Find the Address of a Vacant Lot

You’ve found the perfect building site, rental property, or commercial facility, but you don’t know who owns it. This is an all-too-common event for real estate investors and brokers. If you need to know how to find the address of a vacant lot, or how to contact the owner of a property to see if it’s for sale, then it’s time to connect to an extensive property and owner database.

Find a Property

The first step in investing in real estate is finding the perfect property. If you want to take advantage of tax breaks, increase your portfolio or find the perfect fix-and-flip property, then you need to be creative about the way you find properties.

In the past, you had to physically drive around the area and look for property that appeared to be vacant. If you didn’t have the address, you would need to head to a records office and try to figure out the address. Once you have that information, you need to contact the property owner and arrange a time to discuss the property.

All that work is tedious and inefficient. Expand your real estate investment opportunities by cutting down on the time it takes to find a property using these steps.

How To Find the Address of a Vacant Lot

From acres of farmland to a single city lot, vacant land is a valuable investment worth pursuing. Many landowners go through the traditional channels of a real estate agent, but some may be interested in selling but haven’t gone through the process yet.

According to the National Association of Realtors, vacant land is expected to increase in price by 2%. Instead of waiting for the price to increase or a landowner to finally list it, use the ProspectNow online database to find the address of vacant land. Here are the steps to find land:

  • Select the state and county you wish to search
  • Enter listing data filters, like property value, available equity, or acreage
  • Find vacant lots on a map

This will give you the address of a specific lot you may have found and are interested in. You can also use this database to create targeted lists of vacant land for sale or land that may be for sale.

How To Find Vacant Commercial Properties

Approximately 7% of rental properties are vacant, according to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy 2018 report. If you see commercial property that appears to be vacant, then you can use the same database to find the address of the commercial property.

Don’t attempt to enter a vacant building or assume a commercial facility not currently in use is for sale. It’s not only illegal to trespass but there may be renovations going on that make the property appear to be vacant. Stay safe and find more convenient ways to determine the status of a property using an online database.

Identify an Owner

Once you have the address for a vacant lot or commercial property, you need to determine the property owner. According to the National Association of Realtors, the market experienced a decline in month-to-month sales in August 2021, so you may be able to recommend that a landowner list a property before sales continue to fall.

There are three basic ways you can find who is the owner of a vacant or occupied property:

  • Public records
  • Local real estate agents
  • Online property information database

Use Public Records

Ownership details of property are part of the public records, so you can find the name of the owner once you have an address. Depending on your local state, county, and municipality laws and regulations, there are three different sources of relevant public record information:

  • Recorder’s office
  • County tax collector or assessor
  • County assessor

Tax records, registry of deeds, land registry, and property records may be available through one or more of these offices. Going directly to a public records office can be a time-consuming process, but it is an option if you’re looking to receive basic information about a particular address.

Connect With a Real Estate Agent

As a real estate investor, it pays to know local agents. Real estate agents are some of the first individuals who find out information about properties being listed in an area. They also typically know many local property owners, business owners, and investors, so they may be a more direct route to contact information about vacant land or commercial buildings.

Choose an Online Database

The future of real estate investing and prospective is ProspectNow. You can’t afford to drive every street in your city or road in your county to find empty lots and promising properties. Instead of spending time hitting the street, chatting up real estate agents, or heading to public records offices, turn to an online database that streamlines the entire process.

Not only can you search for properties on a map, but you can look up addresses and find the name of a property owner using this helpful online tool. Extensive commercial and residential databases put millions of properties right at your fingertips.

Locate Contact Information

After learning how to find the address of a vacant lot, the next step is reaching out to the landowner. Knowing the name of the owner isn’t enough if you’re hoping to reach out and discuss buying an empty lot. Thankfully, the ProspectNow online database makes it easy to find much more than just a property owner’s name.

Expand Your Search With an Online Database

Find vacant land, commercial properties, and residential homes that are available or are likely going to be available in the next 12 months. Machine learning models use predictive analytics to determine the likelihood of a property being refinanced or sold in the next year.

Once you do find a property you’re interested in, you can see all of these features:

  • Owner name and contact information
  • Average sold price
  • List price (average)
  • Average price per square foot

Easily explore sales comps and MLS data to determine the value of a home before you reach out to a homeowner. This can assist you in negotiating a price or offering an investment opportunity to an owner.

Use ProspectNow To Connect With Property Owners

See what a database with millions of properties can do for your business. Explore commercial properties today with ProspectNow. Find the address of a vacant lot and the contact information for a landowner or commercial facility owner to save time and money as you invest in real estate.

 

Reonomy vs. Property Shark Review

Are you using PropertyShark or Reonomy in your real estate business? Make sure either one is the right platform for you.

