What Is Turn-Key Real Estate Investing?

This is a simple concept in which the investor buys, rehabilitates, and then resells a property at a profit. This is also known as “flipping” a home. This process usually happens remotely, because the investor remains in his or her own home, sometimes in a locale where flipping doesn’t make sense, and utilizes the Internet to find and invest in opportunities. The goal here is to make the process of investing in real estate as easy as possible, so all the investor has to do is flip a switch or “turn the key.”

Typically, then, you’re purchasing a single-family home, fixing it up, in order to bring it in line with current codes as well as make it more appealing to buyers. Here’s how it works:

  1. A turnkey retailer or company purchases the property.
  2. One or more investors purchase a share in or all of the shares in the house.
  3. The retailer or company “fixes up,” or rehabilitates, the property to make it current and appealing to buyers.
  4. Once the property is rehabbed, it’s put back on the market for resale.
  5. As soon as a sale is closed, the investor gets his or her money back plus whatever profit was earned, according to what share of the investment he or she owned.

If done properly, this can be a very sound investment strategy. You, as the investor, have earn a profit from flipping the home, and you can have as little or as much involvement as you wish. You can be as involved or uninvolved in the flipping process as you desire, helping to oversee the contractors rehabilitating the home or leaving the entire process up to the turnkey retailer.

Why not just buy a house myself and flip/rent it?

You might be thinking you can just eliminate the middleman, the turnkey retailer or company, and do all of the legwork yourself. While many investors do just that and succeed at it, there are some drawbacks. In most cases, you’ll end up undertaking much more work than you would as an investor. Here is what you would have to do if you became a flipper, rather than utilizing a turn-key solution and having the turnkey retailer handle the process for you.

  • Finding the property: First, you would have to locate a suitable property, which means knowing which neighborhoods are going to appeal to buyers or tenants.
  • Rehabilitating the property: Next, you would have to renovate and rehabilitate the property, making it adhere to current codes and also be an excellent single-family property. This requires proper budgeting and attention to contractors and laborers, something that requires an on-site presence.
  • Marketing the property for sale or rent: Once the house is move-in ready, you would have to find a buyer or a paying tenant to move into the location.

Should you decide to rent out the property, you would be entering a whole new dimension. For more information on turn-key real estate investment where you rent instead of resell, check out our outline of that investment strategy.

If this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. With turn-key real estate investing, as little or as much of that work can be taken off your shoulders and put on someone else’s. Let’s look at the advantages of turn-key real estate investment.

The advantages of turn-key real estate investment

In a full-fledged turn-key real estate investment situation, you are an investor, not a flipper or landlord. You’re hiring someone else to manage the property for you, so all you have to do is collect on the profit. Here are some of the primary advantages of turn-key real estate investment.

Does not require your presence locally

With turn-key real estate investment, you acquire single-family properties in remote locations. This allows you the freedom to remain living where you want, while still maintaining a cash flow from a location that has excellent real estate values. You can continue living in your gated community in Florida, for example, where flipping houses might not make sense, while investing in flippable or rentable properties in Seattle or anywhere else that has a strong demand for such properties.

Easy diversification of your investment portfolio

turn-key real estate investment can be a wise move, if done correctly. One aspect of correctly executing a turn-key real estate investment strategy is investing properly in multiple markets, something that is easy to do since it requires little to no time of your own. The benefits of investing in multiple markets is simple: it provides you with protection from an unexpected downturn in an economy. For example, an investment in single-family properties in Seattle might seem like a guaranteed cash flow scenario, but what happens if Boeing announces major layoffs? If that were to happen, home prices would fall and properties would be more difficult to sell, negatively affecting your profit.

Since turn-key real estate investing makes it so easy to have multiple properties, this is a significant advantage of the investment strategy if you do it right. In other words, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

You don’t have to be a real estate expert

When you deal with a reputable turn-key real estate retailer or company, that provider knows the real estate markets with much more precision than an outsider would. Sure, you could do some basic research on an area, checking out the local school ratings, crime reports, and price ranges, but a turn-key provider will know all of that and more; they’ll know the heart of an area, such as why people prefer one neighborhood over another.

