgrade the commercial property. Add that amount to the property’s cost. Are you willing to spend that much money on real estate?

How ProspectNow Can Help

Bank-owned commercial properties for sale could give you investment opportunities that lead to impressive profits. Start your ProspectNow membership now so you can access information that will help you make better investment decisions.

ProspectNow comes with a database that lets you search more than 42 million commercial properties. The database also makes it easy for you to find a property’s true owner. In this case, you will find out which financial institution owns the property so that you can contact them for details.

Start a free trial with ProspectNow so you can experience the benefits of using a comprehensive commercial real estate CRM built for investors like you. We’ve been collecting and sharing commercial real estate data since 2008, so we know how to offer the accuracy and insight you need to make successful deals.

How Insurance Agents can leverage ProspectNow

ProspectNow’s residential and commercial property database doesn’t only help real estate agents find buyers and sellers. You can also use it to prospect for insurance agents. The database can help you generate leads. Not sure how your insurance agents would use a tool like ProspectNow? The following options will show you a few ways that ProspectNow creates opportunities for insurance agents.

Use Local Events to Prospect for Insurance Agents

The vast majority of homeowner insurance claims come from weather events, including damage caused by wind, hail, water, and freezing temperatures. Recent events could put properties at higher risk of damage. For example, an area that recently experienced a devastating wildfire might not have the trees and other plants that previously prevented flooding.

If those homeowners don’t purchase flood insurance soon, they might not have the coverage needed to cover the expense of repairing their homes after heavy rain.

ProspectNow lets you focus on specific areas where property might need additional insurance coverage. The database makes prospecting for insurance agents relatively easy. You can even use ProspectNow’s API to load property data into your CRM. After that, you just need to reach out to people at-risk property owners and explain why they should consider updating their coverage.

Identify The Best Times to Convert Leads

You don’t have to wait until an adverse event affects a community before reaching out to property owners in the area. You can also use long-term trends to make your pitches more influential and convert more leads.

For example, a study published in Insurance Journal shows that most hail damage happens in May. Property owners probably do not know about this trend. Include the information in your sales pitches and brochures to convert more leads. In February, March, and April, you can start reaching out to the contacts you get from ProspectNow. Tell your leads that now is the best time to protect their property from hail damage. By getting insured now, they can avoid paying for the damage coming in a couple of months.

Of course, you can adjust this strategy for your area. Do some research to find the right times to offer specific types of insurance to owners in your city. If flooding often happens in November, start marketing your flood insurance in August or September. If fires tend to occur in August, talk about protecting from fire damage in May or June.

Focus on Potential Sells When Prospecting for Insurance Agents

When someone buys real estate, they also need to purchase insurance policies. Mortgage lenders almost always require borrowers to purchase property insurance. Considering that nearly all homeowners borrow money to fund their purchases (residents in the U.S. owe about $16.56 trillion on their homes!), it makes sense to keep an eye on properties that will likely get sold over the next few weeks or months.

ProspectNow uses predictive analytics to find properties in your area that will probably get listed soon. For example, a property might get flagged when the owner:

  • Files for bankruptcy.
  • Gets married.
  • Get divorced.

Reviewing public records makes it possible for the algorithm to make accurate predictions.

Predictive analytics helps you in several ways. You can use it to:

  • Reach out to homeowners who will soon need to purchase insurance policies before they move.
  • Develop relationships with real estate brokers representing buyers and sellers, which could mean you get ongoing recommendations.
  • Connect with people who plan to purchase the properties for sale.

Anyone could look at property records to see when real estate changes hands. With predictive analytics, you get to contact the lead before insurance agents who wait for the exchange to take place. When you’re the first person to reach out and offer your services, you stand a much higher chance of converting leads.

Sell More Insurance Policies for Additional Protection

Keep in mind that you can offer much more than standard homeowner’s insurance. After all, homeowner’s insurance policies don’t always give people as much coverage as they need to protect themselves from significant financial loss.

Use the above tips to communicate the benefits of options like:

  • Flood insurance.
  • Title insurance.
  • Legal insurance.
  • Sinkhole insurance.
  • Additional or floater insurance that covers loss above what homeowner’s policies pay for.

Since ProspectNow tells you information about property locations, sizes, and values, you can personalize your pitch for each lead you get from the database. The more you know about a property, the better you can hone your pitch to make the owner interested in extra policies.

Try ProspectNow for Free

ProspectNow has a database that includes millions of residential real estate leads. We’ve been helping professionals access local real estate data since 2008, and we do it at a lower price than other services. Get a free trial with ProspectNow to see how it can improve your lead generation and conversion strategies!

