I’m going to talk about a couple of apps for real estate that I’ve been using over the past year that made my investments & life a lot easier.
The first one on the list is LoopNet. I recommend LoopNet which like Zillow, but just for commercial properties. I’m going to pull up the app so you can take a look at it. As you can see, here is a listing of a bunch of properties, which are actually in Queens, and you can see anything from six units to retail buildings over here and the price.
Let’s say, for example, there’s this building at Woodside, I want to take a look at it. The asking price is 4 million, and it’s telling you where exactly it’s located. You have anything from pictures right here of each of the apartments, the address, and it tells you all the stats you need to know.
You have the price per unit, how big it is, how many apartments, the building class type, the cap rate for those interested in looking into this, and then the zone and the description. Here, of course, is the usual contact information you want to reach out to and start negotiating your deals.
This is a new site/application that I recently found. I didn’t know much about it, and for some reason, I came across this website on a blog that I was reading the other day. I found it quite interesting because what they do is that they focus on auctions. They’re a regular real estate website where you can find homes, residentials, whatever, and they have a section that focuses solely on auctions.
Anything that’s a bank-owned and short sale for those who want to go in and buy low and don’t mind to do a couple of flips here and there, fix it up, make it look nice, this is the website to go. Now, as you can see on my phone, here’s the icon for Xome auctions, and when you open it, you’re going to get to see a listing. I don’t think I have done any location yet so far. This is my first time playing around with it, but I felt it quite useful. Funny enough, the reviews about the application are not so good, but the reviews about the site are excellent. People love it.
I’ll leave that up to you as to how you want to work with it, if you wish to use the phone application or if you wish to use the actual website itself, but as you can see, you find a listing of properties. You have anything from a house of $46,000 in Texas, a home in Queens that they’re asking 35,000, that’s the bid, cash-only deal, I think this is a lot for 488,000. The list goes on and on as you can see 327 for this big, lovely house that you see over here, 100,000 for this house in Florida, and as you can see, you get the options to pick whether you want to work with a house that can be financeable or something that is of cash-only, bank-owned. Then you take it from there.
3. Zillow Mortgage
The next app I want to talk to you about is Zillow Mortgage. This is one of my favorites, believe it or not. It is not the same thing as the regular Zillow website. Let’s take a look at the application on my phone, and you’re going to see the icon right here in the middle where it says Zillow Mortgage. I like this because it gives you a way not to foresee but get an estimation of what your mortgage is going to be like if you’re actually out and about and you’re just driving around with your families and friends. Suddenly, you saw a house that you like, you went online, you checked it out, and all of a sudden, you saw the asking price, and you’re trying to figure out if this is worthy of your investment.
Let’s say, for example, as you can see some of the features here as I was playing with the application a little earlier and if you take a look at this, let’s say, assuming you find a house that the asking or the negotiator price that you’ve managed to bring it down to is 77,500. If you put as little as possible in this case, let’s do 5% or 4%, let’s do five over here, the interest rate is 6%. It already gives you an estimate of how much it could potentially cost. For those who might wonder why the price is so high, the fees for the mortgage calculations additional to principal and interest are included in the property taxes and the mortgage as well, which is typically required when you have a mortgage on the property.
Now, the mortgage insurance that you see here on the right. Those are for properties that have less than a 20% down payment. For example, you do have the 20% down. You want to “save money” on the mortgage insurance, you can bring it up to 20, and you’ll see this disappear. It automatically goes away. Still, anything under 20 involves mortgage insurance in it. If you want to take it a step even further, what you do is you click on the Advanced tab right here, and you get the calculation this seems to be about, all right.
9.5% to 10% on property taxes, homeowners insurance. Call the insurance agent or estimate how much your homeowner insurance will cost. You come here, and then just all you got to do is to scroll and get to the right amount. If not, you can type it in and then only 1,035 or something like that. Then you cross it in. HOA dues, they also factor in HOA dues if you want to invest in a property that’s located inside a townhome or maybe a building complex and stuff like that, let’s say, I don’t know, let’s put 250 for HOA’s fees.
Voila, for a property that has a 77,500 purchase price, your mortgage payment comes down to 1,538. Then you have to go and see whether the rent can make up for or at least cover the mortgage payments and leave you some wiggle room in between, whether it’s a $1,700 rent or $2,000 ideal. I’ll leave that up to you to do the research and decide, but this is a very, very helpful tool. Of course, continue to do the calculations when you get back home, but this is meant to help you save time on the spot and not pull your computer or take out a spreadsheet or anything like that.
This is good for something that you want a quick answer on. Now the next app, it’s DocuSign. I’m not sure if some of you are familiar with it. I might have mentioned it in prior episodes, but I figure I always throw that in the list again and DocuSign, it has saved me a lot of time over the past couple of years when it comes to signing any contracts, anything with contractors. It’s not just for real estate engagements, but it’s good for any business engagement that you might have.
Now let’s take a look at the DocuSign and the app capability. We’re in front of my phone now, and let’s go into the DocuSign window or app. As you can see, you have the option to either pull contracts out of your cloud from the file or Dropbox or Google Docs, and you even have the functionality to be able to scan a document right on the spot. If you, let’s say, want to go ahead and sign it and send it over to the seller or whoever you’re doing business with to sign, we’re going to hit the scan icon right here.