The disadvantages of turn-key real estate investment

If turn-key real estate investing sounds like a sure-fire way to make money, you should be aware that there are disadvantages to the strategy. First and foremost, you will come across turnkey retailers that try to maximize their own returns at the expense of cutting corners, but beyond that there are other drawbacks.

The “middle man” needs to make money

The turn-key company is a business, and that business needs to make money. This means buying property at a discount and then selling it to you at a higher amount, of “flipping” the property, often for a hefty profit margin. Following that, the turn-key company can make an additional profit by managing the sale or rental of the single-property property for you. One thing to remember about this drawback, though, is that turn-key companies often have a marketing machine running at all times and can find incredible deals in their market, allowing them to give you a great deal even as the company makes its profit.

You gotta trust someone

There are “shady” turn-key companies out there. These companies will encourage an out-of-state investor to buy a bad property in a bad location, meaning more money leaking out of the investor’s pockets than coming in. You have to rely on the turn-key operator’s knowledge, expertise, and credibility to actually make you a good deal. This means you have to be dealing with someone you can truly trust.

Conclusion

There are serious benefits to turn-key real estate investment, and it can definitely be an attractive cash flow strategy. However, there are also drawbacks to take into account before you proceed with any deals. You will need to investigate the turn-key provider and make sure they are both reputable and profitable, and ensure that the cash flow opportunity they are offering you is actually feasible and realistic. turn-key real estate investment is a fantastic way to make money, as long as you are smart about it and take care of your own due diligence throughout the process.

How to Generate Real Estate Leads Online

Social Media Marketing

1- Listing properties on social media is very easy. Simply copy the URL of the property listing that you are trying to sell, then past and post it on your personal and/or company Facebook page. This action will result in displaying your property to everyone who liked your page or to those who are in contact with you.

2- Posting regular articles and updates about your business and industry will position you as a reputable real estate agent with great knowledge and authority.

3- Facebook is one of the best sources for lead generation. There are several social media strategies designed to engage and encourage the user to provide his/her contact information through a simple form. This may be fulfilled in exchange for a free home evaluation or a list of foreclosed homes in a particular area.

4- Social Media marketing provide advertisers with the tools and options to target users both geographically and demographically as well as by interest. Social media marketing campaigns when designed and implemented properly can result in providing a large number of leads at an affordable cost.

5- Twitter is another alternative mode of Social Media for advertising. What is significant about it is that it cost considerably lower than Facebook.

6- LinkedIn is the best social media platform for business networking. Building a network on LinkedIn can help you generate solid leads. As they say “Your network is your net worth”.

Video

1- Creating and posting client video testimonials stating your expertise, achievements, why should people do business with you rather than with your competitors, and informative real estate tips, can have a tremendous positive impact on increasing the chances of those visiting your webpage to reach out to you.

2- Once you have created a video clip or more you can use the videos to advertise on Google’s display network which includes YouTube and Facebook video ads. Those video clips can also be shared and promoted on several social media networks.

Blogging

1- Nowadays knowing how to write a good blog has become a very important part of any online marketing solutions and real estate leads. blogs have been proven to be effective in generating leads. It is advisable to create and maintain a blog. Posting at least one blog per month is a must to secure its effectiveness. Blogs provide you with the opportunity to appear on more relevant real estate search terms and provide your current and potential clients with helpful information that will ultimately increase their loyalty and trust.

Real Estate SEO

1- SEO is the ability to optimize a real estate website to appear on the top ten search results for relevant real estate keywords, such as “Real Estate Agent in Montreal” and “Homes for Sale in Laval”. Make sure that the title, headlines, and content of your website includes relevant real estate keywords.

2- A Good SEO practice is to constantly build links to your website; you can do that by hiring an SEO agency or make time every week to work on getting quality websites link to yours preferably related to the real estate industry.

