What To Consider When Buying An Investment Property

When you’re ready to look for an investment property, you’ll want to make sure several factors are considered in the process. While real estate investment is complex, you should research and ask questions in order to prepare. To maximize capital gains and increase your awareness of the risks, environment and long-term benefits, you should optimize your search for an investment property.

The ongoing debate in real estate investing has been whether you should invest for cash flow or for appreciation. Both investment models have their merits, but they entirely depend on your reasons to invest in real estate. If you are investing for extra income and don’t plan to keep the property for more than 10 – 15 years, then you should focus on cash flow. Cash flow is the amount of money left from rent after all expenses are paid. If you are in real estate with the goal of selling your property in the long run after prices have risen significantly, then concentration on real estate appreciation is beneficial.

What Affects My Property Value?

Age And Condition

In terms of the physical quality of the property, the two factors that can affect the value are age and condition. As a rule of thumb, the older the property, the less valuable it becomes. Property that is relatively new will be worth more. On the contrary, there is beauty in an older property. Significant city landmarks and historical homes can be very valuable. Though, they would have to be well maintained and livable.

The appearance and structure of the property may create doubt, but don’t allow it to deter you from the property. Of course, the actual physical property is important, but it isn’t actually what depreciates in value year after year. The physical structure will lose its worth over time, regardless of how beautiful the appearance of the property. Depreciation is accounted for by the IRS when determining taxes. In addition, it may be costly to maintain a property that requires capital investments of frequent treatment over time. Therefore, you must focus on the land.

The Land Itself

Land drives real estate appreciation. As the population is constantly increasing, the housing market improves by a higher demand for homes, an increase in property development, and an increase of land value. A smaller and less-luxurious building on a larger piece of land is a better investment for the same amount of money of a house. This will bring you more real estate appreciation in the long run.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are important to look for as well. Depending on the type of rental property purchased and how long it’s kept, investors could discover a big increase in property taxes. This may occur when a homestead exemption had been in place for the previous owners.

Of Course, The Location

Accounting for location is commonly emphasized in property valuation. Location is most important because it can be a solid long-term investment. The conditions and proximity of local amenities, parks and recreation, public school system, overall access to resources such as transportation, employment centers, and libraries affect the value of your income property. A variety of local amenities increases the value of your potential income property.

Poorly maintained and operated schools can drive down the value of your home, too. This situation makes a home in a substandard school district less desirable than one in a higher-performing school district, where homeowners feel they are getting a better value on their property taxes.

In addition, according to a data report, areas with a high concentration of renters, homeless shelters, power plants, and even funeral homes could drive down property value. At the same time, locations with higher property crime rates and high occurrence of extreme weather will drive up homeowners insurance costs as well.

Zoning Classifications

When it comes to determining the value of your income property, urban zoning plays a big role.

Before you buy, be sure to research the history of its zoning classification and any future plans the city or neighborhood associations may have.

In dense, urban neighborhoods, mixed-use development and zoning diversity can increase the value of the surrounding homes. After all, people move to cities to be close to coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars, among other amenities. When you’re checking out the property, make note of any desirable commercial spaces within walking distance.

The same can be said about suburban and rural properties, but only to a certain extent. Big-box stores, restaurants, expressways, schools, and other amenities should be a short drive away, but not in their backyards. After all, prospective property owners looking in these areas value space; they want to be surrounded by other residential zones – not Wal-Mart.

Anywhere you’re looking to buy, beware of industrial zoned areas. Smokestacks, semi-trucks, chemical smells, and other undesirable characteristics loom in these areas. This drives down property values for all.

The Economic Climate

Although you can control the physical structure and location of your real estate property, there are determinants outside of your control. Whether local, national, or global, the economy certainly affects real estate appreciation. As we mentioned above, economically thriving locations will appreciate gradually over time. The increased demand for housing is contingent upon the increase of employment, which means that prices of both land and properties will go up.

What Would Be Considered A Major Threat To My Investment Property?

Natural Disasters

Consider areas prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes when looking for an investment property. Tenants who are searching for a home are looking for safety first. Geographic stability is a key factor that will help determine the value of the property. While the tenants of the property are at risk to fatal disaster effects, a natural disaster could wipe out your investment. Investing in coastal properties seems like a promising high-value income but these areas have the risk of your capital being lost due to natural disasters.