Investors know that finding new properties is a completely different business from years past. As every part of the industry becomes tech-enabled, you have your pick of platforms to do the property searching for you. Two such platforms, PropertyShark and Reonomy, stand prominently in the field. But do they have the features that a modern real estate investor needs? Might another contender fill the role best? Read on to see how these two platforms stand up against each other and one more.

PropertyShark

PropertyShark is a long-standing name in the real estate business. The New York-based service boasts comprehensive data for both residential and commercial properties across the country. You can get one free report to try out PropertyShark and then sign up for one of their subscription tiers. The tiers start at $59.99 per month but will vary in exact price and availability depending on your state of operation.

Pricing

What do you get from these subscriptions? The basic Pro tier will get you access to 175 reports per month with maps, photos, mail and data lists and more. Higher tiers give you more reports, access to foreclosures and pre-foreclosures, phone lists and LLC data. (Note that the latter two features are available in New York City only.)

Reviews

While PropertyShark remains popular, reviews leave much to be desired. The platform has also made certain changes to its business model that left longtime users scratching their heads. Arielle writes on Trustpilot, “At first I thought the user experience of the website is just terrible since it brings up wrong addresses during a search but then after speaking with customer service it’s pretty obvious that the wrong results are by design.”

There have been concerns about the accuracy of available data, especially as it cuts into a user’s monthly reports limit. Many users also note that PropertyShark doesn’t do its due diligence with the properties listed on the site. As Kylie notes on Trustpilot, “Property shark should definitely do background checks on the people and their houses that they are listing … I have seen several different houses with different pictures and the same address, I have seen the same houses with the same pictures and different address and I have seen the same houses for different prices.”

Reonomy

Reonomy is another prominent name when it comes to real estate platforms. This service gives you data on millions of commercial properties across the nation. It also comes equipped with AI tools, market research and data analysis. At first glance, it appears that commercial property agents, investors and brokers stand to benefit more from Reonomy than from PropertyShark. Residential agents, however, will want to look elsewhere.

Pricing

Reonomy offers a free trial, but their subsequent subscription pricing isn’t readily available. You will need to either complete the free trial or get in touch with a Reonomy representative to discuss pricing and terms.

Reviews

This platform comes with high ratings on leading software review sites. Ease of use and customer service were among Reonomy’s strong points. As Adrian noted on Capterra, “I like how it is very user-friendly and it takes about 20 minutes to learn the whole program. I also like the data it provides as other companies do not give as much information.”

Rhonda makes note of Reonomy’s responsive customer service team. “I had problem where I wanted to see the properties that were owned by the client and within 4 months the feature was added , if I need a updated training I just need to request it”

An Alternative: ProspectNow

But how do these two popular platforms stand against a third competitor? ProspectNow offers data on both residential and commercial properties, all across the country. Features include a “likely seller” algorithm that will predict which properties are likely to sell within twelve months and the ability to look up the owner of an LLC in seconds. These features aren’t locked behind complex pricing structures or location restraints. All ProspectNow customers have access to the same features.

Pricing

ProspectNow offers a three-day free trial, followed by full access for $119 per month. Before you buy, check the included ROI calculator to see how much money you could be making with ProspectNow. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Reviews

ProspectNow comes highly rated, with users praising the platform’s ease of use. As James wrote on G2, “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.”

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow bundles a comprehensive property search database with powerful CRM features for residential and commercial real estate alike. We’ve been providing more data at a lower price for over a decade. Sign up for your free trial today to see what you’ve been missing.

 

Commercial Database Products for Real Estate

Economic and workplace changes have significantly influenced the commercial real estate sector since 2020. The rapid shifts have made it more important than ever for real estate professionals to choose commercial database products that assist their property searches. By harnessing the power of technology, you could spend less time choosing which property owners to contact. In return, you will increase revenues and return on investment (ROI) without working more hours.

Commercial Database Products Identify Off-Market Properties

Trends

At the beginning of 2021, J.P. Morgan reported that 41% of business leaders expected that most of their employees would return to in-office work by July 2021.

It’s difficult to determine whether that prediction came true. According to Gallup, whether people continue working remotely largely depends on their positions. In April 2020, 83% of white-collar employees worked remotely. A year later, 72% still logged hours from home or remote offices. Blue-collar workers experienced a very different situation. In April 2020, about 20% of them worked remotely. By April 2021, only 14% performed tasks remotely.

Trends like these may help explain why industrial properties have increased in value while office spaces have fallen slightly. Clearly, it takes a lot of experience to determine how commercial real estate trends will evolve. Even the experts make mistakes. However, commercial database products with built-in artificial intelligence can make it possible for real estate professionals to target potential opportunities. You don’t need backing from a giant corporation to predict which properties will sell.

Database Products

The best commercial database products can help reveal real estate trends so you can contact current owners before they put their properties on the market. ProspectNow uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to determine which commercial properties will likely get listed over the next 12 months.

