Tech Tools You Should Be Using Right Now
Isn’t technology a wonderful thing? It’s pretty crazy when you think about how much it’s enabled us to do that we couldn’t 20 or even 10 years ago. It’s also made it much easier for investors who want to buy properties in out-of-state markets, or even internationally. Thanks to the internet, information can be found with just a few mouse clicks, and suddenly you’re armed with everything you need to know to make smart investment decisions.
The internet is a big place, though, and it can be overwhelming trying to navigate the many different websites and tools available to you. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of sites/apps that I personally use and that I’ve found extremely helpful during the investment process – both before and after purchase.
- Rentometer.com. This site provides a fast, easy, and free way for you to compare rental rates in a particular area. By plugging in the address of a potential investment property, you can get the rent amounts for surrounding properties, allowing you to quickly determine what you might be able to collect in rent each month with your investment.
- Mortgage calculators. There are lots of mortgage calculating websites and apps, but I like to use the Mortgage Calculator Plus app. It’s free, and by inputting some basic information (loan amount, how many years on the note, and interest rate), I get a pretty accurate idea of what my mortgage payment will be for a particular property.
- Mapliv.com. Mapliv is a great tool for checking out the competition in an area. This site pulls from several different listing sites (like Craigslist and Zillow) to give an overall picture of the local rental scene. You can narrow the search criteria by location, number or bedrooms, and minimum and maximum rental amounts.
- Google Drive. Google Drive may seem pretty basic, but I’m continually astounded by the number of people who aren’t using it – and unknowingly suffering because of it! Basically, this is a great place to store everything associated with your investment business. Documents, photos, contacts – all of this and more can be stored on Drive, plus you can use the free web-based software that’s available (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs) . Everything is saved in real time, and you can set sharing permissions on individual documents and folders, giving select people access to select files.
- Password manager. I’d be lost without my password manager that I use to store all of my login information for virtually every site I use. I like Lastpass.com because it’s free, and it’s really easy to organize and access my information quickly. Some people are nervous about storing this type of information online, but I’ve found it to be extremely secure. You create a master password, and then use that to unlock your account and all the login credentials within.
- Meetup. The last tool I’ll mention is Meetup, which most investors are already familiar with and are hopefully using for the amazing networking opportunity it provides. This is by far one of the best networking tools I’ve seen, and it’s super easy to use and get connected with others in the industry. Just create an account, join the groups you’re interested in, and then meet up in person or through online platforms. I’ve met so many people using this site, and it’s paid off for me a number of times.
The technology needed to make your life easier is out there, but it’s up to you to use it! Each of the sites listed above are tools I use on near-daily basis, and they’ve been a tremendous help in terms of efficiency and creating opportunity. If you’re not already using them, give ‘em a try!