A LoopNet.com Review

Finding the right commercial property can be challenging. Having the right tools in place, however, will ensure you acquire the perfect space for your next investment opportunity or business venture. LoopNet.com is advertised as one of the leading platforms for commercial properties and hosts an astonishing 500,000 listings at any one time. Not sure where to start your commercial real estate search? Here’s everything you need to know about LoopNet.com and how it compares to other commercial real estate tools on the market today.

What is LoopNet.com?

On the surface, LoopNet.com is simply a search engine for commercial properties, listing those for sale, for lease, and also businesses for sale in your area. 

Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll see that LoopNet.com is a bit more. With blogs about trendy commercial spaces across the country, the website is more like a designer’s paradise, offering ideas on trends in commercial real estate restoration and design. It goes beyond that, of course, with posts about buying and selling properties, but the swanky business space redesign ideas are front and center, inspiring your next commercial investment. 

LoopNet.com is a search engine at heart and one that is connected to a suite of other real estate websites. As part of the CoStar Group, Inc., LoopNet forms one of three commercial search engines, joining CityFeet and Showcase. What makes LoopNet.com unique from its sister platforms? It is the largest of the three real estate marketplace websites, with the most advertise properties and $425 billion worth of properties for sale. 

The Pros and Cons of LoopNet.com

Like other real estate marketplace options, LoopNet.com has its benefits, along with its disadvantages. While it may be a great tool for tenants, perhaps it isn’t the best tool for investors or brokers. Let’s find out more. 


For brokers advertising new listings, LoopNet.com is a great place to start. Advertising on LoopNet.com includes placement on CoStar’s other two commercial property search engines. The suite of websites offers a stunning 12.6 million monthly views, which helps ensure property listings are being seen. LoopNet.com also offers a unique solution for those who want to list once and be done. The LoopNet dashboard allows you to post your listing to the marketplace, while simultaneously creating a maintenance-free listing display on your own website.  

The listing plans for LoopNet.com range according to your needs. Starting with individual plans, a broker or owner can advertise up to 20 listings. For larger brokerages or teams wishing to utilize the same tool, the team or company listing plan allows 100+ listings and premium exposure across the CoStar network. This premium option makes it easier for teams to share the platform without losing time or traction with their listings. 

The Signature advertising plan provides three additional options: diamond, platinum, and gold exposure. Each level comes with its own set of premium advertising tools and advanced ad placement across the internet. For those wishing to maximize the promotion of their commercial property, the diamond package is the ultimate advertising tool: professional photoshoot, drone videography, flyer creation tools, and top ad placement on LoopNet and CoStar, among other things. 

For those wanting to improve the exposure of their commercial property listing, LoopNet is a great place to start. As part of the CoStar network, the opportunities for advertising are seemingly endless. 


While LoopNet makes a great tool for the listing brokerage and a great place to begin your search as an investor, there are some disadvantages to the marketplace. 

LoopNet advertises 500,000 property listings, which is a great start to your search for commercial real estate. However, with more than 50 million commercial properties in the U.S. to date, investors looking for a hidden gem are not likely to find it on LoopNet. 

When it comes to gathering more information about future investments, LoopNet’s solution doesn’t reside on its platform. Rather, to access the larger network of commercial property listings, owners, comps, and contacts, investors and brokers alike must look to CoStar. The parent company offers an appealing suite of data-driven tools, but each comes with its price tag. This leaves brokers and investors wondering which is the better investment, the data, and network of CoStar, or the advertising power of LoopNet.com. While neither platform openly advertises their pricing, G2.com indicates that LoopNet’s pricing is 44% more expensive than the average multiple listing service. 

LoopNet.com Reviews 

For many, LoopNet.com serves as the tool that gave investors and potential investors access to information about commercial real estate. Much like Zillow opened up the residential real estate world to the average homebuyer, LoopNet gave those unfamiliar with commercial real estate a view into the potential of commercial property investment. 

What are others saying about the commercial real estate tool? On G2.com, LoopNet has 3.5 out of 5 stars, with reviews from brokers, investors, and tenants. One user describes LoopNet as “Very useful if you are Premium,” going on to say that “I love that you can easily search through the map or addresses and find what you are looking for. Some of the information is hard to find, specifically land options or addresses with two names.”

Another reviewer calls LoopNet a “Very good site, but not perfect.” This reviewer, who uses LoopNet to both list his properties and search for opportunities for his client, explains that while the site is constantly improving, “many of its listings are either out of date or inaccurate.”

Overall, reviewers love LoopNet’s ease of use and access that it gives for anyone to search the CRE market. One point of contention among reviewers, however, is the price—which has seen significant increases over the years—and the need to not only join LoopNet’s network but CoStar’s as well. 

ProspectNow: An Alternative to LoopNet.com?

As a broker, tenant, or investor, LoopNet.com is a great place to start your commercial real estate search. For access to 500,000 advertised listings, it creates a baseline understanding of the commercial real estate market. 

For alternative options to expand your CRE business to include off market opportunities, however, ProspectNow is a great choice. As a commercial real estate marketplace, it offers an incredible database of properties, owners, contact information, and even proprietary analytics to help you identify properties that are most likely to sell. 

The Pros and Cons of ProspectNow

Like any great tool, ProspectNow also has its pros and cons depending on how it is used. Its audience goes beyond that of LoopNet.com to include residential realtors, lenders, insurance agents, and even roofers. But does that mean it is the right tool for you? 


One of the biggest advantages to ProspectNow is its incredibly vast database. With nearly 40 million commercial properties (not to mention 102 million residential properties), it is the largest database of property, building, and owner information available. 

Included in this large database is also ProspectNow’s predictive analytics tool, which helps identify properties that are likely to sell. Currently, over 23 million properties fall into this category, giving brokers and investors an extra advantage in their real estate endeavors. 

Beyond the numbers, ProspectNow offers a suite of other tools to help business leaders across multiple industries find their next opportunity. Digital marketing tools such as advanced IP targeting, easy direct mail advertisements, sales comps, and integration with your current systems, so all of your information is in one place. The platform’s pricing is also clearly laid out, defining different subscription levels—starting with a free trial and then $119/month after that.  


For brokers simply looking to advertise their listed commercial properties, ProspectNow is probably not the right tool. LoopNet.com is designed for brokers wishing to promote their latest listings, whereas ProspectNow serves as a complete database of both listed and unlisted commercial properties. 

Searching for properties on ProspectNow also requires a subscription (once the free trial has ended). Other commercial real estate search engines offer unlimited search when you sign up for a free account. This makes it easier for investors or tenants who are interested in finding a new commercial space, to preview properties that are currently on the market at no additional cost. 

Reviews of ProspectNow

What are other professionals saying about ProspectNow’s commercial real estate tools? On G2.com, ProspectNow has a 4.3 out of a 5-star rating scale. Consumers rate aspects of the platform such as ease of use, quality of support, and overall user experience. 

One reviewer claims ProspectNow is a “Great product for investment sales.” He goes on to describe his experience with the platform, saying “I like that in less than a minute I can get an entire database of owners in an area I’m targeting…Some people have said ProspectNow is a good “Pre CRM,” but I disagree.”

