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The best tools and apps for real estate investors

Real estate investing

Apps have transformed the way people conduct real estate investing, much as online listings and other real estate search tools have changed the way people shop for a home. 

With apps, 3D models of rooms can be generated, calculations can be made in moments, and homes can be found, bought, and sold instantly.

Here are just some of the best real estate investing apps.

1. Cap rates calculator

Capitalization rate, also known as cap rate, is one of the best ways to analyze a real estate investment deal to determine if further due diligence makes sense.

Use this calculator from Mynd to evaluate properties, compare options and gauge rate of return when considering a rental property.

2. Rental returns tax calculator

Using this free Rental Property Return Calculator from Mynd, an investor can get an idea of your expected returns and cash flow and see how your returns change based on your financing choices and what your returns look like after taxes. 

3. AcreTrader

In under 10 minutes, an investor can view actual parcels of farmland, and choices are guided by investment goals, with offerings as varied as California orchards and Midwest row crops.

There are usually one to three options to choose from, and there are map views, photos, documents, and projected financials that are available before deciding to invest. 

4. ArborCrowd

With ArborCrowd, investors can buy and sell multi-family housing, usually apartment complexes.

Some markets that ArborCrowd has worked in include Brooklyn, Florida, Miami, and Manhattan. The investment minimum is high, but ArborCrowd does a good job studying the potential risk for every investment. 

5. Auction.com

If an investor is ok with buying or selling real estate online, then Auction.com is an option.

Properties are sorted by date, location, and keyword, and pending foreclosures and bank-owned properties can be reviewed in detail.

The listings change quickly, however, so decisions need to be made right away. Since it is not possible to inspect the property, transparency is an issue. 

6. BiggerPockets

BiggerPockets is another resource for real estate investors. The app has blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, guides, etc. for those looking for content that is useful for beginners.

7. CrowdStreet

CrowdStreet pairs accredited investors with project developers who've gone through a thorough screening. Investors can choose properties or buy into CrowdStreet's funds. The minimum buy-in varies, but in most cases is at least $25,000.

8. DealCheck

DealCheck is an app that gives you the important metrics you need to make real estate investment decisions. That includes cap rate, rent to value, cash on cash return, and more from various sources that you can import.

9. DocuSign

E-signatures are a time saver because you don’t have to hunt down a printer or resort to a fax machine to transfer paperwork. DocuSign permits a signature with any mobile device or computer.

There are no limits on how many documents can be signed, and paperwork can be sent and received anywhere. All these options are free, although paid plans allow personalized brands, billing, and much more.

10. DiversyFund

DiversyFund lets an investor buy a stake in DiversyFund’s DF Growth REIT (real estate investment trust), a public, non-listed REIT. The REIT does not have a high barrier to entry.

These types of REITS must register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are subject to an annual audit. This gives investors a level of transparency that isn't found in private REITS or other types of real estate investments.

DiversyFund is for investors who are willing to go the long-haul because DiversifyFund reinvests all its dividends, which means an investor won't see any profit until properties are sold. 

11. FarmTogether

FarmTogether enables investments in farmland and agribusiness like orchards and crops. It lacks a mobile app, but its website has a calculator that will estimate net returns depending on investment.

There are strict investor income minimums: $200,000 yearly for an individual or $300,000 per household. It requires a minimum net worth of $1 million.

12. Free rental agreement templates

Using free rental agreement templates, it's possible to customize a lease agreement, including instituting a smoking bans, list rules governing the property use, specifying the conditions for early lease termination, and other scenarios.

13. Fundrise

Fundrise lets accredited and non-accredited investors get into crowdfunding real estate and REITs. Fundrise's minimum investment is $500, which is a low barrier to entry.

The app is an opportunity for people investing in single-family homes or multi-family homes to invest in different types of commercial real estate or invest in markets far from home.

14. GroundFloor

GroundFloor lets both accredited, and non-accredited investors, make fractional investments in venture loans to real estate entrepreneurs that GroundFloor originates and maintains.

The return on typical loans is 10% annually on a 6 to 12-month term. Every loan on GroundFloor is screened based on the borrower's experience, credit history, and business plan. There are also estimates of the property's value of as-is and after rehab.  

15. HomeSnap 

HomeSnap lets visitors visualize an investment property as a personal home by using staging that more reflects their style. HomeSnap connects to both Apple TV and Apple Watch, has in-app messaging, and a camera to take pictures of the property. 

16. Houzz

Get access to the interior and exterior design inspiration, listings of local professionals, real estate agent listings, and the option to decorate a home with a 3D view. 

17. LoopNet

LoopNet is ideal for investors interested in commercial real estate. Users get in-depth reports that include pictures, street views, videos, investment details from brokers, and neighborhood stats.

Searches can be filtered using many categories and alerts can be set for different properties.

18. Magic plan

The Magic Plan App allows the user to step into a room, start scanning with a phone, and i generate 3D models, save measurements, and create floor plans. These assets can be shared with other users or saved to the cloud.

19. Path by origin

Path by Origin screens REITS that meet its strict criteria, so the investments have been vetted by experienced real estate professionals. A brief questionnaire about net worth, risk tolerance, and personal information is all it takes to get started. A balance can be tracked through the app. 

20. Property Fixer

For those interested in flipping properties, then Property Fixer is a good tool. The property information can be inserted in the app and then estimates of the cost of rehabbing are calculated.

The app also provides a report about the neighborhood where the property is located and comparable properties in the area. It can also calculate mortgage costs and monthly fees.  

21. DealMachine

Find the best deals, keep up to date with buildings on the market, and manage a team with DealMachine. The Driving for Dollars feature tracks members of an investment team as they drive around, hunting for deals, exploring open houses and performing self-showings. 

The app will generate reports on the properties viewed, including price listings and comparable properties. At the end of the year, the app will produce a report showing how many miles were driven by the team, useful at tax time when mile deductions can be taken.

22. Realtor.com

With Realtor.com, an investor can search for properties using various metrics like price, type, and time spent on the market.

Each property comes with interior and exterior photos, house details, and information on the locale.

23. Rent collection apps

Rent collection apps preclude the need for the postal service, so tenants can pay without fear of checks being delayed or lost. Additionally, rent can be broken up into smaller pieces or paid on more convenient days of the month.

Rent collections apps are often part of programs that manage communication, such as delegating responsibilities to contractors or making announcements to tenants. 

24. Scanner pro

Like DocuSign, Scanner Pro eliminates the need for scanners. It’s a tool that detects the border of whatever is being photographed so the document is cropped into the space.

Once the picture is on a phone, it is converted to a PDF and can be saved to Google Drive, Dropbox, or another storage app.

25. USHUD foreclosure home search

With the USHUD app, an investor can look for foreclosed or bank-owned homes, ranging from luxury to middle class to condos and more. The ViewHUD Foreclosures Database tracks the information provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

26. Yieldstreet

Yieldstreet is an opportunity to invest in real estate, marine projects, art, and more. Yieldstreet also provides loans for different investments.

The app provides details on each asset, including the maximum and minimum investments, the lifespan of the investment and expected return.

Yieldstreet also provides an FDIC-insured Wallet to for future investments and allows users to open up a traditional or Roth Yieldstreet IRA. Some of the app’s options are only available to accredited investors. 

27. Zillow

With the Zillow app, the address of prospective investments can be entered to produce a report that includes the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, the square footage, the lot size, and the last time the property was sold. Searches can also be conducted by zip code. 

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