 

How Solar Panel Installers Can Leverage ProspectNow

ProspectNow can also be an effective residential database for trades. Here’s how it can help your solar business.

Solar panels are a growing market, and it’s not hard to see why. There are many benefits for homeowners, such as reduced energy consumption, reduced tax burden, increased property value, and the chance to keep ahead of the neighbors. But many homeowners are still digging in their heels for a number of reasons, and it can be a challenge to find new clients interested in your trade.

ProspectNow may have started as software for the real estate business, but it works well as a commercial and residential database for trades. Read on to learn the many benefits that this platform can provide as you look to expand your business. As you pursue new business, consider this platform as a new tech tool to aid your efforts.

Finding Leads

The first step to finding clients for solar installation is to find leads. Traditional methods involve going door to door or cold calling. This can be tedious and lead to a lot of doors and phones slammed on you. But by using ProspectNow as a residential database for trades, you can create a list of strong leads without leaving your office chair.

Homeowners

For residential properties, ProspectNow has a comprehensive property search that will cover any county. You’ll also have easy access to the owner’s contact information, even if the owner is an LLC. You won’t have to do any digging with the county’s property appraiser or secretary of state; all the information is right on the platform. This information can sometimes be found on other platforms at a higher cost.

When searching for properties, you’ll have a variety of filters to choose from. You can filter out properties that already have solar panels. Use the included maps to determine roof coverage and in which direction the home faces. With this information readily available, you can create your quote on the spot.

Commercial Properties

Solar power is also a promising development for commercial properties. Investors can be swayed by the improved net cash flow (NCF) and net operating income (NOI), as well as competitive energy costs. Commercial landlords looking into a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) can also use this to persuade their tenants to extend leases.

When searching for commercial properties, ProspectNow gives you the opportunity to seek out landlord or tenant information. This can be useful depending on the terms of their lease agreement, as some leases will hold the tenant responsible for upkeep of the property.

Mobile Home and Multifamily Housing

Commercial properties also present a new opportunity for expanding your reach in solar installation. With home prices on the rise, mobile home parks and multifamily homes become a promising investment option. As investors look to snap up these properties, many of them will look for ways to improve their investment. This is your chance to pitch solar panels as a no-lose investment for them.

The commercial database allows you to search for mobile home parks, apartment buildings, and more with ease.

Likely Sellers

ProspectNow offers a “likely seller” algorithm with the use of complex data analytics and machine learning. This will point you in the direction of properties that are predicted to sell within the next 12 months, often before they hit the market.

Why is this of interest to you? When homeowners plan to sell their property, they’ll often invest time and money into improving it first. And the addition of solar panels is a great way to increase property values and the odds of closing a deal. Using this feature in a residential database for trades can give you an easy list of promising leads.

To get an idea of how many likely sellers the algorithm identifies in your area, take a look at the ROI calculator offered on the website. You’ll find not only how many properties are likely to sell right now, but a list of properties that were correctly predicted to sell. Also note the increased sales turnover and decreased marketing spend with ProspectNow compared to the status quo.

Reaching Your Leads

Now that you have leads, it’s time to reach out to them. But this is more than a residential database for trades and investors. You can use the platform as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool as well. 

Use ProspectNow’s database and contact information to reach owners directly. Place a call or email using included templates and even attach your quote. If you still prefer a more traditional touch, you can arrange to send the owners an invitation to reach you on a physical postcard mailed to them. And if you have more advanced tech options in mind, you can set up a direct ad campaign for the client as they browse the internet and social media.

As you work to create the perfect pitch for your leads, remember that the platform has included templates for your email, snail-mail, and direct ad campaigns. If you still prefer the cold calling approach, we can help you with that as well.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow has been in the business since 2008 and believes in accelerating business with new data and insights. This platform isn’t just for real estate agents; investors, brokers, and traders use it every day to close more deals and make more money. If your business relies on property data, this platform is for you. ProspectNow offers comprehensive, reliable data with a smaller price tag compared to competing platforms.

If you want to keep using your own software, no problem. ProspectNow offers API integration. Empower your existing business technology with the data and analytics found on ProspectNow’s platform.

Are you ready to expand your solar installation business? Give ProspectNow a try. Sign up for a free three-day trial and see what’s available in your area. Search residential properties up to four units or try out the commercial database and see all property types available. 

What Is A Continuous Operations Clause In A Commercial Lease?

For landlords in retail sectors, a continuous operations clause is a way to protect their investment. Here’s how it works.