For example, a property owner that misses a loan payment might start thinking about whether they can afford to retain ownership. If they make money by leasing office space to businesses, they could struggle to find revenue as more companies continue their remote-work strategies. Without a reliable source of revenue, the owner might want to sell the property to avoid losing more money or damaging their financial reputation.

ProspectNow can highlight this type of property in your area so you can contact the owner to make a deal that benefits both parties. They get to avoid financial losses and you get to buy commercial real estate at below-market prices.

ProspectNow also uses AI, machine learning, and publicly available information to help real estate agents and investors target pre-foreclosure homes so they can approach owners before they default. If you’re interested in exploring residential real estate opportunities, ProspectNow will help you earn a higher return on your investment.

Build Targeted Lists to Improve Your ROI

The best commercial database products need to do more than predict which properties will get listed in the near future. They also need to help you improve your ROI by filtering properties and building targeted lists.

With ProspectNow, you can learn more about a property’s features, zoning, ownership history, tax payments, legal description, liens, and foreclosures. Once you find commercial properties in your area that match your interests, you can filter the results and have the platform generate a list of contacts.

If this sounds complicated, watch this video of a user building a list with ProspectNow. The straightforward user interface makes it easy to build a list of contacts within about one minute. Once you generate your list of high-value leads, you can reach out to the owners. Establishing a connection with each owner will make you an obvious resource for them when they decide to sell. They might not want to let go of the property today, but they could change their minds within the next 12 months. When that happens, you can expect a phone call to talk about their selling or refinancing options.

Accurate Contact Information for Commercial Real Estate Owners

 

If you have been involved in commercial real estate for very long, you’ve probably encountered a common problem: the contact information listed as the property’s owner directs you to a business rather than a person.

Business addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses don’t always help you contact a decision-maker within organizations. Instead, you end up communicating with a receptionist or assistant without any power to make decisions.

ProspectNow finally solves this issue by giving you the real contact information of people with authority to make important decisions such as whether to sell real estate. Instead of wasting your time sending mailers to corporate offices or waiting on hold, you get direct access to the owner.

The ProspectNow database searches more than 200 million corporate filings to give you information about true owners.

Start Your Free Trial with ProspectNow

 

ProspectNow started as a tool for some of the countries biggest real estate agencies to identify, engage, and grow prospects efficiently. Today, you can tap into the technology that helps make large agencies successful.

Whether you work independently or manage a small real estate investment agency, ProspectNow’s commercial database has the features you need to increase your revenues and improve your ROI.

ProspectNow has been around for over a decade (since 2008). The data that users can get from ProspectNow is a lot more expensive on other competing platforms. By using ProspectNow, users will close more deals and make more money!

You don’t have to take any risks when trying ProspectNow. Start your free trial today to see how the best commercial database products can improve your property search strategy.

 

How Much Do Commercial Real Estate Agents Make?

A commercial real estate agent’s pay is different from most other jobs. There’s no salary involved most of the time, but agents instead work solely on commission. This means that while there’s no real cap to what an agent can make in a year, their livelihood depends directly on their ability to close deals. It can be a recipe for a “feast or famine” lifestyle. 

The good news is, commercial properties can close for millions of dollars. And big sales mean big commissions. Read on to learn more about how much commercial real estate agents make, and how they can maximize their earnings by using ProspectNow.

How Commission Works

There are two ways to earn commission as a commercial real estate agent: property sales and lease transactions. The commission will also vary widely depending on the value of the property, agreed-upon rate, brokerage split, and the number of agents involved.

But if you’re looking for a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to make, here are some statistics:

  • Agents who specialized in commercial properties made an average of $73,839 in 2019.
  • That’s substantially higher than the average residential real estate agent’s income ($52,395)
  • And nearly three times the average income of agents who don’t have a specialty at all. ($26,992)

But don’t expect to get your money all at once. Upon a property sale or lease transaction, commission is paid to a real estate broker first. It’s then the broker’s job to pay the agent, with their share of the commission taken out.

The first step in a transaction will be to agree upon a commission rate. Typically, it’s a percentage of the sale price, and this percentage tends to go down as property value goes up. For example, a property listed for less than a million can go for 6 to 8 percent commission, but a property listing for 20 million will have a 1 percent commission or less. But the good news is, the latter still means a check for up to $200 thousand dollars could be coming your way!

When it comes to leasing agreements, the commission is based on the total value of the lease. This commission is usually still paid in a lump sum, due when the lease is signed and security deposit paid. Sometimes there will be a structured payment agreement between the broker and landlord. In addition, agents are occasionally paid a reduced commission upon lease renewal.

There’s little in the way of regulating commission agreements and no standard commission rates per antitrust laws, so there are a number of ways that commission payment can be negotiated.

How Can Commercial Agents Maximize Their Earnings?