On FeaturedCustomers.com, ProspectNow is also highly rated, earning 4.8 stars out of 5. Another reviewer describes ProspectNow as a “Great solution for finding neighborhood analytics,” and goes on to say that, “For the price, you can not beat the analytics you get with Prospect Now…That saves thousands on our marketing budget.”

Explore the Largest Commercial Property Database

ProspectNow offers above and beyond other CRE marketplaces, giving professionals from every sector the information they need to prospect new leads, clients, and those perfect commercial properties. With the leading number of commercial properties, complete owner data, and customizable analytics to determine the best investment opportunities, ProspectNow is the right tool for your business. Sign up for a free trial today.

Everything to know about the foreclosure process

Foreclosure is a set of legal actions a lender takes against a borrower that’s failed to meet their loan obligations. Such steps start the sale of property used as collateral when securing the loan. The proceeds received from such a sale allow lenders to recoup the unpaid debt.

Doesn’t it sound like a simple process? It’s simple for professionals who deal with foreclosures every day. However, not everyone understands the steps involved. For one, every state has its own set of rules. These steps also vary with the terms of the loan agreement or if it’s a residential or commercial property.

Compliance with foreclosure procedures may affect the cost and outcome. So, it’s crucial to understand how the foreclosure process works.

We’ll take a deep plunge into the foreclosure process with a step-by-step break down of the process.

Default by Borrower 

When the borrower fails to meet their loan obligations, the lender can start foreclosure. The borrower defaults on the loan by failing to make timely payments. They can also default by failing to meet other obligations made when filing the loan. Examples of such duties include making payments on property insurance.

In such cases, the borrower will receive a missed payment notice from the lender. Mortgage payments are typically due on the first of the month. However, most lenders allow a 15-day grace period. The borrower is also liable to pay late fees after receiving a late payment notice.

When a borrower misses two payments, a lender can send a demand letter. A missed payment notice is more severe than a demand letter is. But, the lender may still be willing to work with the borrower to allow them to catch up on payments. Usually, the borrower has 30 days to remit the late payment fees before they receive the letter.

Notice of Default 

The borrower receives a notice of default (NOD) 90 days after missed payments. The NOD describes how the borrower defaulted on the loan as well as the timelines for clearing the loan. Let’s say the default was due to failure to make regular and timely payments. Here, the NOD will state the owed dues and when they must be paid.

Some states allow lenders to display NODs on the home or commercial property. At this point, the lender may hand the loan to their local county foreclosure department where the property is located. This notice goes on the public record, and the borrower is informed.

In some cases, on commercial property, the lender may demand all the rent from the property. The only exemption being funds used in maintaining the property. These rules also depend on the terms of the loan agreement.

At this point, the borrower has another 90 days to settle the dues, thereby reinstating the loan. This grace period is also known as the reinstatement period.


A workout isn’t part of the foreclosure process but a way to avoid unnecessary costs, time delays, and other negative consequences of foreclosures. After the notice of default, both parties may try to work out a way to avoid more defaults on payments. Thus, restructuring the terms of the loan agreement.

Some conventional workouts include:

Repayment plan 

A repayment plan allows a borrower to send regular payments as well as an extra amount each month. Depending on the lender’s guideline, the plan may range from 3 to 24 months.


Here, the lender may agree to suspend or reduce the payment period. In exchange, the borrower agrees to start making full payments once the forbearance period elapses plus an extra amount for the missed payments.

Forbearance is common when the borrower has military service or gets laid off briefly. Under such circumstances, the borrower isn’t currently able to make payments but is likely to catch up in due time.

The lender also agrees to allow the lender to miss or reduce payments within a specified timeframe. It’s worth noting that both forbearance and repayment plans need extra repayments down the line.

Loan modification 

Loan modifications allow a lender to bring the loan to current. Such plans also lower the monthly amount paid over the long term. If you can’t afford to pay your loan now or soon, a loan modification is the best option in preventing foreclosure.

In loan modifications, the overdue amount and more fee finance the current loan balance. This modification creates a new balance and terms for the loan. In most cases, a loan modification may reduce a lender’s monthly payments.


All states allow you to redeem the mortgage or pay off the loan before the property is up for sale. In some states, you can get a period after the final sale date to redeem the mortgage. This “amnesty” is contingent on you paying the loan off in full plus interest and other costs. A borrower can also reimburse the buyer of the property during the foreclosure sale. 

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure 

Here, the lender transfers the title deed to the owner where the lender cancels the mortgage loan in exchange. Deed in lieu of foreclosure was more popular back when foreclosures attracted positive equity. The lender could sell the property, keeping all the profits. 

These days, there aren’t many lenders who accept deeds in lieu. However, this measure reduces the cost and time that repossession takes. It also protects the lender if a borrower files for bankruptcy. So, some lenders might have an interest in such a solution.

Short Sale

A short sale may be an appropriate solution if the borrower owes an amount that’s greater than the worth of the property. In a short sale, the borrower puts the property up for sale and transfers all the proceeds to the lender. The lender accepts an amount lower than the owed amount. Choosing to forgive the remaining balance.

Acceleration Demand

If the borrower is unable to cure the default by the period stated by the notice. The lender may demand an acceleration of the loan. Once a lender makes an acceleration demand, the amount due is not the missed payment. But, the entire unpaid debt. Most loan agreements contain terms that require the lender to send a breach letter.

This notice serves the lender as a warning. It also indicates that the loan was in default before foreclosure or a loan acceleration. In some cases, the loan contract may state that a borrower can automatically trigger a loan acceleration. If they skip some of the loan payments.

This letter specifies the default and the actions needed to cure it. The terms may include a date of not less than 30 days. By which the borrower must pay the owed amount. Other Terms include the consequences of failure to cure the default by the stipulated time. Generally, a lender may send this notice once the borrower is 90 days negligent on paying the loan.

These timeframes exist since, under federal law, a foreclosure can only start when the borrower is 120 days delinquent on loan payments. If the borrower fails to pay, then foreclosure proceedings can begin.

Lender Files Complaint/Trustee Issues Notice of Default

The next step of foreclosure depends on whether you are in a judicial or a non-judicial foreclosure state. Let’s have a look at how it plays out in either scenario.

Judicial Foreclosure

A lender can take a judicial foreclosure action when they can’t negotiate a workout. The lender can also make such a move in cases where the borrower is unresponsive to demand notices and acceleration letters. The lender can start such a lawsuit by:

1. Petitioning the court for a foreclosure or by filing a complaint.

2. Issuing summons to the borrower and associated parties. This notice informs them when the suit will start and the timelines for contesting it.

3. Entering the suit into the county records as a lis pendens. This serves to give notice of the foreclosure to the public. As well as other lien holders and potential buyers.

The lender files such a suit in the county that the foreclosed property is located. They usually request the court for a judgment on the foreclosure and a sale order for the property. In some cases, you can also get a beneficiary judgment.

The complaint contains the name of the borrower and associated parties. Such parties include guarantors of the loan and second mortgage holders. The IRS can also be a party to these proceedings. Federal laws allow them the right to use properties to recoup payment of taxes. These laws are indicated clearly on loan documents as well as credit clearance forms. Under state law, the lender must notify every defendant (borrower) separately through court summons.

