When used properly, your smartphone can truly assist you in gaining significant leverage as a real estate investor; the key is knowing what real estate investing apps are out there, what they do, and how they can help you!
For prosperous real estate investing, time and timing is everything. Whether it’s being one of the first to learn about a new investment opportunity or reducing how long it takes you to draft a contract, having good timing and using time effectively can both impact your bottom line significantly. But between overseeing on-site renovations, finding and researching new opportunities, and lining up investment property funding, it’s easy to let time slip away.
But successful real estate investors are always busy. They’re acting as the eyes, ears, and hands of many complex processes that are required for them to maximize returns on their investment properties and real estate projects. So how can you have good timing on new deals, reduce your time spent in the office on paperwork, and handle all of the daily tasks and projects you have to be physically present for?
The answer is to improve and/or increase your usage of the one tool that is always by your side and has enough power to handle practically anything you need: Your smartphone! Using these real estate investing apps, your smartphone can help you not only by allowing you to perform many tasks on-the-go, but also by reducing the amount of time you spend on certain tasks.
Real Estate Investing Apps for Information, Education, and Reference Resources
Even as recently as 15 or 20 years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to become a successful real estate investor without spending hours in a stack of books at the library. Thankfully, now that we have the internet, we have all the knowledge we need right in our pocket, allowing us to learn at any time or place we wish.
- BiggerPockets (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – If you’re new to real estate investing and you want to learn more about becoming a successful investor, don’t pass up this informational and educational app. It’s been a fantastic website for years, and has a reputation for explaining complex things in an easy-to-understand way. Its fully-searchable content includes ebooks, downloadable guides, podcasts, articles, and more, making it a perfect choice whether you just need a quick-reference refresher or long-form learning. It also has a forum where you can ask questions, network with, or have discussions with the other 1.4 million members of the community. Their base membership is free, but their Pro membership includes property analysis tools and calculators, making it a reasonable upgrade.
- Connected Investors (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Connected Investors is a social networking website and app for investors to share opportunities, information, and knowledge. If you enjoy social media and have been looking for an online social outlet for investment chatter, this is definitely an app you should look into.
Real Estate Investing Apps to Help Find Potential Investment Properties:
Back in the old days of real estate investing prior to technology, finding properties with good investment potential meant flipping through all the printed classified ads you could find and spending a lot of time at the courthouse waiting to find out what local foreclosures were occurring. These days, however, finding potential investment properties is as easy as opening an app on your phone!
- Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, and RedFin (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – If you don’t know about any of these, you might have been living under a rock for the last 5 years! Zillow is one of the most commonly used real estate app and website, not only because it has an easy-to-use search tool, but also because it has a plethora of data on neighborhoods, zip codes, cities, counties, and of course, individual properties. All of these apps can show you relevant graphs and charts for property purchase prices over time in a given area, and can also show you most previous sale prices of specific properties, and you may find that some of the data is better, more detailed, or more recent on some apps as opposed to others, so checking them all for specific data isn’t unheard of. On Zillow, the search tool makes it easy for you to find homes in pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, or bank-owned homes, plus it even offers a “Zestimate” home value estimate (although you should take that estimate with a BIG grain of salt), meanwhile the Trulia app has better tools for a focused, active search of a specific type of property.
- Xome (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Many real estate investors love purchasing investment properties in an auction setting, and if that’s the case with you, be sure to check out Xome. Like other real estate search apps, traditional listings are easy to search, find, and browse on this app, however the big difference is that Xome offers auctions, including bank-owned, short sale, and foreclosure auctions, and even property auctions that exclusive to the Xome app.
- Homesnap (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – A lot of real estate professionals incorrectly believe that this app does the same thing that the other home search apps do, but Homesnap is actually quite a bit more interactive in a few ways that make it better than other apps for real estate investors who spend time looking for potential opportunities while driving around town. The way it works is that you take a photo of a home you find that might be a potential investment opportunity, and Homesnap uses the photo you took to pull up the home’s data for you to review, such as census data, property tax records, listing information, and pretty much anything that is available via public record. It also keeps a map-based record of the homes you’ve “snapped”, making it easy for you to check up on those properties again a few weeks or months into the future.
- LoopNet (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – LoopNet is exclusive to commercial real estate, and was made specifically to cater to commercial real estate investors. If you’re looking for a multi-unit residential property or a commercial property, you’re likely to find LoopNet much more useful than the other property search apps.
- Auction.com (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Real estate investors are always looking for a good deal, and this app can help you find those deals based on location, keywords, auction date, and more. Its interface shows bank-owned properties and pending foreclosures, and provides property details and even the opportunity to bid on and purchase real estate right within the app! The status of auction properties change frequently, so you better keep close tabs on interesting opportunities you find on this app.
