Active-duty military personnel might think that investing in real estate is simply not an option while serving their country. But the reality is that even active members of the military can successfully invest in single-family rental properties. With today’s technology and the right property management team on your side, it is possible to buy and rent properties just about anywhere. And in some ways, the frequent moves that are an integral part of military life can be an advantage when building a diverse real estate portfolio.
Learn from an Example
Take for example the story of Christine Rilovick, who spent nearly a decade in the Air Force. Even though she moved frequently because of her active service, Christine decided early in her career to buy, not rent, a house in every city in which she served. Each time she was transferred to a new city, she would convert her home to a rental and hire a local property manager to take care of it for her. In this way, she accumulated seven rental properties in cities all around the country, properties that will help her grow her wealth long after her active service.
Emulate Her Strategy
Emulating Christine’s smart strategy, it is possible for investors of all kinds to build a robust real estate investment portfolio. The first step to becoming an active-duty investor is to look for investment opportunities wherever you may be. Being stationed in a new city can help you quickly learn a lot about the local market. To do what Christine did, start right where you are. Keep your eyes open for bargains, and plan to buy, not rent, your home. Doing so might help you find a property that would work well as both your personal residence (for now) and as a rental home later.
If you are your transferred, the next step is to find a trustworthy property management company to care for your property once you leave. The importance of finding a quality property manager can’t be overstated. You will need someone who can handle the rental process start to finish, who will communicate with you effectively, and who will take care of your valuable investment the same way you would (or better). Using a national franchise with a solid reputation is also a great idea since you are likely to find local offices that will treat you like an individual, but still get all the benefits that big companies can offer. In this way, you can create a process of buying and renting out homes that you can repeat.
Learning from Mistakes
Christine says she learned the value of professional property management the hard way. For example, along her path to being the owner of multiple properties, Christine tried several times to find her own tenants and cobble together property management using neighbors and other helpful individuals. Sometimes that strategy worked, other times it didn’t go as well. In fact, one tenant Christine rented a home to ended up being deeply involved in an illegal drug trafficking organization. This tenant seemed like the perfect candidate on the surface, but was hiding a dark secret that resulted in Christine’s property getting tangled in criminal activity.
Use Real Property Management
Nowadays, Christine is more of a “hands-off” property owner, letting locally owned and operated Real Property Management® franchise businesses handle most of her rental homes. This strategy has allowed Christine to focus on other aspects of her life, like concluding her duty with the military and going back to school to prepare for a new career. Christine’s properties span from coast to coast, but she manages it all with ease with the help of a high-quality national property management franchise system. Contact your local Real Property Management office today to learn more.
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