It’s common in the retail sector of commercial real estate to lease a storefront to a business. This is the basis of shopping centers and malls across the country. It can be beneficial to landlords who want to introduce a revenue stream to the land they own, and to tenants who can conduct their business without buying land and a building. But this system only works as long as the tenant is making money. Otherwise, the tenant has no means to pay their rent. To solve this dilemma before it starts, landlords often include what’s called a continuous operations clause in their lease. 

The Continuous Operations Clause

A continuous operations clause is a legal requirement in a commercial lease. It states that a tenant must keep their business in operation for the duration of their lease. These clauses can be specific, outlining the exact size of a storefront, operating hours, and so on. Or it can state in general terms that the business must stay open and let the tenant conduct business in a way that suits them best.

This is common in the retail sector, especially in large shopping centers. It’s no coincidence that every store in a mall keeps the same hours, opening and closing at the same time every day. Continuous operations clauses in a shopping mall often require the storefronts to keep the same hours to control the flow of traffic within the mall. But there may be some exceptions, with extended hours during holiday times as an example.

With outdoor shopping centers such as strip malls, these continuous operations clauses can be more general. For this reason, you may see more storefronts keep different operating hours or even days in the same shopping center.

Landlord Side

For a retail landlord, the continuous operations clause in lease agreements gives some protection from risk. Leasing a storefront always carries some risk that the tenant may not pay their rent in a timely manner. This is especially true if the business is often closed. Requiring the tenant to stay in business throughout the term of the lease helps to ensure some return on their investment, as the business will presumably have an income from which to pay the rent.

Tenant Side

The tenant should review the terms of the continuous operations clause. If their business happens to do best at night, it wouldn’t do well to open up in a shopping mall where they’re forced to work during daylight hours. On the other hand, a clause that specifies certain operating hours can be a hint to the tenant that there will be optimal foot traffic during those times. This is especially true for smaller retailers that rely on the foot traffic of a mall’s anchor stores. A continuous operations clause placed on the larger retailer can be a boon to the business of the smaller tenant.

Sometimes, it happens that the retail space leased to a business isn’t profitable or favorable to the tenant. In circumstances like this, a “go-dark provision” is sometimes available. This clause allows a tenant to close up shop if the business isn’t profitable enough to cover the terms of the lease. A go-dark provision will allow the tenant to vacate the space, but still pay the rent until the end of the lease term. In these cases, the landlord often reserves a landlord recapture right that allows them to terminate the lease early with no fault to either party. Because this will ensure the landlord earns no income from the tenant, this will often not be invoked unless the landlord finds a new tenant to take their place.

Growing Relevance

With the rise of e-commerce and the events of 2020, brick-and-mortar retail stores are in trouble. As more customers opt to order what they need from online retailers, they’re less likely to make the trip to a shopping center. The rise of local delivery services offers some relief, especially for grocery stores and restaurants, but adds a middleman to the mix.

With this in mind, landlords are ever more wary about leasing their spaces to retailers. They’ll need the assurance that a business will stay in operation long enough to cover their rent, so the landlord can make good on their investment. That being said, changes in consumer shopping patterns may mean retailers need to adjust how they do business. Tenants may benefit from continuous operations clauses that are more general and less restrictive as a fair compromise. To ensure the best lease agreement terms, both parties should consult with a lawyer prior to signing.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow is an industry-leading property database and customer relationship management tool. Its comprehensive property data includes millions of residential and commercial properties all across the country. Use its search tools to find commercial properties for sale or rent. Even look up current tenants in each area. You can also find the contact information for owners of any property, even those owned by LLCs. This information is available to real estate investors, brokers, agents, tradespeople, and anyone else who needs property data to do their business. This data is reliable, complete, and comes with a smaller price tag than with competing real estate databases.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow offers a free trial for real estate investors, agents, brokers, and more. Sign up for a free trial of the commercial database and get access to properties of all kinds. Find out how much more money you can make today.

 

 

5 Best Mortgage Lead Generation Websites

As a lender, finding leads can be a challenge. These five mortgage lead generation websites provide modern solutions to an age-old problem.

Now that interest rates are low, it’s a prime time for homeowners to refinance their mortgages. But if you have any hope of attracting new business, you need to find leads to market to.

The challenge here is that buying lists of leads (or worse, finding them for free) is no longer considered a best practice for finding new prospects. Customers are less enthused than ever about being bothered for sales pitches, especially as waves of scammers contact them at the same time! Going off of leads lists that you bought or found for free means you’ll make a cold approach to these prospects. It makes for a poor first impression.