- Ten-X Commercial (Apple iOS App Store) – This app helps you search, find, and review commercial real estate deals, and allows you to submit offers directly within the app! You can search for listings by price, property type, location, and so on, and you can also set up alerts to notify you of new properties that meet your search criteria. If you’re looking to purchase an office, multi-family, hotel, retail, or industrial property, and want the opportunity to make an offer immediately, be sure to check out this app.
- DealMachine (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – This app only does one thing, but it does that one thing very well! DealMachine makes tracking down property owner contact information a quick and easy process, and then gives you the option to send them solicitations via direct mail. For a fast way to check available records for a property owner’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address, this app is it.
- Roofstock (Roofstock.com) – This is an easy-to-use mobile-friendly website that makes it easy for real estate investors to find and purchase single-family residential properties, also offering some insights and tools along the way. Perhaps most importantly is their own proprietary data that aims to give investors the information needed to assist them in making their purchasing decisions. Completing over $1B in single family home sales annually, they protect real estate investors with a 30-day refund period, and offer varying incentives to investors as well.
Real Estate Investing Apps to Help Real Estate Investors Analyze Investment Property Data and Crunch Numbers:
Your smartphone has more processing power than NASA used in 1969 to put men on the moon, or at least that’s what we’re told. If true, that’s truly incredible to think about! But rather than comparing the technology in your pocket to technology from 1969, here’s a fact that’s a bit more relevant: the speed and processing power of most newer mobile phones surpass that of many laptops! So, rather than waiting until you’re back at your desk to make calculations, just pull out your phone and start up any of these real estate investing apps.
- 10Bii Calculator (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – There are multiple versions and developers of this type of app, but we like both “10Bii Calc HD” and “10bii Financial Calculator”. This calculator app wasn’t built specifically for real estate investors, but it should have been, because it’s an absolute treasure to use when crunching numbers that are relevant to financing and investments. It can use and return data such as amortization schedules, returns, present and future values, cash flow, cash flow diagrams, TVM (time value of money), and so much more.
- DealCheck (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – If you find yourself needing a calculator that does more than just calculate, but you want a simpler way to analyze property financials than a spreadsheet, give this app a look. It makes quick work of analyzing and calculating, but it also has features that makes quick work of projecting and comparing investment properties as well. It allows you to enter the information about a property, run the numbers, and save that data so you can look at it again soon, or compare its figures with another property that you’ve saved in the app.
- ValueChek (Apple iOS App Store) – If you’re looking for a more accurate risk-reward assessment tool, be sure to take a look at the ValueChek app. This app is a bit different from its competitors because it saves you the time of researching and inputting rehab costs; it estimates rehab costs by using its database of regional pricing for labor and materials, and applying it to targeted square footage. You give the app some relevant data points that it asks for, and it does the rest!
- Property Fixer (Apple iOS App Store) – This is a great app for home flippers, because it helps you analyze an investment property’s potential ROI. You plug in the data points that are known, and it helps you estimate the cost of repairs, predicts possible future values, and also includes a breakdown of expenses such as insurance, taxes, carrying costs, and so on.
- Property Evaluator (Apple iOS App Store) – Naturally, the most important number for most real estate investors is the value of an investment property. This app helps you keep tabs on a property’s revenue capacity by offering reports for cap rate, cash flow, internal rate of return, and much more. It’s easy to get started with an initial assessment from the app; you simply enter the address, upgrade costs, projected rent rates, and real estate investment property financing data, and the first report is generated immediately. Once you input more detailed data points, this app can provide very detailed financial reports and calculations that save most investors hours of time.
- Construction Cost Estimator (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Another app that is fantastic for investment property flipping, this app helps you build an on-site estimate of what work is needed, and break it down into labor, materials, other costs, and subcontractor totals.
- Rentometer Express (Apple iOS App Store) – If you’re in need of a quick app-based resource to find comparable rental values and rent amounts in a given real estate market, give this app a try. The basic service is free, but there are some paid options that offer enhanced information, detailed reports, and additional data analysis options.
Real Estate Investing Apps to Help Real Estate Investors with Investment Property Repairs, Rehabs, Remodels, and Construction:
If you do a lot of repairs, rehabs, and remodeling, then it’s useful for you to regularly check around to ensure that the professionals you work with are providing the best service for the lowest price. It’s also helpful if you have a back-up plan for when one of your investment properties has an immediate need, but your go-to service provider is booked solid. Check out these real estate investing apps that can help you find reputable and available service professionals in your area.
- Houzz (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – You may think of this site as one that is more for design inspiration, but they also have a directory of professional listings that are organized and searchable. You can even use a Houzz membership to connect with these professionals directly, making it easy to network with them for the purpose of future projects as well.