Real Estate Web Design Layout and Features

  1. When you give away your business cards to potential clients they are more likely to visit your website before they even consider calling or sending you an email. Therefore it is crucial that your Real Estate Web Design is professionally designed and clearly presents the properties being advertised for sale as well as the value you provide to your customers. Your real estate agent website should be easy to use with a visible menu to help users navigate the site.
  2. It should have several lead capture forms on most if not all pages preferably with different call to action.
  3. Let your potential clients know that you have tremendous experience selling real estate properties in their cities or areas.
  4. Write an interesting meet the team page comprised of fun and creative paragraph about each member in your team. Make sure to deliver a strong message that you and your team are capable of helping your client buy or sell real estate while making the entire experience easy and enjoyable.
  5. If the majority of your business comes from certain communities make sure you list any community work you have done in these communities.

Pay Per Click Marketing

  1. Google AdWords and Pay Per Click advertising provide real estate agents and agencies with the opportunity to display ads on any relevant search term, providing exposure for your properties with while keeping you up front and centered for significant prospects. The advertising budget can be set to a daily cap and the ads can be targeted by cities, even area and postal codes.
  2. Support your PPC campaigns with personalized effective PPC landing pages.

The Best Real Estate Website to Use

With thousands of Real Estate websites out there, finding the right one can be challenging. Do a search on Google and you get hit with the most popular Real Estate websites, like Zillow, Trulia, and Refine. Once you get past the first page even the less popular sites now have the same home search features. So how does a home owner or home buyer to know what site is best. Before you choose you first need to understand a little more about how they all started and what they really are.

For many years if you were in the market to buy a home you had to go to the local Real Estate office in the area you wanted to buy a home in and ask to see a list of homes for sale. This list was a print out of the homes for sale from the local Multiple Listing service (MLS). The list gave you basic information about the homes and some marketing remarks. You scanned through it and then asked for an agent to show you the homes you thought you might like.

This was great for Real Estate agents because as harbors of this information, the buyers had to come to them. It also gave the agent a chance to show the homes that the agent themselves were listing first. For the buyer this wasn’t so good. It was hard for the buyer to tell if the agent was there to represent them or the seller and if they wanted to look at homes in more than one town they may have to go to other Real Estate offices to see list from other MLS’s. These lists could also be out of date and when you did find the home of your dreams it may already be sold. This process could take a long time and be stressful for even the most seasoned buyer.

Fast forward a decade or two and some important changes have happened. The MLS went digital and consolidated into larger MLS companies that covered even larger areas. Here in Western Washington we now use The North West Multiple Listing service (NWMLS) and it covers all but two counties; Clark and Clallam. In the 90′s the internet brought the first Real Estate websites. Most of these showed the homes listed by the agent/agencies that owned the website and were not updated very often. Some of the bigger Real Estate agencies, the ones that had the money and resources, started building home searches tools using data directly from the MLS. Now, for the first time, buyers do not have to talk to an agent to find homes for sale and can get even more information (pictures, schools, map locations and up to date status).

Nowadays the price of producing these high quality websites has come down to the point where the average agent with the right skills can build their own. We now see an explosion of Real Estate websites and it seems most of them have home search features. This leaves buyers confused on which website to use.

Now that buyers can get information from just about any Real Estate website, what should they know before picking one? First, here in Washington State any licensed agent can show you and represent you on any home listed on the MLS no matter what website you find it on. Most of these websites have a mobile application or are mobile friendly. While most buyers begin their home search on the internet what they don’t understand is that that website you use to look at homes is a lead generation tool for the agent. The buyer is trading their contact information for the use of the website.

This is not a bad thing. If you really want to buy a home then you will need your questions answered, help finding financing, an agent to open doors for you, someone who understand the paperwork and can help you with the negotiations, and a trusted agent to look out for you in the closing process. That can only happen when you talk to an agent. Which agent you get is the important part. And that’s where finding the right website comes in to play. The buyer should use these websites to find out more about the agent they might want to represent them. Finding out more about the agent before getting involved with an agent is the key to achieving your goals of buying or selling a home.