Good lead generation takes a more targeted approach to finding prospects rather than using brute force. That means making use of new and improved technology. Read on to learn how five websites do mortgage lead generation right.

1. Chime Solution Suite

Chime’s product suite includes a strong, feature-rich CRM for those in all facets of the real estate business. But its lead generation software is available separately. This software avoids the cold approach aspect by inviting users to sign themselves up. Here’s how their system works:

  1. Social media ads target prospects, directing them to a form.
  2. Curious prospects fill out the form for more information.
  3. The prospect’s contact information and activity come to your system.
  4. Prospects get a welcome email.
  5. You get an email alert about the new lead.

In this case, Chime facilitates a warm approach rather than a cold one, as the clients have previously expressed interest in your services.

To find and target prospects, Chime uses a multichannel approach powered by artificial intelligence. Its algorithm monitors user browsing habits and makes decisions on who should best view your ads. Your ads are targeted to specific users who already expressed interest in refinancing their mortgages without you lifting a finger.

2. Top of Mind

Top of Mind is a mortgage CRM with a somewhat old-fashioned approach to direct marketing. Instead of relying on emails and phone calls, they promote a return to physical mail. According to Top of Mind, people remember physical mail more than emails, open them more often, and respond more often. It makes sense when you consider how much spam email we get, including newsletters for subscriptions we accidentally sign up for but never get around to unsubscribing from.

Top of Mind’s system will identify “just listed” properties, mortgage rates, and credit pulls for your contacts, among other factors. It continually monitors your database to keep an eye out for new marketing opportunities.

3. LeadPops

Here’s another website that takes a unique approach to mortgage lead generation. Instead of focusing on ads and drawing in as many prospects as possible, this strategy focuses on why your prospects are leaving. And as the sales pitch suggests, it often has to do with your website. LeadPops promises to help you create a sales funnel to draw in and nurture as many of these leads as you can. They use quizzes to increase engagement from your prospects and bring in leads that are completely exclusive to you.

This software helps you build quizzes tailored to your specific business needs and a “sticky bar” for your website. Both are proven to catch a prospect’s interest immediately. So if your issue isn’t attracting leads but keeping them, you could give LeadPops’ software a try.

4. LeadPress

As you attract leads to your website, you should make sure your website is up to par as well. The days of brightly colored Geocities pages with background music are long over. Web design best practices and user expectations moved on.

LeadPress‘s services promise to optimize your website for lead generation and nurturing. They will help you implement features and sales funnel tactics such as quote forms and content marketing to keep up engagement from your prospects. LeadPress will also help you address the pain points that plague other traditional websites and cause prospects to click away or miss you completely, such as mobile accessibility and SEO issues. For an added fee, you can include copywriting services or the full source code.

5. ProspectNow

ProspectNow combines an extensive nationwide property database with a feature-rich CRM. You can gather data on properties and their owners anywhere in the country. You can also identify likely sellers that haven’t yet hit the market but are expected to do so in the next 12 months. Savvy loan officers can use this feature to reach refinancing leads before their competition does!

Contact your prospects through the platform by phone, email, or postcard. Or you can set up an omnichannel direct ad campaign that reaches your “likely refinancers” and plant the seed in their minds to contact you first. If you’re the first lender to reach them, you’ll be at the top of their minds when they’re ready to refinance.

To get an idea of how effective the ProspectNow platform is in your area, the website includes an ROI calculator. Input your location and recent sales metrics. It will tell you the expected turnover and commission had you closed these deals with ProspectNow. It will also show you a list of properties the likely seller/likely refi algorithm predicted would sell, and show you how many likely sellers it spots in your area right now. These details will give you a good idea of how much more money you could make if you start using ProspectNow for your mortgage lead generation.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow has been in the business since 2008, providing trustworthy data and analytics to anyone in the real estate industry. This platform serves real estate agents, brokers, investors, tradespeople, lenders, and anyone else who relies on property data to do business. Sign up for your three-day free trial today and see what the ProspectNow platform can do for you.

How to Find the Owner of an Apartment Complex

Finding the property owner is critical in the first stages of a sale. Learn how to find the owner of an apartment complex so you can start the purchase process quickly.

Real estate agents, brokers, and investors know that multi-family housing is a lucrative piece of commercial property. Many tenants mean many income streams. This brings the potential for decent return even if your property isn’t full. If you want to add an apartment complex to your portfolio, now may be a good time to buy. A growing remote workforce combined with limited housing affordability means apartment living is in the future for many households.