Here is an interactive map indicating natural disaster risks to real estate across the United States. Some areas are far more prone to disasters than others, meaning there is a higher risk of losing your assets and cash flow. Wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and even man-made disasters such as mass shootings and terror threats impact your property value. The disaster may not even affect your property, but could wipe out the surrounding area, which could indeed impact your property. Many underestimate the risks of local economic pain associated with disasters.


Beware of the major fixer-uppers. If you’re new to investing in real estate, beware of taking on a bigger challenge than you can handle. Find or ask a friend with skills for large-scale improvement and knows how to do quality work at bargain prices.

The major fixer-uppers could result in the excess of expenses to rehabilitate the property, making it difficult to make a profit on its sale. A better option is to look for properties that need modest repairs that are priced at below-market rates. Additionally, making sure the property for sale is legal. In areas that do not allow rentals, property owners may be illegally renting out their units. At the town’s clerk office, check out the local zoning before considering property in the area.


Crimes are certainly detrimental to the value of the property income.  Nobody wants to buy or live in a neighborhood that has a moderate-to-high incidence of crimes. Any sort of reputation of crime in an area can affect the value of your income property. Potential buyers and renters will try to avoid dangerous neighborhoods. A report from Academy Mortgage states every 1% increase in violent crimes, the price of homes in the area falls 0.25%. Evidently, the impact of crime can dramatically affect the value of your property.

Foreclosure Rates

Foreclosure greatly affects the value of your income property because the greatest impact is on the surrounding neighborhood. According to a report from researchers from Fannie Mae and the University of Connecticut, homeowners who lived within 300 feet of a foreclosed residential property experienced a drop of 1.3% in home value and those living 300 – 500 feet of the foreclosed home typically see a drop in value of 0.6%.

Areas with foreclosed homes have an increase in property tax rates and a significant decline in the value of surrounding properties. Foreclosures also tend to have an effect on a potential buyer’s perception of the area. Unfortunately, there isn’t much homeowners can do to protect their properties from these negative effects. Many may not even be aware of foreclosures nearby, which is why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a full list of foreclosed homes by area.

Is It Worth Getting An Investment Property?

As we’ve discussed, there are many different factors that can affect your investment property – both positively and negatively. This is why it’s always important to do your due diligence before making an investment decision. Is the property in good shape without any structural issues? Is it in a good neighborhood that will be attractive to renters? Do the financials make sense so that you’ll have positive cash flow after all expenses are paid each month?

When you find something that checks all the boxes on your list of requirements, then an investment property can be a great decision. It will not only increase your monthly cash flow, but you can also enjoy the benefits of price appreciation over time. Real estate is also a great way to diversify your investment portfolio.

What Makes A Property An Investment Property?

A common question from many new real estate investors is what actually makes a property an investment property. If you purchase land or a house with the intent of charging a monthly rent, holding onto it so you can profit from its appreciation or a combination of the two, then that’s considered an investment property.

It’s also important to understand that technically an investment property can’t be your primary residence, except if you’re planning to house hack. For example, let’s assume you purchase a duplex with the intent of living in one unit and renting the second. Even though you’re living in the building, this would be considered an investment property.

How Much Do You Need Down For An Investment Property?

When you purchase an owner-occupied home both USDA loans and VA loans allow you to put zero money down on the purchase. Other programs allow you to use a down payment of just 3%. However, in most instances, when you’re purchasing an investment property the requirements are significantly different. Lenders have their individual set of rules but most will require you to put down anywhere from 15% – 25%.

There is one exception. If you’re purchasing a multifamily home and planning to live in one of the units, then you’d still qualify for a conventional mortgage through Fannie Mae which only requires a down payment of 3%. Just keep in mind that lower down payments typically come with higher interest rates and require you to pay for private mortgage insurance. Both of these would lower your investment cash flow.


How to Find a Fix-and-Flip Investment Property

Fixing and flipping is one of the most popular ways to make money in real estate. It sounds easy enough – buy a house that needs some work, fix it up and sell it at a profit. The concept is simple. The biggest challenge – assuming you’re already comfortable renovating or working with contractors – is finding the right house to flip.