- Angie’s List (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Angie’s List makes things easy for real estate investors by providing a one-stop shop for a local contractor search, contractor reviews, and request project quotes (including photos if you want), all directly from the app. Do be aware, however, that the only vendors available on this app are vendors who pay to be there, so there are likely some fantastic reasonably-priced vendors who aren’t listed there.
- Thumbtack (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – This app allows you to build a job description, including what you’re willing to pay for it, and post the job to locals who provide the service you’re looking for. The local service providers can review the job you’ve posted, and if they decide they want to bid, they can send you a bid directly through the app. You can use the app to communicate with service providers, make payment, and even just search for local vendors or service providers that you may want to contact.
- MagicPlan App (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Getting floor plans and room measurements for an investment property can be a time-consuming process, but this app makes it fairly quick and easy. You simply use your phone to scan a room, and the app gives you access to measurements, floor plans, and even 3D models. You can add objects (like furniture) or just notes and annotations to the data, and it can be stored in a cloud to make it easy to share with others. This tool is great for estimating costs and/or making approximate measurements, but its accuracy can vary depending on things like room lighting and what model smartphone you have, so be sure to take additional measurements when finalizing plans.
Real Estate Investing Apps to Help Investors with Property Investment Paperwork, Documents, Contacts, Checklists, and Organization:
For real estate investors, working smart is equally important as working hard. One of the best ways to work smart is to use technology to your advantage, especially for tasks that consume time and resources. To reduce your use of ink and paper while minimizing the time you spend on general office and administrative tasks, be sure to give these real estate investing apps a try.
- DocuSign (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Technology has now made it possible to make a real estate purchase without signing anything, in the traditional sense. DocuSign facilitates digital signatures (or e-signatures/electronic signatures) with state-of-the-art encryption and security to ensure that the executed documents are legally binding and safe from digital tampering. With this app, you and your associates/partners can digitally sign documents from your email on ANY device, and can also send documents to be signed digitally by anyone else.
- Scanner Pro (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – In an effort to make your deals streamlined as possible, going paperless is the best first step. Saving documents digitally ensures that they can’t get lost, always have a back-up, and are easy to send via email for digital signatures, and this app is one of the best apps to help you turn paper documents into digital ones. Simply use the app to take a photo of a document, and it is created in a PDF format. The app automatically removes the background and the end result is clean and legible digital documents. We liked this app because it integrates with cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive, but the best feature is the text recognition software, known as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), because this makes your documents searchable as well.
Real Estate Investing Apps to Help Investors with Listing, Marketing, and Renting/Selling Investment Properties:
The marketing of an investment property listing can definitely affect the return on your investment and your overall profit from a given property. In most cases, you want to make sure that you’re doing all you can to help your listing attract attention and present the best image when people see it online, to ensure that they’ll want to see it in person. These real estate investing apps can help with that!
- Exposio Real Estate Camera (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – When you’re taking photos of a property you intend to sell or rent out for the maximum amount possible, great photos are extremely important. In the absence of a professional photographer, an app like Exposio is the next best thing. This app allows your smartphone camera to capture a wide-angle photo, even without a wide-angle lens. Plus, for less than $1 per photo, it also takes HDR (high dynamic range) photos, a technology that takes multiple photos at different exposures all at the same time when you take a photo, combines them together in a way that produces an image that is much more like what your eye sees rather than what a camera lens sees. The results from this app, when used properly, are really fantastic.
- Curb Appeal (Apple iOS App Store) – This app has some of the same features Exposio has, such as HDR photos and photo editing abilities, but its features and user interface are slightly different, making it worth recommending for you to check out.
- Matterport (Apple iOS App Store; Google Play Store) – Ever wanted the ability to let tenants walk around inside a rental property without having to physically be present? Matterport is a set of real estate investing apps and tools that allows you to create a 3D tour of a property. The resulting property tour can be viewed easily by potential buyers/renters on any browser using a mouse to click around the property, but the more interesting use of this technology is VR (virtual reality), which allows potential buyers/renters to virtually walk around the property using any standard VR headset. Technology like this can bring more eyes to your listing by allowing people the ability to “walk around” inside a property while wearing pajamas in the comfort of their living room.
With the above real estate investing apps, you have the ability to find a potential investment property, research it, analyze reports for the available data, crunch numbers to determine your level of interest, apply for hard money funding, submit a signed offer, execute the closing docs, line up contractors, and even take marketing photos for the listing, ALL from your phone, WITHOUT any paper!
In addition to all the tasks you can accomplish from your phone, the amount of time you’ll save by not having to go to your office every time you need to sign something is sure to have a considerable effect on your daily productivity levels as well.
We hope that one or more of the real estate investing apps we’ve listed here will help you streamline your daily or weekly tasks, save you time, or simply help your real estate investment projects operate as efficiently as possible. You certainly have more tools at your disposal today than any real estate investor who came before you, so be sure to take advantage of all the tools available to you; especially the one in your pocket!