But before you buy an apartment complex, you’ll need to make an offer to the current owner. How can you find the owner of an apartment complex and make that first introduction? There are a number of avenues you can pursue to get this information. But it’s not as complex (pun not intended) as you may think. Keep reading to learn the easiest way to find the owner of an apartment complex.

County Property Appraiser or Tax Assessor

Your first step could be to comb through county records. The local government authority knows the property owner’s contact information because they need to know who is liable for the property taxes. In most parts of the United States, who owns a property is a matter of public record. You can access this information often by going to the website for that county’s property appraiser. In some states, this is also the tax assessor.

The county’s property appraiser’s or tax assessor’s office will, in most cases, provide you with the property owner’s name and contact information. This can often be a phone number or even an alternate mailing address, but records will vary by location and availability. The property search available on these websites is usually flexible, allowing for searches by partial addresses, street numbers, last name, or other fragments of information. This makes for a quick and easy way to fill in the gaps of information you have. And it’s the best first step for finding the owner of an apartment complex.

In some areas, the property owner’s name may not be readily available. This can be for one of two reasons: either the county has a policy of shielding the owner’s personal information, or the owner of a property is not a person but a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In the first instance, you will need to visit the property appraiser’s or tax assessor’s office in person and possibly pay a small fee for the information. In the case of LLC ownership, you have some more digging to do.

If the Owner Is an LLC

You can find the person behind an LLC using a few different methods. The easier and most common way is to visit the county recorder’s website, the state’s Secretary of State, or the state’s Division of Corporations. The exact office you need to visit will depend on the location of the property and the structure of its local government. In any case, you will usually be able to find the LLC owner’s name through the office’s website. Like the property appraiser or tax assessor, these entities will usually require the name of someone who is liable for taxes associated with the LLC. And in most cases, the entity will make this information accessible to the public—but you may need to jump through a few hoops to get it.

Anonymous LLCs

Most locations in the United States require LLC registration is published with the owner’s name. These types of LLCs are often called “anonymous LLCs.” They pose a challenge when it comes to finding the owner of an apartment complex. People can register a new LLC in one of these states (Delaware, Wyoming, and New Mexico) and use that LLC as the owner of a property anywhere in the country. Owners will typically do this for privacy reasons, and while they aren’t completely untraceable, it works well. In some cases, you may find the LLC registered offshore! If you must find the owner of an apartment complex and hit this roadblock, you may need to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate.

Using ProspectNow

There’s no need to dig through county records and navigate the bureaucratic hurdles that come your way. ProspectNow makes finding properties and their owners simple and hassle-free.

ProspectNow’s comprehensive property database will show you all available apartment complexes in your area. You can even get a list of complexes predicted to sell but aren’t yet on the market. The “likely seller” feature uses local sales data and demographics, unique analytics, and machine learning to predict which properties will hit the market in the next twelve months. This gives you a great opportunity to snap up properties before your competition. But how can you find the owner of a promising apartment complex?

It’s simple. ProspectNow provides the contact information for property owners instantly. Even if the owner is an LLC! The LLC’s owner is readily available on the platform. No digging  required.

Once you put a person’s name to a property, it’s time to make your pitch. ProspectNow simplifies that for you with a number of customer relationship management features. Contact the property owner by phone, email, or mail with a click. Templates for email and postcards are built in to ProspectNow to give you a professional look and a promising first impression. Even set up a direct ad campaign to plant the seed in a property owner who hasn’t yet committed to selling.

Ready to close more deals and make more money? Check out ProspectNow’s ROI calculator to find out how much more money you could be making with the platform. Test drive ProspectNow with a three-day free trial. Get started today!

How to Perform a Maryland Property Search

Ideally, you shouldn’t have any problems performing a Maryland property search to find out who owns residential or commercial properties. After all, it’s public information that anyone can access.

In reality, property searches can lead you down blind alleys and dead ends that waste your time and money.

ProspectNow has a much simpler way to ensure that you get accurate information from your Maryland property search. First, explore your alternatives. Then, you will understand the value of ProspectNow’s database.

Contact the Court Clerks of Maryland and Maryland State Archives

Regardless of which state’s real estate interests you, you can always follow a few general steps to get information about who owns a property.

Maryland actually makes its property searches easier than most states do. In some states, you need to contact a specific county office to get information on a property. That’s fine when you know the real estate’s precise location. The process becomes much more complicated when you only know the general area.

Maryland has a statewide database that you can use to find — theoretically, at least — information about any property in the state.