The complaint contains the argument that entitles the lender to seek relief. Such grievances also include all the loan documents and the amount due and default. It even species every aspect of the property.

In some states, the lender has to file an affidavit. Such an affidavit contains all the associated costs of the loan and suit. These grievances may also include associated legal fees. Every party with personal knowledge of the affidavit’s contents has to sign it. Automated signatures are not allowed.

 Depending on the state, the complaint may also contain an order requiring all rent for commercial properties to be deposited at a court. Such a measure s prevents the borrower from using the rent to secure more loans during the foreclosure proceedings. During this time, the court can use the rent in the maintenance of the property. The court can even use it to make payments on the loan.

Non- Judicial Foreclosure

A third party or trustee handles non-judicial foreclosures instead of a court. The deed of trust names a trustee of the property. Such a third party is neutral and has a fiduciary responsibility to both the borrower and the lender.

The loan documents and deed of trust detail the procedures to all parties are to follow. Such systems ensure the borrower gets the minimum protection entitled under state law. Non-judicial foreclosures start when the lender notifies the trustee of the default and how the borrower can cure it. The next step is for the trustee to issue a notice of default.

The steps the trustee takes are:

– Sending notice of the proceedings to all associated parties. Such information includes a date for the foreclosure and sale.

– Putting the notice default into the county records.

– Putting postings of the notice on the property, publishing it in newspapers. State law or the deed of trust are clear on how to proceed with this step.

Like with summons, such notices tell the borrower the basis of the lender’s complaint. It also specifies the date the borrower can bring the loan payments current or contest the foreclosure. This notice also highlights the remedies the lender is seeking. These remedies may include the summary sale of the property or a money judgment.

The Bottom Line 

There are many grace periods within the foreclosure process when borrowers can make payments. But, some attempt to make arguments to avoid foreclosure. Keeping up with one loan payment is possible. However, it becomes harder when you have to make multiple payments. Late fees may also make the situation harder.

As you can see, the concept behind a foreclosure is quite straightforward. Yet, the path to follow can end up being complicated and confusing. Foreclosure rules are usually detailed under every state’s real estate laws. If you work with an experienced real estate lawyer, then the path may be more transparent.

As a borrower, one of the best ways of avoiding foreclosure is maintaining communication with your lender. Especially if or when your financial situation changes. But, if foreclosure is unavoidable, you know what to expect from reading this article.

Are you looking to get a jump on the competition on foreclosed properties? ProspectNow is the best option. Our predictive analytics allow you to find off-market properties predicted to go on sale. Reach out to us today and begin your free trial.


Everything you need to know: housing bubble 2017

The bifurcated housing market in America has gone through a microcosm of uneven growth ever since the Great Recession happened. By the start of 2017, all signs were clear that there were stress indicators in both low end and high-end markets courtesy of the dwindling inventory and premium prices that later forced potential homeowners into becoming involuntary renters.

Since the housing bubble that happened in 2007, there had been a hard push to get the market back to its feet, and this seemed to bear fruit for about seven years. In the housing bubble 2017, the housing market was already on its fastest tear. This is especially so considering the number of permits that were being issued for construction. These were already the red signs that had been witnessed during the Great Recession.

Notably, the peak was attained courtesy of lax credit that led to an expanding number of purchases that were realized after prices soared beyond the standard at that home. It would also be noted that at this time, loan terms for individuals looking to buy a house were already being relaxed. Interestingly, the minimum credit scores were being dropped as self-employment documentation went low. It was also at this time that Trump was looking to strip back in the hope of getting banks to issue more loans through his order to review Dodd-Frank.

By the start of 2017, the race to the top in housing was already picking up but all the signs pointed to a peak being reached. For instance, the January purchases for homes that were already in the market had picked up to a pace that had not been realized since 2007. This was notable as the number of new home sales went up a whopping 3.7% within one month. This was in addition to the fact that there had been a 7.1% median price increase for US homes at the same time in 2016. It would be noted that in the first few months of 2017, houses in the US would remain in the market for up to 50 days and this was the same indicator for the bubble that happened in 2007.

It would be noted that since 1999, the US has been faced with a shortage of inventory in the real estate. By the start of 2017, bidding wars were already on in cities like San Francisco, and Seattle where houses would sell for more than their listed prices. This is the irrational exuberance that would later come to haunt the housing market.

The Trump Factor

With a real estate mogul president at the helm, the US was expected to experience a boom in the market. However, it would later become counter-intuitive that he would later cause a housing bubble courtesy of his stands and orders on the same. It would be noted that high-priced homes were already on a slump in some of the main metropolitan areas, some immigration restrictions from President Trump meant a negative impact on the mid and lower segments of the housing market. This would later work to throw them under the bus too. This was a blow to both the single-family market and the double family market.

Then there was also the deportation threat from the president that affected both the targets and their associates. Even those who were not targeted for deportation were forced to reschedule their plans of owning a home and would otherwise opt to rent for the fear that the worst could happen. With this reluctance from potential home buyers to enter into long term residential plans, the housing market went into distress.


Even with all the indications of a serious housing bubble, most economists believed that this was not a nationwide phenomenon per se but rather a collection of a few local bubbles. However, by this time, there was an indication that the experiences and effects seen ten years earlier was on a repeat and would add up to an aggregate bubble.

As much as there were notable low-interest rates and relaxed lending standards, there was very little price appreciation in most parts of the country during this period. Paradoxically though, even as the housing bubble crushed some metropolitan areas like Atlanta and Denver experienced high foreclosure rates. This seemed to be the case even though there was not much notable appreciation in these areas in the first place and thus, were not seen to be contributing to the national housing bubble.

Side Effects

Before the housing bubble 2017, construction of new homes was at their peak and most of the leading home builders experienced their highest revenues yet. There was also some notable mortgage equity withdrawal before and during this time. Notably, homeowners would spend about two-thirds of their equity on home improvement, personal consumption, and credit card debt.

It would also be noted that the housing bubble, forcing many residents to migrate from expensive residential areas and metropolitan centers. These residents were fleeing from the increasing price gradients and this would later result in the growth of exurbs in some areas. On the other hand, the housing bubble would later lead to extreme differences in terms of land prices in various regions. It would be noted that house prices have a direct effect on land prices and vice versa. This total overhaul would later see some of the fastest-growing regions like Atlanta Georgia slow down in terms of its demand for land.

The housing bubble 2017 also affected some homeowners health-wise as those who experienced foreclosures fell ill and had to deal with the anxiety that came with the turn of events. Apart from effects on health, the instability of the housing market also led to increased cases of violence as the fear of homes being taken away gripped most homeowners. The last two years have however seen some market correction taking place and there seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel after all. It will not be a matter of time as the market awaits a total overhaul and better prospects for the future.

3 Approaches to Finding an Area’s Vacancy Rate

In the real estate market, many indicators and trends are of potential interest to investors, property owners, and building managers. The vacancy rate for an area is a common figure to watch. Learn what information an area’s vacancy rate can reveal and how you can find an area’s vacancy rate.

