After purchasing one rental property, it’s normal to want to buy more. Owning multiple rental properties may generate steadier income and create greater wealth over the long term.
One of the challenges of owning more than one property is that they’re often located in different cities and states. That’s why investors leverage technology to streamline the process of finding, analyzing, and operating multiple properties.
Here are top tools and resources for managing a property portfolio, whether you have 2 properties, 20 properties, or even more.
- A property portfolio consists of multiple properties, such as rental homes, often located in different cities and states.
- Benefits of owning a property portfolio include diversification and more stable cash flows.
- Managing a portfolio can become increasingly challenging each time a property is added.
- Investors use tools and resources—such as financial management software from Stessa, deal analysis platforms, and online rent payment systems—to scale up and grow property portfolios.
What is a property portfolio?
A property portfolio is a collection of real estate owned and operated to increase gross rental income, create more stabilized cash flow, and grow equity faster. Real estate portfolios can be created with properties from the same market, geographically diversified across different cities in the U.S., or built with different types of property.
A real estate investment trust (REIT) is an example of a property portfolio structure.
Good examples of residential rental property portfolios can be found on the Roofstock Marketplace. Currently, there are more than 60 portfolios of single-family rentals (SFRs) and small multifamily properties listed for sale in hot real estate markets like Florida, Ohio, and South Carolina. Investors can purchase existing property portfolios with just a few rental properties or portfolios with 30 homes or more.
By building a property portfolio, investors may be better able to reduce risk with diversification, claim increased tax benefits, and leverage combined equity in a portfolio to fund additional rental property investments.
22 tools and resources for managing a property portfolio
Of course, there’s more to scaling up and growing a property portfolio than just purchasing additional real estate. Having the right tools and resources in place for managing a property portfolio can help investors identify profitable acquisitions, maximize revenues, and keep expenses within budget.
Here are helpful tools and resources for managing a property portfolio.
Stessa, a Roofstock company, is cloud-based rental property financial management software that automatically tracks income and expenses for property portfolios and individual properties within a portfolio. The owner dashboard lets investors monitor property performance in real time to optimize decision-making, performance, and returns.
Stessa is free and offers:
- Tracking of SFRs, small multifamily buildings, and short-term vacation rentals
- Performance dashboards at the portfolio and property levels
- Secure online storage to organize and store all real estate documents
- Unlimited reports, including income statements, rent rolls, net cash flow statements, and real estate balance sheets, with owner equity updated in real time
- Tax-ready financials and access to the Stessa Tax Center for free tax tools and tips
- A TurboTax discount exclusively for members of the Stessa Community
Auction.com is the leading online real estate marketplace for bank-owned, short-sale, and foreclosure properties. There are hundreds of properties going up for auction at any given time, and investors can attend an auction to bid in person or buy a home at an online auction.
Carrot is a lead generation hub for finding motivated seller leads, cash buyers, and rent-to-own tenants online. The company helps investors build and launch high-converting websites, boost search engine optimization (SEO), and manage online marketing and lead generation all in one place.
DealCheck helps investors build and manage property portfolios by analyzing buy-and-hold rental properties, multifamily buildings, short-term vacation rentals, fix-and-flips, and buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat (BRRRR) properties. A property analysis can be performed in seconds using manually entered or public data, with cash flow and profit projections based on recent sales and rental comps.
There’s a tremendous amount of paperwork with real estate, and DocuSign can increase efficiencies with e-signatures and the DocuSign Agreement Cloud for Real Estate.
Investors can send, track, and sign agreements electronically; notarize signatures electronically; automatically collect one-time payments, like application fees and security deposits; and collect monthly rent. According to the company, the turnaround time on agreements is 25 times faster, and 80% of documents sent for signature are completed in one day.
HouseCanary provides solutions to buy, sell, and finance homes, and the company believes it serves as the industry standard for residential real estate valuations.
Real estate investors gain access to institutional-grade analytics to find new opportunities, analyze and acquire properties, and optimize performance at scale. HouseCanary has performed 108 million home valuations in the U.S., 88 million rental property valuations, and covers 19 thousand ZIP codes.
Property Fixer helps real estate investors analyze rehab and repair costs on the go for short-sale, foreclosure, bank-owned, and listed homes
After entering some basic property information, Property Fixer provides a before-and-after analysis of potential returns and the type of financing needed to cover the initial purchase cost and repairs. The app has a free download version for iPhone and iPad and a pro version for Mac.
Online rent collection tools
Collecting rent online can improve cash flow in a property portfolio and keep occupancy levels high by offering tenants convenience. According to the tenant screening service SmartMove, 61% of some demographic groups are used to paying bills online, while 60% of landlords prefer to collect rent online.
With an online rent payment service, tenants can schedule recurring payments, and landlords can decrease late rent payments with payment options and reminders and streamline cash flow and property management.
Some online rent payment systems to consider include:
Most online rent collection services are free for landlords to use and offer tenant screening services, such as online rental applications, credit reports, background checks, and e-signing of rental agreements.
Rental agreement templates
Local and state landlord-tenant laws differ from place to place, which can make managing lease agreements for rental properties located in different cities challenging.
A good local property management company or real estate attorney will have access to a state-approved residential lease agreement. But sometimes an investor will need to customize a lease to prohibit smoking, make a rental property pet-friendly, or allow a roommate.
The real estate business is constantly changing, with new rules and regulations and improved techniques for achieving goals. This is why continuing education is so important when managing a property portfolio.
Investors can learn more about real estate from blog posts, podcasts, how-to books, investing groups, and formal education like the Roofstock Academy. In most cases, continuing education and travel to events are tax-deductible business expenses, although an investor may wish to check with a certified public accountant (CPA) to ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules.