Master Virtual Driving for Dollars: A Complete Guide
Whether you're a seasoned veteran in the game of real estate or just getting your feet wet, we all know that strategies for finding good deals are always evolving.
One such strategy, gaining momentum in the realm of real estate investing, is 'Virtual Driving for Dollars'. This relatively new strategy leverages technology such as Google Street View and real estate apps to find off-market, distressed properties, all from the comfort of your home.
What is Virtual Driving for Dollars?
'Virtual Driving for Dollars,' as the name suggests, is the modernized, high-tech version of the traditional 'Driving for Dollars' approach long used by real estate investors on the hunt for investment-worthy properties. But rather than physically trawling various neighborhoods in search of distressed properties, this innovative strategy leverages online resources like Google Street View and dedicated real estate apps like DealMachine.
Later we will break down the pros and cons of virtually driving for dollars versus traditional driving for dollars. But this virtual hunting ground offers a convenient, efficient path to find off-market properties and secure lucrative deals.
How do you Virtually Drive for Dollars?
Armed with curiosity and your favorite real estate app, you are ready to embark on your journey to virtual property scouting.
To start with, you need to identify a target neighborhood you're interested in. The neighborhood could be based on market trends, recent sales, or just your instinct as a real estate investor. It’s important to understand the real estate market you are looking to invest in to determine what criteria to factor into your decisions.
Once you've picked an area, switch to Google Street View or your real estate app and start wandering the virtual streets, exactly the same way as you would in real life –- but without the gas bill! While navigating your way, look out for indications of distress, such as boarded windows, neglected lawns, or accumulation of trash.
Each time you come across a potential property, record the address, make notes, and use the DealMachine app to find the owner's information. You can then follow up with a phone call or a postcard expressing your interest in their property. Easy, isn't it?
How to Virtually Drive for Dollars in DealMachine
When you use DealMachine to virtually drive for dollars, you can virtually drive from anywhere because you are able to access it on your mobile device or computer in your web browser.
To get started you’ll need to log into your DealMachine account and click on the “Map” tab.
Once you are in the “Map” tab click on “Drive for Leads” and select “Virtual Drive”. Next you’ll select an area on the map and click “Start Driving”.
DealMachine will then open up the Google street view and you can take your virtual stroll through neighborhoods and add leads into your account. Once you add the lead you can tag them just like traditional driving for dollars and you can start mail.
Plus if you open up the lead you can access DealMachine’s Unlimited Contact information. You no longer need to pay for skip tracing or do that action. Just click into the contact card for the individual associated with the property and you’re armed with comprehensive data on the individual. We’re talking demographics, phone numbers, emails, and more.
Keys to Virtually Driving for Dollars
Targeting motivated sellers is important in lead generation strategies, but is especially important in driving for dollars. We recommend finding extra motivation factors rather than what you see on Google Street view. Certain factors like senior owner, absentee owner, vacant property, or other factors can help you create a list that is targeted to your specific niche.
While virtually driving for dollars, it’s important to look at the date of the Google Street view, so you can know how to properly decipher the other information of the property. For example, if the last drive date for the area was August 2021 and the property was sold on September of 2023, you would know that it might not look the same. This is because it changed owners after the time that it was last driven.
Driving for Dollars vs. Virtually Driving for Dollars?
So now that we’ve covered the basics of virtually driving for dollars let’s dive into traditional driving for dollars and how it is different from virtually driving.
What is Driving for Dollars?
Driving for Dollars is a technique in real estate investing where an investor will drive around neighborhoods and look for properties with signs of distress or in need of repairs.
Signs like grass in the driveway, a roof in disarray, siding that needs repair, etc. can be signs that the owner can’t keep up with the necessary repairs and might be motivated to sell. This technique allows investors to build a unique list of properties that no one else will have allowing them to potentially find great deals and maximize their investment returns.
Comparing Driving for Dollars and Virtual Driving for Dollars
With traditional driving for dollars, you are able to see the property in the current state that it is at. Depending on how up-to-date the Google Street view is of the property that could not be the case for virtual driving for dollars.
With virtual driving for dollars, you might not get the current condition of the property, but you will be able to “drive” at any time of the day or night, which might fit a more busy schedule. With traditional driving for dollars, it’s best if you drive during daylight hours.
Other considerations to take into account are while driving for dollars, you’ll be incurring fuel costs and wear and tear on your vehicle. With virtual driving, the costs you’ll be incurring are just the electricity it takes to charge whatever device you’re using for the “drive”.
With both traditional driving for dollars and virtual driving for dollars, you’ll be able to build that niche list of properties. Plus with software like DealMachine, you can immediately start sending mail to properties or access the unlimited contact information and call the homeowner up right there on the spot.
Why Should You Virtually Drive for Dollars?
The benefits of Virtual Driving for Dollars are manifold. Here are just a few to give you an idea:
- Efficiency: Sitting at your desk and scouting for properties online can be much faster than actually driving around town. And the faster you find potential deals, the quicker you can close them.
- Cost savings: Virtual driving for dollars eliminates the costs associated with traditional driving for dollars such as fuel, vehicle wear and tear, and above all, your precious time.
- Broader Reach: Virtually driving for dollars allows you to scout for properties in any part of the country, or even the world, without leaving your desk. This opens up a broader range of opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.
To cap it off, Virtual Driving for Dollars is an efficient, cost-effective, and far-reaching method for finding investment properties. Armed with this 'virtual driving for dollars guide,' you're ready to revamp your strategy. Remember, real estate investing is about thinking outside the box and leveraging technology to stay ahead of the curve.
So, get ready to explore the digital landscape for your next real estate investment. Embrace the power of technology with Virtual Driving for Dollars. It's efficient, it's cost-effective, and it opens up a world of opportunities. Happy DealFinding!
About Samantha Ankney
Samantha has been a media specialist for DealMachine for 2.5 years. She produces, edits, writes, and publishes all media that is distributed to the DealMachine and Real Estate Investing community.