What Is a Vacancy Rate?

The vacancy rate for an area simply calculates how many properties are available for rent compared to the total number of rental properties in the area. In other words, what percentage of rental units are not occupied?

Vacancy rates are calculated for residential rental markets as well as commercial markets, which include retail, office, and industrial spaces. An area’s vacancy rate can vary significantly between different parts of a city.

Why You Want to Know the Vacancy Rate

Generally, you analyze vacancy rates to assess the market rental conditions in a particular area.

The federal government and economic forecasters use the rental vacancy rate, as one component in the index of leading economic indicators, to evaluate the current economic climate. Property owners and investors use an area’s vacancy rate for additional purposes:

  • An area’s vacancy rate can be used as a benchmark. For example, if you own a multifamily rental development that experiences an increase in turnover, then knowing the surrounding area’s vacancy rate could be useful in comparison. If the neighborhood’s vacancy rate has not changed significantly, then your own building’s higher vacancy rate indicates a likely issue with the property management, property condition, or tenants.
  • When seeking out commercial space, you can use vacancy rates to identify locations with abundant available space at lower costs per square foot.
  • If you invest in rental properties, the average vacancy of both the building and the area is among the most important factors to consider. A high vacancy rate indicates less revenue, as the property will have fewer tenants occupying fewer units. High vacancy rates also indicate the area is less appealing to renters.

Sources of Vacancy Data

1. Census Bureau

The Housing Vacancies and Homeownership data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau provides current information on rental and homeowner vacancy rates for the United States, regions, states, and for the 75 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Data is published quarterly and annually. Estimates of the total housing inventory and percent distributions of vacant for-rent and for-sale-only units are available for the United States and regions.

These large datasets are best used for obtaining residential rental vacancy rates for large regions or one of the largest MSAs. Individual neighborhood rates cannot be calculated with this data.

2. HUD-USPS Vacancy Rate Data

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receives data from the United States Postal Service (USPS) every quarter. The USPS provides aggregate counts of residential and business addresses that are collected by postal workers and identified as being vacant (i.e., not collecting mail) for at least 90 days.

Per agreement with USPS, HUD can make the data accessible only to governmental entities and non-profit organizations.

3. Industry Reports

Several real estate industry associations and regional organizations or agencies regularly gather occupancy data. Some publish regular reports with detailed analysis of specific markets. A few examples are below:

  • The National Association of Realtors releases quarterly Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook reports.
  • Colliers International publishes several reports, such as the quarterly U.S. Office Market Outlook Report.
  • Local chambers of commerce, local real estate professionals’ organizations, regional planning associations, transit agencies, and city governments routinely track area vacancy rates.

In addition to the formal industry data, informal information can be collected from an area’s property owners and managers by simply asking.


What to Look for In Your Point of Interest Location

While several factors determine a home’s value, none has as much impact as location. Location determines access to amenities, tenants’ availability, among other needs.

Here are some of the factors to consider when looking for an ideal location for your real estate investments:

1.     The Commute Time

Before you settle on a property, determine how much time you will spend on the road. Consider if you are okay with more extended periods on traffic to and from work. While most people prefer a great home, even if it comes with a long commute time, over time, it becomes hectic. An ideal location is close to public transport systems with developed commuter rails and major highways.

The primary concern with commute time is striking a balance with property prices. Most homes located within the suburbs, while they come with less commute time, are incredibly costly. To help you settle at the appropriate commute time, consider the commuting costs. Opt for longer commute hours if you have a flexible job that allows setting your working hours or telecommuting.

2.     Lifestyle

Everyone has certain qualities that make their ideal location. Whether you are looking for a slow, calm life, or a place full of amenities, you can find somewhere perfect. Before settling on a property, take time to review all the essential amenities you need.  

Use sites like Walkscore to determine the areas’ walkability and access to places of interest. Also, visit the place in person to see if it embodies what you need in a position of residence.

3.     Development

Upcoming constructions in an area is an indication of a great place to stay. Planned developments like hospitals, schools, and public infrastructure are likely to improve the property’s value.

Look out for the area’s private property developments as well. An influx in new home constructions is a sign of a good neighborhood. It shows increased buyer demands, which is great for investments.

4.     Neighborhood

The neighborhood you are moving into is almost more important than the house itself. The community determines how you raise your kids and the general wellbeing. While you can renovate or repair a damaged home, there is so little you can do about a bad neighborhood. Take time before committing to a property to determine if it is the right neighborhood.

Do your due diligence and don’t rely only on what the realtor tells you about the community. One of the indications of a great neighborhood is when they belong to a homeowners association (HOA). The HOA provides guidelines and regulations for the residents. Also, speak to the residents on their opinion of the place.

The general appearance of the neighborhood shows how great it is. Look for how much the current residents are investing in the place. A lot of investments in businesses like restaurants, shops, and grocery stores are indicative of a developing area. Such sites have high prospects of a rise in the value of the property.

Lastly, look for the state of the homes in the area. Well maintained homes with excellent landscaping are signs of caring neighbors.

5.     Lot Location

The other factor to consider is the actual location of the house. Before you agree to take on a property, confirm how accessible it is by road. Look for the presence of any restrictions on the business or constructions you can set up in the future. Inspect the area for environmental hazards like nearby manufacturing plants.

Even though purchasing a property at a wrong location can be easy, selling it, later on, will be a challenge. An ideal location has a great view, is free of noise, and can accommodate a high-end lifestyle.

6.     Safety & Crime Rates

There is no amount of investment that is worthy of in a crime hotspot. Other than the lack of peace of mind, you will struggle to find tenants for your property. Research to ensure the new home is in a safe area.

There are several online resources to use to determine the safety of your area. SpotCrime and CrimeReports are the leading sites with police and crime information in any area. The other sites are NeighborhooScout.com and Safewise.com. Apart from the online resources, move to the place in person to verify the information you already have. Walk around the neighborhood at any time to have a feel of the area both in the day and night. Look for indications like local businesses, children playing, and community events to determine safety. 

Talking to the local community also helps determine the safety and to collect insights on the lifestyle of the area.

7.     Local Amenities

The availability of local amenities is a must when looking for an ideal location. The place should be accessible to amenities like family attractions, shopping, and restaurants. The only concern that comes with property near amenities is the cost. You may have to pay a premium to land these properties. Even though this should not be an issue as the demand is assured.

You also need to look for the public transport system, street lighting, and water supply. Several sites like Trulia and Zillow comes in handy when comparing the distance between the property and the essential amenities. 

8.     Schools

Schools are indications of great places to stay, even if you don’t have kids. Having excellent schools helps in ensuring the home’s value. Like safety and crime, you cannot depend on online resources fully to determine the state of schools. Start by collecting information from sites like GreatSchools.org for data on the different schools. After this, you visit the school in person to establish infrastructure and the general states of the schools.

Bottom Line

Market analysis is vital at every stage of investment. Using this guide, you can quickly determine the best market to invest in. It can also come in handy in evaluating the location to confirm if it’s the right choice.

Are you looking for more ways on how to land the best location for your real estate investment? Prospect Now is the place to visit for all you need to know about the right location. Contacts us today to get started.

