If you’re a closest tech geek like I am then you know how valuable a good app can be when you’re trying to get stuff done and property investing is no exception. Between trying to search for the ideal place, work out whether the rental yield stacks up or whether the tax breaks are worth it, you also have to stay on top of the latest news and reviews to make sure you’re not missing anything.
That’s when I turn to my bag of tricks. As a buyers’ agent who is on the road the majority of the time, I rely heavily on tech apps that I can tap into whether I’m at an open home, the local café or in the office.
1. Tap Mortgage App – Loan and Stamp Duty Calculations
Not sure whether Tap Mortgages are an actual business but I’ve been using their app for years, both personally and professionally. It’s a great little calculator that serves 2 primary functions while I’m on the run – working out the repayments on a loan and calculating the stamp duty on a purchase. This can be invaluable when you’re not sure whether you can afford the repayments or what you might be up for on top of your down-payment.
2. Agent Calc App – Rental Yield Calculations
While this seems to have been designed with real estate agents in mind, complete with commission calculators and measurements converters, I particularly like the Rental Yield option. Plug in the property price and the rental amount in dollars and it gives you a rental yield straight away. I find this is really valuable when looking to negotiate on a property. You can quickly change the purchase price to calculate what you feel is the lowest acceptable yield without losing your shirt.
This is more of a general note-taking app that is not just great for property investment but for everything you write down. Whether it’s a shopping list or a property description, this app has changed my life.
I’m a big note-taker and this app allows me to record everything and file it in a way that’s easy to reach and refer back to. When I’m traipsing through hundreds of properties it can be easy to forget what I’ve seen and how I felt about the place. Evernote lets me record all my notes on the property (via my iPad) and even attach images and hyperlinks to the note for later reference.
This is an app that I’m slowly becoming addicted to and has become an essential part of my Sunday morning read. Essentially it’s an online magazine that draws from a huge number of online publications and blogs and compiles them all into one resource depending on your preferences. You can drag in whatever topics you like such as world or financial news or even your favourite magazine, but to stay on top of property news I find Property Observer and the local news publications unmissable.
5. BMT Tax Calc
While many of us may not even realize what the benefits of depreciation are, for those in the know this little app from BMT can be invaluable when assessing the potential tax savings on a property. Granted it’s only working off estimates but it does allow you to input the most relevant statistics of the property – when it was built, the condition and area etc. – to give you a schedule of rates based on minimum and maximum estimated allowances.
If tax breaks are something that make a difference in your investing world then this is an app you can’t afford to miss.
A list of apps wouldn’t be complete without throwing in a property search tool as well. I personally use the realestate.com.au site for search. REA are a company that have invested a mountain of dollars into their online presence and the effort that they have out in really shines through when it comes to the ease of use that many of their tools have.
I would also add that the Commbank tool does a really great search and in a very similar fashion to realestate.com.au. This is another company that is ahead of the curve when it comes to online and they’ve tied directly into the REA property posts so it’s almost like a sister app.
7. Suburb Investor
Last but not least, Suburb Investor is an app you will not have heard of just yet as we’re still weeks away from launching. Yes, I am a closet technophile so it stands to reason I have built my own app, but I think this is something that property investors will love.
This app draws on national capital growth figures going back 10 years and allows the investor to calculate the equity position of an investment over time, and more importantly, compare suburbs against each other to see which one will come out on top.
You also have access to a bunch of free reports that allow you to find the best of the best in terms of suburb performance across each capital city. Suburb Investor will go to iTunes this month for approval so watch this space for the official release date.