Pick six properties in your small, specific investment area of 25,000 residents. Go online and start researching. What was the value of each property twenty years ago? How much is each building or unit worth today?
How much would you be worth if you owned them?
Over the last 20 years, did their value increase by 50% or 100% or even more? What if you bought those properties and paid a million dollars for them and they didn't increase in value at all – zero. Today, you would still own a million dollars worth of property.
What were the rents 20 years ago? What income would you be collecting today if you owned those six properties? And, based on your research, do you think rents, your rents, will rise in the future?
Don't rely on anyone else. You must become an expert on value. Research and keep researching until you have your six properties. As an expert in value, you will have a negotiating edge. You can make aggressive offers and may be able to acquire properties at below market prices. Then, under your ownership you can create additional value through upgrading and improvement management.
As a values expert, you may opt to accelerate your acquisition and debt reduction plans by flipping properties.