As a beginner property investor, your main goal is probably to start making money in real estate to grow your investment, right? If you’ve thought about buying rental properties, then you’re already on your way to achieving this goal. This investment strategy continues to prove that it’s one of the best ways to start real estate investing!
However, you need to keep in mind that you are not the only person thinking of becoming a real estate investor – there are a lot of newbies out there. Not only that, but there are also other property investors who are already experts and whom you’ll have to compete against. As more and more people invest in real estate, it’s becoming challenging to find profitable real estate deals before another investor pounces on them.
That’s why the most successful property investors are pairing technology with real estate investing. Today, there are numerous tools that’ll help you find the best investment opportunities and manage your rental property business to conquer your competition! Here are 6 of our personal favorite tools to start making money in real estate.
1) Property Finder Tool
The first step to investing in a rental property is, naturally, finding one. However, not any property listed for sale would make a good investment property and bring you profits. The profitability of a property depends on various factors like its location, condition, purchase price, running costs, and how you decide to rent it out (traditionally or on Airbnb as a short term rental). All of this can make it challenging to research properties until you find the one that best fits your goal of making money in real estate. With a Property Finder Tool, on the other hand, it’ll only take minutes!
Take Mashvisor’s Property Finder for example. This investment tool allows real estate investors to search for rental properties for sale in a number of cities at once (the number varies depending on your plan). In addition, you can customize your property search using filters to set your criteria and what you’re exactly looking for. For example, you can filter results based on your budget, property type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and rental strategy.
As you can see in the image above, after setting your criteria, the Property Finder will show you lists of available rental properties that you can buy to start making money in real estate right now. Real estate investors will also get information regarding each property’s listing price, estimated value, and cash on cash return for both the traditional rental strategy and Airbnb rental strategy! This helps in ensuring that an investment property both fits your needs AND is profitable.
Start out your 14-day free trial with Mashvisor now and use our Property Finder to find lucrative investment properties that match your criteria in a matter of minutes!
2) Heat Map Tool
As we mentioned, one of the factors for a profitable investment property is its location. For that reason, property investors should buy rental property in the best places to invest in for making money in real estate. To identify these places, one should perform a real estate market analysis. This analysis enables you to study the market and determine if it’s smart to start real estate investing there.
Traditionally, a real estate market analysis will take months to complete. You’ll also need the help of professionals like agents, contractors, and developers to get all the necessary data and information. By the time you’re done, you might be surprised to find that another real estate investor has already bought the rental property you were eyeing. Therefore, investors need a tool to conduct a real estate market analysis quickly, yet accurately. Enter the Heat Map Tool.
This investment tool gives you a visual overview of the city or housing market where you wish to invest. The map is segmented using color codes to represent how different areas in this city are performing. Thus, property investors can see which areas are performing better than others – hence are better for making money in real estate.
Mashvisor’s Heat Map further allows you to select the metric you want to base your analysis on. For example, you can see which neighborhood in the city has the highest/lowest listing prices, rental income (Airbnb and traditional), cash on cash return (Airbnb and traditional), and Airbnb occupancy rate. Thus, real estate investors can quickly identify the most profitable locations with a click of a button.
(For more information on how to use this tool, read Heat Map Analysis: Real Estate Investing.)
3) Investment Property Calculator
After finding a rental property in a good location for real estate investing, the next thing successful property investors do is analyze the property before making the purchase. You might be thinking “I’ve just done a real estate market analysis, now I should do a property analysis too?” Well, yes! Conducting a property analysis is crucial for beginner real estate investors for making money in real estate. Moreover, it’s not that hard to perform when you’re using an Investment Property Calculator.
This is the ultimate real estate investment tool as it does so much for property investors. First, it uses both traditional and predictive analytics to provide projections of the ROI you can expect from investing in a rental property. Mashvisor’s Investment Property Calculator also allows you to calculate your cash flow, cap rate, and cash on cash return. Simply plug in your loan terms, down payment, purchase price, rental income, and more into the calculator. In less than a minute, you’ll see your cash flow, return on investment, and the optimal rental strategy!
On top of that, our calculator shows you lists of rental comps and similar properties recently sold in the area. This allows you to perform a comparable market analysis and assure that you find properties that will yield great returns.
Don’t let the perfect investment property slip away! Sign up now and gain access to all of our tools to find your next investment opportunity based on accurate projections and predictive analytics to start making money in real estate.
4) Tenant Screening Tools
Becoming a real estate investor doesn’t stop once you close the deal on an investment property. Every landlord needs to find good tenants who’ll take good care of the property and pay rent on time. Finding these tenants is important because it’ll help reduce repairing costs and maintain positive cash flow. So, screening tenants and confirming that they make the cut allows for making money in real estate. However, the more rental properties you own (or if you own a multi-family investment property), the more tenants you’ll need to screen.
To make finding good tenants easier, use SmartMove. This online tool is a FREE tenant screening service for landlords. It allows you to view a potential tenant’s full credit, criminal, and background reports as part of your tenant screening process. Another investment tool we recommend for landlords in this regard is Cozy. This is a popular (and free) software that also lets rental property owners accept tenant applications and do credit/background checks online.
5) Property Management Tools
Great rental property management is one factor for making money in real estate investing. Some property investors, however, seem to think they need the help of professional property management for their investment. While these companies sure have their benefits, they charge hefty monthly fees which will affect your cash flow and return on investment.
In addition, you don’t need them to achieve great property management if you use tools like Buildium. This is a great software to self-manage your investment properties. You can use it to advertise rentals, accept applications, screen tenants, collect online payments, sign leases, track property maintenance, pay bills, and more. Basically, this investment tool allows a real estate investor to systematize and optimize his/her entire investment! Furthermore, because it’s all done in the cloud, you can manage your rental properties anywhere you have internet access.
6) Personal Finances Tools
As an investor looking to making money in real estate, keeping track of your finances is crucial. Are you struggling to keep track of your accounts because they were spread out between multiple 401ks/IRAs, banks, and real estate investments? Spreadsheets can help, but then again they are tough to keep up to date. Therefore, we recommend using a personal finances tool.
One example is Personal Capital. It’s a free software that helps in organizing and tracking your net worth and all your financial accounts. Forget about spending time and energy on spreadsheets! Using Personal Capital, you’ll have everything automatically up-to-date and presented in easy-to-understand charts with a click of a button.
The Bottom Line
From searching for properties to analyzing profitability to keeping track of management and finances, these are the best tools we recommend for making money in real estate investing. The great thing about these is that you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use them! They are pretty straightforward to use and will definitely give you the competitive edge you need to become a successful real estate investor.