More sound advice:
...a classic "investor" market, as opposed to a "speculator" market. The characteristics of the former, which are relevant for reviewing the real estate market in any given area, include: income and rental rates that align with property values; a moderate level of new residential construction, even during the real estate boom; a large, diverse and stable economy; and solid population growth and demographic trends.
...recycling these distressed properties into quality retail homes (and clean rentals) aids those owners who are currently underwater on their mortgages. Experienced local investors who have a stake in the long-term economic viability of a community are completely aligned with the interests of homeowners.
That's a recipe for success.
Charles E. "Chas" Carrier is a principal of We Buy Ugly Houses Dallas.
That is not to say that absentee owners (large or small) can't be aligned with the interests of local homeowners. In fact, we say that they will only be hurting their own bottom lines if they are not. Therefore, they need to used real estate and management firms (outsourcing) or internal divisions that are quite local and attuned/astute, even if only via branch offices.