I will grab my notes quickly to show you what it looks like. Let’s say I want to scan today’s notes for the video. Making it look pretty right here, I am going to scan it, take a picture of it, and you got it, voila. Here’s the document. Let’s say this is the contract that you have agreed to participate or partake in, and you are ready to execute this. You’re going to take a picture, and then you go ahead, and you click on Done. Then you go on to next, and then who needs to sign it. Then this would be yourself.
You’re going to come here and edit the document where it says prepping the document and what you’re going to do is tap on the spot once it’s done uploading. You’re going to get to choose the fields you either want to sign or initialize. Let’s say, for example. I want to tap in where it says the number four, and it will give you the option to do signature or initials. In this case, let’s do a quick signature, and what it does is it will give you the capability to go ahead and do that and here.
Here’s the box, although it’s very minimal, and you can have the option to make it even bigger and bigger. Voila, here’s my name, here is my signature, and then you finish it, you finish and close, you finish and email, and voila, you’re on your way to half a contract sign.
The next app on the list is QuickBooks, and I’m sure you guys are familiar with the concept of QuickBooks, but I cannot emphasize how important it is to have it. You have to have your books and records, which is not just a good tool for those who have real estate investments. It’s also useful for anyone who’s running a business.
Why? Because one, you need to keep track of your receipts for your accounting and also for your tax returns. Then two, you need to keep track of the expenses. Is there any possibility to increase more of your cash flow? If so, how do you get to do that? Do you do that by increasing the rent? If so, you also need to get complete visibility as your total rent is of your multiple properties throughout the year. Are there any expenses that you can cut down on that will help you increase that cash flow that you need to continue to expand your real estate portfolio?
I have the app right here, and let’s just quickly tap into it. Here’s the QuickBooks icon, as you can see. What I love about this is that, yes, you can also use the desktop version of it, you go onto the website, and you log on, or you can click and do it from the comfort of your phone.
All you got to do is log in, hit the plus button, and then you want to do an expense. You’re going to come in here and what you do is you take a picture, let’s say, I have something that I want to add in here. I’m going to use my notes again and pretend or assume that this is an invoice that I have, and you go ahead, and you take a picture of it. You take a quick snap and what it does is that you take a picture of it. It’s going to capture it right on the spot.
Of course, you have to have better [unintelligible 00:11:08] than I am right now, but I usually lay the receipt nicely on a table, but I’m up here talking to you guys. You got the gist of what this is like. You’re going to go ahead and accept that this is a good copy of the invoice. You’re going to use the photo, and you go ahead and say you spend $25 on this thing, you put it on your credit card, who did you pay, you put the name of your vendor, the kind of expense it is, and then you go ahead and just hit save. Voila, that’s the extent of it, and you have your receipt say, you don’t have to think about it ever again.
You’ve forgotten about it, and you go on with your life. Then at the end of the month or the end of the year, you sit down, you go over all of your income, you go over all of your expenses, and you can have greater visibility. It’s also great for, let’s say, if you are doing an expansion in your real estate portfolio, the lenders are going to come in, and they’re going to ask you for a copy of your balance sheet, for your net income statement, this tool has all of that handy just for you.
All you got to do is to go into the reports section and just run the report, and you’re good to go. Then the next one, and I just realized I wrote DocuSign twice. It’s six applications, so we’re good. Completely forget about this one, and we’re going to go straight into Genius Scan.
5. Genius Scan
Genius Scan, the same thing, is another app I shared with you guys in the past in another episode, but I decided to lump it back here into this video because I find it to be quite helpful. Genius Scan’s beauty is that it is an application. It’s like a walkable scanner. You can take it everywhere you go on your phone and if you find a contract, let’s say, you’re in the middle of something you can’t wait to like, later. Maybe it’s one of those wholesale deals, or perhaps it’s one of those things that you have to make an offer on the spot. Otherwise, the value is gone. All you got to do is to take that piece of paper, you take a picture, you scan it, and all you got to do is to email it. Here’s a quick demo.
Again, let’s just come back into my phone, and we got the application right here. It is this orangey one here that’s Genius Scan. I’m going to grab another piece of paper one more time. You’re going to hit the plus button right here, and I will retake a picture of the notes. Voila, you have a PDF version of it, and then you click Done. All you got to do is to decide whether you want to crop it, you want to fix it. Let’s say I want to crop it a little bit because I want to get my fingers out of the image.
You bring it back up, and then you can make it look very nice and clean and neat. My fingers are no longer in there. Oh wait, it does show a little, there you go. You hit Done, and voila, you got a nicely scanned document. Here you get to choose whether you want to email it if you wish to fax it over, and yes, you can fax it, it is a similar application, but it’s called Genius Scan Fax or something like that you want to sign it. This allows you to sign the contract as well, something you can.
I’ll leave that entirely up to you. You have to download a separate app for this, but it is doable. If not, you can email it to yourself or save it in your drive and then open up DocuSign. Then download it into DocuSign and go ahead and sign it so that you can have an audit trail. I’m not sure if this application provides you with an audit trail or whether it’s acceptable in the real estate world. Still, I know that all the realtors that I work with typically use DocuSign, and even in my business engagements, what I do is to use DocuSign, but this will save you a nice trip to FedEx if you are in a rush and eager to take care of something on the spot.