Read up on how to evaluate potential investment properties and find a gem that nets you a nice profit.

What to Consider as You Look at Properties

Before you start house hunting, it helps to know what you’re hoping to find. Here are the most important aspects to focus on and how to identify premium fix-and-flip opportunities.

Comparable Floor Plan

Start by looking for a home that resembles most of the other homes in the neighborhood. It can be tough to sell a home that has fewer rooms and square feet than the competition. On the other end of the spectrum, you may struggle to get offers for a 3,000 square foot two-story home if it’s surrounded by 1,800 square foot ranches.

Try to find homes with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as most of the homes nearby. The same goes for square feet (give or take a couple hundred). Another advantage of doing this is that you can check out what similar homes look like and how much they’re selling for. This can give you an idea of the work you’ll need to do to get a comparable price and help guide your renovations.


When you evaluate the condition of homes, start by looking for issues with the plumbing, electrical system, foundation and roof. These are generally the most difficult and costly to fix. Unless you have experience in those areas, it’s typically best to pass on homes that require such massive projects.

In most cases, your goal should be to find homes that need a cosmetic rehab. This includes new flooring, paint, fixtures, doors, landscaping, and kitchen and bathroom remodeling. To complete a full cosmetic rehab on a starter home, experts advise that you can expect to pay about $20 per square foot.

The most profitable flips are often the ones that need the most work. Just be sure that you have the skills and/or contractor connections to complete the work within your budget.


If you’re like most flippers, your goal is to turn a profit quickly. That means you need to find a property that is priced below its potential market value while giving yourself some financial wiggle room in case a project expands in scope. To do that, use the “70 Percent Rule.” This is especially helpful for first-time fix-and-flippers trying to figure out how much to invest in a home.

The rule (which is really more of a guideline) is that you should pay 70 percent of the After Repair Value (ARV) of a home, minus the cost of repairs needed. Here’s how it works:

Say a home’s ARV would be $100,000 after you make $20,000 worth of repairs. Multiply the ARV by 70 percent and you get $70,000. Subtract the $20,000 for repairs and you get $50,000. This is the recommended amount you should spend on the home to help protect yourself against unforeseen expenses, cover the home selling costs, and pave the way to a profit well worth your time and effort.


A home’s location has a major impact on how much you can sell for and how quickly. Regardless of price point, you’ll have a much easier time if you find a home in a neighborhood where residents show pride in keeping up their homes. Look for well-kept lawns and porches, nicely paved sidewalks and streets, and working street lights that illuminate the neighborhood. Boarded-up homes, litter, and overgrown landscaping are red flags that you may struggle to flip the home you fix.

It’s also wise to do some research on the local housing market and surrounding area. Are home values in the neighborhood rising or falling? How quickly have homes been selling? Is there a growing downtown area nearby? Positive market trends and amenities are a huge plus because you should see plenty of attractive offers when it’s time to sell. Only trouble is, other investors are likely to be aware of these factors too. To snag a bargain in an area poised for growth, you’ll need to act fast with a strong offer.

The biggest key is to find a home that is priced well below what similar homes in the neighborhood are selling for. As a general rule, look for the worst home in the best neighborhood. Start with that approach, and keep in mind that it will probably take some time to find the right property.

Where to Look for Properties

Once you feel confident in your ability to evaluate homes, where can you find properties at a discount? There are many places you can look, and the more tools and methods you use, the better your chance to spot a bargain. Check out as many homes for sale as you can. Over time, you’ll get faster at gauging the repair work needed and calculating what you can sell a home for when you’re done.

The resources below are simple to navigate, free to use, and should provide a wide range of homes to investigate.


More than 90 percent of homes are bought and sold through the multiple listing service (MLS). MLSs are private databases maintained by real estate professionals to help clients buy and sell homes. Many of the listings you see online at home search sites are sourced from the MLS. Most of this information – but not all – is provided to the public free of charge by participating brokers. However, to get all of the information available, you’ll probably need to pay about $20 to $50 a month for access.

The biggest advantages of using the MLS – either directly or through home search sites – is that you can see the most homes for sale online and in one place. It’s easy and convenient to compare homes, view photos and record prices to get a sense of the local market.


