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Using Creative Real Estate Investing Strategies to Boost Your Returns

Creative real estate investing is a financing strategy that goes beyond traditional methods. These innovative strategies provide alternative ways to invest in real estate when traditional options are not feasible. By incorporating these creative strategies...

Using Creative Real Estate Investing Strategies to Boost Your Returns

Creative real estate investing is a financing strategy that goes beyond traditional methods. These innovative strategies provide alternative ways to invest in real estate when traditional options are not feasible. By incorporating these creative strategies into your real estate investments, you can take your returns to new heights.

7 Creative Real Estate Investing Strategies

  • Bird Dogging
  • Wholesaling
  • Rent-to-Own
  • Fix and Flip
  • Buy and Hold
  • Real Estate Mutual Fund
  • REITs

Creative real estate investing focuses on finding deals before traditional investors even notice them. These strategies also explore alternative financing models to fund real estate purchases. With the housing market in the U.S. valued at over $33 trillion, real estate investing offers vast opportunities to grow wealth. The strategies mentioned here include options that require minimal investment, such as bird dogging or buying shares of a real estate mutual fund or REIT.

One crucial factor to consider in real estate investing is the length of time you hold a property. Long-term investments often receive better tax treatment, allowing you to claim the capital gains tax rate for that specific year. On the other hand, short-term investments are considered ordinary income, potentially placing you in a higher tax bracket. It's essential to be aware of the tax implications and plan accordingly.

Bird Dogging

Bird dogging, as the name implies, involves finding profitable leads on real estate deals and earning a fee for providing those leads to investors. This strategy teaches you how to identify the best real estate deals, especially motivated sellers who haven't publicly listed their homes yet. While bird dogging requires extra effort, the results can be rewarding.

To succeed as a bird dog, building a network of potential buyers and sellers is crucial. You need to connect with individuals who are willing to pay for the information you provide. Joining local real estate networks and associations can help you find these connections. Bird dogging serves as a low-cost entry point into real estate investing, allowing you to progress to more complex strategies like wholesaling as you accumulate capital.


Wholesaling involves finding undervalued properties in the market and facilitating deals between motivated sellers and buyers. As a wholesale real estate investor, you act as a middleman and earn a percentage of the purchase price as a fee. Unlike bird dogging, wholesaling often requires you to place the property under contract. This means the motivated seller has agreed to a specific price, and you hold the contract, which can then be sold to a buyer.

Consider exploring up-and-coming real estate areas that have recently experienced significant growth when looking for wholesaling opportunities. However, keep in mind that wholesaling may require some capital upfront. Bird dogs can play a crucial role in connecting wholesalers with potential deals and receiving compensation for their leads.


Rent-to-own is an investment strategy that offers pros and cons. This approach involves tenants paying monthly rent, which is then applied toward the balance owed on the property. At the end of the agreed-upon time period, tenants may have the option to purchase the property. Rent-to-own agreements require specific conditions and are similar to owner-financed real estate loans.

Before entering into a rent-to-own contract, consult with a professional attorney to ensure your interests are protected. Consider factors such as the current and future market value of the property, maintenance responsibilities, repair agreements, and the portion of the rent that applies to the balance due. Keep detailed records of all payments and agreements throughout the process.

Fix and Flip

Flipping houses involves purchasing undervalued properties, renovating them, and reselling them at a higher price to make a profit. This strategy can be lucrative if executed correctly, but there are risks involved. Flipping houses requires initial capital and extensive time investments. Hidden costs and unforeseen challenges can also arise during the renovation process, which can impact the profitability of the project.

Before embarking on a house-flipping venture, carefully consider your abilities, options, and access to additional funding. It is advisable to have experience in real estate investment, construction, or work with professionals who can guide you through the process. Experienced real estate professionals may also consider flipping commercial properties for potentially higher returns.

Buy and Hold

Buying and holding properties is a popular strategy for long-term wealth building. This approach involves purchasing properties and holding onto them while their value appreciates over time. Longer holding periods often lead to better tax treatment, and you can generate additional income by renting out the property to residential or commercial tenants. Hiring third-party property managers can alleviate the burden of managing the property, allowing you to earn passive income.

By leveraging rental property tax deductions and using the income generated from renting to pay down mortgages, you can maximize the potential returns of the buy and hold strategy. Additionally, owning and managing one property can serve as a stepping stone to purchasing more properties and expanding your real estate portfolio.

Creative Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Mutual Fund

Investing in real estate mutual funds is an alternative way to participate in real estate without directly owning properties. These funds pool investment capital from multiple investors, reducing individual risk and allowing access to properties with higher values. Joining a local real estate investors association (REIA) can help you network with like-minded investors and discover potential investment opportunities. Additionally, buying shares in pre-existing real estate mutual funds is a convenient way to invest without the time and effort required for property management.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are legal entities that manage properties and provide income to investors. Similar to real estate mutual funds, investors can buy shares of REITs and enjoy the benefits of real estate investing without the complexities of property management. REITs offer a decent return on investment while eliminating the need to handle repairs, maintenance, tenants, and property taxes.

Traditional vs. Creative Real Estate Investing

Traditional real estate investing typically involves purchasing properties using cash or loans from banks. Buyers acquire properties listed by sellers through money loans or mortgage payments. However, traditional loans require a good credit score and a substantial down payment, making it challenging for some individuals to invest in real estate. Creative real estate investing offers more flexibility, enabling investors to explore alternative financing options and find deals before they hit the market.

Creative financing options include owner financing, crowdfunding, small loans from private investors, and borrowing from retirement accounts. These methods provide investors with additional opportunities to invest in real estate without being constrained by traditional loan requirements. It is essential to consult with a professional attorney before pursuing such financing options to ensure a clear understanding of the legalities involved.

Creative Real Estate Investing

There are numerous ways to start investing in real estate and earning passive income. Even experienced investors can benefit from incorporating creative investment strategies into their portfolios. Bird dogging gives beginners valuable experience and insight into real estate deals with minimal investment. Real estate mutual funds and REITs allow investors to pool resources and invest in larger properties.

Rent-to-own agreements, property rentals, and fix and flip projects offer various ways to capitalize on real estate opportunities. Consider combining different strategies to maximize your returns. It's important to carefully read and understand any contracts before signing, and seeking advice from a real estate attorney is always wise. For assistance with real estate investing, tax planning, and asset protection, contact Anderson Advisors today.