Investing in real estate can be a lucrative and rewarding activity. However, the key is to find properties worth spending your hard-earned money on. This demands a good dose of luck but can also be a time-consuming and rewardless process. Thankfully, technology has been slowly catching up with the needs of real estate investors to locate properties worth investigating. Here are our top 5 tools that will make it easier for investors to find new properties.
Mashvisor is a website that identifies properties listed on the MLS that might make good real estate investments by using data gathered from sources such as Zillow. It then organizes it according to parameters that might interest investors, such as cash on cash return or cap rate.
This tool works not only for traditional rental properties but also for investors that have an interest in the growing market of short-term rentals like VRBO or Airbnb.
Mashvisor also includes a convenient heat map which allows users to identify which neighborhoods are likely to become the next “hot spot”.
Investors interested in commercial real estate will love ProspectNow, a prospecting system which identifies commercial properties either currently for sale or might be in the next 12 months. Thanks to its guided search feature, investors can select which type of real estate property they might be interested in or which area they are willing to invest in. The interface also uses data from similar sold properties to make a prediction for comparables that are yet to be listed for sale.
HouseCanary is an exhaustive tool that allows investors to find out which real estate investment properties are currently on the market, including in-depth market information, property valuation forecasts, and appraisal reports that include comparisons with surrounding houses and other competing properties. It also allows users to filter not only properties on the market but also off the market to quickly identify which neighborhood in a city might be the most profitable.
The key to profitable real estate properties is to buy them as low as possible. Auctioned properties often make excellent candidates for the discerning investor, which is why auction.com, which focuses on housing auctions of all sorts, can be a handy tool. The website includes an auction calendar, “how-to” for newcomers, and any type of auctions investors might be interested in, including foreclosures, REO’s, short sales, notes, commercial real estate, luxury real estate, new construction, and land.
Another good way to generate leads in real estate investment is to directly contact the owner of a property that might be in distress and interested to sell his or her property for a low price. These individuals have sometimes left their last known address and tracking them down (also known as skip tracing) can be time and isn’t always conclusive. Thanks to its advanced linking algorithm, NeedToSkip.com, which is often quoted as the most efficient skip tracing tool, gives you access to public and proprietary records on an estimated 95% of the U.S. population.