In many ways, auctions are a fix-and-flipper’s dream. The homes for sale are foreclosures, so they’re often underpriced and in need of renovations. You also won’t find nearly as much competition to buy the homes because they aren’t listed on the open market yet.

There are drawbacks, however. Many foreclosed homes come with tax liens that can cost thousands of dollars. There can also be ownership complications, so it’s wise to spend around $100 to have a title company run a report and uncover any issues. The biggest obstacle for many is that auctions often require cash upfront to win a bid. Not only will you need to have a large sum of money or cashier’s check on hand, you won’t be able to tour the home before committing to the purchase.

You can find foreclosed homes and auctions on sites like and, bank websites, and government organizations like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Even though Craigslist remains one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, it’s easy to dismiss or even forget about when you’re searching for homes. As a fix-and-flipper, don’t make that mistake. It’s another free resource that can reveal deals you might not find anywhere else – especially if you get a little creative with it.

To start looking, just search with keywords that can lead you to distressed properties. “Bank owned,” “REO,” “Foreclosure,” “Cash sale,” “Short sale,” and even “Fix and Flip” can all reveal potential opportunities.

A more roundabout way to find bargain properties is by reaching out to landlords. Many homeowners are either losing money on rental properties or simply want to move on. What often stops them is that a home requires time, effort and repairs to sell. Fortunately for them, this is exactly what you’re willing to provide.

Search Craigslist for rental listings that look like they’ve been posted by independent landlords. When you find a home with potential, reach out and explain that you’re looking to invest in a fix-and-flip. The landlord might be willing to sell one of their properties or put you in touch with another landlord interested in selling.

Public Records

One of the best ways to find underpriced homes is by searching property records. These are filed by county courthouses, county recorders, tax accessors or various county or city departments.

If you want to find out about short sales, foreclosures and homes on the brink of foreclosure, start by doing some digging online. Use Google to search for your county’s websites or legal notices in your city. Not every local government does things the same way, so if you’re not having any luck, you can also try visiting the county courthouse or recorder’s office.

Take Your Time to Find the Right Property

Looking at homes and imagining the possibilities is exciting. So is thinking about making tens of thousands of dollars in a few short months. That’s why if you’re looking to fix and flip your first home, it’s especially important to be patient and do your homework before committing to a purchase. Even after you find a home that seems to check out, it’s best to consult with an inspector or professionals who specialize in repairs you’re not familiar with. Minimizing risk is the best way to maximize your profits!


How to Estimate Repair Costs with a Fix-and-Flip Investment Property

You’re new to flipping houses, and you’ve already heard your share of warnings about one of the biggest pitfalls in the business: underestimating repair costs.

Those warnings are true. Unexpected repair costs are going to find their way out of the woodwork when you flip a house, regardless of how careful you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enter the house-flipping battlefield with a foolproof plan of attack.

If you’re looking for a checklist that will help you anticipate all the repair costs of a fix-and-flip investment property, you’ve found it. Read on to arm yourself against the worst known budget-saboteurs in house flipping—and the unknown ones, as well.

The House
The first thing most of us think of when we think “repair costs” is the house itself. That’s the easy part. The less-than-easy part is this: What exactly do you need to fix?

The answer literally runs the gamut from “almost nothing” to “almost everything,” whether that means a simple cosmetic paint job, changing out a few fixtures here and there, or gutting the entire 1970s-era kitchen. And sometimes the things you need to fix aren’t always the things you can see. We’ve all seen that house-flipping episode on HGTV where they take a sledgehammer to the wall and find ten years of mold lurking in the shadows beyond it. Your fix-and-flip investment will probably have its own share of surprises. So how do you make sure you haven’t overlooked anything?

You create something called a “budget repair sheet.”

Budget repair sheets are also called “cost estimate forms.” They are basically spreadsheets that keep track of what needs to be repaired in different areas of your house. With your budget repair sheet in hand, you do a walk-through of the property with your general contractor (who will help you figure out what to put on the list), making note of the things that need to be fixed.

It might still be tricky to spot the mold in the walls, but as far as estimating physical repairs goes, a budget repair sheet is definitely your safest bet.