Before you can use the database, you need to create an account. Still, it’s much easier than searching for property information in most states.

Problems With Using the Maryland State Property Database 

While you might find Maryland property searches a little easier than those in other states, the state-run database still presents a few challenges that can stand between you and the information you need.

Records Don’t Get Updated as Often as They Should

Maryland’s state government — like most state governments — doesn’t always update its records as quickly as real estate agents and brokers would like. The state has much bigger issues to tackle, so property records often get put on the back burner. Even if some counties update their listings quickly, others can lag behind for months.

The problem becomes obvious pretty quickly. After searching the state database, you get the name and address of a property’s owner. When you reach out to that person to talk about selling the real estate, though, you learn that they haven’t owned the property in months.

You’ve reached a dead end because the state-run database doesn’t have an updated listing for the property.

Corporations Can List Themselves as Property Owners

One can also encounter problems when you find residential and commercial properties owned by corporations or other business entities.

You can’t exactly call “Baltimore’s Best Chicken Shack” to talk about selling or buying property.

You might think that you can just add another step to the process by looking up the owner on Maryland’s Business Express website. Unfortunately, you probably will not get the information you hope to find.

Let’s say you look up the Cordish Company, one of Baltimore’s most influential developers that manages property along the Inner Harbor. Instead of finding the name of the corporation’s owner, you find the resident agent. In this case, it’s CSC-Lawyers Incorporating Service Company.

You have to contact a company to get information about the company that owns the property you’re interested in.

When it comes to commercial property ownership, you can enter a long series of companies. Even if you eventually find the company that actually owns the property, you don’t know the name of the person who can make decisions about real estate.

As efficient as Maryland makes its system, you still end up wasting a lot of time looking for information that isn’t in the database.

Use ProspectNow to Get Accurate Information That Helps You Buy and Sell Real Estate

You don’t have to waste time and energy dealing with Maryland’s state offices. ProspectNow has an up-to-date database that will help you find the contact information of true owners.

ProspectNow has three databases that will make your job easier:

  • Residential database with 100 million listings.
  • Commercial database with about 42 million property listings.
  • Owner database with the real contact information for decision-makers in over 200 million corporations.

With ProspectNow, you quickly learn who to contact to talk about real estate deals.

Other real estate databases offer similar Maryland property search services. When you compare the options, though, you see that you get more information for less money by choosing ProspectNow.

More Benefits From Using ProspectNow to Perform Maryland Property Searches

ProspectNow does much more than help you find the real contact information of property owners in Maryland. The platform uses artificial intelligence to pinpoint properties that will likely get listed for sale within the next 12 months.

The database looks at a broad range of information to find significant events frequently connected to decisions to sell a property. For example, the algorithm will look for marriages, divorces, and childbirths. Households that experience these events are much more likely to sell their homes soon.

The commercial database can help you find properties owned by people and companies struggling to pay their loans or keep their tenants. As the owner’s investment falls short, you can step in and offer to purchase the property. It’s a win-win that saves the current owner from bankruptcy and lets you purchase commercial real estate at an affordable price.

Get Started With ProspectNow Today!

Save time and generate more successful leads from your Maryland property searches by joining ProspectNow. You can choose between residential or commercial properties. You also gain access to the predictive analytics that make it much easier for real estate agents, brokers, and investors to focus on properties likely to sell soon.

How to find a duplex for sale

Prospective real estate investors shouldn’t overlook duplexes. Here’s how to find a duplex for sale and why this is a good idea.

Why Buy a Duplex?

A duplex for sale presents a unique opportunity for real estate investment. It’s still small enough to qualify as a residential property, which makes the buying process simpler than if you were working with a commercial unit. 

If you choose to live in one of the units, you could qualify for an FHA loan to buy the property. This type of loan allows you to purchase an investment property with little to no money down, but the catch is that the property must be owner-occupied for at least a year. If you were to buy a single-family unit with this loan, you’d be out of rental income for a year before the terms of your loan allowed you to find a tenant. But using this loan to buy a duplex for sale, you can collect rental income from a tenant while still living in half the unit. This also means buying a duplex under these terms comes with a built-in residence for you.

This type of property is often more affordable than other multi-unit properties. Of course, it’s a much smaller property to work with. But duplexes also tend to be in areas with lower costs of living, so the property itself can be at a lower price point. The land itself is also much smaller and the maintenance requirements lower. For these reasons, a duplex for sale presents a more attainable avenue for real estate investing, especially for new investors without a lot of experience under their belts.

