Investing in real estate can be a tough gig. There are days where you may feel like it’s impossible to keep up with everything! Thankfully, there’s relief out there for the stressed and frazzled real estate investor. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, disorganized, or just plain in need of an extra pair of hands that you don’t have, technology may just be the key to getting back on track.
Not only is there a plethora of software, apps, and resources out there especially designed for real estate investors, but there are also ways to utilize everyday technology to meet your needs. Not only can you get more organized, more productive, and more effective, but you can start hit harder and accelerate your goals in a big way.
Here are just a few ways real estate investors can effectively utilize technology to invest smarter...
7 Smart Ways Real Estate Investors Can Use Technology
1. Make Rent Collection a Breeze
Technology allows for easier rent collection for owners who are willing to embrace it. Convenience plays such a huge part in modern bill paying—it’s something tenants appreciate, and it’s a huge incentive that increases the chance of you seeing your rent payments on time, or even early.
There are a lot of ways to receive rent payments only, but one is through Cozy. As a platform, Cozy also has tools that help managers with tenant screenings and rental application collection, plus general rent collection, credit reports, and background checks—all online, and free!
2. Eliminate Geographical Barriers
One of the most compelling advantages of technology and the Internet is how it’s eliminated geographical barriers worldwide. We can communicate across the globe in an instant—and in our case, invest. The rise of real estate crowdfunding, though new, means that investors can get involved in virtually any market, and in a wide spectrum of projects, for as little as $5,000. That’s pretty incredible!
The barriers that once existed for real estate investors—both in monetary and geographical—are slowly dissolving thanks to technology.
3. Investigate Distant Markets
Similarly, because of our access to information through the Internet, it’s easier than ever to invest in out-of-state markets. Learning about markets that weren’t our own used to be a struggle—but with a wealth of real estate data through sites like Trulia, Redfin, Realty.com, Inman, local real estate associations, and more, assessing the progress and state of markets you want to invest in is easier than ever.
With access to demographics and data, we can more accurately know just what we’re getting into—before we ever plan trips and spend the money to check things out firsthand.
4. Get Your Own Personal Assistant
If you’re feeling disorganized, why not get a digital personal assistant? There are apps for your smartphone and tablet that can do that work of a real-life personal assistant: scheduling appointments, keeping up with events on your calendar, sending e-mails, keeping track of your to-do lists, setting reminders, and more. There’s are plenty of apps out there for both iPhone, Android, and Windows phone users.
A few to check out? Hound, Indigo, Assistant.ai, 24me, and EasilyDo are all highly rated.
5. Go Paperless & Access Information Anywhere
If you’re truly dedicated to going digital, you can cut down on paper and eliminate it entirely. Move all of your files to your computer or to the cloud—so you can access them anywhere, anytime, which is great if you enjoy traveling. Just remember to invest in security and remember to backup your files regularly in an external hard drive.
6. Manage Your Finances
When talking about technology, we can’t overlook the advent of money management applications. While you can use an app specifically designed for and by your bank of choice, there are other apps that have been made with investing in mind, and more that centralize all of your accounts and cards in one unified hub. Gone are the days of manually balancing your checkbook by hand!
There’s a sea of apps out there to help you effectively manage you money. Here’s a list of few free money management apps.
7. Connect with Other Experts
Obviously, social media changed how we interact in a big way. We can use it to build a personal brand for ourselves, yes, but real estate investors would do well to use networks to, well, network! Online networking is just one big advantage of technology. Making connections, seeking out answers and advice, and just learning more before making decisions is always beneficial.
You can use sites like LinkedIn, of course, but BiggerPockets is one we’re always sure to recommend—it’s specifically targeted to real estate professionals and investors!
What’s the best way you’ve used technology to benefit your real estate investments? Share your strategies in the comments.