As real estate investors, it can often feel like 24 hours a day isn’t enough, and that if only we could be more productive with our time (literally get more done, in less time), we might be able to create the edge we need to succeed in our investing business. And when it comes to becoming a more productive investor, utilizing real estate technology tools to help you leverage your existing time, energy and capital is a fantastic way to make progress on your business, even while you sleep.
The trick, as anybody who’s tried to latch on to the latest real estate technology trends, is to figure out which new real estate technology platforms are actually worth investing time in. And once we do find new technology in real estate that can help us, what’s the best way for us to utilize it in a constructive and productive way?
Here are four real estate technology tools that will let you save time, boost productivity, and make it appear like you’ve got 20 employees working for you, even if your investing business simply consists of you and the golden retriever.
Which Real Estate Technology Tools Should You Have On Your Wishlist?
Tool #1: BPO (From Connected Investors)
Sometimes the best way to use the latest technology for real estate, is not so much about making things automated and impersonal, but instead leverage technology to do what machines can’t do.
BPO is a service which allows you to send a licensed real estate professional to go to any property, in any location, and create a detailed valuation report, all with a simple click of your mouse.
This is perfect for investors who wish to look for properties outside of their region (perhaps their current market is over-saturated with investors), but want to get as much valuation information as they can before making an offer.
The report, which currently costs $110, not only provides a full detailed report of the property, as well as neighborhood & market data, but also tips regarding an effective pricing strategy. (Might be the best $110 you’ll ever spend.)
More Info: BPO
Tool #2: Property Ware
No matter where you are on the real estate investor continuum, at some point you’ll probably want to acquire some rental properties that provide you consistent, passive income. And when you do, you might just find the tool Propety Ware as vital to your investing strategy as your car or your list of motivated sellers.
Property Ware is a rental property management software for landlords that allows you to accomplish a multitude of important (and income-generating) tasks, such as:
- Managing expenses
- Tracking listings
- Collecting rent (online!)
- Scheduling tasks and reminders for property managers
- Organizing legal documents
- Creating work orders
- Syncing with accounting software
- Screening potential tenants
Even if you’re not quite ready to look for property management software (yet), take a look at their site and see what lucrative opportunities await you.
More Info: Property Ware
Tool #3: IFTTT (If This, Then That)
Productivity is defined as “boosting the rate of output, without increasing the rate of input.” And there may be no simpler example of this than the powerful tool, IFTTT, which allows you to create “recipes” that let you double (and triple) your efforts, without breaking a sweat.
By linking up various platforms, such as your Facebook page or the Bluetooth in your car, to your IFTTT dashboard, you can set up actions to be triggered when specific conditions to be met. For example, you can set it up so that each time you publish a post on your Facebook page, that same post is also shared on your LinkedIn page and your Twitter feed.
But the potential of IFTTT doesn’t just stretch to the real estate and technology realm. You could ensure every photo you’re tagged in in Facebook gets copied to your Dropbox folder. Or that every time you get within five miles of your kid’s school, a text message is automatically sent to their phone that you’re on their way to pick them up. The possibilities are endless.
Best of all, with a little bit of brainstorming, you can create your own “recipes,” specifically designed for the needs of your business.
More Info: IFTTT
Tool #4: Evernote
Evernote is far more than just a note-collection application, and has so many valuable uses to the modern-day residential redeveloper, but it’s hard to cover them all here in this forum.
Here are a just few of the ways you can use this most robust of real estate technology tools:
- Data gathering: What other platform lets you collect documents, text, photos, videos – even audio – in one single place? A great way to make notes on properties that you investigate.
- Scan Business cards: Not only can keep a record of all business cards, and tag them in any way you want, but with IFTTT you can send an automated LinkedIn connection request to anybody whose card you gathered.
- Track receipts: Forget the shoebox; instead take a picture of your receipts and keep them in your Evernote folder. (Evernote will even remind you where the photo was taken.)
- Powerful search: Need a quick, easy way to search through documents? Drag all your PDFs and documents into Evernote and you can quickly find the relevant page, without combing through folder upon folder of documents.
- Streamlined collaboration: Want to share your work with members of your team? Evernote makes it super easy, with their automated folder structure, to share only the documents you want, with the pertinent team member.
More Info: Evernote
The Art of Less Doing
The goal, as decluttering expert Francine Jay once said, is not to “get more done, but to have less to do.” Sometimes much of the well-meaning real estate technology tips out there are about adding every latest app to your to-do list, and signing up for every real estate marketing technology platform to reach your investing goals.
It’s important to remember that technology is about using automation to free you up, so you have the energy and time to invest it in other high-impact areas. Give these four real estate technology tools a try and you might find you not only get exponentially more done, but you have a lot more of the 24 hours each day to spend on other parts of your life.