You may also be eligible for certain tax benefits associated with maintaining a rental property. Repair and maintenance costs can be deducted from the property tax you pay. Be sure to check the tax code in your area.

Where to Find a Duplex for Sale

Here’s how to find a duplex for sale.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are often experts in their field, with intimate knowledge of the surrounding area and property types. Their assistance can be valuable as you look for a duplex for sale. However, this expertise doesn’t come for free. They will take commissions out of your home sale. Common rates are anywhere from 3 to 7 percent of the final sale, which can be steep depending on the price of the property.

Real Estate Listings

If you want to take a do-it-yourself option, searching real estate listings yourself could be the way to go. The MLS will have property information on every duplex for sale at the time. But in this case you are truly on your own, and you may miss key details that can sway your decision to buy a property. If you’re an inexperienced real estate investor, you may benefit from some outside knowledge on how to find a duplex for sale.

Network With Other Real Estate Investors

If you can find other real estate investors in your area, they may be able to lead you toward promising properties. Find a local chapter of National REIA if one is available to you. If they aren’t local to you and you can’t find other organizations in your area, there is a free newsletter available.

Drive Around Your Neighborhood

Also called “driving for dollars,” this underrated real estate investment tactic has been around since well before the MLS and other services existed. It’s straightforward: get in your car and drive around your area looking for “for sale by owner” signs.

This strategy gives you a chance to find affordable properties that may not be on the MLS and for below market value. It means more potential savings for you and an opportunity to find a duplex for sale before your competition. Your only investment is time and gas.

Online Prospecting Platforms

Some online services go beyond the MLS to include key information and data analytics. Especially if you are a first-time investor, this can be valuable investment information. Continue your do-it-yourself investment search at a lower cost than hiring a real estate agent. These services do often charge a subscription fee, but many offer a limited-time free trial.

ProspectNow provides all this information with unique data analysis and lets you contact potential sellers with ease. All from the comfort of your living room. Read on to learn more about what this platform offers.

When You Find a Duplex

Like in any real estate transaction, don’t jump on the first duplex for sale that you see. You will want to make a thorough inspection of the property before committing to the sale. Not only will you potentially live here, but you need to make sure the property is suitable for tenant living. Make a note of any maintenance you’ll need or want to make before you’re comfortable putting the unit on the rental market.

Also, take a look at the surrounding neighborhood and comparable properties. Make a note of the average rental rate for similar units in the area, and aim for a rate within that range. Too high and you won’t bring in tenants. Too low and you may get hurt financially or turn off promising tenants who think your duplex for sale is too good to be true. Use your projected gross rent and expenses to calculate your net operating income, and see if that’s a figure you can live with.

Try ProspectNow

ProspectNow has been in the business since 2008 and combines a powerful real estate database with unique data analysis and a full-featured customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

This platform includes data on properties in all counties, whether they’re already on the MLS or flagged as one of ProspectNow’s “likely sellers.” The latter presents an opportunity to find properties that are for sale by owner or likely to sell within the next 12 months. Consider it a driving-for-dollars strategy that also saves you gas. Take a look at ProspectNow’s ROI calculator to see how many likely sellers they’ve identified in your area alone.

Contact information is readily available for every property, even ones owned by LLCs. Easily find a person’s name to put on the property, and give your communication a chance to reach a person instead of getting lost in a mailroom or being put in a shredder.

Finding a Duplex with ProspectNow

When you’ve found a duplex for sale that you like, it’s time to reach the seller. ProspectNow can help with this too. Send emails and postcards directly through the platform — there are even templates available to give your communications a more professional look. You can also set up a direct advertising campaign to reach potential sellers and plant the idea of selling their property as they browse the internet or social media. Or you can reach them the old-fashioned way, with a phone call.

Are you ready to find a duplex for sale? ProspectNow has all the tools you need to find your next property and close the deal. Start your free trial today and check out all the properties available in your county.

Competitor Comparison: CompStak

CompStak promises to let you “Deal Data Straight From The Source.” But what can it do for your real estate business?

Navigating the world of commercial real estate can be challenging, and it’s often hard for new agents and brokers to break in. There are many platforms out there to help ease the burden and make sense of the mountains of data you’ll need to process. But they aren’t all created equal. Different platforms will have varied specialties and may or may not meet your needs. In this article, we will compare two such platforms: CompStak and ProspectNow.

Overview Of CompStak

CompStak is a commercial real estate data platform. It promises a wealth of accurate and transparent data to help brokerages, agents, and landlords make more informed decisions. This data comes in from various partnered brokerages and appraisers, and in-house data scientists fact check the data through a rigorous process. The CompStak platform also gives you the ability to graph and interpret the data any way your business needs.

