The Best Ways to Spot Real Estate Opportunities in 2024

Let's be real — the real estate market isn't looking too hot these days, between prices and interest rates skyrocketing.This article is here to show that profitable opportunities still exist for investors who know where to look. We cover the fundamentals of real estate market dynamics, exploring different investments like rental properties, commercial real estate, REITs, and crowdfunding, and tips for finding and analyzing profitable deals.

Nichole Stohler
Last Updated
May 23, 2024
The Best Ways to Spot Real Estate Opportunities in 2024

On the news, we're constantly hearing about the rising interest rates and increasing home prices that show no signs of dropping anytime soon. Does all of this doom and gloom mean that you can't find good real estate opportunities anymore?

Despite what you see on the news or what your investment advisor might say, you can still find fruitful opportunities in today's market with some dedicated effort and know-how. In this article, we'll break down how the real estate market works, the types of real estate assets you can invest in, and how to find promising opportunities.

Knowing what to look for can help you create your own strategy and find profitable real estate deals, even in difficult market conditions.

Understanding the real estate market

Real estate investment covers a diverse range of properties, even within a single city block. Broad trends like traffic flow, job availability, and local amenities affect each of these investment opportunities. For instance, if a hotel, condominium building, office building, and retail store live on the same block:

  • Condos offering short-term rentals could undercut the hotel's business.
  • The demand for office space might wane due to the rise in remote working.
  • Retail shop owners could struggle with tenant turnover if rising supply costs significantly increase operating expenses.

Each type of investment requires a strategy shaped by general market trends and specific sector impacts. In real estate investing, effectively reading the market and identifying trends can significantly enhance your success. Let's cover the key areas you should evaluate.

Economic indicators

Understanding economic indicators can provide real estate investors with insights into the health of the economy and its impact on the real estate market. Keep an eye on:

  • GDP: Watching the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is particularly useful. As the GDP grows, it often signals an expanding economy, boosting consumer confidence and encouraging business expansion. This can lead to increased demand for both residential and commercial real estate as companies grow and more individuals relocate to pursue job opportunities.
  • Employment: A strong job market means more people have the financial stability to purchase or rent property, which drives up demand. Regions experiencing growth in industries or employment opportunities generally see an influx of workers needing housing, which presents opportunities for real estate investors.
  • Interest rates: Lower interest rates make loans more affordable, so more people and businesses purchase real estate. Conversely, high interest rates might slow down the market by making financing more expensive.

Local market dynamics

Local market dynamics offer real estate investors a detailed look at the conditions that affect investment property values and rental demand within specific areas. Factors to assess include population growth, infrastructural developments, and local government policies.

  • Population growth: This is a straightforward driver of real estate demand. Areas in growing demand typically see a corresponding rise in demand for housing, both for purchase and for rent.
  • Infrastructure: Developments such as new schools, hospitals, transportation systems, and commercial complexes can increase a neighborhood's appeal. These improvements make an area more desirable to live in and tend to increase the value of surrounding properties.
  • Local government policies: These policies, like zoning laws, property taxes, and development incentives, shape real estate opportunities. For instance, recent regulations around short-term rental properties highlight how local authorities are intervening to manage growth and maintain housing affordability. If you're considering investing in short-term rental properties, staying updated on these policies can help you identify viable investment opportunities before you buy.

Historical data and trends

Historical data and trends help real estate investors understand long-term market behaviors and potential future directions. Data to consider includes:

  • Pricing trends: Analyzing historical price trends helps investors identify patterns of growth and decline in various regions. This allows for more accurate predictions about where the market might head next. For example, an area that has shown consistent property value appreciation over a decade may suggest a stable investment opportunity.
  • Rental rates: Trends here provide information on a property's ability to generate income. By examining how rental prices have changed over time, investors can evaluate market demand and economic stability.
  • Market cycles: Real estate investments always experience booms, slumps, and recessions. Knowledge of previous cycles can guide decisions about when to buy or sell properties to maximize returns or minimize losses.

Types of real estate investing opportunities

There are numerous ways to invest in real estate beyond just buying a home. Some of the most common investment opportunities include:

Residential rental property

Residential refers to an investment property that a landlord rents out to tenants for living purposes. This type of property can come in the form of a single-family home, a condominium, an apartment within a larger complex, or multi-family units such as duplexes or triplexes. The tenants pay the landlord rent in exchange for the right to use and live in the property as their home for the duration of the rental agreement.

