Real estate investing is a great way to diversify your portfolio. This is the especially the case now as stock prices are at all-time highs.
But if you want to buy a property, there are plenty of risks. Hey, with just one bad investment, you can have a major impact on your overall portfolio.
Yet there are many online tools that can help improve the odds of the success. And many of them are free or have low fees.
So then, which ones should investors check out? Well, here’s a look at eight:
Real Estate Investing: Kukun
When it comes to flipping a home, you need to get solid estimates on the costs of the projects – which is no easy feat. But Kukun can help out. It has a free calculator that only takes a few steps to use.
Kukun also has other services. For example, you can get a quote for financing, find licensed contractors and get customized home improvement recommendations.
Crime and Place
Of course, in terms of real estate investing, the crime situation is critically important. This is where Crime and Place comes in. The site provides comprehensive crime data and forecasted trends.
You can download the app from the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) appstore and it is free.
Millionacres.com is a division of Motley Fool. The focus is on providing independent content and analysis to help real estate investors make more informed decisions, such as with REITs (real estate investment trusts), rental properties, flips, raising capital and crowdfunding platforms.
Millionacres.com also has two premium services. One is called Real Estate Winners and is about investments in publicly traded stocks. Then there is Mogul, which includes analysis of crowdfunded deals.
Managing rental properties can be time-consuming and complicated. There is a need for handling marketing, accounting, leasing, tenant management and so on.
But of course, there are a variety of cloud platforms to help out – and one of the best is AppFolio. The pricing is also reasonable. For small to mid-size portfolios, there is a monthly fee of $1.40 per unit per month.
A key to successful real estate investing is networking. This not only helps with identifying properties but also financing sources.
By far, the leading online networking platform is LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). It is focused primarily for business purposes and the user base is close to 740 million across more than 200 counties and territories.
You can do quite a bit without having to pay anything for LinkedIn. But the company does provide different premium options, which provide deeper access to contacts, lead recommendations and sales insights.
Roofstock is a leading platform that manages the process of buying and selling rental properties. You can buy the whole property or get fractional ownership. There are also ways to take advantage of tax benefits, such as 1031 exchanges.
The property listings on Roofstock are also rich with information. For example, there is data on the ranking of the neighborhood and the financial prospects.
Climate change has had a major impact on real estate investing, as seen with the increasing frequency of harsh weather events like hurricanes. But there is a tool to help evaluate the risks, called Climate Check. It provides insights on floods, wildfires and other weather events.
The database is indexed on over 140 million home address and more than 10 billion data points.
Zillow is one of the largest online real estate platforms. And one of the reasons for this is the Zestimate. This essentially provides a value for a home, which is definitely essential for any real estate investor.
The Zestimate is also quite accurate, as it is based on huge amounts of data and sophisticated algorithms.. For on-market homes, the median error is only 1.9% and it is 7.5% for off-market homes.
On the date of publication, Tom Taulli did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.
Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is the author of various books on investing and technology, including Artificial Intelligence Basics, High-Profit IPO Strategies and All About Short Selling. He is also the founder of WebIPO, which was one of the first platforms for public offerings during the 1990s.