Features

  • A large nationwide database of commercial properties, crowdsourced by verified brokerages and appraisers and checked for accuracy by in-house data scientists.
  • Customized data analytics allow you to create your own reports and heat maps and identify market trends as they happen.
  • Suggests promising real estate markets by state.
  • An interactive tenant directory that can alert you when existing leases end.
  • Easily share reports. Export to an Excel spreadsheet or PDF file.

CompStak Tiers

There are multiple faces of the CompStak platform:

  • CompStak Exchange is the base tier for CompStak. It’s completely free but requires an email to sign up. This tier allows you to access property data, analytics, and collaborate with your office. CompStak Exchange is designed with CRE professionals at appraisal firms and brokerages in mind.
  • CompStak Enterprise is designed for commercial real estate investment and banking firms. It’s a more powerful version of the platform that lets you track competitors and access more data for underwriting purposes.
  • CompStak Analytics allows you to access real-time market analytics.
  • CompStak Prospect puts the focus on driving sales by helping you identify B2B buying signals and CompStak’s lease data. There are three tiers for CompStak Prospect:
  • Single Market tier for individuals, which includes access to one market and 250 tenant exports a month.
  • Multi-Market tier that gives access to up to three markets for three users, with 350 monthly tenant exports for each.
  • Custom options for nationwide access, put together with the help of CompStak staff. This tier gives each user 450 tenant exports a month, an account manager, and training.

There are no prices listed for any tier on the CompStak website, but there are options to request a demo for every tier except CompStak Exchange.

Reviews

There are few reviews available for CompStak, but most of them trend positive. Stephen S, an associate broker in Chicago had this to say about CompStak on the review site G2: “Unlike CoStar, compstak is usually spot on with the information that is provided. not only are you able to get small details on similar comps, but I’m able to better serve my client because of it. I wish I had unlimited credits!” 

He also noted that CompStak has been “a lifesaver when I’m in need of specific comparable information.”

Overview of ProspectNow

ProspectNow is another platform that combines a powerful property database with a feature-rich CRM. But it has a few different features.

The platform includes a comprehensive database of commercial and residential properties, which can be useful if you or your brokerage want to deal in both markets. It also includes unique data analytics such as a “likely seller” algorithm, which identifies properties that are likely to sell before they hit the market. The CRM side of ProspectNow allows you to contact prospective clients with a few clicks.

Features

  • Comprehensive property search database for millions of commercial and residential properties across the country.
  • Contact information for property owners is easy to find, even if the property is owned by an LLC.
  • Likely Sellers – Find properties predicted to sell soon, using data analysis and machine learning. Use this algorithm to find your next property before it hits the market, and before your competitors find it.
  • Multiple Contact Options – Reach out to prospects by phone, email, or snail mail. Email and postcard templates are included to help you make a strong first impression.
  • Direct Advertising – target your prospects online and set up your own omnichannel ad campaign through the ProspectNow platform.
  • ROI Calculator – input your current sales metrics and location, and find out how much more money you could be making through ProspectNow.

Reviews

ProspectNow has a 4.3 star rating on G2 and a 4.8 star rating on review site Featured Customers. Reviews for this platform are overwhelmingly positive.

James R., a senior regional account manager in the financial services field, had this to say about his experience with ProspectNow: “I like that in less than a minute I can get an entire database of owners in an area I’m targeting. Sometimes the phone numbers are correct, but I actually like the interface for prospecting and logging calls. I like being able to look at “How many units,” “Year purchased,” “Lender name,” etc all in the same screen. Every other Commercial Real Estate CRM requires multiple clicks just to see all this information when prospecting.”

A different G2 user in real estate noted: “For the price, you can not beat the analytics you get with Prospect Now. As a residential real estate agent, it shows me data on those neighbors that are most likely to sell in the next home. I can use that information to advertise to just those people. That saves thousands on our marketing budget.”

Pricing

There are two tiers for the ProspectNow platform: one for residential and one for commercial real estate agents. The residential database covers all properties with up to four units, which the commercial tier will grant access to all property types. Both tiers come with a free trial for three days. At the end of the trial, the residential database costs $119 per month. For the commercial database, you can request a free demo and work on a package that works with your business with a ProspectNow representative.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow’s platform is helping real estate agents, brokers, and more do just that. In business since 2008, the data found on ProspectNow comes simplified and at a lower cost than other platforms. Give it a 3-day free trial today and find out what you’re missing.