What you should be looking for is what the agent’s experience is in Real Estate? Do they work full time as a licensed Real Estate agent? What is their closing success rate? Do they guarantee their services? What do past clients have to say about the agent’s service? These questions can sometimes be found on the agent’s website but if not you should ask on the first contact with an agent. Now that you know how they started and what they are, how do you choose the right website for you? First, let’s talk about the differences in these websites. We can break it down to four types.

The first type is the big non brokerage sites like Zillow, Homes.com, Realtor.com and Trulia. These sites don’t have agents working in the field. What they do is sell the leads that register on their site to agents who hope to convert the lead into a customer. These website have worked hard to make sure home buyers find their site first. They have added a lot of nice tools that estimate home values or mortgage calculators and all the information they can get on just about every home in the US and some other countries. They get most of this information from public record and what some home owners may give them. The down side to these sites is that the information they used can be out of date or inaccurate. Take the home values for example, because they get the sold data (what homes in the same neighborhood sold for) from public records not the local MLS their numbers can be behind the market trends. In the world of Real Estate we only look back to the last six months to help us determine the value of a home. While the sale price of a home may go in the public record right at closing, it can take months to filter through the system before these websites can encompass it into their data and that will throw their numbers off. There is also a question about like kind homes. When a Real Estate agent or appraiser does a comparable market analysis (CMA) of a home’s value, they look for homes just like the subject home (the home that is being valued) same size, same bedrooms, same baths, same size property, same neighborhood and same condition. This can be a bit of an art and the question is can a computer do as good a job as an agent? This can leave home buyers and home sellers confused about the true value of a home.

I would like to take this opportunity to weigh in on home values. In a free market, like ours here in the US, the true value of a home is exactly “the highest price a buyer is willing to pay and the least amount a seller is willing to take” for any property. It is only when a property is sold that the true market price can be set and everyone else, Real Estate Agent, Appraisers, County Assessors and any website, is only making an estimate or guess.

The second type of Real Estate websites are the big and medium size brokerages like Re/Max, Windermere, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, RedFin and ZipRealty. These companies have multiple brokerages in many locations throughout the US. These Real Estate companies have agents who work for the brokerages directly, usually as independent contractors. Leads or potential customers who register on their sites are assigned out to the individual agent or sometimes sold depending on the companies polices. These companies take a large part on the agent’s commission or pay, with some of them taking 60% or more. This means the agent has to work harder to convert as many leads to customers as possible just to make enough money to stay in business. Sometimes these agents take on more than they can reasonably handle leading to poor customer service or a higher transaction failure rate. Some of these companies give the buyer a rebate. This rebate comes out of the agent’s commission and can make it even harder for agents to provide good service to their customers. I have heard a lot of complaints about agents that disappeared once a contract is signed or agents that refuse to show homes to buyers that are looking at homes in the lower end of the market yet they still want to write up the contract and get paid a commission.

The third type of Real Estate website is the small or independent brokerages. These companies are usually owned and operated by seasoned agents who have the skill and knowledge to build a good quality website and provide good service to buyers and sellers alike. You will find the same home search tools and email notifications as on the big sites and because these sites serve local communities, many times these sites have more information about the areas they serve and consumers can read more about the agents that they may want to use in buying or selling their homes. These companies can have one or more agents working together as a team or as independent agents and usually have a higher successful closing rate. What makes these sites the best choice for home buyers or sellers is the agents that come with them.

The fourth type of Real Estate website is the independent agent website. These websites are built by the individual agent or a third party on behalf of the agent. They can be as good as any of the bigger commercial sites depending on the skill, time and money an agent is willing to put into it. These agents can be very good agents yet most of them are little more than one page public resumes put out by agents hoping to attract buyers or sellers to the agent it is promoting.

So in considering a Real Estate website, buyers and sellers should keep in mind that a website is not going to help you buy or sell your home, it’s the Real Estate agent. The website is a way of seeking out the right agent to do the job. Think of it this way, since you can get the homes information from just about every website now what value are you getting from a website? The value is in the service you get from an agent who may save you time, money and keep you from the heartache of a bad deal or bad service.