Time to travel to your markets. Planes are safe, businesses are opening, and except for some late-winter snows and storms, the coast is clear. I have spent some time in recent weeks making site visits to properties I’m interested in. One in particular was right after the big freeze that swept through south-central U.S. I could see how well some property managers responded and how some did not. Very informative.
If you’re a tenant in one of those properties and the snow or snow-melt, garbage pileups, roof leaks, and huge lakes in the middle of your parking lots became part of your daily life, you’re thinking maybe this is the time to move.
Virtual tours work great but, as I’ve noted before, there’s no substitute for being there. When you visit properties, you gain a better perspective for the neighborhood, the types of businesses nearby, proximity to other services like transit, how well does the city take care of the roads, how is traffic and will cars see your property.
You are also going to take with you a list of comps and their addresses. Visit them too. You might be pleasantly surprised that your comps really aren’t such great properties! They’re getting similar, even higher rents? Well, that’s your opportunity to make your future property nicer and more attractive.
Sellers like to know which buyers are serious and a site visit is a profound demonstration of your interest. Meet the seller and their broker if you can, take the tour, but visit the property regardless. You will strengthen your offer by having firsthand knowledge of the property.
Can’t make it? Find a local partner, boots on the ground, and build your partnership with them by working together on a property assessment.