What to Look for in a Single Family Home

It takes a lot before you can take the big step to invest in a house, especially a single-family home. Even after you have your finances in order, you will find yourself hesitating because you don’t want to make a wrong move. Nobody likes to get fleeced or being stuck with a depreciating property.

However, it would help if you did not let fear keep you from what could very well be the deal of a lifetime. There are several firm indicators you should consider to make sure you invest in the perfect single-family home. These indicators are:


Pricing is one of the indicators of a home’s value. The first step towards purchasing a single-family home is to line your finances. The amount of money you are willing to spend determines the home you can purchase.

Most investors opt to buy single-family homes due to their relatively low purchase and maintenance costs. This makes it a valuable investment, even for beginner investors. Getting a loan for financing the purchase is also easier for a single-family home compared to other types of property.


There is nothing quite as important as location when it comes to a single-family home. Investing in a house located on a conducive location ensures returns on assured tenants and high rent prices.

Given that single-family units attract families, go for a location with amenities for the family needs. An excellent site is child-friendly with schools, easy access to health facilities, and shopping. The area must also be free of crimes.

Also, consider the area’s living standards. Look for a place with relatively lower property tax, investment property insurance, and favorable property legislations. If you are planning to rent out the investment in Airbnb, go to Airbnb accessible places with fewer fees.

Another important factor to consider is the location of the property relative to the rest of the area. That means you need to consider whether the property is detached or whether it shares a fence with neighbors. In the same way, corner lots tend to be larger, more expensive, and command higher rents.

Also, remember to consider the area’s expected growth. A single-family unit is excellent in an area with an increasing number of new families.

Rate of Returns

While it might be challenging to determine precisely how an investment will pan out, the right location and pricing almost assure it.


Like any other business venture, profit is necessary when investing in a single-family home. A successful investment generates a positive cash flow; more income compared to expenses.

Most family homes are profitable. Unlike other properties where the landlord covers utility bills, most tenants in single-family homes are responsible for utility payments. Also, the family homes incur lower insurance rates and property taxes as they are considered one dwelling unit. The few expenses in these investments ensure positive cash flow. 


Once you have finalized the transfer, the job has just begun. While single-family homes are generally expected to appreciate over time, a lot of effort is involved in helping maintain such a rate. Maintenance is key, as well as making sure that you have the right tenants in your home.

For that, you need experienced professionals who will keep an expert watch over your property. With the in-depth knowledge of the industry, real estate, and tenancy laws, and connections with all the right people, you can be sure that your property lies in the right hands.

Managing a rental single-family home starts with vetting potential tenants. This process can be challenging when you lack the right knowledge and experience. You do not want to end up in a long-winded court battle with a troublesome client or end up having to pay a fortune in maintenance costs.

You also need to make sure that your property manager will act with integrity. They will need to collect your rent on time and deposit it as agreed. Besides, the best property agents will give you regular reports on the state of your investment.

You will need to find the most reliable property management company in your area so that you can have peace of mind regarding your property. 

Physical Features

The appearance and other amenities are what attract the tenants. Most people use amenities like the number of bathrooms, bedrooms, and parking slots to determine their ideal residence.

With only one family occupying a single-family home, the tenants get enough privacy. The tenant does not have to worry about other annoying neighbors or shared facilities that are susceptible to breakage. The units also come with spacious backyards for the kids to play and enough parking spaces.

Invest in a single-family home that has enough facilities. The more facilities it has, the higher the likelihood of tenants. You also get to charge higher rates.


When buying a single-family home, you want to pay as small a price for it as possible without affecting its long-term value. You will find that houses which require a bit of maintenance will be far cheaper than those which are in stellar condition. Some homeowners are too lazy to get bothered by a simple paint job, carpeting, gutters, lawn, or simple repairs.

If you’re a hand man with the tools or know of one, you can overlook such issues in a potential property and snag it for a price far below market value. You can then spruce it up for next to nothing and get to charge much more for it.

However, if you’re going to do this, you need to be very careful about what can and can’t be solved by a few strokes of the paintbrush or a hammer and nails. Most homes are sold cheaply for a reason, and no one will be forthcoming with that information. Keep away from bad foundations and walls, leaky roofs, bad utility installations, and pest infestations.


Investing in a single-family home can be very lucrative, with an average return rate of about 9% annually. However, it can also turn into a massive loss if you do not know your way around the business. This is why you need to have professionals guiding you all through from purchasing your property to managing it.

Are you looking for expertise to reduce your cost and ensure you achieve your profits? Prospect Now is the real estate management you need to look for. Contact us now for our competitive prices and guaranteed outcome.


Why Understanding the Crime Rates in Your Neighborhood is A Must

Home is where the heart is, which is why the safety of your neighborhood should remain a priority. This rule also applies to traders and agents within the real estate market. Sometimes a property seems absurdly affordable for its size or location. When a deal seems too good to be true, it is best to seek a second opinion – crime may be an underlying cause.

Determines Security Measures

The safety of your neighborhood will affect the amount of money you’re going to spend on your home security set-up. Be prepared to fork out extra fees for higher fences, to sturdier gates and even locks with biometrics.

Although pricey, it is essential to safeguard the boundaries of properties situated in neighborhoods with a high crime rate. Consider this a mandatory insurance fee for your property and the safety of occupants. 

Be wary though, an overly fortified home might defeat the purpose. If your property looks like Fort Knox, chances are, you’ll be attracting the curiosity and attention of the unwanted company.

Safety of Children

Although school transportation can be easily arranged through chartered bus or carpooling services, you can never be sure of sidewalks and driveways when your child is unsupervised. Additionally, an unsafe neighborhood may be problematic for the developmental years of young children – constant exposure to crime and law enforcement may lead to bad influences and lifelong trauma. 

Hospitality & General Environment

Expect more inviting pool parties, Christmas gatherings, birthday celebrations, and New Year countdowns when you’re situated in a safer neighborhood. Guests and residents will have greater peace of mind when they park their vehicles at your property or decide to leave during the darkest hours of the night.

Additionally, some taxi drivers and carpooling agents may choose to avoid high crime areas during certain times of the day. This can become quite an inconvenience if you do not own personal transportation. 

Rental Woes

The location of your property will also determine the quality of your tenants. Property owners may have a hard time searching for suitable tenants if their neighborhood has a high notoriety index. As a result, owners may be forced to reduce rental fees way below average market rates, which attracts undesirable tenants such as illegal immigrants, thugs, dealers, or the occasional broke foreign student who defaults on payments. 

Be extremely cautious when checking through the documents and background of potential tenants. Avoid rushing through an official agreement with the wrong crowd while you’re desperately trying to rent your place out. 

Challenges in the Resale Market

A dangerous neighborhood will significantly reduce the resale value of your property regardless of how well-furnished and renovated it may be. Because let’s face it, few people are willing to risk living in a dangerous place no matter the size of the discount.

This may result in a lack of interested buyers for an extensive period of time, which can lead to gradual losses in your property value as you’re forced to spend money on property maintenance and even reparation fees for an indefinite period. 