These real estate investment opportunities offer the potential for steady income through rent collection and capital appreciation over time as the property's value increases. Landlords are responsible for maintaining the property, confirming it meets safety and health standards, and complying with local housing laws. Meanwhile, tenants are required to uphold the terms of their lease, which include paying rent on time and maintaining the property's condition.

Commercial property investing

Commercial property investing involves purchasing real estate intended for business use. This broad category includes:

  • Office buildings: Spaces used by businesses for operations, typically leased by companies ranging from startups to global corporations.
  • Retail spaces: Physical property for businesses that sell goods directly to consumers, such as shops, malls, and restaurants.
  • Warehouses: Large spaces used for storage and distribution of goods that support logistics and supply chain operations.
  • Industrial sites: Facilities used for manufacturing, production, or heavy industrial work, often located outside of urban centers.
  • Multifamily buildings (5+ units): Investors who own residential complexes with more than 5 units are in the commercial property space.
  • Self-storage: Buildings that offer storage units for rent. Tenants use the space to store personal belongings, excess inventory, or equipment.
  • Hotels: Properties that provide lodging and services for travelers and tourists. These investments generate income through room rentals, food services, and other amenities.

Lease structures

One key aspect of commercial real estate investment is the nature of the leases. Commercial leases are typically longer than those for residential properties, often ranging from five to ten years or more. These leases also come in several forms, including:

  • Net leases: Tenants pay some or all of the property expenses (such as taxes, insurance, and maintenance).
  • Gross leases: The landlord covers these costs, simplifying budgeting for tenants.

Market influence on commercial investments

The success of commercial property investments heavily depends on the economic climate, as businesses are more likely to expand and lease more space in a thriving economy. During economic downturns, commercial properties can experience higher vacancy rates and decreased rents, which may impact the returns on investment.

Real estate investment trusts

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) offer a passive avenue for participating in the real estate market without the need to buy or manage properties directly. REITs are publicly traded companies that own, operate, or finance income-generating real estate across a range of property sectors.

Investors can buy shares in REITs just like mutual funds, which are often publicly traded on major stock exchanges, similar to stocks. This makes REITs a more liquid option compared to traditional real estate investments.

Structure and types of REITs

REITs must meet specific regulatory requirements to qualify for their status, which includes distributing at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders as dividends. This high dividend payout is a key attraction for many investors. There are several types of REITs:

  • Equity REITs: A real estate investment trust in this space owns and operates income-generating properties, and their revenues come from leasing space.
  • Mortgage REITs: Companies here provide financing for real estate by purchasing or originating mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.
  • Hybrid REITs: These combine the investment strategies of equity REITs and mortgage REITs.

Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding platforms have made real estate investing more accessible to a broader audience by allowing individual investors to pool their financial resources to invest in real estate projects. Using these platforms allows an individual real estate investor to participate in real estate investments with significantly lower amounts of capital.

Crowdfunding investment structures include:

  • Equity investments: Investors receive a share of the ownership in a real estate project, entitling them to a proportion of the revenue from rents and the eventual sale of the property.
  • Debt investments: Investors lend money to a project developer or owner and receive interest payments in return, similar to a traditional loan.


Fix-and-flip is a real estate investment strategy that involves purchasing properties, improving them through renovations or repairs, and then selling them for a profit. We've all seen those popular fix-and-flip home makeover shows on HGTV, but you can use this strategy for various types of real estate, not just residential homes. In fact, over the past decade, multifamily investors have flipped large apartment complexes by renovating the property, increasing rents, and then reselling to other investors.

The key to successful fix-and-flip investments is identifying properties that are undervalued or in disrepair, enhancing their value through targeted improvements, and selling them at a higher market price. The profits come from the difference between the purchase price, renovation costs, and final selling price minus any associated selling and holding expenses.

Finding real estate properties

So, how do you go about finding undervalued properties that can deliver the most return for your investment? Here are our best recommendations:

1. Build a network

There's no better advice than building a network to help you find rental properties. Develop relationships with people in a variety of areas in the real estate industry, including:

  • Real estate wholesalers: These individuals often have access to properties before they hit the market, allowing them to scout prime investment opportunities.
  • Fellow investors: Networking with other investors can lead to shared leads on potential deals and opportunities for collaboration.
  • Contractors: Contractors often encounter various properties in their work. If you buy a property that needs renovations, these experts are crucial for evaluating conditions and estimating renovation costs.
  • Mortgage brokers: When you're ready to purchase, mortgage brokers facilitate financing. They can also connect you to foreclosure or distressed property opportunities.
  • Real estate brokers: Specializing in niches like apartment complexes or office buildings, these brokers provide access to exclusive listings that other investors don't know about.