The General Contractor (GC)
You probably noticed that, in the example above, you weren’t walking through your investment property filling out the budget repair sheet by yourself. You had a general contractor with you. And there’s a good reason for that. When you’re new to flipping houses, sometimes “you don’t know what you don’t know” about construction. Usually, trying to wing it on your own will end up costing you more money than if you just hired someone who knew what to do in the first place.

Keep in mind that you’re not looking for just any GC. You want a general contractor who will get the job right and stick with your project to the very end. Ask around your social network to get some recommendations, or contact the local public works and building department for some reliable names. You can also check online referral sites for promising reviews.

A good general contractor will make your life a lot easier, and will also free up your time so that you can start hunting for your next investment property. Just don’t forget to add the GC’s salary to your estimated total repair costs for the flip.

The Subcontractors
You’re also going to need to pay a few different subcontractors to take care of the specific repairs in your fix-and-flip. Your subcontractors are your painters, plumbers, electricians, and so forth. If you have a general contractor, then you’ll have some help getting fair quotes from all of the subcontractors that you’ll need when you flip your house. Many GCs will even find the subcontractors for you so that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of it yourself. But you’re still going to have to foot the bill.

Carrying Costs
New fix-and-flip investors sometimes overlook carrying costs. Repairing your investment property is probably going to take a few months, and during that time, you’re responsible for basic upkeep. That means that you will have to pay utility bills (gas, water, electric), as well as insurance and property taxes. Depending on what kind of property you have, you could also have to pay HOA or condo fees.

So, not surprisingly, the timeframe is key when it comes to estimating your carrying costs. You and your general contractor will want to keep an eye on the subcontractors to make sure they’re finishing their jobs on time and on budget. Create a schedule that everyone agrees to in advance, and then follow up on it to make sure that your subcontractors are sticking to the plan. If one subcontractor falls behind a couple weeks, it could cause a domino effect of delays—and carrying costs could sabotage your budget.

Expect the Unexpected.
Even when you’re careful, it’s almost guaranteed that part of your renovation will throw you a “surprise party”—and then send you the bill. Always expect the unexpected, and build a buffer into your total estimated repair costs. After you’ve calculated everything you can according to the checklist above, set your budget to be 10% more than the number you come up with.

You might not always see the sneak attack coming. But if you account for what you know, and plan for what you don’t know, you’ll come out on top at the end of your fix-and-flip experience.

Looking to find a great investment property in your area? Search homes for sale from by owner sellers and save thousands in commission. 

This information was originally published on, the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace. Kristine Serio is a writer and editor specializing in business and real estate. Her real estate roots stretch back to her grandfather, who launched a profitable second career as a real estate investor during the 1950s. Kristine’s authors and entrepreneurs have been featured in The New York Times, O: the Oprah Magazine, and the San Diego Union Tribune.


Selecting the Right Property for Investment

Joel Cone is a freelance writer based in south Orange County, California. For nearly a quarter century Joel’s career — both as a journalist and as a marketing communications specialist — has focused on the residential and commercial real estate industries, as well as the legal community. After a decade as a staff writer for the Daily Journal Corp. group of newspapers, Joel was a regular contributor to California Real Estate magazine for the California Association of Realtors; was the original Orange County reporter for; wrote executive profiles for OC Metro magazine; and has been published in a number of real estate-related publications.

The choice of real estate-related shows on television can give anyone the idea that investing in real estate is a worthwhile endeavor. It can be, but for any investor – seasoned or novice – there are some fundamental principles to keep in mind when it comes to selecting properties.

Regardless of the present state of the economy or the real estate market, any legitimate investor will not start looking at properties without first determining the ultimate goal desired. That goal depends entirely on the investor’s exit strategy.

Here are the two basic exit strategies most real estate investors adhere to:

  1. Buy and hold. The investor wants to collect a portfolio of rental properties to generate a steady income stream over a period of time, thereby becoming a landlord.
  2. Buy, fix and sell. Better known as “flipping,” in this scenario the investor wants to purchase desirable properties at as low a discount as possible so as to have a good payday at the end when each property is finally sold.

Once an exit strategy is selected, then locating and securing properties that fit the investor’s exit strategy is much more cut and dry.

Investors Learn to Adopt Strategy to the Market

Buy and Hold
Once the question of exit strategy is settled, where and how to buy good properties that fit those strategies is as individual as the investor.