Lay of the Land

It is important to be fully aware of the safety of a neighborhood before committing to a purchase. Here are some ways to achieve this:

1) Speaking to potential neighbors – and/or surveying the condition of surrounding structures (do they look abandoned, are the windows suspiciously tinted, are there suggestions of illegal activity? You’ll be able to gather a great deal of info from conversations with nearby residents – are they friendly, shifty, inviting? This will give you a gauge of what to expect as a future occupant.

2) Consulting online sources – A quick search on the web should be able to provide you with records of the latest crimes and activities in your neighborhood. However, this might prove risky and inconclusive since most petty crimes go unreported by the media. Still, this can give you a glimpse of your neighborhood’s security standards.

3) Seeking professional advice –This means speaking to your real-estate agent and sieving through every bit of detail. If you have questions or a nagging suspicion, feel free to raise them. Any respectable agent should be able to provide you with a clear and straightforward answer regarding the safety of a neighborhood. This, however, is strongly based on a mutual policy of trust and transparency.

4) Relying on detailed data – Specialized sites like ProspectNow provide a comprehensive database of residential and commercial properties. By tapping on the extensive directory and services provided by the company, users can gain exclusive access to document-supported information in making informed property purchases.

ProspectNow is the complete property and owner database that will assist you with closing quality deals with the most reliable information.

What’s the Future of Real Estate

People worldwide have stakes in real estate, as property owners, consumers, or managers. You, therefore, have to understand the trends and the future of real estate for a competitive edge.

Real estate, just like any other industry, keeps on changing. Emerging technologies and shifting home buyer demographics impacts the development of the industry. Other changes are also attributed to political and economic discrepancies.

Here are some of the trends that will inform the future of real estate:


Competition in the current real estate set up is at its stiffest. New investors are using technology and tiered pricing models to edge out the traditional real estate industry players. According to the Urban Land Institute and PwC, competition in real estate is an upward trend. To stay on top of things, you must embrace creative ways of finding new markets. You also have to consider cutting costs and reducing overheads for competitive rates.

The other viable option is to specialize in a specific niche. Specialization and focus on niche-level opportunities allow you to offer the best quality for the target market. Some of the areas to specialize are senior housing, co-living, data centers, offices, and hotels.

The ULI report recommends specialization; and that you learn how to provide great value in your area of choice. It reads, “Specialization has become the hallmark of many professional sectors. Real estate is no exception.”

Real Estate Outsourcing

Most real estate investors are outsourcing specialized, non-core functions to outside vendors. Outsourcing helps in reducing costs and other broader strategic outcomes. It speeds up decision making, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Also, it improves data capturing, reporting service requests, occupancy, and energy consumption.

Reports by JLL show that investors are partnering with managers for better business intelligence. Facility managers, on the other hand, use sophisticated technology and analytics to bolster productivity. Technology generally improves profitability, and elevate the employee experience.

Outsourcing reduces overhead costs. An external partner handles day to day operations, while you remain with a lean internal team. This allows you to work with a small, productive and manageable team.

As much as outsourcing seems like the in thing, it requires vigilance. Before outsourcing, ensure the external partner can provide world-class expertise. Check for intensive risk management, standards, and compliance. The deal is then built on trust, which strengthens over time as the partnership develops.

The Rise and Rise of Real Estate Technology

Every industry player in real estate has pain points that need solutions. Homeowners are looking for faster sales while incurring lower transaction costs. Brokers need more data, improved corporations in their network, and productive transactions. Tenants need affordability and faster leasing and payment processing. Investors need assurance of demand and supply data for better investment decisions.

All these pain points have prospects of solutions through technological advancements. The better the solutions, the more productivity, and workflow.

However, real estate is one of the slowest sectors to adopt new technologies. This should not be the case, given its size in investments and usage. The industry involves a lot of paperwork, calculations, and large transactions. These aspects can use top technologies for efficiency and accuracy. 

So far, the industry has adopted tools like Lotus and Excel. These tools have improved the quantitative approach to portfolio management and investment. The success of such tools calls for more solutions for other functionalities like accounting, analytics, and underwriting.

The increase in internet speeds and access has also played a role in the expansion of real estate. The Internet has made online transactions an integral part of the consumers. They are increasingly relying on the internet as a valuable source of information. Online platforms like Trulia and Zillow are top data and information companies. This has made them industry giants.

Advancements in data processing have created even larger specialized real estate companies. WeWork and Airbnb are some of the industry leaders in the upsurge of the sharing economy.

Venture funding also has a role in the real estate technological advancements. Having grown over the last decade from $20 million in 2008 to $4 billion in 2018, indications are that it will be on an upward trajectory.

Big Data and Machine Learning

Big data, AI, and machine learning are crucial in real estate for efficiency and productivity. Machine learning translates data to develop consumer applications and eCommerce facilities. This helps with the quicker matching of buyers with the property. The predictive technology in machine learning helps in the maintenance and upkeep of the property.

Compared to traditional methods, machine learning makes it easier to collect data. You can install automation systems like sensors in strategic areas in the building to collect data. The system then uses the data on security, energy, and elevator system to improve efficiency. Companies like PointGrabTellMePlus, and BuildingIQ are already achieving traction in building automation technology.

The other application of big data and machine learning in real estate is property management. Property managers use performance data to review agents’ prospect conversion. While using chatbots and applications to streamline the initial sales process. These systems collect information on consumer preferences and coordinates site visits.

Big data and machine learning also impact property listings. Online companies like Airbnb and Zillow use data to match consumers with the most relevant property. For more sales success, property owners and managers must understand these platform’s operations to create converting listings.

Over time, sustained technological improvements will make machine learning and AI more accessible.

A Greener Future for Real Estate 

From construction to design, real estate requires more sustainable practices. Urban Land Institute shows the commercial real estate industry is incorporating wastage-limiting mechanisms. These mechanisms seek to reduce water use, poor waste disposal, and carbon emissions.

The World Green Building Center states a third of carbon emanates from buildings. Proper waste management and reducing carbon emissions will help in protecting the environment. Greenprint Center for Building Performance projects a 50% reduction of emissions by 2030. Installing high-efficiency equipment and controls are some of the ways of reducing emissions. Others being, waste reduction projects, installing high-efficiency lighting equipment and reducing water use.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, younger buyers are responsible for the need of sustainability features. The consumers are willing to spend more on purchasing a property. As long as it comes with longer-lasting and sustainable features. This implies that you need to use more energy-efficient appliances and systems in your property. With sustainable features, you can attract the right environmental-conscious buyers.

The Rise of Construction Costs

A report by PwC on Emerging trends in real estate finds an increase in construction costs as an expected challenge. Using the law of demand and supply, the demand for housing will go up, leading to a reduction in supply and labor. Coupled with the slow growth of labor productivity in the construction sector, you end up with a shortage. To ensure profits, property owners will have to increase the rents and buying prices.

Also, as mentioned earlier, green technology is a factor that increases costs. Most of the sustainable and energy-efficient solutions are expensive to buy and install. It is not a concern, though, as the consumers are willing to spend more for efficiency.

The Change in Customer Expectations

The need for better customer experience is at an all-time high. Data shows that consumers are willing to pay 16% more for top services. The best services feature speed and efficiency, convenience, and knowledgeable employees.