Building these connections can help you gain access to potential rental properties and a support system that can offer advice, help solve problems, and potentially partner on projects.

2. Work with a real estate agent

Working with a real estate agent can be an effective strategy for finding great investment opportunities in real estate. Agents have comprehensive knowledge of the local market, including trends that aren't immediately obvious to the general public. Here’s how a real estate agent can help you search for investment properties:

  • Market knowledge: Real estate agents can help identify areas with high growth potential or undervalued properties.
  • Access to listings: Agents have access to multiple listing services (MLS), which include listings that may not be available through public searches. This gives you a competitive edge by allowing you to view and consider properties as soon as they hit the market.
  • Negotiation: Experienced in negotiations, agents can help secure properties at the best possible price, helping your investment start off on the right foot.

3. Leverage technology

Technology has made it far easier to find great investing opportunities. Access to the following will help you access and interpret key information about investment properties:

  • Public records: Accessing public records to find properties with issues like tax delinquencies or out-of-state ownership can be time-consuming. Software tools streamline this task by aggregating and simplifying access to public records, making it easier to identify distressed properties. These tools provide key details such as ownership history, property liens, and legal disputes, which help uncover high-potential investment opportunities.
  • Market data: Platforms in this category offer extensive datasets, including demographic shifts, price trends, and local economic conditions. This information helps investors understand where the market is heading and which areas are becoming hotspots.
  • Property analysis: Tools like these allow investors to input property data and analyze its potential profitability. They can assess various financial metrics, including cash flow, ROI, and cap rate, so investors can quickly decide if a property meets their investment criteria.

4. Use online real estate platforms

Online real estate platforms can help you find passive income opportunities and distressed properties. Here’s how you can use these specialized platforms as part of your investment strategy:

  • Online investment sites: These platforms give you access to companies that manage the acquisition, improvement, and management of properties. They distribute passive income to investors as dividends or through eventual sales.
  • Auction and bidding sites: If you want to own rental property actively, you can use online real estate auctions to find opportunities sold by banks and investment companies to recover debts. These sites provide a way to buy properties at potentially lower prices compared to the traditional market.
  • Real estate marketplaces: These sites allow you to review listings and investment opportunities and help grow your network. This type of platform is ideal for those who prefer a more engaged, community-focused approach to passive investment.

Opportunities real estate investors can leverage

As the real estate market ebbs and flows, smart investors can find ways to spot opportunities. It's not about chasing get-rich-quick schemes or blindly following the herd. Success lies in taking a methodical approach — studying market data, understanding local dynamics, and exploring diverse investment vehicles.

From scouring listings to leveraging technology tools, the key is putting in the effort to uncover those hidden gems. Whether it's a distressed multi-family property ripe for a flip, an undervalued commercial space, or a passive income stream through REITs, the right opportunities are out there for those willing to look.

While rising prices and interest rates can pose a challenge, they don't eliminate all prospects for profit. Maintain an open mindset, do your homework, and think outside of the traditional real estate box. With persistence and a strategic approach tailored to your goals, you can build a profitable real estate portfolio that can weather any market storm.

Real estate as investment FAQs

How do I get started in real estate with little money?

You can start with low-capital options like real estate investment trusts (REITs), crowdfunding platforms, or partnering with other investors to pool resources.

Is real estate a good source of passive income?

Yes, real estate can be a good source of passive income, especially through rental properties or investing in REITs. Hiring a property manager can further reduce the day-to-day involvement, making it more passive.

Which real estate investment is best?

The best real estate investment depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and market knowledge. Residential properties offer steady rental income, while commercial real estate can yield higher returns but may involve more risk. REITs are ideal for those seeking lower entry costs and less management responsibility.

Important Note: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as legal, accounting, or tax advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for such services. Always consult your own legal, accounting, or tax counsel before taking any action based on this information.

Nichole Stohler

Nichole co-founded Gateway Private Equity Group, with a history of investments in single-family and multi-family properties, and now a specialization in hotel real estate investments. She is also the creator of, a blog dedicated to real estate investing.

Other related articles

Rental rundown background image
Rental rundown hero image

Whether you’re a property owner, renter, property manager, or real estate agent, gain valuable insights, advice, and updates by joining our newsletter.

Subscriber Identity

I am a

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Seamless Rent Collection:
Save Time and
Reduce Stress!

Start Now
White Azibo logo
Make rent collection more efficient with Azibo