No doubt that investing in real estate is one of the best ways to make money in the short term and build wealth in the long run. However, not all investment properties necessarily yield good returns. Whether you are a seasoned real estate investor or just starting out in buying rental properties, knowing how to find a profitable investment property for sale is a crucially important skill to have.
The most successful investors don’t just drive around the neighborhood and look for a “For Sale” sign. They use a variety of tools to do an extensive real estate property search and assess the profitability of potential deals before making a purchase.
Here are the 5 best property search tools for investors that you should consider using in 2021 in order to ensure that you find traditional and Airbnb rental properties that yield a high rate of return.
1. The Real Estate Blog
You may have had the “Location, location, location” mantra in real estate investing before. It means that property values and investment potential vary widely depending on location. For example, investing in a rental property in the Miami real estate market will not only cost differently from investing in the Sacramento real estate market but also bring very different return on investment. Therefore, your real estate search should always begin with searching for an optimal location for investing in an income property for sale. This is the best way to guarantee good returns.
Finding a profitable location requires thorough real estate market analysis. If you don’t know where to begin your research, you can use one of Mashvisor’s investment property search tools for investors to quickly locate a top-performing city in the US housing market in 2021. This tool is Mashvisor’s real estate blog. On the Mashvisor blog, you can check for city data and analyze the average investment performance of any of the most profitable locations for traditional rentals as well as the best cities for Airbnb investment this year.
2. The Real Estate Heatmap
After locating a profitable city to invest in, you need to narrow down you search to the neighborhood level. While the city may be doing great in general, the different neighborhoods in the city may differ in performance. For this reason, running a neighborhood analysis to identify the best performing area in your city of choice is crucial.
One of the most valuable property search tools for investors to use at this stage is Mashvisor’s real estate heatmap. This real estate software tool uses different color codes to give you a visual representation of the average investment performance of all neighborhoods in any city in the US residential real estate market based on the filters you select.
You’ll be able to find the neighborhood that best fits your budget and investment goals using the following filters:
- Listing price
- Traditional rental income
- Airbnb rental income
- Traditional cash on cash return
- Airbnb cash on cash return
- Airbnb occupancy rate
For each filter you select, the neighborhoods with the highest values will be highlighted in green, average ones will be highlighted in yellow/orange, and the lowest in red. So, ideally you want to focus on areas where real estate listings yield red for listing price and green for cash on cash return.
Related: How to Calculate Cash on Cash Return in 2021
3. The Property Finder
Once you have found an affordable and profitable neighborhood to invest in, you can now begin your real estate lookup. For you to find the best real estate investments in 2021, you need to look find multiple homes for sale that appeal to you and compare their return potential. But before you get into analyzing them, how do you find them?
Mashvisor offers another of the most valuable property search tools for investors that will help you conduct an effective home search in a matter of minutes – the Property Finder. With this tool, you can search for MLS listings that best match your search criteria and investment goals anywhere in the US housing market.
Related: How to Get Access to the MLS Database Without a License
The Property Finder uses the latest machine-learning algorithms and predictive analytics to find the most suitable investment properties for you based on your search criteria and search history.
With this tool, you can do a house search based on the following filters:
- Location (up to 5 cities)
- Distance from location
- Rental strategy (Airbnb vs traditional renting)
- Property type: Single family home, townhouse, condo, or multifamily for sale
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bedrooms
4. The Property Marketplace
Savvy real estate investors will tell you that many of their best real estate investments were not found on the MLS database. If you want to find profitable houses for sale, you should also consider off market deals. However, finding off market properties is usually not very easy if you are a beginner investor with a small real estate network. Fortunately, you can solve this problem by using the Mashvisor Property Marketplace.
Related: How to Find Off Market Properties for Investment in 2021: 5 Ways
This property online marketplace is one of the best property search tools for investors looking for off market deals in the US market. You can access a vast supply of off market listings such as short sales, foreclosures, bank owned homes, and more.
You will be able to narrow down listings to match your criteria by using the following filters:
- Miles from location
- Type of property
- Rental strategy
5. The Investment Property Calculator
In the past, property investors relied on real estate investment analysis spreadsheets to analyze potential returns. However, this one of property search tools for investors that are now becoming obsolete, thanks to state-of-the-art tools like Mashvisor’s investment property calculator.
With Mashvisor’s rental property calculator, you can get a full analysis for any real estate listing on the platform or an off market property whose address you enter with the click of a button. The calculator not only calculates key real estate metrics but also provides property records such as property ID on the MLS and real estate tax history.
Here are some of the key real estate data you can access with Mashvisor’s rental property calculator:
- to expenses (one-time startup costs and monthly recurring expenses)
- Rental income (Airbnb and traditional)
- Cash flow (Airbnb and traditional)
- Cap rate (Airbnb and traditional)
- Cash on cash return (Airbnb and traditional)
- Traditional and Airbnb occupancy rate
- Investment payback balance
- Rental comps
- Real estate comps
- Optimal rental strategy
Importantly, all these numbers are customizable so that you can make them fit your exact situation. For instance, you can adjust the cost of the home appraisal based on the fee that your appraiser charges. Moreover, you can change the pre-set values of the real estate taxes based on your property tax lookup. Once you’ve done that, the Mashvisor real estate investment calculator will redo all calculations for you and provide you with the new estimates for the expected return.
The Bottom Line
Whether you an experienced investor or you are just getting into real estate investing, using the best property search tools for investors can put you ahead of the competition. Mashvisor is a one-stop platform for all the tools you need to make smarter and faster investment decisions based on comprehensive real estate lookup.
The best thing about the Mashvisor property search tools for investors is that they provide data for both Airbnb and long-term rentals. Therefore, if you are looking to invest in short-term rentals, Mashvisor’s is also the best platform for Airbnb tools.
To get access to our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.