Real estate being an industry based on relationships, you have to ensure customer satisfaction. This is the best to master customer retention and to build your reputation. The sustained entrants of the new industry players are also another reason to provide superior customer experience. Providing the best customer experience is the ultimate way to beat your competitors.

To meet customer expectations, you need to involve customer intelligence and service aptitude. Instead of trying to solve customer needs, expect them, even when they are not already aware.

Most real estate players are adopting automation and AI to streamline processes and transactions. The solutions reduce response time, update websites, and personalize the customer experience.

Also, you must measure customer satisfaction levels. Use tools like the Net Promoter Score to determine customer opinion. To gauge the service level, you should confirm the likelihood of your customers recommending your business to other people.

Bottom Line 

New technologies, changing homeowner demographics, and relationships are the real estate future drivers. Technology is improving customer access and availing more opportunities. With the right technology, you will have the best solutions for assured customer expectations.

Are you looking for the most effective way to leverage technology in your real estate strategy? As the only platform with an accurate machine learning algorithm for predicting the velocity of commercial and residential real estate sales, Prospect Now is your best shot.

Contact us today for the best real estate sales solutions. 

How to Value Commercial Property Value

Commercial real estate is a numbers game. As a buyer, it’s important to know how to value a commercial property’s investment worth. Many complexities come into play and some formulas do not account for the little details. Take the time to calculate every aspect you can cover if you want to spot no-brainer deals. 

Two of the most popular measurements of investment value for commercial real estate are the “Cap Rate” and Net Rental Yield”. We will break these down in great detail and then give other examples of value formulas to use.

Cap Rate of a Commercial Property

A commercial property’s “cap rate” is the “capitalization rate”. This figure is calculated by determining the ratio of NOI to property asset value. 

NOI stands for Net Operating Income. 

The “asset value” is essentially the sale price. 

How to Calculate Net Operating Income (NOI)

You are calculating the amount of operating income after all expenses. You do this to figure out how much cash flow the property will generate. 

You must factor both operating costs and vacancy losses. 

Some examples of operating expenses include property taxes, rental property insurance, maintenance and repairs, property management fees, and miscellaneous spending. You can look at what the current owner is paying for these expenses. You can also look at market averages. For example, 1% of property value is the typical amount that an investor will spend on maintenance expenses. 

Some examples of income include rent or lease payments, billboard fees, and vending machines or laundry service profits. Value these extra income sources at net value before factoring them into the NOI calculation.

As for vacancy losses, you can look at the actual figures or factor the standard rate in the property’s market. Some buildings have unique circumstances. In certain cases, fixing a few things could reduce your vacancy rate significantly. If the vacancy is already low, go with the current statistic for the building when calculating vacancy loss. Multiply the number of months any units are vacant by the rent value of them to determine the total loss. Add this to the expense side and subtract it from the income.

The NOI valuation formula does not factor in principal loan payments, interest premiums, depreciation, amortization, or capital expenditures. These factors will vary depending on the borrower. The point of the NOI formula is to value the property itself.

When to use the NOI calculation method…

As an investor, the NOI should be calculated prior to make an offer on a property. This formula can also be used after obtaining ownership. NOI stats help to determine cash flow and the value of the income and expenses can always change. By measuring all income and expenses, it will be easier to see where you can cut costs and profit more.

Tip: The NOI will vary heavily between properties. You must consider the other costs, such as low rent and high expenses, to determine whether the investment is workable. You might find that the NOI creates a nice cash flow but the mortgage costs eliminate most of the profit. In this instance, any drop in the vacancy or sudden high expense could prove to be too costly.

So, What’s the Cap Rate?

You now have all the information you need to calculate the NOI. The next step is to figure out the ratio of NOI to property asset value. Let’s say a commercial property is available for a $500,000 purchase price and it has an NOI of $50,000. In this scenario, the cap rate is $50,000/$500,000 which makes for a 10% cap rate. 

What is a Good Cap Rate?

A good cap rate in one city might be a terrible rate in another. It is important to look at the market statistics for your area. Search for sales comps for similar commercial properties and see their cap rate. This will give you an idea of what you can expect and what it takes to be outperforming the local market.

However, generally speaking, 4% is a solid cap rate. Anything north of that figure will be a strong number to see. Any south of it needs further evaluation. A lower cap rate might exist as a result of a high level of vacancy. If that is the case, you need to determine what is causing the high vacancy. Compare the vacancy rate for similar properties in the area—if it is much higher, there could be more room to push the cap rate higher.

If you are a buy and hold investor, remember that your cap rate can go up. If it’s a growing market, the demand will increase and rents will go higher. The more income the property generates the greater the cap rate will be. You can look at predictive growth to determine what the cap rate might be in the next few years.

Calculating the Net Rental Yield

The Net Rental Yield is a figure that factors property expenses but not debt service costs. This formula is similar to the calculation for Net Operating Income. However, the one key difference is that your income tax costs are brought into the equation.

The Net Rental Yield is a good means of valuing commercial property. This statistic can be used to help investors avoid properties that have marginal profit potential. If the market goes down a little, a negative ROI might occur. This situation is very risky because it means a negative cash flow which pressures you to sell the property at a loss. Failing to sell early could lead to further recurring losses until you later sell at a bigger disparity.

Basically, you want to look at the Net Rental Yield as the true income value. You can then subtract your debt service costs from this figure to determine the actual cash flow. This figure is your investment return rate. From there, you will know precisely whether it is worth putting your money into the building or not.

To put it simply, take your NOI and subtract your tax-related expenses. You now have your Net Rental Yield. All that is not brought into the equation is your debt principal and interest payments.

Other Calculations for Commercial Property Value

Some other calculation methods that are used by commercial real estate investors include the Gross Rent Multiplier, Cash Flow, Gross Potential Income, and Breakeven Ratio.

These methods are not as effective as the Cap Rate or Net Rental Yield. However, each of these formulas are valuable at times. You can collect more data on the investment value of a property by calculating through each of these methods. You might find a weakness that doesn’t show otherwise. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Gross Rent Multiplier

The Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM) is the ratio between a property purchase price and the yearly income it generates. The GRM does not take into account any expenses at all. This statistic is used to figure out how many years it would take to pay off the purchase price based on the gross rent figures. 

The GRM calculation is usually used by investors as a preliminary screening measure. You can determine whether the rental income generated by the building is too low. If you know it is relatively high, then you can break down the statistics further by looking at the expenses.

As an example… A property that costs $500,000 might generate $25,000 in rent each year. At this rate, it would take 20 years to pay off the $500,000. Of course, this statistic does not take into account any appreciation in rental rates either. It is not a super-advanced measurement of value but it does serve as a good screening method.

A quality GRM would be in the 4 to the 7-year range for rough markets. If it is in an in-demand, booming market, it’s okay for it to take longer to pay the property off. Receiving at least 1% of the purchase price in rental income every month would be ideal.

Cash Flow

Calculate the gross rental income for the year. Calculate the amount you pay for the mortgage with interest each year. Factor in how much the previous owner was paying for expenses annually. Include the vacancy loss amount on top of those expenses. Subtract all outputs from inputs to determine the property’s cash flow.