Using the ProspectNow platform, commercial agents have a strong advantage. We have the most complete database of commercial properties and owners, and data analytics to help boost your leads – all in one place for a low price.

The first step is to find commercial properties for sale, which is easily done. ProspectNow’s database has it all! There are over 38 million commercial properties in the database – some currently up for sale, and some designated “likely sellers” that aren’t yet listed but might go up for sale soon. But more on those likely sellers later! There are many ways to find commercial properties for sale, but the ProspectNow platform makes the first step and the following ones much easier.

Put A Name To A Property

Every property has an owner. Many times, it’s an individual. Finding out how to reach them is easy enough. But sometimes you’ll find a property owned by an LLC. In these cases, you’ll still want to look for an individual’s name to help increase your chances of making successful contact. How can you do this? Again, there are multiple ways of finding the owner of an LLC, and some of them complicated. Or you can log on to ProspectNow and get that name immediately. All of the contact information you need is gathered for you in one place.

With the same system, you’re able to find and contact the tenants of a commercial property. This can be useful if you’re looking for standalone businesses like fast-food restaurants.

Identify Likely Sellers Instantly

Off-market properties are an excellent opportunity to find great deals with minimal competition. These are properties that, for one reason or another, aren’t advertised on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) Perhaps the seller hasn’t yet listed the property, or doesn’t want the hassle of giving tours, or the property can be in the pre-foreclosure stage.

The challenge here is finding these properties without the aid of the MLS, but it’s made easier with ProspectNow’s “likely seller” algorithm. This function makes use of data analytics and machine learning to spot characteristics of properties that are gearing up for sale. And because machine learning plays a role, the algorithm to identify these likely sellers only gets smarter with each week. These properties will show up in your leads lists with the “likely seller” badge to tip you off to their “not yet on the market” status.

Give yourself an advantage over other commercial real estate agents by using ProspectNow to spot off-market properties. You may be the lucky agent to reach these sellers first!

One-Click Contact

So, you have your list of leads. How do you contact them? Phone numbers are always readily available, but let’s say you’re too busy to call all fifty property owners on your list.

With ProspectNow, you send an email instead to every one of those fifty owners through the platform with one click. If that’s too impersonal for you, you can send physical postcards through the mail with your own name and contact information. The postcards are sent out for you with postage automatically deducted.

Not sure what to say? There are templates available for emails and postcards. But don’t worry so much about putting a script together when cold calling leads.

So how much do commercial agents make? As much as they want. With commission-based earnings, the sky is the limit. ProspectNow has the tools to help you maximize those sales and your commission with ease.

Ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow has helped agents do just that since 2008. We give you more data and unique analytics at a lower cost than competitors. Sign up for a free trial today.

 

 

How to Evaluate a Commercial Real Estate Investment

Commercial real estate (CRE) investments can be an amazing addition to your investment portfolio. CRE is highly competitive, and with the right strategy, you can make  or lose  a fortune. Properly evaluating a piece of property requires attention to detail and an ability to assess the tangible and intangible aspects of a deal. In addition to assessing potential revenues and expenses over the first year after a purchase, you also must survey other aspects, such as overall neighborhood, visibility, and zoning.

Why Is Commercial Property Valuation Important?

Property values matter for several reasons, each of them equally important. For instance, buyers can get properties at a reasonable market value without overpaying if they have an accurate valuation. It works the same for sellers, too, as they use the property valuation to help maximize returns from sales. A seller can also use a property valuation to sell a property quickly, or at least in a timely fashion.

Property valuation also plays a role in financing. A lender or bank will only lend if a property is deemed valuable enough that it can:

  • Be used as collateral.
  • Generate enough revenue to pay back the loan.
  • Provide value to property shareholders.

Real estate investors and other professionals use a variety of methods for commercial real estate valuation. The method used normally depends on the property’s type, its location, or its intended use.

Commercial Property Valuation Methods

CRE doesn’t depreciate like some investments can. And, in some markets, commercial real estate values are actually increasing. In comparison to residential real estate, CRE almost always offers better return rates. But, as with all investments, it’s important to research each property prior to making a decision.

One of the ways you can value commercial real estate is by comparison. In CRE, it’s important to compare apples to apples. For instance, comparing the investment value of a hotel to that of an office complex won’t offer valuable information. Compare like building types or classes, using such data as their location and square footage.

Moving away from comparisons based on building class, data can be a bit murky. You must use various metrics that point to a better CRE investment. Some of the best metrics to use for the calculation include:

  • Net operating income.
  • Capitalization rate.
  • Cash-on-cash return.

Let’s examine these a bit closer.

Net Operating Income

Net operating income is the amount you have leftover after accounting for all operating expenses after revenue. To determine a property’s net operating income, or NOI, add every source of revenue the property generates, such as:

  • Rental payments.
  • Lease payments.
  • Parking fees.

