House flipping has made it to the Wall Street Journal. In a recent article (May 28, 2019), Uber Drivers Seek Extra Cash Working for House Flippers,” I read about a new way house flippers are finding houses to buy in today’s competitive market. They are maximizing their chances of locating houses to fix-n-flip by paying Uber drivers to identify homes on their routes that are ripe for flipping. This cuts down on the amount of driving and scouting the real estate investor has to do to find potential homes to buy, and the Uber driver makes some extra cash.
Uber drivers take a picture of a property using an app developed by DealMachine, LLC. The app uses GPS and county online property records to identify property owners. The DealMachine website in the Google app store says that the app “is the fastest growing solution for investors and agents who want to build their own marketing list and find local deals.” It advertises that you can “See a run-down house, find the owner, and flip it for a profit.” Their app gets in touch with the property owner via direct mail or e-mail. The app user instantly sees the owner’s name, phone number, and e-mail address to contact them on the spot.
Driving for Dollars
Homes that have owners that might be eager to sell include houses that appear vacant and those that have newspapers piled up and a “for sale” or “for rent by owner” sign in their un-mowed front yards. Uber drivers take pictures of the houses and submit the referrals when they are not driving a client.
Some real estate investment companies pay the Uber driver a hefty commission if a lead pans out and others pay some for each good lead and more if a referral leads to a deal closing. One Uber driver interviewed by the WSJ writer has sent in 400 photos and has not had any of her leads close yet, but she says, “I understand real estate is a numbers game. What do I have to lose? I’m driving around anyway.”
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Parker, Will and McWhirter, Cameron, Uber Drivers Seek Extra Cash Working for House Flippers,
WSJ May 28, 2019