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6 Key Steps to Finding Your First Real Estate Investment Property

The number of people investing in real estate is growing every day. In fact, according to Facebook, there are more than 270,000 people interested in real estate investing in Connecticut alone. When you consider today’s low-interest rates and strong economy, it’s easy to see why so many people want to jump into investing.

Now is the perfect time to dip your toes in.

If you’re ready to find your first investment property, there are a few key steps to complete before you even start looking for properties. Keep reading as I walk you through each step so you’ll have all the tools necessary to find your first (or next!) profitable property.

1. Define Your Goals

Before you even think about finding a property, it’s important to identify your goals. Make sure to define why you’re investing in real estate in the first place, then get more specific with short-term goals. Identify how much money you hope to bring in in a specific timeframe or how many projects you’d like to tackle at any given time. This foresight will provide structure to your investments and give you a north star to turn back to.

2. Define Your Investment Criteria

Next, determine your investment criteria. Think through the property valuation range you might want to work with, your investment horizon (i.e., whether you want returns in the short-term or the long-term), and whether you plan to buy and sell, buy and lease, or even buy and use the property. Answering these questions up-front will help you narrow down your property choices.

3. Determine Your Target Market

As you’re defining your investment criteria, make sure to also think through the target market you hope to invest in. If you already have a market in mind, do some digging to see if the trends and statistics in the area seem to align with your goals. If not, you may want to consider another market or adjust your goals accordingly.

4. With a Marketing Budget — Buy Lists

If you have a marketing budget to work with, your next step is to buy lists from sources like ListSource, Melissa, ProspectNow, PropStream, or other similar companies. From these lists, you’ll contact potential sellers using direct mail, texting, email, or any other marketing channel of your choice. Building up your network of potential sellers is crucial and will help ensure the success of your investments.

5. Without a Marketing Budget — Network

On the other hand, if you don’t have a marketing budget, it’s time to build up your network. Talk to local accountants, property managers, attorneys, and, of course, real estate agents. Having a network of people to turn to will help you gather the same leads you’d acquire with the purchased lists above.

6. Join Your Local REIA

Last but not least, join your local REIA to meet investors looking to sell one of their properties — or looking for a partner. Your local REIA is a great place to network and gets your name out there as a prospective investor. It’ll also be a great place to get comfortable talking about real estate and learning from other professionals in the space.

There you have it! Whether you’re flipping, wholesaling, or managing properties yourself, real estate investment is a great choice in today’s economy. These six steps will put you on the path to success before you even start looking for a property.

Happy Investing!

CTREIA is the largest real estate investors & apartment owners association in the Northeast. We provide motivation, networking, funding, insurance, and coaching for investors in Connecticut and throughout the US.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CTREIA member or are interested in learning how to become a real estate investor, go to If you’re interested in funding your deals, go to If you’re interested in protecting your assets, go to




Dad, Husband, Coach, ‘Nova BBall fanatic w/an addiction to real estate. Founder @ Clark St Holdings & Co-Host of The Real Estate Underground podcast.

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Ed Mathews

Ed Mathews

Dad, Husband, Coach, ‘Nova BBall fanatic w/an addiction to real estate. Founder @ Clark St Holdings & Co-Host of The Real Estate Underground podcast.

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