Real estate investment software is a true benefit to agents and investors engaged in real estate investing and rental property analysis in the same way a surfboard is a benefit to a surfer-it’s logical. Here’s what I mean.
Real estate investing is defined as the act of using money to purchase real estate for the sole purpose of holding or leasing it for income. In other words, real estate investment is about the money (or more concisely, the “bottom line”) and “How much money will the property make?” is the primary and ultimate concern for real estate investors.
Therefore, because investing is about numbers, investors are compelled to “run the numbers” when making investing decisions by default. Emotion plays almost no role in the business of real estate investing: investors look to a property’s financial performance and rates of return to decide whether to buy or sell.
Okay, now consider the logic for real estate investment software.
The better solutions calculate cash flow, rate of return and profitability, taxes, time value of money, along with creating a wide-range of compelling reports and charts, instantly and effortlessly.
In other words, investment software does exactly what those engaged in real estate investing require-it crunches the numbers. Moreover, it does so automatically, therein sparing the user the time-consuming and difficult (perhaps impossible) task of having to learn the formulas and format the reports on their own.
Consider the benefits:
- Cash flow and rate of return projections
- Computations for the most stringent ratios and analysis measures
- Concise revenue projections
- Compelling presentation-ready reports and charts
- Ready for immediate use
Plus, real estate investment software is affordable. For under $300, you can buy a software solution that provides the forms, makes the computations, and creates the reports you need to make wiser, more profitable investment decisions, compare various opportunities, and compose buyer, seller, lender, and colleague or partner presentations.
The best place to find real estate investment software in on the web. There are various solutions available, however, so take your time and browse around until you find the solution that best suits your business objective. Here are some tips:
- Examine the web site. Is it well organized, creative, informative, unobtrusive, and easy to navigate? Remember, the same company offering the program also publishes the website.
- Examine the software. Does it provide the financial data and reports that you want? If you’re not sure, call the company and ask them for clarification.
- Examine the screen shots. These will give you some idea of what the program will look like when you start using it.
- Look for customer satisfaction. What are others saying about the software? Do they appear qualified?
- Examine the support policy and developer profile. Does the company offer technical support? Does the software developer have real estate experience and is he approachable? Telephone contact with the developer who has business-related experience is always preferred.
Finally, consider what options are most important to you and be sure that the software provides it. Here are some ideas:
- Easy to learn and use
- Allowable number of units – one unit plus is preferred.
- Loan amortization – You want the ability to enter primary and secondary loans, as a loan assumption or as a new loan, and at a fixed or interest-only rate.
- Rates of return – In addition to computing for such things as cash flow, cap rate, and cash on cash return, does the software also compute all four elements of tax shelter and for time value of money?
- Concise, top-quality reports – Bear in mind that you might be trying to influence the opinion of a buyer, seller, colleague, or lender. At the very least, you want an APOD, proforma income statement, rent roll, acquisition report, and sales proceeds report. But also consider sensitivity and scenario reports, a comparable sales report, a marketing package (executive summary), amortization tables, and charts. Be sure that the reports are top-quality.
- Special features – Does the software provide seamless printing, a picture function, branding and name-rider integration, email capability, help file, and so on?
This article would have been impossible several years ago. But with the advent of the computer, it is possible for agents or investors to benefit from real estate investment software. And now, thanks to the Web, a software program can be researched, purchased, downloaded, and put into use without you having to leave your seat and before your second cup of coffee.
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