7 Ways Software Can Help Anyone Service Income Property
One of the true benefits afforded real estate brokers and investors these days is the availability of real estate investing software. This certainly wasn't an option when I began selling income property, and in fact, it wasn't until about 1995 that I even owned my own computer and software became a reality.
So for a major portion of my thirty years as a realtor, if I wanted to list or sell investment real estate property, the cash flows and rates of return had to be computed on a hand-held calculator, and the financial performance and marketing reports had to be formatted manually by means of a very tedious process that involved physically typing and cutting and pasting and copying.
But aside from the manual labor required, one also had to know how to construct and formulate a rental property's numbers to make the presentation meaningful to a potential seller or buyer. For instance, we had to know how to arrive at returns and measures such as gross scheduled income, net operating income, annual cash flow, capitalization rate, gross rent multiplier and so on. Plus, we had to know how to lay them out in their proper sequence so it made sense.
In my case, that was something I learned during my first twenty years working with income-producing properties. So for me, having to create quality property evaluation reports manually was more the issue than anything else. Of course, for my colleagues without any prior investment property experience, they were like ducks out of the water, and therefore seldom were able to sustain a real estate investing business without some additional schooling.
However, since the advent of personal computers, and in turn real estate investment software, that's no longer the case. Thanks to technology, today almost any real estate agent or investor (regardless of experience) can easily and fairly quickly create the same-type comprehensive rental property profitability and marketing reports as those with years of experience.
Okay, now allow me to be more specific. Here's a list of seven benefits that you can typically expect by using most investment real estate software solutions.
- You don't have to learn the formulas. Quality real estate investing software typically programs the formula calculations in. Therefore, the crucial cash flows, rates of return and other essential financial data are computed for you automatically.
- You never need to wonder about what data to include. If you're inexperienced, you don't have to worry that you've omitted some key measure or return required for someone to make a prudent investment decision. In most cases, you simply complete a form and you're ready to print and present.
- You get the necessary reports. The quality and number of reports included in various software solutions do fluctuate and therefore requires careful examination before purchasing. That said, though, the idea is that investment real estate software is typically designed so you can create meaningful cash flow analysis and marketing presentations needed for investing, colleagues and lenders.
- You can input your own numbers. Rather than just accepting the numbers presented to you by a seller, you can input whatever financial data that you deem more realistically reflects the property's financial performance. The result could uncover either a great investment opportunity or one to walk away from.
- You're always prepared. Whether you're an investor interested in a particular apartment complex or a realtor fielding an office building inquiry, you're always ready to conduct a real estate investment analysis on-the-spot. The result could mean you gain an opportunity rather than lose it.
- You boost your image. Brokers and realtors especially gain the advantage of appearing more professional to customers and colleagues when they are adequately equipped with the proper software to service rental income property and real estate investors. The result could mean renewed future business.
- You can start immediately. Most investment real estate software solutions can be downloaded from the web. That means you can start creating rental property analysis and marketing presentations right after you make your purchase. So your real estate investing activity is really just a few clicks away.
Rule of Thumb
Not all software solutions developed for real estate analysis are created equal. They will vary in price, ease, the number of features and reports, and developer support. So examine each software program carefully. Select only what you need. If you have questions, call the developer. (My number is below in the footer).