The hunt for prime real estate is a very time-sensitive game, so you need to keep a sharp eye on listings and price changes.
However, the view is quite different between renters who are searching for a new home and professionals who are looking for a residence to use as an investment.
So, what apps and platforms give the best information to each side? Take a look at these top picks.
Investors will view any piece of real estate through the lens of business, rather than everyday life. That’s why the top apps for this audience have to be business tools as well as listing boards. Here’s who offers the features that a serious investor needs.
Property Fixer is an analysis app for real estate investors who are specifically aiming to fix and flip a property. Think of it as a highly powered research assistant. Its target users are investors looking to buy one or more of the following:
- Bank-owned (REO) properties
- Short sales
Use Property Fixer to do your due diligence on a property first. Then feed it that information to do the math in context and figure out if the deal you would get with that piece of real estate matches your investment strategy and how much value it would actually deliver. The app is available for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Apartments dot com is one of the most well-known rental finders out there. In addition to apartments, it provides listings for condos, townhouses, and rental houses. Although it’s often praised for its usefulness to potential tenants, the platform is also immensely helpful to investors as well.
It works as a property management app and provides a range of free tools that help you market your listings, perform screening of prospective new tenants, collect and manage rent via online payments, and so on. Apartments dot com is available as both an Apple and Android app.
DealCheck stands out among the many real estate apps here because it’s not aimed at finding interesting listings. Rather, it’s a tool totally geared towards investors which helps them to estimate potential profits on various properties: fix-and-flip deals, multifamily residential options, and suitable BRRRR locations. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this funny acronym, it stands for Buy, Rehabilitate, Rent out, Refinance, Repeat.
DealCheck is available on Android and Apple alike, and offers in-depth financial projections for any property that catches an investor’s eye. It can calculate the maximum allowable offer for a given piece of real estate, help you find recent sale and rental comparables, and overall will give a very well-rounded financial image of a property.
Renters judge real estate for its potential value as a future home, either for themselves or their families. They’ll prioritize different data than investors, and need up-to-date insights on what it’s like to actually live in an area day to day.
The first stop of choice for many questing renters, this platform focuses on geographical versatility. Apartment Guide displays listings of quality apartments for rent in practically any state or city you could ever want to live in.
It compiles up-to-date reviews from each community as well, so you get legitimate insight into the area’s landlords, property managers, lease terms, amenities and facilities, infrastructure, safety, etc. you can sort the listings that interest you by price range or rating, and if a rental’s price goes down the platform flags it and notifies you.
As the name implies, this app provides you with detailed information about a home available for sale or rent based on a picture you snap of it. It’s available for Android and iOS. Homesnap uses multiple listing service integration (otherwise known as MLS) to compile the same information that’s available to real estate agents (e.g. property taxes) in real-time. If there are public records about the property, that information is included as well.
The app has pretty robust filters that let you customize your search based on factors like school zones, transportation options and commute times, etc. You can save interesting listings so it’s easier to find them later, and there is a private messaging feature that lets you and your real estate agent collaborate directly in-app to choose the best property for you.
Finally, Trulia is a classic choice and a justified top list item in any real estate app list. It organizes data in neighborhood-based clusters, so you get information about the listings from the perspective of the local community itself. The three most popular features are What Locals Say, Affordability, and Local Legal Protections.
They provide insight into things like accommodations, safety, walkability, employment, anti-discrimination legislation in the area, and what your gross income would need to be in order to comfortably rent a property at its asking rate.
Whether you’re looking for a new home or a new business investment, good search tools are half the work. Try these apps and see which one serves you best, or use this list as a starting point to decide what features you care about in the first place.
Take the time to explore their various filters and options, and feel free to cross-compare the results. With a little patience, you’re almost sure to find the best location for your needs – commercial and residential alike.
By Mike Johnston