8 Tools Every Searching Property Investor Should Be Using
Here are the top 8 tools every property investor should be using when searching for a property.
I find a lot of property investors are doing things the hard way by not keeping up with technology. I see real estate agents do the same such as using card systems rather than modern cloud databases.
I am not the kind of generation Y tech junky that just uses technology for technology sake. I use these systems because the set up is quick, it saves me money and there is very little of a “stuff around” to make these things work.
I specialise in using old systems and integrating them with new systems that make processes more efficient that even my grandma can use, and let’s face it some agents can be pretty old school.
Searching For a Property
iPad or tablet
I have found having all the information on my iPad synchronise with my iPhone has helped me swoop on deals quicker than the average buyer. Also if my iPad goes dead it synchronise to my phone. Another funny advantage is if you have two cars going to different open homes you can relay information on open homes and contracts very quickly.
Also taking photos to explain about properties to my wife or to other people in my team such as my builder has helped me make decisions very quickly to jump on a property.
Ripehouse helps a DIY investor to search for and compare suburbs based on their capital growth, cash flow or flipping potential. It then helps you familiarise themselves with the subtleties of the local dynamic in these suggested suburbs.
Helping you answer questions like;
- where is public housing concentrated?
- Which area is currently more popular with tenants?
- Which are the higher yielding streets? or;
- where are prices rising the fastest?
You can filter and view properties currently on the market, located in their streets of interest — then perform full market appraisals for these properties. Pretty cool right?
RP data and Pricefinder
Doing your research on pricing when looking for an investment property is on the top of any investors list, and RP data even has an app. This app can quickly give you an idea of the properties that have sold around the open home you just went to. This is great for on-the-fly information, it gives you an advantage to start negotiating with the agent in a competitive market right away.
Renovation profit calculator with Google spreadsheets
There are many property gurus out there that have great excel spreadsheets to help you do the numbers on whether it’s a profitable investment or not. Some investors talk about “back of the envelope numbers” that you would do when you first look at the property. I found it very useful to use Sherie Barber’s renovation calculator In Google spreadsheets. This has given me an advantage of knowing what my break even numbers are and to start negotiating with the agent immediately and have a competitive edge.
Real estate and domain app with Alerts
I have found these apps very useful and setting up an account really makes a difference, because it will synchronise with what you highlight on the app. This will help you set up alerts.
Don’t put too much of a criteria in alerts or you may miss out on a property. The best deals from the worst agents usually come from the agents, when they accidently/unknowingly put in the wrong information and buyers do not get an alert. Alerts can be up to a day late so don’t rely on them solely, some properties in this market can sell within an hour.
An awesome way to set up your open homes for Saturdays is to use Google calendar. I have a separate calendar for my wife, both looking at opens. Split up at times so we can cover the hottest properties. Both of our calendars synchronise and she can invite me to open homes with the address and other information that is needed. I can just click on the address within Google calendar and it will give me driving directions. I can add notes here and debrief with her later, usually at McDonald’s lol.
When searching and adding properties to the calendar, I found the best way to do this is via a desktop computer. I can do a lot more research quicker this way as well as add more information on the calendar very quickly with no fuss, such as an accurate address for Google maps and the right open home times which can be wrong at times. Do this on Fridays as some properties may have already been sold.
I have found podcasts being so much better than listening to the chatter on radio. I can download the subjects I’m interested in and get great property investment tips as I drive. One of my favourites has to be everyday property investing. I’m such a fan of Kaz’s genuine, her “tell it like it is” approach to property investing.
Map and cork board
Yes, I do mean a real map and a real cork board. There is something about physically seeing how property is shaping up in the area you’re searching. Forget all the economists and spruiker, do your own research when it comes to hotspots and this is a great tool for this. You can pick up a map from Map Store it can be pricey but I think it’s worth it. I have found putting information on post-it notes on suburbs helps you gain some insights of where things are going. I’m not gonna tell you what information to put on there as it is up to you.
Offer to purchase template
I recommend you get your solicitor involved when it comes to details of your offer such as a 66W. Some investors use a sliding scale offer template with different terms and conditions on it for different prices. Don’t forget at the end of the day it’s not a solid offer until the owner has a signed contract.
It is not sold until the owner has signed his contract from his solicitor and its dated. So don’t pop the champagne bottle until your solicitor has said that it is officially sold to you.
Create a contact list of new, and not so well-known real estate agents, in the area you are searching in.
Let me know if these tools and tips have helped in the comments below.
About Jhai Mitchell
Jhai is an award winning Internet Marketing Real Estate Agent for Elders Toongabbie and Kings Langley. After running his own internet marketing business he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to market themselves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can market online so much better than they currently are.
Since then he has been consistently quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and Real Estate Business online. He is a regular guest blogger on TheHomePage.com.au, sharing his expertise of marketing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest passions are his wife, martial arts, dogs and most of all property.