The Top 10 Items for Real Estate Investor Survival

Let’s face it, real estate investors have different needs for their jobs than most other people. If someone looked in my truck and saw the stuff I bring along, they might think I am a serial killer or a doomsday prepper. But it’s really just items I seem to always need for rentals, flips and showings. Since we started buying houses in Omaha, the back of my truck has a lot more stuff in it.

Smartphone – This one goes without saying. Podcasts, calculators, maps, apps, emails, texts, camera and video – everything you used to have only on your home or office computer. Could you imagine even leaving the house without one anymore? I am a Samsung guy, even though my wife and daughters are Apple Snobs. I personally think Samsung’s cameras are superior.

Preferred Color: Red Ladder Red

Notebook and pens – Old school, yet so valuable. Get in the habit of writing down the date, name of the person on the phone and the address of the property you are talking about right away before you forget. It helps so much later on when you are trying to read your chicken scratches (unless it’s only me?). Make sure to have some good quality pens available too. My go to’s are the TUL medium point gel pen, and the Moleskine Classic Hardcover notebook.

Flashlight – If I had a nickel for every time I have stood in a pitch black basement with no working lights… A good quality Maglite is a must have item for checking out sketchy properties. It can double as a handy weapon in a pinch.

Change of clothes and some grubby shoes – Do as I say, not as I do. I have walked my fair share of disgusting hoarder houses with flip flops and nice clothes on. Don’t be me. Throw a change of two of clothes into a gym bag along with a set of shoes that you don’t care about and thank me later.

Toilet paper – How bad you have to go is inversely proportionate to the availability of toilet paper. Vacant homes never have toilet paper. You would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. You’re welcome.

Toolbox (tape measure, drill, screwdrivers, pliers, wrench, sawzall, hammer) – If I only did this early on in my career. Having simple tools available is such a life saver. You will ALWAYS need a tape measure, so put an extra one in your glove box.

Lockboxes – 250? 300? Don’t mind me, I am just guessing how many lockboxes I have bought over the years. The number is large, whatever it is. Do yourself a favor and get a box or 2 of them from Amazon.

Ozone Machine – If you have never heard me mention the words, “Ozone Machine”, then we are probably not that close of friends. If you plan on buying any houses that people, pets and/or microbes lived in, invest in an ozone machine.

Broom, dustpan and trash bags – You know what sucks? When you have a house listed for sale or rent during the winter or spring and people track in dirt and sand and trash blows into the yard. It makes a bad impression. Bring some light cleaning supplies along to reduce your DOM when you are listing something.

Gloves, sanitizer and masks – Get some decent heavy gloves, some small bottles of ‘tizer, and buy a pack of disposable masks. This was a good idea long before our friendly neighborhood coronavirus stopped by.

What is in your real estate investor “Go Bag”?

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