Knowing your market saves time, and eliminating sub-par submarkets from consideration saves money. Determining viable markets before ever seeking assets presents that initial "Y-in-the-road" and saves time. Eliminating unworthy submarkets is your best strategy to concentrate limited resources on high-quality rental property acquisitions. Narrowing market selection in advance of seeking assets to buy is the key to utilizing one of your most limited resources, your time.
Market focus allows you to only seek out investments exclusively in viable submarkets that have a future in your portfolio. By its very nature, market selection produces market elimination, which is a good thing because a narrow market focus means you stay in pre-determined geography. Advanced market selection eliminates "the chase" in areas with limited appeal.
Knowing your markets upfront is a competitive advantage because your competition is not as focused. When they look everywhere, you are looking deeper into pre-selected locations that you know well, areas that fit with your investment criteria. Superior market knowledge builds a significant competitive advantage because, over time, you know your markets better than anyone.