Real estate investment has changed. House flipping is commonplace. Increased competition makes finding profitable investment properties more challenging.
Rising above the competitions often means turning to technology. There are two main ways that technology can benefit the real estate investor. Technology can help find new opportunities and improve upon the results of current investing techniques.
New Investing Opportunities
The main areas where technology can assist a real estate investor to find a profitable deal are in bidding, optimizing online efforts, and efficient property searches. Each plays a significant role in staying ahead of the competition.
DealMachine is an innovative tool for finding undiscovered properties. It is a simple idea with amazing applications. Investors merely take a picture of a house, then the app provides owner information. DealMachine’s other features include sending the owner information and express a willingness to buy their property. It also automatically follows up to encourage an owner to respond.
Optimized websites benefit real estate ventures. Carrot excels in this area. It also helps find relevant leads for buying and selling properties. HouseCanary is a nice compliment. It provides filters to determine which are the most profitable rental properties and areas within a community.
Improve upon Results
Managing customer relationships, finances, tenants, and cultivating leads all improve results of real estate investing. Most investors do not make the most of cultivating their leads, REIPro provides a tool for managing real estate relationships. It builds trust and nurtures relationships through features designed specifically for investors.
Another piece of software that benefits lead generation is Call Porter. Among its features is personalized phone communication. Overall, Call Porter is a specialty software that aids several aspects of investing like managing appointments and callbacks.
In regard to technical aspects, DealCheck goes a long way toward improving profits. It is a forecasting tool that estimates repair costs. This aids in analyzing properties and actualizing profits. Roofstock is of benefit in this area as well. Its focus is on cash-flow properties. Investors can purchase properties free of the concern of disrupting tenant occupancy. For out of state investors, Roofstock is a blessing.
More competition has indeed entered real estate investing. However, so have some very useful tools. The savvy investor can still rise to the top in profitable deals.
While your rental property can bring you in a nice passive income, it’s always a good idea as a property owner to reevaluate your property from time to time. Even though you can make money every month on your rental property, there are certain times when it might be more feasible for you to simply sell the property.
- When The Money You Invested Could Be Earning More Elsewhere
While you can’t predict the future, you can make an educated guess of how the real estate market will be by evaluating the present. If your rental property is located in a location with a dying industry, then it might be time to sell and reinvest elsewhere where you’ll be able to earn more in the future.
- When You Need Cash Now
If you need cash now or in the foreseeable future, you might want to consider liquidating your rental property. For instance, if you’ve had to undergo a major medical procedure or your need to fund your child’s tuition, then you might need to go ahead and cash out your rental property to get the funds you need.
- When You Could Get a Significant Tax Benefit
Tax laws are always changing, so it’s important for you to stay up on the latest. If you could realize a significant tax benefit from selling your rental property, then it might pay off more for you to do so than it would for you to keep the property. For instance, under Section 1031, you could avoid paying capital gains taxes when you sell your rental property so long as you buy another one in the next 180 days.
- When The Property Is Draining You
Sometimes you need to sell your rental property simply because it is draining you to upkeep it. If you’re ready to retire, for instance, you might not be up for all the property management and maintenance required to run a rental property. You could simply sell and cash out, or if you still want to keep earning the money from rents, you might want to consider automating as many tasks as possible and turning the rest over to a property management service.
Knowing when to buy and sell can be tricky parts of the real estate. If you already own rental property, the above situations can help you know when to sell.
“In this current climate” is a cliché lately – but it is a valid cliché. However, in this current climate, some people might just not be able to afford a house. Or conversely, a homeowner finds that the value of their home is at an all-time high and wants to cash in. There are plenty of reasons why renting is a beneficial option for buying, especially in certain markets.
- Renting allows for major life flexibility. In major markets, younger people are renting over buying, and this seems to be an extremely popular choice. Due to unsustainable raises in the housing market buying a house may not be an option, therefore renting is the best option. By renting, renters allow themselves the greatest flexibility if a good opportunity presents itself, or if they are not happy with their current situation, or if they want to move to another place quickly. Renting keeps the lease down to one of two years, allowing for life improvements and possible pivots in the future.
- Renting does not lock your life down into debt for 30 years. If not subscribing to the typical white picket fence dream, the prospect of facing paying a mortgage for 30 years may not be the best life choice. The stress of having to maintain a payment for so long locks people down into lifestyle choices – possibly a job they may not like, or circumstances they may change, or unforeseen debts that may occur. There are also studies that show a person having a debt hanging over their heads is clearly detrimental to life.
