Single-family rentals (SFRs) and multifamily properties are currently 2 of the best-performing real estate asset classes, attracting billions of dollars of investment capital from individual private investors, institutional investors, and family offices.
Amid strong demand for rental property, tech tools can help investors seize opportunities before other buyers. In this article, we’ll look at 10 of the top tech tools real estate investors can use to find deals, analyze potential returns, and maximize profits through smart money management.
- Tech tools help investors to locate property, analyze investments using key financial metrics, and manage rental property to maximize returns.
- Some of the top tech tools for real estate investors include Stessa, Roofstock, Rubik, Rentometer, and Zillow.
Top tech tools for real estate investors
Tech tools – also known as property technology or proptech for short – help rental property investors to:
- Locate investment property.
- Analyze potential investments using key financial metrics, such as fair market rent, cash flow, and net operating income (NOI).
- Manage property to obtain the best return on investment (ROI) by automatically tracking income and expenses.
- Keep occupancy levels high by providing the services tenants want.
Here are 10 tech tools that can help investors compete and turn a profit.
Property search tools
Although rental real estate is currently performing exceptionally well, one of the challenges investors face is finding great rental property in the best markets for real estate investing.
While it’s possible to find investment property listed for sale on the local multiple listing service (MLS), online marketplaces such as Roofstock, Rubik, and ForSaleByOwner are 4 useful search tools for rental properties:
- Roofstock Marketplace
The Roofstock Marketplace is a leading online platform for buying and selling SFRs, small multifamily properties, and short-term vacation rentals. In less than 6 years, investors have completed more than $5 billion in transactions on the platform.
Remote real estate investors can search for rental properties in more than 70 popular markets. Sellers can conveniently list a home for sale, and deals can be transacted entirely online. After the deal closes, remote real estate investors can manage the property themselves or hire a professional property management company. Upon request, Roofstock can recommend local property managers.
Rubik is a wholesaler for single-family homes that uses high tech to find distressed homeowners, place properties under contract, and assign contracts to other investors to fix and flip or hold. Because Rubik is a high-tech wholesaler, the company does not directly own property, but does have the right to sell.
ForSaleByOwner (FSBO) may be a good resource for investors who prefer to deal directly with motivated sellers rather than wholesalers. Investors can hunt for homes using basic search criteria, such as location, property type, price, and number of beds and baths. Buyers negotiate directly with sellers, and the website provides state-specific forms and guidance depending on the listing package purchased.
Auction.com has thousands of listings of bank-owned real estate, short sales, and foreclosures of single-family homes, multifamily properties, short-term rentals (STRs), and land. Property can be purchased by participating in an in-person or online auction or . Before bidding on a home, the company recommends that investors research the local market and conduct due diligence, drive past the home if possible, and arrange financing ahead of time.
Analysis and comparables
While it may be possible to rent nearly every home, not every house makes a good rental property. The local real estate market and neighborhood, property features and condition, fair market rent, and operating expenses can have a significant impact on potential returns.
Here are some of the top tech tools for running comparables and analyzing ROI:
- Zestimate and Rent Zestimate
Zillow offers 2 good tools to help investors determine home values and price rentals. Zestimate is Zillow’s estimate of the market value of a home using a proprietary formula that includes public and user-submitted data. Rent Zestimate helps landlords price rentals using property characteristics, data from 115 million rental homes, and local market trends.
- Roofstock’s Neighborhood Rating
Neighborhood Rating from Roofstock helps real estate investors to better understand the risks and rewards of owning rental property in different neighborhoods.
Buyers can use neighborhood scores to compare similar properties, and sellers can use them to price properties correctly. Data is computed at the census tract level and assesses neighborhood-specific risks and benefits based on key attributes, such as employment rates, home values, and school district quality.
Rentometer runs rent comparables and determines fair market rent. Rent comps can be run using property addresses and numbers of beds or baths, and at the neighborhood, ZIP code, and city levels for a macro overview. Rentometer offers a free QuickView trial, and packages with unlimited access and detailed reports begin at $9 a month.
Property management systems
After a transaction closes, a rental property needs to be properly managed to find qualified tenants, keep operating expenses within budget, and maximize potential returns. Some investors choose to self-manage property, while others opt for hiring a professional property manager.
Here are 2 tech tools that all real estate investors can use to manage rental property and increase revenues and potential profits:
Stessa provides free rental property financial management software to help investors maximize profits, automate income and expense tracking, and generate personalized financial and tax reports.
Stessa can be used with an unlimited number of portfolios and individual SFRs, residential multifamily properties, and short-term vacation rentals.
When tax season rolls around, the Stessa Tax Center can help with a personalized tax package, tax resources created in partnership with The Real Estate CPA, and a TurboTax discount exclusively for members of the Stessa Community.
PayYourRent is an online rent payment platform that collects rent payments from a tenant’s debit card, credit card, or ACH transfer, or at certain cash payment locations. The service offers automatic recurring payments to reduce the risk of forgetting to pay the rent. PayYourRent also provides additional features for landlords, including application receipt, applicant screening, security deposit collection, and maintenance request management.