The Internet can be a crazy place for those in the real estate business (or any business). The amount of information out there — both legit and bogus — is nothing short of astounding. It’s easy to get caught up surfing from one site to another (I’m a huge ted.com fan), but there’s also something to be said for getting what you need and moving on. It’s like going to Safeway with a clear shopping list and not getting sidetracked because Ben & Jerry’s is half off (rum raisin — yum!).
The Internet’s the same way. As a real estate investor, it’s critical to be able to clearly find out what you need to make sound decisions. One key decision is who to trust and who to work with. “Due diligence” is a phrase often used by investors for making sure their numbers are correct on a deal — the After Repair Value (ARV), rehab costs, etc. so that you don’t lose your shirt.
However, you also need to run your due diligence on PEOPLE — contractors, handymen, realtors, appraisers, short sale negotiators, attorneys, buyers and, perhaps most importantly, other real estate investors in your market. After all, if you’re going to wholesale a deal to another investor, make sure they have the resources (capital, time, etc.) that they say they have. It’s just too easy to talk a good talk without being able to back it up. Bottom line: they are a lot of phonies out there with nothing more than cheaply printed business cards.
How Can I Run My Due Diligence On Other People In My Market?
Well, you could hire a private investigator or spend hours at the courthouse running all different kinds of background checks, but there’s a better way:
Much of the world is knee deep in sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more. Social media for real estate investors is a verifiable digital treasure trove of shared information, photos and videos of deals and listings, market data, etc. It seems more and more are being released everyday. The latest one to be considered a “must have” is Pinterest.
How does this help YOU? Well if you need to research someone in your real estate market, spend a few minutes and see what their social media profiles say. Look at their Facebook posts, their LinkedIn data, their Tweets, even their Pinterest photos. What are they saying? What are they sharing? Are they recommended and by whom? Do they have a professional presence?
The separation between personal and professional gets more blurred everyday, even more so in real estate. The true professionals know this and will go out of their way to make it clear that they are PROFESSIONAL. You should be able to get a decent idea as to whether you might be able to work with this person or whether you should look elsewhere. Of course, you can’t completely judge someone by their Tweets, but you should also listen to your gut.
If you’re in real estate yourself and need a hand with your own real estate online presence, then I highly suggest hopping over to powerupsocialmedia.com and checking out their social media guides. They’ve done a great job and have helped many other real estate pros deliver the professional presence they desire.