Are you looking for an additional source of income? Boost your retirement assets?

Soft economy or not, the buying and selling of real estate is still a viable option for nonprofessionals to make extra money.

Chances are you already know about buying foreclosures or below-market, short sales for investments – such as in flipping property for a favorable selling price or buying properties for rentals.

Beautiful girl Free PhotoYou’re probably prepared to make repairs in the property.

However, unless the property has a unique view or some other feature, major fixer-uppers usually don’t yield a sufficient ROI when they’re sold.

Such repairs eat up valuable time and money. Minor repairs and upgrades are OK.

To be sure, the U.S. has tons of opportunities in which you can invest for the purpose of flipping – if you’re strategic in your approach.

Whatever your real-estate goals, consider these tips:

1. Use due diligence.

For sales success in any industry, product quality is important. That’s true in real estate, as well.

There are many sources of information finding low-priced property. However, just because a property is available and cheap, you still need to ascertain whether you’ll have the potential for a great return on your investment.

You should conduct a SWOT Analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. That would be a SWOT for the property and your capabilities, too.

You’ll want to avoid the risks of a market bubble at all cost.

2. Location is still important. 

Make sure your purchase is in a good location. For maximum value, avoid property that sits below the street level. It’s less appealing for buyers with a discriminating palate, and the house is vulnerable to flooding from heavy rainfall. Naturally, don’t buy in a flood zone.

Your best potential in this economy is to sell to baby boomers and young, first-time homeowners. Study the demographics of your likely target audience for the neighborhood.

… unless the property has a unique view or some other feature, major fixer-uppers usually don’t yield a sufficient ROI when they’re sold.

Young home buyers will often be concerned about neighborhood schools – research the public school system, nearby private schools as well as charter schools. Of course, be savvy about nearby shopping.

If one or both of the buyers commute to work, freeway access will be an important consideration. Nearby public transportation might be an incentive for buyers, too.

Some baby boomers are empty nesters in a down-sizing mode, and are looking forward to retirement.

After your research, develop a list of value propositions – benefit statements that will entice prospective buyers in your target audience.

This principle also applies in buying rental property. Property near a college campus usually means renting to college students. Think like a young person – are there nearby fast food and pizza restaurants, and popular neighborhood hangouts?

For other young renters, there should be nearby discount stores and a good bus line. Learn proper tenant-screening techniques.

2. Use social media marketing.

In many cases, there’s no need to spend money on high-priced advertising. You have many viable options in social media, so set up accounts on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.

Each has unique characteristics, so tailor your approach accordingly. Learn the key steps to make your social media work.

3. Set up a blog for selling valuable real estate.

You’ll want to tout your property. For many properties, consider a blog. Also, write articles that enhance your efforts – from tips on decorating to landscaping. There are 12 ways to develop the best content for a top-rated blog

Additionally, there are nine content traits of the best blogs. Unless you opt for Google’s free blog service, a blog is essentially a Web site. It helps to prime it. See the six priming tips that will help you succeed

4. Use other forms of publicity. 

Some savvy sellers in real estate use the power of online press releases. To beat your competition, the most effective are strategic press releases. If you’re really going to sell real estate in a big way, you’ll need to use PR and to know how to leverage the news media

Success in real estate marketing necessitates that you tap into the emotions of your prospects. You’ll want to paint memorable pictures in the minds of the people in your target audience.

5. Insurance precautions.

Ask around. Choose the right insurance company – one with a good reputation. Check local online reviews of the company and agent. Even mega insurers and their agents have been heavily criticized on social media for inadequate payment of claims from Hurricane Sandy damage and other situations.

From the Coach’s Corner, recommended reading:

A maintenance-free house…that’s a house that’s impossible to fix.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.