As a real estate investor, you have many of the same challenges as any entrepreneur or business owner. You have to split your time between operating your business and growing it. In the case of wholesaling, that means closing more real estate deals in less time.
To do so successfully, you have to manage your prospects, leads, and clients as efficiently as possible. You also need to track your finances and manage contracts.
The good news? There are plenty of digital wholesaling tools available for real estate investors that can get them well on their way to achieving their business goals.
The first rule in choosing real estate wholesaling tools is to ensure you are enhancing your business with their use and not hindering it. Software that is too complicated, too expensive, or not geared to real estate investing is a huge resource sucker and will end up costing you revenue in the end.
Bill Gates spoke to this problem with technology when he famously said,
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency."
What that means is that you should ensure you are efficient in all areas of your business before introducing new technology, like real estate wholesaling tools.
If you aren’t already doing all you can to grow your business with the tools you currently have at your disposal, then new software added to the mix is likely to end up being a wasted resource.
There's a lot of technology out there when it comes to helping business owners. However, you can whittle that list down quickly by looking primarily at tools customized for real estate wholesaling or that at least provide features that are integral to operating your real estate wholesaling business.
One thing that probably can’t be stressed enough is the importance of integration. Whether you are looking for software that allows you to upload a simple spreadsheet of contacts or are trying to marry your CRM with a marketing program, you want to be sure integration is seamless.
With that in mind, here is a look at eight real estate wholesaling tools you should consider for your toolbox, as well as some of our specific picks within these categories.
A CRM (customer relationship management) tool is a type of software, usually entirely web-based, that provides users with the opportunity to input and maintain customer contact information and related data, and then utilize reporting and sorting functions to support business operations. Many are integrated with marketing and other essential tools as well. Its primary purpose is to effortlessly keep you engaged with prospects, clients, and other key contacts.
CRMs are an absolute must for the serious real estate investor who is ready to move on from simple Excel spreadsheet contact lists. Because real estate is such a huge investment, a lot of time and diligence are necessary to close deals. By using a CRM specifically designed for real estate wholesalers, you can improve your ability to successfully engage with your contacts and close more deals.
There are significant efficiencies to be had when contact data is organized, safely stored, easily trackable, and sortable. Those efficiencies become exponentially greater when you can easily integrate with your marketing processes and create reports that provide useful metrics for your business.
The simplest CRMs focus only on retaining basic contact data, such as name, phone number, email address, and property address. It sometimes allows the user to categorize or tag their contacts. For example, you can use tags to differentiate specific categories of contacts, such as motivated sellers, absentee owners, and cash buyers among your contacts. Contacts can either be uploaded from a spreadsheet or entered manually, one at a time. These programs are often free or low-cost.
More robust CRMs designed for use by real estate wholesalers offer additional features. You can group your contacts according to a variety of custom categories, as well as tag them according to certain features you create. This allows you to better engage through direct mail campaigns, texts, or phone calls. Robust CRMs offer seamless integration with marketing processes.
Considered a top CRM for the industry, LionDesk starts at $25 a month. Available features include contact management, transaction management, lead generation, drip campaigns, artificial intelligence lead follow-up, and task management, to name a few. You’ll also find a PowerDialer and plenty of analytics. LionDesk now offers a free 30-day trial.
Another favorite of real estate professionals, Top Producer provides automated marketing and professional templates, as well as custom workflows, email campaigns, transaction management, and social media insights in addition to CRM capabilities. Free demos are available and pricing starts at $60 a month for its starter package.
If you're a beginner at CRMs, HubSpot is simple to use. It is not geared specifically for real estate professionals, but it does have one big advantage: it’s free. If you're looking to get your feet wet and don’t mind doing some customization, you might want to give this tried-and-true CRM a whirl.
Follow-up is often the Achilles heel of real estate investing. Choosing marketing software that automates your marketing will not only make your business more efficient but more successful as well.
If your goal is to build a massive buyer list for properties, marketing software is an absolute must. When you have an available property, you can easily create a marketing flyer and send it to hundreds or even thousands of potential buyers, all with very little effort or time.
While your CRM may have a built-in email marketing tool, there are also standalone options. A popular one is MailChimp, which has a free basic subscription and offers a number of built-in templates along with the ability to upload your own design.
AWeber is similar to MailChimp, although perhaps not as well-known. AWeber has many of the same features, however, and also has a free starter option.
Another popular email service among real estate professionals is Zoho. It has one of the most generous free options out there, allowing up to 6,000 emails a month sent to as many as 2,000 contacts. Zoho’s free program allows an admin plus four users.
If your CRM does not offer built-in marketing tools or you simply prefer to go with a standalone platform for email marketing, be sure importing your contacts from your CRM to your marketing program is easy.
When it comes to finding leads and accurately pricing properties, access to your area’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a necessity. While it's true there are online platforms that can help you accurately price a property, your local MLS does even more by providing you with a big picture view of your local real estate market.
Yes, you will typically need to get your real estate license to access the MLS, but if you plan to make real estate investment your full-time occupation, having your license will prove invaluable.
This is true even if you have licensed friends with access who are willing to run comps for you. If you aren't their client, it may not be possible to get the pricing information you need when you need it. Becoming an agent so you can gain access to your local MLS 24/7 puts you in the driver's seat when it comes to having market information immediately accessible. You'll also be able to directly list properties on the MLS.
Turning to a third-party site like Zillow or Redfin may seem like a good alternative to getting your license and gaining MLS access, but it has its downsides. The information is not always accurate and there is less emphasis on historical data. You also don't get the benefit of listing a rental or for-sale property on the MLS without licensed access.