- Investing instead of paying may lead to bigger monetary gain. The math seems to be there. There are some bets unconsciously made when buying – the result of investments, the real estate market prices (after all, the recession did a number on many people), the pace of inflation, property taxes, paying interest. These calculations have renters winning out in the long run, however, the numbers may be variable.
No matter how many facts and numbers are thrown around, it is ultimately down to the individual needs and desires of the person making the choice. Behavior is behavior, and people tend to seek out facts that support what they feel. Good luck!
House hunting can be a fun, yet frustrating experience. While it’s exciting to look for a home of your own, you also have to recognize that sellers are trying to put their homes in the best possible light. By recognizing common phrases, you’ll be better equipped to know which homes should be avoided altogether.
“Pride of Ownership Shows”
At first glance, this phrase implies that the owners have taken good care of the property. However, in most cases, it also means little, if anything, has been updated. You can look forward to decades-old tiling, antique appliances, and more than a few rooms that need a remodel.
“In One of the Hottest Neighborhoods”
If you see a descriptive phrase that uses words like “hot” or “up and coming,” be aware that you’re expectations may fall short of the reality. Often, sellers will use these terms to describe neighborhoods that are expected to take a good turn and attract developers. Typically, these neighborhoods will lack nearby amenities and may only show the promise of improvement.
Even if you are an investor, you might want to stay away from properties with this as a headline. It indicates a property in distress most of the time and suggests you will need to make several updates just to make the property welcoming. If you’re looking for a home, this may not be the best choice for you.
“Offered as Is”
This is another one that would be best avoided. Often, “as is” suggests the owner knows there’s a great deal wrong with the property and he’s hoping to pass his problems onto an ambitious buyer. By the time the needed repairs are complete, you may have spent more money than the home is actually worth.
Think condo, but smaller. If you’re on the market for a single-family home, you’re probably looking for something roomy and something with potential for expansion. You’ll find neither in homes that are marketed with this phrase. These are typically very small homes that won’t suit your needs.
This is a deceptive phrase indicating you’ll probably spending a few weeks just getting the yard presentable. The current owner probably hasn’t put much effort into maintaining the “curb appeal” of the home. Of course, if you love the rest of the home and want to spend the money, you can always hire professional landscapers to do the dirty work for you.
These are some common phrases used in real estate marketing. While you should be wary of them, not every one of them is the kiss of death. Be aware that you may be getting more than you expect, but also keep an open mind. You may end up getting that diamond in the ruff.
Real estate investing offers a great way to grow your savings and build wealth. While many people want to get involved in this possibly lucrative venture, the responsibilities that go along with owning property may be keeping them from acting on their interests. However, there are many options for investing in real estate that don’t include becoming a landlord.
Buy Real Estate ETFs
As mentioned in a previous post, an ETF is an exchange-traded fund that’s comparable to mutual funds in that they consist of stocks relating to a particular theme. However, unlike mutual funds, an ETF is traded publicly on the exchange. Vanguard’s VNQ is one such real estate themed ETF. This fund invests in REITs, or real estate investment trusts, which focus on stocks concerning commercial real estate, such as office buildings, hotels, and similar buildings.
Real Estate Mutual Funds
A more traditional route may be to invest in real estate mutual funds, which provide the possibility of growth without the high risk. DFREX is a favorite in this category, partly because it offers lower fees than other funds. Additionally, DFREX consistently performs well. The fund shows great promise for future gains, because it’s supported by decades of professionally driven research. Nobel Prize winners help to develop the fund’s strategy.
Invest Directly in REITs
This is another option for investing in real estate without taking actual ownership of any property. REITs are like funds in that they stick to a general theme, such as commercial real estate, so you can opt for whichever category appeals to you the most. If you choose to explore this option, do so with caution. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued warnings against REITs that aren’t publicly traded. The agency highlighted a lack of liquidity, lack of value transparency, and high fees as factors that create unnecessarily high risk.
Invest with Commercial Real Estate Developers
These can be hotel corporations, resort or timeshare operators, or commercial contractors. By buying stock in these types of organizations, you can benefit from their growth without having the responsibility of buying property yourself. You will have to thoroughly research each company to ensure you’re making a sound investment, but, otherwise, this can be a promising alternative.
These are just a few ways you can invest in real estate without getting your hands dirty. Most people live lives that are too busy to add maintaining a rental property to their schedule, so these options let you reap the benefits of real estate investing more freely. As your money grows, you may find more opportunities for investing in real estate centric funds, stocks, and companies.