Then you’ll subtract every expense. CRE expenses can include:

  • Electricity and other utility charges.
  • Maintenance fees.
  • Property taxes.

You do not count the property’s mortgage as an expense.

If you’re left with a high NOI, the property could be a good investment. If it’s low  or worse, negative  it’s likely the property isn’t a great opportunity and may not even be sustainable.

Capitalization Rate

A property’s capitalization, or cap, rate is a formula only used for an owner’s first year after property purchase. Cap rates take a look at how much an investor stands to earn the first year as an owner if they buy the property outright. After the property is purchased, an appraiser determines the property value because this measurement is based on the property’s price in a specific year. Cap rates also help an investor estimate the return the property will provide.

Cash-on-Cash Return

This metric illustrates how fast you can regain your original capital outlay. For instance, a retail building with a 50% cash-on-cash return rate means you’ll earn back your investment in two years. Calculating the rate is simple  divide your net operating income by how much you invested in the property.

Why Is Calculating Cash-on-Cash Return Rates Important?

Knowing how to evaluate a commercial real estate investment and how long it will take to earn your initial investment back helps you determine if this commercial property is a good investment for the long haul. The best cash-on-cash return rate depends on who you ask  some investment professionals say a rate of 8% to 12% is good, whereas other investors won’t touch a property offering less than 20%.

At the end of the day, this metric really depends on how much of a risk you’re willing to take, how large a loan you’ll need, and how this investment rounds out the rest of your portfolio. Thankfully, if you work with a licensed CRE investment agency, the advice for this decision will be part of your service package.

How Can You Find Commercial Investment Properties?

The best way to locate a commercial investment property is to partner with a buyer’s rep. Buyer’s reps are commercial brokers who work on your behalf as an advocate for your needs throughout the process. Two of the greatest benefits of working with a representative include:

  • Access to the deals in their pipeline.
  • Services are complimentary.

Brokers who use a service like ProspectNow have access to deals that haven’t even hit the market yet, or they just might know an owner who is getting ready to sell. And depending on the location of the purchase, the seller must pay the agent’s commission.

If you still have a few questions regarding CRE investment properties, you can also speak to a real estate lawyer, CRE mortgage broker, or a CRE broker.

Partner with ProspectNow

If you’re looking for a commercial investment, the owners and properties in our commercial database are a great place to start. We’ve been helping real estate agents, brokers, and investors find more leads, close more sales, and make more money since 2008. If you want to see what ProspectNow can do for you, reach out to one of our representatives today or sign up for a free trial.

How To Find Property Data For Your Next Real Estate Investment

How To Find Property Data For Your Next Real Estate Investment

Property data is vital when securing your next real estate investment, but it’s sometimes hard to find. Here’s how to get it.

If you’re looking at real estate properties for investment, you’ll need data and a lot of it. There’s no way around this, whether you want to invest in residential or commercial property. You’ll need to find the proper owners to contact, you’ll need purchase or rent data for valuation, and you’ll need information about the surrounding area. But this data isn’t always simple to come by. There are a number of ways to start your search but just as many ways that your search can be complicated. 

ProspectNow offers a comprehensive solution to gather and work with property data. This includes properties that may not be on your radar yet. But first, read on about the other ways that investors use to find data on potential investment properties.

The Trouble With Property Data

Contact information isn’t always easy to find. Sellers may neglect to update phone numbers or emails, or in some cases may not have them at all. Sometimes they may fail to provide a change of address form. And sometimes, the owner information is hidden in an LLC or trust for various legal reasons. In these cases reaching the owner of a potential investment can be difficult. Mailing a postcard to the LLC may get your message lost in a mailroom. But a phone call to the key decision maker behind the LLC will carry much more weight.

There are ways to find the owner of an LLC and make that positive impression. You can sift through public records and court filings, or you can run a search on ProspectNow.

Apart from owner contact information, there are multiple ways that property data collection can get complicated. You may not be able to find enough data on investment properties, especially if looking for purchase transactions.

Finally, one more problem with publicly accessible information is that your competition also has access to it. They could be reaching out to the same leads that you are, which cuts into your chances of closing those deals. Most sellers will work with the first agent who contacts them, so your best shot at landing a promising investment property is to find it before other investors.

How To Find It

There are many different places to find property data if you know where to look. Here are just a few.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Among the most common sources of property data is the Multiple Listing Service. Called the MLS for short, It is a third party database that combines the listings of real estate agents across the country. You can search for homes in every county and metropolitan area. But instead of hosting the property data on the MLS website, you’ll be directed to individual agents and agencies depending on your chosen location. Websites may require you to create an account in order to view their listings.

With these combined listings, the MLS can be a vital source of information when looking for your next investment property. But the disjointed nature of the listings can complicate your search.