Read Also: Can You Wholesale MLS Properties?
As a real estate investor, social media is an important tool for promoting your business, re-engaging with past clients, identifying potential investors, and generating seller leads, whether it be a potential buyer, foreclosure, or other prospects. You’ll be able to create pages on social media sites like Facebook without cost. Advertising on Facebook, as well as Google, is a low-cost way to promote your business and can be used to augment your other social media posts.
Both Facebook and Google are effective ways to generate and engage leads. Both also enable you to target very specific audiences by demographics, online behaviors, interests, and keywords. While running ads successfully can be a bit of a learning curve, both platforms have video tutorials that make the process much easier.
Depending on your choice of CRM, you may find that the same platform you use for customer relationships can be used for scheduling social media posts on multiple social media platforms.
If, however, your CRM does not have this feature or you simply prefer a dedicated platform for social media, take a look at popular social media schedulers like SocialPilot. This platform offers a 14-day trial and allows you to schedule up to 500 posts at one time. The subscription cost starts at $25.50 when billed annually.
Another option is Buffer, which offers a free plan to start. Paid plans start at $12 for one social media channel.
HootSuite is probably the most well-known of the social media scheduling platforms, but it is more pricey than other options and you may end up paying for features your business really doesn’t need.
The ability to analyze a wholesale deal is at the heart of a successful real estate wholesaling business. If you don’t have the numbers you need to predict whether or not a deal is a good one, you could end up mired in a financial headache.
While it is true you could possibly create your own spreadsheet in Excel that performs some of the basic calculations necessary to analyze a deal, it’s to your advantage to find deal calculator spreadsheet software that can provide you with a more thorough deal analysis for real estate wholesaling.
One popular real estate wholesaling software that not only analyzes deals but has a long list of other features is PropStream. This platform is designed not only to help you analyze potential deals and calculate your potential return on investment, but also provides such options as skip tracing, marketing campaigns, and lead management.
It’s difficult for a real estate wholesaler to understand a home’s worth without knowing the property’s comparable sales (aka "comps").
Comps software can help you to know exactly what you should offer on a potential deal. A solid comping software will calculate both your maximum and minimum offer quickly, accomplishing in seconds what would take you perhaps hours to figure out on your own.
There are a number of tools that provide you with the comps necessary to make informed business decisions.
Among them is REI Autocomp, a non-web-based platform that uses data drawn from multiple sources to provide accurate property evaluations on the fly, including after-repair value. The software runs on Excel and pricing begins at $19.97 for a starter version that offers comps countywide compared with pro versions that utilize statewide comps.
Another option is Rehab Valuator. It can be used to calculate offers and analyze real estate deals. The software can also be used to create presentations for use in deal funding and has a project and budget management feature. A light version of the software is available for free with more robust versions costing up to $99 per month.
Read Also: Rehab Valuator Review - Is It Worth It?
Successful contract management can have a huge impact on your real estate wholesaling business. Making use of web-based contract management tools helps to ensure contracts are drafted accurately. Professional, accurate contracts can also help ensure you stay compliant with regulatory requirements, avoiding costly mistakes that could hurt your business.
Managing contracts effectively will also help reduce any reservations potential investors may have. In the end, you’ll be able to improve sales and grow your business.
In addition to creating and housing your contracts, some of the more comprehensive contract management platforms also include additional features.
These may include automated financial processes that allow you to adjust prices, receive rent payments and handle service charges, as well as provide you with reports that show you your costs, yield, and occupancy data, helping you to have a better handle on how well your investments are performing.
There are many contract management software programs available and most can meet your needs as a real estate wholesaler. Platforms like Ultria cater specifically to real estate investors, an obvious advantage. In the case of Ultria, it has added features that can help you operate your business, including tools for tracking rental payments.
As a real estate wholesaler, you want the ability to have contracts and agreements signed remotely. Having the ability to rely on e-signature software to execute contracts will enable you to efficiently work with investors from across the country.
Most e-signature software will request e-signatures on contracts or agreements and also serve as a place to store them. Most include industry-specific templates as well.
One of the most popular e-signature platforms is DocuSign. Its monthly price starts at $10, though that allows only 5 signatures a month.
If you have your real estate license and are a member of the National Association of Realtors, you can conduct an unlimited number of transactions for $20 per month. If you are not a NAR member, the starting cost for unlimited transactions is $25 per month.
With so many options available for your real estate wholesaling business, you may be wondering how to choose the best real estate tools.
The current size of your business and your goals for growing it will play a role in identifying which tools are the best fit. You are likely to find that your needs for automation will grow as your business grows.
However, even a small real estate wholesaling business can benefit from automation, improved accuracy, and streamlining of processes. You will want to take the following into consideration in choosing real estate wholesaling tools:
Read Also: 17 Best Apps For Real Estate Wholesalers
No matter the industry, a business owner is only as strong and successful as the tools they have at their disposal. That rings true as much for a homebuilder as it does for a real estate wholesaler.
But rather than lumber, shingles, and nails, the tools for wholesaling houses are the many types of tech geared to make your business more efficient and profitable. By utilizing tools that enable you to make better choices about a potential deal, your business can make greater progress--and profits--than it would otherwise.
While it can be difficult to know for sure which real estate wholesaling tool is worth your resources, the eight essential tools above are an excellent place to start.
With many of them offering free trials or low-cost plans, you won't have to invest a lot to get a good feel for platforms that are likely to pay off for your business over the longer term.
If you're serious about taking your business to the next level using real estate wholesaling tools, check out our brand new free training on how to find and flip profitable investment deals!
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