Drive-by flipping: Companies hiring Uber drivers to spot homes ripe for sale

Some companies pay per referral while others give drivers a percentage of the profit on successful flips
May 28, 2019 06:52PM

(Credit: Pixabay)

(Credit: Pixabay)

Hello, your flipper has arrived!

Companies on the hunt for houses to flip in Chicago, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina are getting help from an unexpected source — ride-share drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers cruise gentrifying neighborhoods to photograph houses with stacked up mail, abandoned cars in the yard or knee-high grass, all signs of distress that could mean a house is an attractive target for a flip.

Some flipping companies pay the drivers up to $1,500 per referral, while others offer a percentage of the net profit on a successful flip. The industry of house-flipping has become more institutionalized in recent years, with companies now doing 40 percent of flips, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing property-data firm CoreLogic.

Uber and Lyft drivers may not be making immediate returns on their their sleuthing. Some partially blame the practice for the 2008 housing crisis. House flippers typically upgrade a home to make it more valuable and then sell it within one or two years of purchase. [WSJ]Georgia Kromrei