Property Appraisers or Assessors

The local property appraiser will keep public records of every property. This includes owner name and contact information, transaction history, foreclosures, square footage, and more. You can also find permits and other documentation for major renovations and additions. Each county will have its own property appraiser. In some states these are known as assessors.

You may opt to find this information in person, and can do so by visiting the appraiser’s or assessor’s physical office in the county where the property is. This may not always be an option, especially in recent times with pandemic concerns. But if for any reason you need to look at older records, this may be your only option for a small fee. Online searches are more convenient and available at all hours, but in many cases only the most recent court records will be available to you.

Secretaries of State or Corporation Commissions

Depending on your state, corporate filings and LLCs will be handled either by the state’s Secretary of State or a separate Corporation Commission. This is where you’ll want to get information about the owner of an LLC.

Subscription Databases

There are several third party databases that host property data as a subscription service. This adds a level of convenience for the prospective real estate investor, as most of the data they’ll need is (in theory, at least) available in one place. The downside is that these subscription services can come with hefty price tags. And they often don’t have the added features that ProspectNow offers such as one-click contact options, email and postcard templates, and data analytics.

What’s more, there’s little to no guarantee that these subscription services will give you accurate data. This is a chief concern that clients have with prominent services such as PolicyShark, with the Better Business Bureau showing complaints of incomplete data and high prices for the value provided.

ProspectNow

ProspectNow has the most complete database of residential and commercial properties in every county across the country, all in one place. This property data includes easy access to a name behind LLCs and trusts that may own properties or the tenants in commercial properties. With names in hand, ProspectNow also gives you a direct way to contact these key decision makers.

On top of the listed properties you’d find elsewhere, ProspectNow also includes “likely sellers.” These are properties our algorithm detects as being likely to sell soon but aren’t yet on the market. These will give you an advantage over other prospectors by providing the opportunity to reach potential sellers first. And because the algorithm makes use of unique analytics and machine learning, the algorithm gets smarter with every week.

But ProspectNow’s platform is more than a comprehensive real estate database. You also have a full featured customer relationship management (CRM) program with lead generation and multiple direct contact options. Find promising leads for investment properties and send them a call, email, or postcard in minutes.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow has been in the business since 2008 with proven features to help prospectors and agents find and sell more properties.

5 More Challenges Facing CRE Brokers (and How to Overcome Them)

The commercial real estate market is evolving, and CRE brokers may struggle to keep up. Here’s how to adapt to the changing times.

Whether you’re just getting started in the commercial real estate world or you’re already established, you may already know this is a challenging field. This is even more true today, as we sit at an intersection of pandemic-imposed struggles and a rapidly evolving tech sector.

We previously presented you with seven challenges facing CRE brokers. But with such rapid changes to our economy as a whole, adapting will be a continuous challenge.

Additional challenges facing CRE brokers today include:

Rapidly Changing Markets

The pandemic forced many businesses to adopt a work from home mentality. Others were forced to close completely. Experts don’t expect business to return to “normal”, but a new normal is in sight.

As market expectations change, so will that of commercial real estate. The start of 2021 saw a dramatic shift in the commercial sector. The rise in online shopping means an increase in demand for distribution centers. The continued work from home trend means less of a demand for offices, but not a complete shutdown. 

How to overcome it: If you’re seeing a reduced market in the type of buildings you’re used to representing, it may be time to pivot and try something new. Look at certain types of buildings and how owners intend to repurpose them. Or this could be the perfect time to buy some office space and hold on to it for a long-term investment. You may also want to consider investments in new cities or suburban areas with higher potential for growth.

Demographics Changes

People are moving out of supersize cities in favor of smaller cities, towns, and suburbs. There are a number of reasons for this: lack of affordable housing, health concerns during the current or subsequent pandemic, the work-from-home lifestyle making commuting irrelevant. If you work with commercial property in an urban area, you may see a downturn in activity as a result. What’s more, rents in some big cities are also dropping in part because of the mass exodus. With widespread shutdowns, there simply hasn’t been as much value in urban living.

How to overcome it: It’s time to branch out into other locations. 18-hour cities have a low cost of living now and show massive potential for growth, but that won’t last forever. Diversify your portfolio with some property in a new city.

Data Overload

With our tech-enabled practices, people are working with more data than ever before. Between sales metrics, market demographics, and emerging technologies, commercial real estate has never been so informed. But this is both a blessing and a curse. There is such a thing as too much data. While more data can be important for informed business decisions, having more data than you know what to do with can leave you overwhelmed, leading you to make the wrong business decisions—or no decisions at all.

The key here is to have enough of the right data and a plan for how to use it. This is a challenge for businesses in every sector. As a commercial real estate broker, you may not know where to start or which data you really need. This is especially true if you’re looking into new markets or flirting with new business technology.

