Top Tools for Property Managers and Investors
Discover the benefits of investing in real estate. Find out how to use educational material, calculators and the top property management software.
Buying real estate is a popular investment strategy. Part of why so many investors choose property is the high chance of a return investment. Unlike many other investments, you can start making money with your property before you are ready to sell it by renting it out instead. This generates a passive income, which you can use to pay off your initial loans to purchase the property. As you pay off the property, you can gradually invest more in property, either improving your current property or investing in new real estate.
As with any investment, you must be careful with buying and selling real estate. This is especially true if you are actively using your property, either as a rental or live in a unit. You must take into account upkeep or repair costs compared to the estimated value of the home. There are also other factors, such as where the house is located and the state of the housing market to consider. It may seem intimidating to start investing in property, but there are several tools you can use to manage your real estate investments.
If you are interested in investing in real estate but do not know where to begin, there are plenty of educational materials available. Some of the courses are designed for new investors, while others contain tips for veterans. Staying educated is an important part of property management because the housing market frequently changes based on factors like the time of year and economy.
If you are getting started and want to learn more about real estate investment without spending any money, Udemy offers a host of online courses. The subjects are not deep dives, but cover the basics of investing, renting your property, how to find new real estate and general advice for following the housing market. Udemy has more in-depth classes available, but you must pay a monthly membership, which starts at $14.99 as of writing.
Roofstock Academy provides a deeper look at property investing. There are two paid options available, self-study or workshop. With self-study, you learn the material on your own, while the workshop is a guided tour. Both options are available with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Both programs also have a one-time fee, $250 for self-study and $1,000 for a workshop.
MIT also offers real estate investment courses. MIT has a mixture of free and paid courses, but most of the advanced classes require spending a fee. The classes are frequently updated and taught by real estate experts, making it an excellent choice to stay up to date with all real estate information.
A large part of investing in property is understanding how the property is expected to grow or cost you money over the years. The easiest way to figure out these estimates is with an investment calculator. Most property management software includes built-in investment calculators, but there are several free calculators available as well, including the Financial Mentor Investment Property Calculator and an AARP Investment Property Calculator.
DoorLoop is one of the top property management programs if you are interested in renting your real estate. The software handles all of your landlord duties, including automatically collecting rent, screening applicants and signing agreements. You can also focus solely on investments. The program allows you to list your real estate portfolio, tracking how your investment increases or decreases in costs. It collects all of your information and stores it in one central location.
DoorLoop is more affordable than many other property investment tools. It only costs $24.50 each month for your first 20 units. The company frequently offers sales and other benefits. As of writing, you can get 50% off two months with unlimited free training, support & 30-day money back guarantee.
Avail does not have as many options as DoorLoop, but it is still an excellent property management software. It is primarily intended for landlords who are renting their property. It includes options to develop and host your listing across popular websites. It also allows you to set up tenant screenings, perform background checks, collect rent and create lease agreements. There is also a host of frequently updated educational material.
Avail is managed by Realtor.com, so it is managed by experts who understand all your needs as a landlord and an investor. The program has received favorable reviews for having a customizable, easy to learn user interface. Most of the features are available for free, but you must upgrade to a premium account for $5 a month if you want to create your own property website or create a custom lease.
Cozy is another real estate app managed by a larger company, Apartments.com. It includes many of the standard features, such as the ability to collect rent and screen potential tenants, but it offers more options for communicating with your tenants and addressing maintenance requests. This is especially helpful if the property you rent is out of state. A free account is available, but you are limited to a total of five listings across all websites. You can manually share links on other websites, however, but serious landlords are encouraged to pay for an account. There are several account tiers available, with a basic account starting at $19.95 each month.
LoopNet is built with investors in mind. It does not have any features for renting your existing property. Instead, it acts as a database for finding both commercial and residential property for sale. LoopNet allows you to compare prices based on previous property records as well as similar buildings in nearby neighborhoods. It also has an extensive range of search filters, allowing you to narrow down your search and focus on the criteria that matters most to you as an investor.
Stessa is another program that largely focuses on managing your property investment. You can use Stessa to track your income and expenses, generalized financial reports and pay your real estate taxes. You can create an unlimited number of portfolios for your property, allowing you to organize based on the size of the property and what you use it for. Stessa is partnered with both the Real Estate CPA and TurboTax. Creating a Stessa account is free, with none of the features locked behind a paywall.