While some investors do not mind buying in different markets around the country, others like investor, author and trainer Tony Alvarez prefer to stay in their own backyard like he has in the Antelope Valley area of Los Angeles for many years.

A former appraiser, Alvarez is a true student of his market, keen on knowing the local economy and housing statistics. In such a volatile market as his, Alvarez said that a long-term hold of an asset is not forever, but only until the market peaks before he sells.

“An investor is somebody buying one unit or a whole complex. They are usually making their decisions based on return of investment and calculating capitalization rates and stuff like that,” Alvarez said. “When I look at purchasing assets, I want to have more than one exit strategy when I make my offer. One eye is on cost of construction and the other eye is on the ability of that asset to generate cash flow. I use a gross rent multiplier.”

When it comes to buying and holding properties in Denver, Colo., attorney and investor Bill Bronchick also looks at the financials except his strategy calls for buying properties that can demand a rent that allows for a 25 percent cushion above total costs (principal, interest, taxes and insurance). After that, he looks for properties that allow him to get in and out with a minimum of repairs before renting it out. And his last requirement is that the property must cash flow.

“You want to be in an area that in terms of long-term growth is going to keep its value,” Bronchick said. “It’s a balance between cash flow and future potential. You want something that’s right in the middle of the pack. Stick with lower middle class properties that are just at or just below the median price for the city.”

Andy Heller, a longtime investor in the Atlanta market, coaches and trains wannabe investors. Unlike Alvarez and Bronchick, however, Heller does the buy and hold strategy with a tweak…

Instead of buying and holding a property over a long period of time, Heller prefers to offer up his properties to his tenants as a 3-year lease option. Doing so allows him to enjoy the tax benefits of being a landlord, while also giving the tenant a sufficient amount of time to either exercise the option to buy the property outright or to either extend the option or to simply move out.

To Heller, the most important factor is finding a property with a sufficient investor discount.

“My model is to lease purchase a property. I do not use a Realtor. I need a 10 percent discount if everything is perfect. I don’t need a 25 percent discount so I know there’s more properties out there for me,” Heller said.

Next, he looks for properties that satisfy his exit strategy – those that will make a good lease purchase to a quality tenant base. With Heller’s model, that’s middle-income properties. Therefore, the investor must know with certainty what the middle-income range is for the market they are working.

Lastly, after locating a property with adequate investor discount, in a middle income neighborhood, the final factor Heller focuses on is the area’s schools. The schools must be good in order to attract the high quality tenant/would-be buyer who would pay a premium to live in the area where his properties are located.

Flipping Out
Being both a real estate broker and a general contractor, Scott Mednick knows what he is looking for when it comes to locating properties with potential to flip. Working throughout the Southern California region, he has established a methodical approach to selecting potential investment properties.

“I’m a negative Nellie. I look for everything wrong with the location first,” Mednick said. “Then I look at what’s right with the house. I try to buy the biggest, ugliest house in the neighborhood.”

For Mednick, the determining factor is strictly price. Before he even inspects the property he has gone on the MLS and done his homework so that he is at least 90 percent sure about the property ahead of time.

“I figure what the maximum sales price could be for that area. I’m going to do the nicest house in the area and get close to that price, backing off the rehab costs, the carrying costs, and what I’m buying it for. If there’s a 10 percent profit at the end, then it’s a go,” he said.

It’s how you play the game

Being a real estate investor is much like playing a game of chess. It all comes down to strategy. Every move an investor makes has to be with forethought and the end result in mind – the exit strategy.

After that, determining where and how to buy properties is an individual decision. For some investors check out the local multiple listing service and build relationships with local Realtors to get the scoop on new properties before they hit the market.

For others, it’s buying properties at auction, utilizing websites such as as a prime source of information to find out when and where the auctions are being held and how much the opening bid will be.

But no matter the eventual purchase method, the most successful investors are the best students of their market when it comes to determining a property’s investment potential.

This is an exclusive article from, LLC, the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace. Founded in 2008, the company has sold nearly $20 billion in assets since 2010. has more than 900 employees and offices in Irvine and Silicon Valley, California as well as offices in Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Miami and Newport Beach. Visit us at, or on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.