How to overcome it: ProspectNow uses predictive analytics and machine learning to create a likely seller algorithm. This flags properties that have a strong potential for hitting the market soon, and gives you the chance to jump on them before they show up on the MLS. Using this data effectively gives you a competitive edge in a market that’s never certain.

Affordability

It’s no secret that the pandemic led to economic struggle for many people. Among the hardest hit were small businesses, many of which closed for good after only a short period of shutdowns. Unemployment rates soared as businesses laid off workers. While the government provided some relief for individuals and businesses, it didn’t always make up for lost revenue. Many are still trying to recover financially from the events of 2020.

How to overcome it: This is a tricky situation as there isn’t exactly a quick fix. It may be worth it for you to hold on to some key investment properties according to the projected market changes mentioned above. Or use this as another opportunity to invest in new areas. Higher housing costs means more people will move to multi-family buildings or mobile home parks, raising the demand and creating a unique opportunity for you.

Rethinking How To Use Space

If 2020 taught us one thing, it’s the importance of social distancing. Staying six feet apart from each other helped slow the spread of this virus, but what about future outbreaks? The need for breathing room won’t go away with the end of the pandemic, and packing consumers in stores like sardines never did us any good. In many brick and mortar buildings, this may mean rethinking traffic flows to promote social distancing and avoid overcrowding situations, or the ventilation in buildings.

How to overcome it: Stickers on the floor are no longer enough. Improved regulations may be coming to your area. Find ways to implement long-term solutions in your buildings to promote breathing room and improve air quality. Go beyond the current Fire Marshal regulations and you may come out ahead of the curve.

About ProspectNow

As a hybrid real estate prospecting tool and full-featured CRM, ProspectNow has the tools you need to adapt to today’s ever-changing commercial real estate market. Its extensive property search tool shows you every property for sale in the country. It also makes use of unique data analytics to identify properties likely to sell before they hit the market, giving you an opportunity to make the first move. This is your chance to find new opportunities in other markets that may be on the rise, whether you’re looking into new property types for sale or properties in other parts of the country. ProspectNow is your tool to bridge the knowledge gap.

Once you’ve identified a property, ProspectNow makes it easy to find and contact the owner. Access owner contact information with one click, or even find the contact information for an LLC property owner. If you’re not sure what to say, ProspectNow provides templates for email, postcards, even online ad communications. Set up multiple ad campaigns and send out your messages through the platform with one click.

To see how much money you could make with ProspectNow, there is a handy ROI calculator on the website. Let it tell you how many more properties you could find and deals you could close just by using the platform. Simply enter your current location and previous sales. It will tell you how many likely sellers it’s spotted in your area, the predicted turnover, and possible commissions that could go in your pocket.

If you’re ready to close more deals and make more money, it’s time to start your ProspectNow free trial. Sign up today.

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 are a deduction 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.

About 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.” 

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.

The Predictive Power Of Property Analytics

Big Data has arrived in the real estate business. Here’s how property analytics make sense of it.

Property analytics and valuation are sometimes tricky business. You aren’t only considering the details of the property, but the surrounding neighborhood as well. Now that we have access to more data than ever, those little details about your neighborhood mean so much more. 

Census data also no longer work as a baseline for neighborhood data. It doesn’t include enough usable detail and only updates once every ten years. You need faster data than that. In order to market your properties effectively, you need access to a wealth of data and all of its rapid changes. The problem? Trying to manage that data will overwhelm you quickly.

The solution is to make use of data analysis to handle the calculations and track changes for you. This also takes human error out of the equation, making your valuations more accurate.

Property Analytics and Valuation

The wealth of factors that go into property valuation are amplified by our access to big data. You might think that the gym on the corner is a point in your property’s favor, but that may not be the case if its social media reviews are low and online presence minimal. Property analytics can also take into account factors you may have overlooked or underestimated, such as economic growth or updates to public services. This can take much of the guesswork and human error out of the equation, making your valuations more accurate with less effort on your part.

Property Analytics And Likely Sellers

For buying new properties, your goal is to find something good before your competition does. You can’t depend on the MLS for that, especially if everyone else is watching it, too. Nor should you rely on a driving for dollars scheme to find unlisted properties.

ProspectNow uses a likely seller algorithm that reliably predicts which properties in your area will sell soon. It takes into account local demographics such as marriages, divorces and deaths, along with other factors that often predate a home sale. It also uses machine learning technology so that the algorithms used are constantly updated and become smarter over time. ProspectNow is the only platform with this feature for both residential and commercial properties.

Property Analytics and Marketing

Analytics also go a long way to marketing your property. You can process data from resident comments in your area to find out what’s important to them, all without sifting through the comments yourself. Once you know what your property’s best-selling points are, you can use them to reach your prospective buyer.

