In today’s market, most rental properties belong to individual investors rather than large investment companies—recent census numbers place the number at approximately 70% of properties—and they can achieve success through a growing set of property investment software tools. That means an extraordinary number of people who are traditional homeowners may be looking for new opportunities to take action in the real estate market by buying a new home without selling their current residence or by actively adding an investment property to their portfolio.
What does this mean for real estate agents? Many of the people in your network may be curious about real estate investment or may actively need a realtor who can guide them through this market. As a realtor, it is critical to have a solid understanding of the market and the ability to help buyers find properties, assess the property’s value in new contexts, and even manage those properties as an investor.
To help you operate in this growing frontier of real estate transactions, we’ve put together this guide to property investment software that all realtors need in 2023. First, take a closer look at why this pivot is worth your time and attention. Then learn more about the different types of software you should add to your tech stack and directly onto your phone.
Why Do Realtors Need Property Investment Software in 2023?
During your day-to-day operations, you may already use a lot of technology whether you’re searching through property records on the MLS, emailing your network through email marketing tools or direct messages, or completing and sending documents for signatures through DocuSign. The world of real estate has increasingly incorporated virtual aspects, even as in-person and face-to-face interactions remain vital. But adding property investment software to your repertoire—including tools meant for prospective investors and tools for active investors—holds a lot of value. Let’s explore why.
A Lot of Prospective Clients Are Potential Investors
Individual investors make up the lion’s share of businesses that own investment properties, and many more individuals are considering joining the market as investors. You may already see these burgeoning investors in your own network of clients:
- Homeowners who are looking to downsize or move while keeping their original property as a rental
- “House hackers” who want to buy a duplex for the purpose of living in one half while renting out the other
- People who are interested in turning their current property into an Airbnb or other short-term rental while they decide on a long-term strategy
- Investors who want to try their hand at flipping properties or buying a fixer-upper project
These individuals may have done business with you before and want your help again. But if you don’t have insight into property investment transactions, ranging from how to start a search to the particulars about investment property loans, you may have to refer them out or lose them entirely. Instead, stay prepared and at the ready by researching investment trends and having the right tools to help.
Efficiently Gather Information
One of the strengths of any type of software is its ability to comb through significant amounts of raw data quickly.
Property investment software can locate investment properties that fit within particular parameters, evaluate market conditions to recommend offer prices or future rental rates, and more. By being familiar with these tools, you can point your clients in the right direction.
Differentiate Yourself on the Market—or Provide More Value for Your Team
Real estate is currently facing an interesting juxtaposition: the reliability of technology and data science is growing, but people still often want a human expert at the forefront of their real estate transactions. If you are a power user of key property investment software but also hold a Texas real estate license, you can offer your clients the best of both worlds. This will be an increasingly powerful strategy as more and more industries turn towards automation.
Find Investment Properties for Yourself
As a realtor, you’re in a unique position to become a real estate investor. You can represent yourself, you have access to listings on MLS, and you’re already familiar with the market. This is an excellent way to diversify your income and establish yourself as a knowledgeable property investment expert.
Stay an Investor’s Preferred Realtor Throughout the Decades
If you’ve secured a property investor as a client, congratulations! These individuals often make transactions at a far faster pace than the average homeowners—typically, homeowners sell their property every 13.2 years. With investors, they might acquire new homes frequently or constantly be buying and selling. But to retain this client, it’s important to always have insight into market trends, promising properties that fit their business style, and a handle on the latest tools—you want to be a step ahead, not a step behind.
6 Types of Property Investment Software Realtors Need in 2023
While property investment software is a relatively narrow niche among the real estate technology available, there are still multiple different types available. Consider gaining a working knowledge of these software features or adding them to your arsenal of daily tools.
1. Property Finder Software
While the MLS is a wide-open database, it’s not very user friendly, and it won’t directly give you or your investor clients a filtered view of properties that fit their needs. Instead, you need more nuanced software that can constantly sort through active and ‘coming soon’ listings and keep you informed about developments.
For example, you may have a property investor that is only interested in quadplexes near universities in the DFW area, or you may have an investor that only wants single-family houses below $300,000 in Austin (and they’ll need to move fast to grab them). The right property finder software will let you set up these searches so you or they receive daily summaries or immediate alerts. For even more strategic selling, you might always have a finely tuned report for each investor, set with very strict criteria, so you can reach out and have a chat when a new opportunity knocks.
2. Lead Qualification Tools for Finding Tenants
The more comprehensively you can serve your investor clients, the better. Property investors may not always have a full-service property management company; instead, they may want a realtor to market open properties, check out prospective tenants, and handle the leasing process. While manual marketing or passive tactics can work in red-hot markets, having the right software makes finding and qualifying tenant leads faster and more efficient in any market.
3. Real Estate Calculators
While you want to toe the line between providing helpful advice and staying within your professional lane as a realtor, being able to speak knowledgeably about a property’s prospective value as an investment is essential. Familiarize yourself with high-quality real estate calculators—such as those commonly discussed on BiggerPockets or other real estate investment hubs—and experiment with different numbers. Today’s tools may even plug directly into the current market data for your region.
Related: The Impact of the Banking Industry on Commercial and Residential Real Estate Markets – Real Estate Real Fast EP19
Keep these calculators on your phone so you can send your clients nuanced insights from an industry-standard tool at a moment’s notice.
4. Property Paperwork Databases
Ideally, you’ll develop a long-lasting relationship with real estate investors. Whether they flip through properties or buy and hold them (and have you help with finding tenants), maintain well-organized folders over each property with detailed records you’re likely to need. A database might hold HOA docs, records of improvements, warranties for new installations, etc. This makes it easier to answer prospective tenants’ and buyers’ questions or easily assemble the MLS listing when your client is ready to sell a property.
5. Networking CRM
You already have a client database (whether it’s a Rolodex or a detailed interface in the cloud)—but do you have a vendor database? Real estate agents often have a tight network of title companies, inspectors, roof installers, and stagers. But if you want to work with more property investors, you’ll need to widen that network, which means having an efficient way of organizing everyone’s contact information. With the right software for your network, you can easily maintain contact with the right specialist for different types of properties, different types of loans, and other professionals.
6. Property Management Software
Real estate agents can be property managers, and diversifying your skill set to include this option can be a great way to provide unique services to savvy property investors (or to manage your own properties). You can manage listings, better facilitate showings, and keep everything flowing smoothly for investors. Many property management tools can do almost everything you need, including:
- Handling tenant billing and payment
- Routing repair and maintenance orders
- Tracking property histories
Stay on Top of Technology Trends for Property Investors
There are plenty of software tools just for realtors. But by expanding your tech stack to include the tools property investors are using, you gain unique insight into their perspectives—and can offer them a better degree of service. At ListingSpark, we facilitate real estate transactions by staying on the cutting edge of technology. Reach out today to learn more about how the intersection between real estate investment and software is evolving and how you can keep pace.
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