With more and more people using mobile technology to get things done, it won’t be long before desktop computers are obsolete. And, that’s fine by me. As a professional real estate investor, I prefer being out in the field meeting people, solving problems, and making money. The freedom to take my desk with me is part of what I like about this job. So, if that desk gets even smaller, then I’ll be all the happier.
Of course, since I’ve already got some of the best house flipping apps on my cell and tablet, it’s a rare occasion that I consult my old desktop for anything anyway. If you find yourself feeling envy at reading that statement, not to worry. I’m going to quickly review the best apps available and tell you which one I prefer to use and why. These apps have helped me turn my good house flipping business into a great one.
The Best House Flipping Apps of 2019
Thankfully, mobile technology has come a long way and the number of helpful real estate investing apps has proliferated in the last year or two as well. In fact, most applications have become so easy to use that even the most tech-phobic among us download apps for everything from calling a cab to recording our workouts. When it comes to building a real estate investment business, however, ease of use is only part of what you need to look for in a house flipping app. Speed and accuracy matter, too. It also helps to not have to cobble together multiple apps and software applications—all of which may not work so well together—and, instead have a comprehensive tool that can handle the full day’s workload. And, with today’s technology, solutions for this are becoming more readily available.
Bearing that in mind, here’s a list of the best apps out there for professional investors, like me, who flip houses for a living and like to carry our offices in our back pockets.
Homesnap is a property search portal that allows you to find real estate listings in real time, much like the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) does for licensed real estate agents. Since you can create a variety of filters with the app, you can specifically search for fixer-uppers that may make for a great flip. Plus, you can find properties for sale in transitioning neighborhoods by simply driving the area using the navigation app, Waze. Through Waze, the app then alerts you to what’s for sale in the area, providing all relevant MLS information in an instant. There’s also an in-app messaging option that helps you keep conversations with your team about a subject property organized in one place—a feature that is particularly helpful if you’re engaged in multiple chats concerning several different potential investment properties.
Though this app is frequently downloaded, not all of its reviews are great and mine’s not so good, either. The app also suspiciously looks like a cover for connecting you with an agent. If you need one, you may find this helpful. If you don’t, this sly marketing technique will be more of a hassle. My biggest gripe is about search and filter functions—like most others’ complaints. They are still somewhat clunky and unreliable. So, you can’t ever be sure that all properties fitting your fixer-upper criteria are being found. At this time, the quality of the app’s property valuations are questionable, too. But, even if the functionality of the app improves over time, as most do, it’s still not going to provide you with access to the best deals. For the lowest priced homes with the highest rate of potential returns, you’ll need a way to find off-market properties. And, unfortunately, if it’s in Homesnap, it’s on the market.
Property Fixer is designed to help you quickly analyze real estate deals so that you can determine how much to spend on the purchase of a property, if anything at all. The app estimates construction and repair costs pulled from numbers compiled in its database and projects your potential returns based on these, your purchase price, and how long you expect to have the house in your possession. You can even change your holding period from between zero to 12 months to receive updated calculations. So, all-in-all, what it does for you for free is not a bad deal.
But, to unlock other, critical features, like the ability to itemize your closing costs, you will have to pay for the pro version and, unfortunately, that still won’t be enough to help you correctly calculate all of your expenses. The app doesn’t adjust for the costs of several subgroups, like materials, for example. And, if you stand to inherit expenditures like unpaid property taxes, those won’t be included, either. Sometimes, expenses like these can make or break a deal—or, at least, they should. Also, though the app allows you to incorporate the cost of a typical 30-year mortgage, that feature doesn’t do much to help you if you’re buying, rehabbing, and reselling houses in 12 months or less. An app that compares the rates of hard money loans for real estate investors would do you better. So, though the app claims it helps to keep you from ever having to run back to the office to crunch the numbers, as a backup plan you just might have to.
Property Evaluator is another app that is designed to help you determine whether or not you should buy an investment property. It compares several financial metrics—like the ARV—between multiple houses you might want to flip, gives performance projections for properties you may have to hold as a rental before selling, and creates branded reports that you can send directly to your partners or potential lenders. And, it does all of this fairly fast with any information you have gathered and entered into the fields provided. Purchase the pro version and there is no limit on the number of expenses you can add or properties you can analyze. This is particularly handy when you consider that how much money you can make flipping houses depends as much on the quantity of your leads as it does the quality.
Unfortunately, for all of its pros, this app has a couple of pretty serious cons. It doesn’t offer data on regional material and labor costs, for example. And, since these expenses can shift dramatically depending on whether you buy investment property in Florida or New Jersey, having the right numbers is the only way to ensure you don’t calculate the wrong ROI. Of course, you can compensate for this by entering the data yourself—which, it appears you need to do with this app, anyway. But, that will only slow your roll if you’re competing against investors with apps that are automated to run local numbers. Since it also doesn’t assist in any way with streamlining other critical aspects of your business, like finding distressed homeowner leads or hard money loans, you’ll need to utilize other programs to pick up the slack—and, hope they work with this app.
ValueChek®, HomeVestors®’ proprietary valuation tool, not only aids in evaluating your rehab expenses and estimating your ROI, it does so by calculating local material and labor costs on more than 80 repairs. So, when you need to run the numbers fast so that you can run your offer by a homeowner who’s waiting, you can count on ValueChek® to deliver. There is no need to create and import your own price sheet, input additional expense fields, or even enter recently sold comps in the area. ValueChek® has options available that can do it all so that you can concentrate on closing the deal—and, at the right price. In my opinion, that alone makes it one of the best apps available for real estate investors.
But, that’s not all ValueChek® does. It also integrates with and complements UGVilleSM, another software platform custom-built for independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisees. This plug-and-play program helps you track the distressed homeowner leads that enter the sales funnel from the nationally -recognized “We Buy Ugly Houses®” ad campaign and stay on top of every step to conversion. It provides email and phone scripts, the option to add property photos and contracts, and the ability to communicate directly with the seller about the deal. There’s even a lending portal where top-tier lenders compete to give you a hard money loan fast upon receiving your request. And, it’s fully optimized for mobile devices. I don’t know of another program that does all of this and works seamlessly with ValueChek®. Having them both on hand is like having an office in your pocket, which is just how I like it.
How to Get the Best Tech So You Can Do Your Best Work
I’m old enough to remember a time before apps helped those of us who invest in real estate get our work done; but, I’m also young enough to feel comfortable giving any new app a go. So, I’ve tried several in my time. I can say from experience that using ValueChek® together with UGVilleSM has, more than any other option out there, helped me to do some of my best work as an investor. I make fewer mistakes and, as a result, have been able to more efficiently run—and grow—my business. I’m confident about the potential returns I can expect when I purchase a house and know that, if I’m using hard money to fund the deal, I’ve gotten the best rates from the competitive lenders. And, what’s even better is that I have free access to both on-the-go tools as an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, which is why my “office” is one of my favorite places to be.
If you’re looking for the best app so that you can do your real estate investing on the go, call HomeVestors today to discuss how you can gain access to ValueChek® and UGVilleSM.
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