An omnichannel marketing campaign is an analysis-heavy approach to reaching potential clients and anticipating their needs. These ads can follow your prospect as they browse, predict why they haven’t engaged with you yet and attempt to solve the problems. This is the kind of reach humans can’t replicate without coming across as too invasive.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow puts property analytics in your pocket. With a comprehensive property database combined with a CRM platform, ProspectNow gives you one place to find properties, contact the owners and close deals. With the likely seller algorithm, you can find properties predicted to sell before anyone else, whether you deal in commercial or residential property, anywhere in the country. It handles the work of data analysis for you, freeing you to focus more on making sales and interacting with clients. Your lead generation becomes automatic with the help of ProspectNow and its property analytics.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow has made property analytics more accessible to agents, brokers, investors and more since 2008. Check the ROI calculator to see how much more money you could be making with ProspectNow, as well as all the properties that were correctly predicted to sell in your area. Then sign up for your three-day free trial to get started.

The Broker’s Guide To Using A Real Estate Lead Generation System

Lead generation isn’t what it used to be. Here’s a real estate lead generation guide for brokers.

As a broker, you may already know the challenges of real estate lead generation. Add that to the workload of managing your brokerage, realtors, and existing clients, and you see the need for an easy method.

Keep in mind that real estate lead generation today isn’t like lead generation tactics of the past. Prospective clients are weary of constant marketing attempts, and cold calling is often a sure way to turn them off to your brokerage for good. Fortunately, the ever-present nature of the internet in our daily lives presents other opportunities to bring these leads to you. Read on to learn a better way to approach real estate lead generation.

Establish Your Brand

In order to entice leads to come to you, they first need to know who you are. Keeping a presence online in places prospects are likely to search is the first step to turning cold approaches into warm ones. Build your profiles on select social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin are popular choices. Be sure to update these pages regularly and engage with users when possible. This is how a business creates a first impression upon prospective clients. You should also build your Google My Business listing, as it’s the single easiest way to show up more prominently in web searches.

Social media and search engines are the most common avenues for prospective clients to find you. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect to build your website. Beyond having another medium for showcasing important information about your brokerage and listings, a website allows you more freedom and creativity than social media platforms can give you. It’s an important tool for creating and unifying your brand.

Upgrade Your Listings

Internet technology has come a long way in recent years, and available content has never looked better. But what this means for your real estate listing is that a collection of grainy, poorly lit photos no longer impresses anyone. Don’t rely on the house to speak for itself. It’s your job to tell the story and sell it to a lucky buyer.

To do this, take advantage of new media trends. Photo editing software and upgraded digital camera mean you don’t have to settle for sub-par photographs. Use drones to take aerial neighborhood shots and video tours of the property. Go beyond your computer and organize a neighborhood tour to entice newcomers to start looking more closely in your area. The latter is an especially effective tactic for showcasing multiple properties in your portfolio. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

Leverage Big Data

Accompanying the explosion in internet technology has been a wealth of data we didn’t have before. You can look up data on real estate all over the country, with millions of small details from nearby school ratings to the closest coffee shop.

There’s more than enough data available for more detailed valuations and better offers, But it can overwhelm the savviest of brokers. The solution is more technology in the form of machine learning algorithms that take the mental load of calculations and real estate lead generation off of you. Keep reading to find out how ProspectNow uses these algorithms to find off-market properties before anyone else.

Contact Across All Channels

Once you find your ideal properties, it’s time to reach out to the owners. This step may feel like cold calling, but you don’t want to employ the pushy sales tactics of the past. The objective is to make your presence known and place the ball in the lead’s court.

Don’t settle for the traditional communication channels, either. Phone, email, and snail-mail are as effective as ever, but you can go further and reach prospects as they scroll through social media. A direct ad campaign is a great way to reach your potential seller passively, leading them to think reaching out to you was their idea in the first place. Thanks to algorithms built into every website and social media page, you can set up these campaigns with ease.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow combines a powerful property search database with a customer relationship management platform. It is the platform that can help you with all aspects of real estate lead generation.

You can start by using the platform’s likely seller algorithm. It uses unique data analysis and machine learning to predict which properties in your area are likely to sell in the next twelve months. Not only does that give you a chance to reach the client early in their selling process, but you can also find these properties before your competition. Take a look at the platform’s ROI calculator to see which properties the algorithm correctly predicted would sell in your area. It’s also a good chance to see how much more money you could be making with ProspectNow.

Follow up on your leads by using the platform’s included templates for emails and postcards. There’s a wide variety of templates there geared for any sort of marketing angle. Be sure to check the property search to find the right mailing address, phone number, or the owner of an LLC that holds the property. You can even use the platform to set up your direct ads.

Are you ready to step up your real estate lead generation game? ProspectNow has the tools to help you close more deals and make more money. Check the ROI calculator linked above, then sign up for your three-day free trial to see what you’re missing.