The cash flow decides how much money you will pocket on your investment. Some factors will play a heavy impact on the cash flow rate of a property. For example, a higher downpayment could give you a lower interest rate and mortgage payment. Your monthly cost will go down as a result which means you will pocket more profits every month.

You do not want to overextend yourself to increase your cash flow. Any money that you tie up could have been used elsewhere. A lost opportunity can be costly. You should use the “Cash on Cash” calculation method as well. Divide your invested capital by annual cash flow to determine your Cash on Cash return. 

In some cases, you might want to look for lucrative opportunities to reduce invested capital. For instance, the seller might cover the downpayment for you to seal the deal. Your invested capital would be much lower which could offset a higher mortgage payment. If you purely care about the property’s income potential, these opportunities are very appealing. You can build a nice portfolio of properties through tricky methods but it takes extensive research and planning to pull off.

Gross Potential Income

The Gross Potential Income takes into account what you might be able to generate for income from a property. You are not looking at the current figures so much as to what you could manage if you optimize your investment. For example, a property might need some repairs or renovations to increase the number of rented units. By investing in this capital you could increase the property’s income potential.

At bare level, the GPI is calculated by looking at a property with 100% occupancy. You must effectively value the rent rate for any vacant units. In most cases, this will be a simple measurement. A building might have a vacancy of a few months between tenants and always rent for the same amount. But, it gets more complicated if any units have been vacant for a long time—because there’s likely a (costly) reason for that. 

The GPI is a good figure to use when shopping the market for commercial real estate investment opportunities. You might find some properties that seem like a bad deal but their high potential income makes them appealing. You need to be careful when getting into one of these investments. Some will be major duds and cash burners, while others could prove to be the best real estate purchase of your lifetime. 

Breakeven Ratio

The Breakeven Ratio is a pretty effective measurement of investment value. It takes into account all of your operating expenses and also your debt service cost. This total is divided by the potential rental income. You can use this figure to identify how much the market can swing down before you start operating at a loss. 

A good ratio will vary depending on many factors. However, the ratio should be below 85% in most cases. This means you have a 15% safety margin where you can allow rent rates to drop by 15% and still be safe. Make sure you calculate this before investing in a rental property because it could save you from a catastrophic loss. The Breakeven Ratio is especially important in a bubbling real estate market where a downturn in prices is more likely.


Investing in commercial real estate can be tough at times. However, it is very much a numbers game. You can find profitable deals if you take the time to compare what’s on the market and crunch the data. The key is to be extra cautious before making an offer and making sure it is a good deal in every way possible.

So, consider your Cash on Cash return. Make sure you have a nice net cash flow. Take a shot on properties that have room for growth. Avoid the marginal investment opportunities. Also, do not feel like you need to find a deal today… A property might look nice but, if the numbers don’t add up, it’s not worth the risk.

How to Find Foreclosures and Seized Properties

Foreclosures often represent excellent investment opportunities, but it can prove difficult to find them before other investors. What’s worse, many sites promise to show you a database of foreclosed properties in your area, but they’re often filled with outdated information that you have to pay to access. Instead of wasting time with such tactics, try these proven methods trusted by seasoned investors.

Attend Foreclosure Auctions

By far, one of the most direct ways to find foreclosure opportunities is to attend the auctions for foreclosed properties. However, without prior research, it’s easy to end up purchasing a foreclosed property that is worth much less than the bank price, which is why all avid investors should spend time in advance looking at the properties that will be auctioned.

Use A Foreclosure Agent

There are many real estate agents who specialize in foreclosures. The Balance points out, they “sometimes wait weeks while bank management approves the list price, so you can get a jump on other buyers by asking about new foreclosures not yet listed.”

Working with a foreclosure agent can certainly give you a leg-up thanks to their knowledge of your local area and first-hand access to the MLS. They can also schedule showings for you and handle other parts of the process on your behalf.

Look for Notice of Sale Filings

Once a foreclosure sale date is set for a property, a “Notice of Sale” is sent to the owner. A copy of the notice is also posted on the property, so simply driving around can lead to some foreclosure leads. However, if you want to skip the legwork, you can head straight to the County Recorder’s Office where another copy of the Notice of Sale will be put on the public record. Local newspapers will also publish this Notice of Sale over a three-week time period.

This gives you three other methods for finding foreclosures, with the most time-consuming certainly being canvassing neighborhoods by car. Checking public records will take time, too, but it’s much more direct than the former. Of course, if you want the foreclosure opportunities to come to you, subscribing to a few local papers will give you an easy way to learn about new foreclosures in a local area.

Stay On Top of Notice of Default Filings

A Notice of Sale will be published once a property has entered the foreclosure process, but you can also get ahead of other investors by checking the County Recorder’s Office regularly for Notice of Default (NOD) filings. A Notice of Default is put on record after a property owner has missed payments for three to six months.

The borrower could bring the mortgage current again with the reinstatement period generally running until five days before the eventual auction date. Pursuing an owner who is in pre-foreclosure status could be profitable and, in the event that they do not repay their balance and eventually enter foreclosure, you could be a step ahead of other investors who may only hear of the property once the Notice of Sale is finally published.

Check Government Listings

Today’s technology makes finding foreclosures easier than ever before. If you choose to check government and bank listings, you can forego paperwork and newspapers altogether, just be mindful that this method will only alert you to certain types of foreclosed properties.

Properties financed by Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Treasury Department, and Small Business Administration (SBA) properties that are being foreclosed upon will be listed on the respective agency’s website. The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a page that links to the various online listings for different agencies.

Check Bank Listings

Similar to how some government agencies list their foreclosures online, some major banks do the same. If you are interested in pursuing bank-owned foreclosures, check the online listings for major chains like Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank.

Utilize a Virtual Search Tool

The use of technology is certainly gaining ground as more investors realize the time-saving advantages it brings to the table, but searching on agency websites still isn’t necessarily the fastest or most efficient way to find foreclosures. Aside from having to search across a dozen different sites to find viable leads, the search process can also prove extremely tedious–especially if you have specific parameters in mind for the foreclosures you’re interested in.

That’s where a platform like ProspectNow will come in handy. With the help of predictive analysis, this tool will take the legwork out of finding your next investment opportunity. ProspectNow collects information from a number of databases and puts it into one intuitive dashboard where you can find pre-foreclosures along with the property that is predicted to sell in the next 12 months, giving you a range of potential investment opportunities.

When it comes to pre-foreclosure investment, ProspectNow will also give you easy access to names, phone numbers, and even email addresses for property owners, allowing you the potential to purchase properties directly from their respective owners before foreclosure proceedings even begin.

Find The Most Opportunities

Expert investors know that the best way to find the most opportunities is to come up with a strategy that works for your needs. The days of driving around and even checking local newspapers are coming to an end thanks to the many other more efficient methods of locating foreclosures and seized property in a lot less time.

Since every hour you spend searching for opportunities ultimately affects your profit, considering looking into an all-in-one tool that will improve your productivity and help you find properties faster. Click here to get started with ProspectNow for free.