@AdventureRich There was also a couple of podcasts that Listen Money Matters did with Roofstock. One of the hosts has two properties through them and seems to have had a very positive experience. I haven't listened to the Stacking Benjamins one yet, but it's on my to-do list.
My wife and I are interested in diversifying with some real estate, as well. In Utah, prices right now are NUTS. There aren't many properties locally that will pencil out as good rentals if you buy them at this point in time. So we're interested in the long-distance option.
Another interesting idea another investor told me about is that you may be able to write off some or all of your travel if you have a rental property somewhere near where you like to visit anyway (say, family in the area). If you go out there and check up on your property and meet with your property manager, it's a business trip. Obviously you'll want to check all that against your own situation
A Rebel Spy from the MMM forums has a pile of rentals he manages from afar, as does Paula Pant now, so it isn't totally out there. I suspect it's more of a decision about whether your local market is rental investment friendly or whether it makes more sense to go somewhere else.