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5 Creative Real Estate Investing Techniques

Real Estate investing has come a long way. How long you ask? Well...

· Real Estate,Investing

Real estate investing has come a long way. Years ago, investing in real estate wasextremely labor intensive and financially demanding.

Maybe you remember all the time and effort your parents or grandparents put into their rental properties. After finding a property, there was still a lot to do: get a mortgage, fix it up, find a tenant and hope that the rent check showed up each month.

But wait -- there's more! A toilet gets clogged in the middle of the night? There goes your good nights sleep down the drain. A hailstorm damages your roof? Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Is There (to jack your insurance rates up). Bed bug infestation? That is gonna really bug your budget.

No, the old ways of doing things just don't appeal to the new age investor. I believe there are better ways to invest in real estate. Creative strategies that take advantage of the technology we have at our fingertips.

You're probably thinking, "Yeah, I know I can use Zillow or Trulia to look for houses, get a mortgage and a Realtor."

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about completely out-of-the-box real estate investment methods that actually work.

Now don't write me off as some late-night infomercial hack who's only trying to sell you his latest get rich quick scheme where "no money down, bad credit and bankruptcies are no problem!" Come on. I no Tom Vu ​you.

I don't want to sell you a product. I don't want you to put on a tacky tracksuit, surround yourself with bikini-clad women and float on a yacht all day. (Unless that's your thing. Then go for it.)

I want to help you learn to creatively invest in real estate. I want to help you gain the experience and knowledge to make today's investing platforms work for you.

Don't believe me? Let me introduce you to some of your new options as a real estate investor.



No, this isn't asking your friends and family to donate money to finance your dream of homeownership. Instead, real estate investment platforms like Realty Mogul or RealtyShares let you make a financial investment and realize returns on real estate development projects conducted by experienced professionals. In other words, the platform matches your investment with professional developers who need capital, and you benefit from interest earned on the loan.

Crowdfunding companies lend money to individual investors who need funding for a fix-n-flip or to multimillion dollar real estate developers. You can get started with a relatively small amount, of upfront capital and the crowdfunding company pre-vets everyone who receive loans. That way, you can be assured your money is in the hands of a true professional -- not a fly by night outfit who uses your investment for a luxury vacation to Fiji.

Turn-Key Property Platforms

Remember how much work your parents had to put into their rental properties? There's still money to be made in rentals, but it no longer requires you to become a handyman in order to be a landlord.

Turn-key property platforms have shaken things up by offering the chance to own investment properties without the hassle. They handle everything for you, from the initial purchase to property management. All you do is write the check.

The way it works is fairly seamless. Companies like Norada Real Estate allow you to hand-pick investment properties from a portfolio of pre-vetted and rehabbed rental homes all while sitting at your computer screen in your underpants. They handle the acquisition, perform any work that's necessary at the residence, put tenants in place and manage the day-to-day management of the property. All you do is sit back and watch your investment pay off. No plumber's crack required.

House Hacking

Think house hacking involves hacking into a computer or cutesy ways to organize your kids' toys.

Think again. House hacking allows you to live in your home for free. You buy a small, multifamily housing unit: 2, 3 or 4 units. Anything bigger changes the formula.

Live in one of the units and rent the rest. Based on what you'll receive in rent, you'll be able to easily pay the mortgage on the all the units and have some cash in your pocket, too. Lots of people are realizing this is an easy way to obtain financial independence. The number of people investing in "housing hacks" increased 24 percent from 2014 to 2015.

It's a good option for first-time investors who can afford to do it and want a chance to learn hands-on real estate investing.

Shared Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb is a unicorn. Nope. It's not a single-horned magical creature that lives entirely in the realm of fantasy fiction. Rather, Airbnb is a tech startup that has reached a market value of $1 billion and real estate investors have taken note. Savvy investors are using it to realize 15 to 20 percent more in annual rental income than with traditional rental property methods.

The key to this strategy is location and proper management. The property must be located in an area people want to visit. (You know, vacation destinations: beaches, mountains, gnome countrysides...). To find the right location, data companies like Airdna let you examine local data to determine where to buy. To ensure your property is well-managed and you aren't killing yourself scheduling bookings and cleanings, services like Pillow can help manage Airbnb, Homeaway or VRBO listings for you.

It's true, Airbnb started as house-sharing service, but over the years people have started buying properties for the sole purpose of renting them through the platform. I mean, no one wants to be awakened by guests' late-night escapades or find Cousin Eddie pumping an RV's worth of sewage onto your own front lawn. Amiright?


FinTech benefits you in two ways. You can help fund loans to other real estate investors and see gains on your financial investment, or you can use these platforms to fund your own "fix-and-flip" endeavors. You can become the "wolf of (insert your street name here)."

The best part? You can do it in the privacy of your home in your favorite Snuggy. Or by the pool, cocktail in hand. Or in the middle of the night. Or whenever it's convenient for you.

There are no meetings with stodgy, judgemental bankers. No appointments to keep. You don't actually have to lay eyes on another human being. The transaction is conducted entirely online so it's easy and quick.

If you don't have a great income or have some blemishes on your credit report, FinTech offers a chance to fund an investment property without a hard cash deal. The catch? You'll probably pay more in interest than with a government-backed traditional mortgage. But you've gotta start somewhere, right?

For investors, platforms like Lending Home or Groundfloor lets you diversify your portfolio to spread risk around. You can fund all or a portion of another investor's real estate purchase, and you hold the note on that property.

Want to learn more? Head over to to grow your real estate knowledge and explore more disruptive real estate investing strategies.

Are there any other disruptive strategies you know about that I've missed? I would love to hear about them. Please let me know in the comments section below.

Disclosure: This post contains sponsored links from RealtyShares.

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