Among the many online real estate platforms out there today, PropStream is one of the names that keep popping up. But just how reliable is it?
Table of Contents:
- 4 Challenges in Real Estate Investing in 2023
- What Is PropStream?
- What Is the Best Alternative to PropStream?
Real estate investing is a serious business. It involves a substantial amount of money and can be quite time-consuming.
Other than access to funding, success in real estate investing also requires gathering extensive market research and data for proper real estate analysis. Both are necessary to find the most profitable property that’s right for you. And by profitable, we mean getting the best possible deals that are in line with your investment goals and criteria.
You’ve probably already heard investors and industry experts talk about how location matters. While it is true that a property’s location plays an important role in the success of the investment, finding the best deals is the most important part of real estate investing. And finding such deals requires access to the right tools to get those leads.
One of the best things about modern-day real estate investing is that we can now access technology that allows us to do as much work in a fraction of the time. What took weeks to months of conventional research and data gathering before can now be done in a matter of minutes using real estate investing apps and websites.
The internet is home to a few good platforms and sites that investors can access for investment tools and real estate market analysis. One such platform is PropStream. Let’s take a closer look at what it offers and how it fares against Mashvisor.
4 Challenges in Real Estate Investing in 2023
Real estate investing may be very lucrative, but it is not without challenges. One of the biggest challenges we faced within the last two years was COVID-19. The pandemic, especially at its onset, adversely affected the entire global economy, including the real estate market.
For most of 2021, though, the real estate industry experienced some sort of revival when we saw mortgage rates hit record lows of below 3.00%. Real estate properties were also more affordable as a lot of sellers were willing to go below their asking prices just to make a sale. It led to an unexpectedly stellar performance by the industry amid a pandemic.
However, as economies reopened and industries were on the road to recovery, we got hit by geopolitical conflicts earlier in 2022. It once again interrupted the global supply chain, which impacted the construction industry.
We’re also presently dealing with high inflation on a massive scale, which is affecting buyer behavior, as well as mortgage rates and higher costs of home maintenance.
Additionally, there are also four very specific challenges that industry experts are anticipating for 2023. They are:
1. Access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
As a real estate investor, one of the things you need access to is the multiple listing service or MLS. It is where you will find most of the available investment properties in any real estate market. The MLS usually includes undervalued and distressed properties that are ideal for real estate investors.
As an investor, you won’t always be able to directly access the MLS, especially if you’re new to the game. It is why a lot of investors connect with local real estate professionals because they can access the local MLS. Not only that, they know what the local market conditions are actually like.
It has been an ongoing challenge for most investors and will continue to be one of the top challenges going into 2023, as access to the MLS is very location specific. You need to consider other options that will give you access to a database that is not limited to just one location.
2. Supply Chain Disruption
COVID-19 and the ongoing geopolitical conflict in Eastern Europe have both affected the global supply chain. The pandemic made it harder for supplies to get around out of fear of spreading the dreaded coronavirus.
One of the main hindrances is the high cost of oil and fuel, which makes transporting raw materials and supplies a lot more expensive. Rising fuel prices, along with surging inflation, are causing another round of disruptions in the global supply chain.
Supply chain disruptions have been a constant headache to almost every industry in the past couple of years. From grocery stores to automotive to construction companies. We still have to deal with this problem going into 2023. It isn’t just a US problem, mind you. It’s a global concern that needs to be addressed, with no clear resolution in sight.
And while we may all be inclined to think that it started with COVID-19, it didn’t. Most experts believe the problem started well before the pandemic and will not go away any time soon.
3. Housing Imbalance
It is not surprising that one of the challenges of real estate investing in 2023 is this great housing imbalance. The US real estate market has been experiencing lower inventory in relation to the increasing demand for years. It has not caught up, despite the rosy expectations for the 2022 real estate market.
The shortage of housing supply can be attributed to several factors, such as:
- Availability of land
- Increasing land, labor, and material prices
- An increase in regulations through fees and longer and more complicated entitlement processes.
On the demand side, we’ve seen an uptick in numbers even amid a pandemic as more companies embraced the new norm of allowing employees to work from home. People were looking for properties that offered them more space. It is one of the reasons why the real estate industry performed well during the COVID era.
On the other hand, as far as inventory is concerned, developers couldn’t keep up with the increasing demand for affordable housing. The number of single-family units completed was just shy of its normal average of one million units per year. The number is way below the 1.6 million units completed in 2006.
And while developers and builders are doing their best to catch up with the growing demand, given the existing supply chain disruptions, it will not happen overnight. It means that we are looking at the same demand vs supply ratio in 2023.
4. Cybersecurity Issues
As we mentioned earlier, perhaps one of the best things to happen to real estate investing is the advancement of modern technology. However, real estate websites and platforms are not without their challenges, one of which is cybersecurity.
There is always the threat of hackers getting into security systems and accessing private and sensitive information. As technology keeps advancing, so do the hackers’ skills. It is why real estate platform developers and cybersecurity need to constantly improve their security systems to mitigate the risks of hacking.
The above are just some of the notable challenges experts and analysts anticipate we will face in 2023. Given such challenges, how does a real estate platform like PropStream work to put investors’ minds at ease?
What Is PropStream?
Technology has played a huge part in advancing the real estate industry and ushering it into the 21st century. That said, online platforms designed to help real estate investors have proliferated in cyberspace. One of the more popular real estate investing platforms today is PropStream.
