Home flipping has traditionally been an entrepreneurial venture, with investors honing a talent for finding and upgrading properties. But the entire industry is watching Zillow’s move into property investment.
Agents aren’t the only ones who should be on high alert about this. By harnessing the power of the technology it already possesses, Zillow has a marketable advantage that could impact the industry. By using its widespread connections, it can immediately learn what properties are available. That insight, combined with its vast databank of consumer-buying preferences, can be a powerful force in the industry.
As an investor, however, there’s plenty you can do to remain competitive. In fact, Zillow and other home-flipping ventures may inspire you to step up your game. Even if you already know everything about Zillow’s home-flipping venture, here are a few things you can do to make it work for you.
Zillow’s initial focus will be on Phoenix and Las Vegas, which means it may not even affect your area. But even if the company eventually moves into your city, you have an advantage. Despite all of the data Zillow has, your own local knowledge helps you better determine the types of houses in high demand in your area. You’ll also likely find that some homebuyers will appreciate a home that was fixed-and-flipped by a local resident, rather than a large corporation.
Know Your Niche
Take a look at the types of houses you tend to choose. Perhaps you prefer historic homes or beachfront properties. You’ve worked within local regulations to make sure your upgrades are up to code, and you already know the area well enough to discern which renovation updates will yield the most value. Although a large corporation can pull demographic data and review regulations, it still can’t compete with intimate knowledge of the area. Narrowing your specialty can help you maintain an edge if a corporate investor moves into your area.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
Data analytics has become an important part of business decision making across all industries. But Zillow isn’t the only one that can pull information on properties. In addition to remaining competitive with corporate investors, real estate data can also help you stay ahead of investors working in your area. With the right solutions on hand, you can research property values for your own area and narrow down your options to the properties that will bring the most value on resale.
Although corporate competitors like Zillow may cut into an investor’s potential earnings within an area, local real estate investors will still have an advantage. With so many properties available in each zip code, entrepreneurs will always be able to find properties to buy, rehabilitate, and put back on the market at a profit.
The key? Learn to use technology to inform your decisions, and you’ll be even more equipped to compete.