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Real Estate Investment Software: Prioritizing Acquisitions

196 views January 11, 2024 Karina Jugo 3

Real estate investment software makes up a variety of software applications that are used to streamline various aspects of your real estate operations. For example, this software should be able to organize your listings by name, address, price, budget, and zoning ordinances. It should also be able to automatically store contact information from potential sellers or buyers for potential real estate properties.

Managing your financial information–such as mortgages, taxes, loan interest, and cash on hand–is also crucial for existing properties. This information generated by real estate investment software is used to compare the viability of your listings. Depending on your preferred criteria, you can decide which properties are worth your time and money.

Using MS Office? You may already be on the right track!

The hunt for real estate investment software may be pretty straightforward, especially if you already have the Microsoft Office suite. However, specialized software designed for real estate investing may differ from what you need. MS Office apps, like Excel and Access, are excellent for compiling your listings into a database. With Excel, for example, you can easily convert all of your raw data into tables or a variety of graphs so you can visually examine your options.

Excel vs. Access

Microsoft Access is significantly more powerful than spreadsheet-based Excel. Access allows for the construction of searchable and highly customizable databases. Mastering Access will require some basic programming skills, which may have a significant learning curve. But building queries and macros within Access can provide nearly endless ways to manipulate or acquire data stored in your database.

But here’s the downside. Using Excel or Access means you have to build your database or spreadsheets unless you are importing them from somewhere else. Creating a database in Access–especially one with lots of macros–can be extremely time-consuming and complex if you’re unfamiliar with Visual Basic (the programing language for Access).

However, any additions or removals of property information you want to make can be easily changed once you have built your database. In addition, Microsoft allows you to share your office documents with others you work with. That means if you are working with a team of other property investors, your listings can be updated in real-time by anyone on your team. These sharing features are relatively new to the Office lineup, so it may be time to upgrade if you run an old version of Office. 

real estate investment software

Also, since third parties widely support Excel and Access, you can easily import information into other real estate investment software applications that would examine the listings in your database. Just make sure the two apps are compatible before you move forward.

What you should look for in real estate investment software

Like property management software, the features you might be looking for in your real estate investment software will depend heavily on your needs. Your needs will ultimately come down to your weakness within your operation or processes that should be streamlined to function more efficiently. As its name implies, this software is here to help you manage your investments. If that goal is not accomplished, you may need to change your strategy (or probably your software).

Real estate investment software comes in various forms, each catering to different needs and preferences of investors. However, some essential features are commonly found in effective real estate investment software:

  1. Property Analysis Tools: Comprehensive analysis capabilities for evaluating potential properties based on factors like cash flow, cap rate, ROI, and more. This includes projections for income, expenses, and potential appreciation.
  2. Financial Calculations: Built-in calculators for mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance costs, and other financial aspects to provide a clear view of the investment’s financial viability.
  3. Market Research and Data: Access to real-time and historical market data, including property values, rental rates, vacancy rates, and comparable sales, aiding in informed decision-making.
  4. Expense Tracking: Features for tracking ongoing property expenses, repairs, maintenance, and management costs to ensure accurate financial analysis.
  5. Portfolio Management: Tools to manage multiple properties and track their performance collectively, allowing investors to assess their entire real estate portfolio.
  6. Risk Assessment: Tools for assessing potential risks associated with an investment, such as property market trends, neighborhood crime rates, and local economic indicators.
  7. Scenario Modeling: Capability to create and compare different investment scenarios to understand how changes in variables like interest rates, rent, and expenses affect the overall returns.
  8. Property Valuation: Tools for estimating property value based on market conditions, comparable sales, and other valuation methods.
  9. Report Generation: The ability to generate professional reports and presentations for potential partners, lenders, or stakeholders, showcasing investment opportunities.
  10. Integration and Accessibility: Compatibility with various devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) and integration with other software systems, such as accounting and property management software.
  11. Educational Resources: Access to tutorials, guides, and educational content that helps users better understand real estate investing concepts and strategies.
  12. Customer Support: Responsive customer support to address any technical issues, answer questions, and provide assistance in utilizing the software effectively.
  13. Property Management Integration: Integration with property management tools to streamline processes like rent collection, maintenance requests, and tenant communication.
  14. Tax Planning: Features that assist in understanding the tax implications of real estate investments and strategies for optimizing tax benefits.
  15. Forecasting and Reporting: Advanced tools for creating detailed financial forecasts and generating comprehensive investment reports for strategic planning and reporting purposes.

 

Remember that the specific needs of investors may vary, so it’s important to choose software that aligns with your investment goals and preferences. Some popular real estate investment software options include CoStar, RealPage, BiggerPockets, and PropertyMetrics, among others.

However, if you are looking for an effective property management software for your rental properties, we recommend you check out RentPost to see how technology can easily simplify the entire rental process.

Authors

  • Karina Jugo

    Karina Jugo is a content administrator at RentPost who works directly with real estate and property management experts to create resources and guides for property managers. She has more than 15 years of experience in content research and writing for various industries.

  • Jacob Thomason

    Jacob Thomason is the CEO and co-founder of RentPost, software platform providing property managers, landlord or owners with the tools necessary for property management. Jacob is a software entrepreneur with with a vast array of expertise ranging from business concept design to software architecture and development. He is running RentPost for more than 14 years and helping property managers and property owners.

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