PropStream is an online real estate platform used by real estate professionals and investors to get access to data software and analytics for multiple types of investment analysis. It gathers data from multiple sources, which are then uploaded to its database for investors to access.
PropStream’s primary audiences are real estate investors and professionals who are looking for a SaaS data analysis tool to help simplify and boost their businesses. It is ideal for wholesalers who are looking for good deals on undervalued and distressed properties for other investors.
PropStream is also great for realtors in search of off-market properties for both buyers and sellers. It’s even used by house flippers who are looking for potential fix-and-flip projects.
What Does PropStream Have to Offer Its Users?
As an online real estate platform, PropStream is one of the more popular apps among real estate professionals. PropStream’s website offers a lot to its users, especially when it comes to real estate market data.
Here are a few of PropStream’s more notable features:
Serious investors are always on the lookout for the details. It is one of PropStream’s strengths. More than just knowing how to find distressed properties on PropStream, users can access trends, statistics, and analytics, like the following:
- Targeted property lists
- Property values
- Rent prices
- Property details
- Available MLS details
- Foreclosure details, if any
- Real estate comps
- Mortgage information
- Tax details
- Owner details
- Transaction history
- Other available detailed reports and documents
- Premium reports (subject to a small fee per report)
As you can see, the wide range of real estate market data available to PropStream users is what makes it a hit among real estate professionals and investors.
On top of the quality data offered by PropStream, it also comes with a skip tracing function that allows users to zoom in on pre-foreclosures. If you’re wondering how to find motivated sellers on PropStream that can land you a very lucrative off-market deal on undervalued and distressed properties, you will find this feature very useful.
When you’re in the market looking for distressed properties, you need to manage your expectations that rehabilitation and repairs are inevitable. Keep in mind that updating a property to make it up to par with local city engineering standards can be quite costly.
In this regard, PropStream also comes with an integrated rehab calculator to give investors an idea of how much the estimated cost will be for a rehab or home improvement project. The cost estimate is based on local labor rates and materials that will be used.
The amount of data alone found on PropStream’s website seems impressive enough to make any investor or broker sign up for its services. However, just like any real estate investment software, it does not come without flaws.
Now just because technology has made real estate investing level up by leaps and bounds, it doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Like all other types of software, PropStream does not come without its fair share of imperfections. Here are a few of its most common flaws, according to user reviews:
One of the most glaring shortcomings that PropStream users find highly challenging and somewhat annoying is its user interface or UI. Many people find it difficult to navigate PropStream’s site, mainly because the UI isn’t as user-friendly as it should be.
There seems to be a bit of a learning curve to learn PropStream’s system and get used to it, unlike other similar sites and software. While there are several instructional videos available, most users would prefer not to go to a different website to learn how to use the software.
PropStream’s Help section isn’t as helpful as it is supposed to be as well because it lacks a search function to make searching for topics easier.
Small Font Size
Another thing that puts PropStream at a bit of a disadvantage among investors and users, especially those with some sort of visual impairment, is that the site’s font is on the small side. Perhaps adding a feature that allows the font size to be adjusted might benefit the site and makes it easier to use for those with poorer eyesight.
Pricey Compared to Other Similar Software and Services
And then there’s this small matter of pricing.
According to different PropStream reviews, its pricing is a bit on the expensive side compared to other real estate marketplace platforms, both free and paid.
Although PropStream users can take advantage of a 7-day free trial, the platform only offers one monthly subscription plan of $99, with a few add-on services at additional costs. The price is still quite reasonable considering its features. However, there are other options that offer similar services—plus a few more—that don’t cost as much.
That being said, what is a good PropStream alternative that investors can turn to?
What Is the Best Alternative to PropStream?
Investment property analysis is a very important aspect of real estate investing. No serious investor will ever consider going into business or taking on an investment opportunity without it.
Buying rental properties involves more than just accumulating enough capital to fund the purchase. It also requires extensive knowledge and an in-depth understanding of what a certain property can offer in terms of rate of return, cash flow, and cap rate.
Real estate online platforms like PropStream and Mashvisor offer investors and real estate professionals access to specific data and information. They also provide numerous real estate investment tools to help them make wiser and more confident decisions.
One of the PropStream alternatives investors can look into is Mashvisor.
What Is Mashvisor?
Mashvisor is a real estate marketplace website that allows investors to optimize their rental strategies and understand different markets all over the country while saving time and money. It offers several investment tools that help real estate investors make faster and smarter business decisions.
Mashvisor was established with the goal of helping real estate investors to find the best deals in the most profitable real estate markets. Countless investors are able to benefit from using the website. With the help of Mashvisor, they’ve found the right investment properties that align with their goals and needs.
As a real estate website, Mashvisor comes with a few advantages over PropStream. These are some of the reasons why investors prefer using it over PropStream, especially those who are in the market looking for traditional or Airbnb rental properties.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that put Mashvisor above other platforms like PropStream.
What Does Mashvisor Have to Offer Its Users?
Mashvisor offers a lot to real estate investors and professionals when it comes to property location and data analytics. Here are just a few of its sweet features users can’t get enough of:
For starters, Mashvisor’s dashboard is easy to use, allowing new users to quickly adapt to the system and navigate it with ease. Compared to PropStream’s UI, Mashvisor’s interface is fairly simple and straightforward, one thing that thousands of users are thankful for.
The platform was specifically developed with first-time users, experienced investors, real estate agents and brokers, and property managers in mind. Mashvisor understands that each user is unique in terms of technical know-how and challenges. That’s why it developed its UI to be as user-friendly as possible.