10 Aspects of Good Real Estate Investment Software: What to Consider Before You Buy!

Real estate investment software is one of the best tools real estate investors and professionals can use to analyze and evaluate rental income property.

Good real estate investment software provides the forms, makes the computations, and creates the reports.

With a good real estate software solution any user (novice or advanced) can create professional-quality rental income property reports for personal decision-making or as presentations to buyers, sellers, colleagues, partners, or to lenders within minutes.

There are, of course, options other than investing in third-party real estate investment software.

Real estate analysis is made easier with real estate investment software.
Real estate analysis is made easier with real estate investment software.

You can, for instance, simply scratch out the numbers with a pad and pencil or perhaps make a hasty rule-of-thumb calculation off the top of your head.

But these approaches do not provide a deep enough property analysis required for such an important investment decision, nor do they represent the data adequately enough to sway the opinion of any other person or institution.

You can also develop your own spreadsheet using Excel, but it takes loads and loads of time to embed the computations properly and to format the forms and reports and simply is not worth the effort.

Fair enough. So let's get back on topic and look at 10 aspects of good real estate investment software you should consider when you decide to make a purchase.

What to Consider

1. Easy to learn and use - You want simply to enter the values and have the software do the rest. You never want to look and wonder, "What do I do next?"

2. Unlimited units - You want the ability to analyze one unit or a thousand units, or even more units if necessary.

3. Loan amortization - You want lots of control over the financing assumptions for the property. Therefore you want the ability to enter multiple loans (e.g., a first, second, and third loan), the flexibility to enter the loan either as a loan assumption or as a new loan, and either at a fixed-rate or interest-only rate.

4. Crucial rates of return - You want the real estate investment software to calculate returns for cash flow such as cap rate, gross rent multiplier, cash on cash, operating expense ratio; and loan analysis ratios like debt coverage, loan-to-value, break-even, profitability index.

5. Top-quality reports - You want a wide-range of printable reports to include comprehensive data with eye-catching appeal. At the very least, you want an APOD, proforma income statement, rent roll, acquisition report, and sales proceeds report. If you're pragmatic, you can also find software with sensitivity and scenario reports, a comparable sales report, a marketing package (executive summary), amortization tables, and charts.

6. Deep-level analysis - If you intend to be actively engaged with investment real estate then you will want the software to include "time value of money" and "tax shelter" consideration. This is very important because you will discover over time that computations for both time value of money and taxes are extremely important to serious real estate investors.

7. Technical support - You want to have easy access to tech support in the event of a problem, e.g., your computer crashes and you need to re-download the real estate investment software. Email and telephone support (preferably with the developer) is recommended. Exercise caution if the company or developer appears overly allusive or lacking in experience.

8. Great value - Real estate investment software solutions are not created equal. But you should get a lot of bang for your buck with real estate investment software available on the web for under $300. Just be sure to examine the website carefully. Remember, the same company praising their software publishes the website, so unless it's well organized and informative the software might not be worth the price regardless how affordable.

9. Customer satisfaction - Customers freely willing to write and submit a testimonial about the software should not be taken for granted or lightly regarded. Look for names, professions, and titles. If you can relate, then you're on the right track.

10. Special features - You should at least expect the software to provide seamless printing, picture function, branding and name-rider integration, email capability, help file, and Vista compatibility. In some cases, there could be even more unique features provided, so spend time on each website looking around to be sure you don't miss something.

Is It Worth Your Investment?

Yes.

Having sold investment real estate for the past thirty years, I can attest to the benefit of using good real estate investment software. Presentations made with good real estate investment software truly do impress real estate investors that are buying and selling investment property.

So if you work with investment real estate, or want to, do yourself a favor and make the minimal investment to purchase a good real estate investment software program.

You won't regret it.

About the Author

James Kobzeff is a real estate professional and the owner/developer of ProAPOD - leading real estate investment software solutions since 2000. Create cash flow, rates of return, and profitability analysis on rental property at your fingertips in minutes! Learn more at www.proapod.com

Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    You can, for instance, simply scratch out the numbers with a pad and pencil or perhaps make a hasty rule-of-thumb calculation off the top of your head.

    But these approaches do not provide a deep enough property analysis required for such an important investment decision, nor do they represent the data adequately enough to sway the opinion of any other person or institution.

    You can also develop your own spreadsheet using Excel, but it takes loads and loads of time to embed the computations properly and to format the forms and reports and simply is not worth the effort.

    Fair enough. So let's take a look at what you should consider when you make the decision to purchase real estate investment software.

    What to Consider

    1. Easy to learn and use - You want simply to enter the values and have the software do the rest. You never want to look and wonder, "What do I do next?"

    2. Unlimited units - You want the ability to analyze one unit or a thousand units, or even more units if necessary.

    3. Loan amortization - You want lots of control over the financing assumptions for the property. Therefore you want the ability to enter multiple loans (e.g., a first, second, and third loan), the flexibility to enter the loan either as a loan assumption or as a new loan, and either at a fixed-rate or interest-only rate.

    4. Crucial rates of return - You want the real estate investment software to calculate returns for cash flow such as cap rate, gross rent multiplier, cash on cash, operating expense ratio; and loan analysis ratios like debt coverage, loan-to-value, break-even, profitability index.

    5. Concise, top-quality reports - You want a wide-range of printable reports to include comprehensive data with eye-catching appeal. At the very least, you want an APOD, proforma income statement, rent roll, acquisition report, and sales proceeds report. If you're pragmatic, you can also find software with sensitivity and scenario reports, a comparable sales report, a marketing package (executive summary), amortization tables, and charts.

    6. Upgradeable versions - In the event that you purchase their less-than-platinum-grade-version without "time value of money" and "tax shelter" consideration, you want the ability to upgrade to it later if you choose. This is very important because you will discover over time that computations for both time value of money and taxes are extremely important to serious real estate investors.

    7. Technical support - You want to have easy access to tech support in the event of a problem, e.g., your computer crashes and you need to re-download the real estate investment software. Email and telephone support (preferably with the developer) is recommended. Exercise caution if the company or developer appears overly allusive or lacking in experience.

    8. Affordability - The good news is that there is very good real estate investment software available on the web for under $300. Just be sure to examine the website carefully. Remember, the same company praising their software publishes the website, so unless it's well organized and informative the software might not be worth the price regardless how affordable.

    9. Customer satisfaction - Customers freely willing to write and submit a testimonial about the software should not be taken for granted or lightly regarded. Look for names, professions, and titles. If you can relate, then you're on the right track.

    10. Lots of special features - You should expect good real estate investment software to provide at least these benefits: Seamless printing, picture function, branding and name-rider integration, email capability, help file, and Vista compatibility. In some cases, there could be even more features that are special, so spend time on each website looking around to be sure you don't miss something.

    Having sold investment real estate for the past thirty years, I can attest to the benefit of using good real estate investment software. Presentations made with good real estate investment software truly do impress customers; whether they be a seller or buyer.

    If you work with investment real estate, or want to, do yourself a favor and make the minimal investment to purchase good real estate investment software.

    You won't regret it.

    More by this Author


    Click to Rate This Article
    working