There are many things to keep up with when you're an investor, even if you've hired a property management company to manage most of the day-to-day tasks. Luckily, there are plenty of apps that can help make your financial life easier. And if you have a smartphone (and who doesn't?) they keep all of your info accessible, right at the tips of your fingers. Real estate apps keep you current on what’s happening anywhere you have property, and financial apps not only provide you with your real-time status, but make it easier to manage your accounts and spending.
See also Technology and Real Estate
Best Finance and Real Estate Apps
Personal Finance Apps
Monitoring your personal finances in real time can help you achieve your financial goals, and these apps excel at keeping you informed of your income and expenditures. Building awareness of how you spend, save and invest is the first step in achieving your long-term financial goals.
- Level Money. If you’re new to using apps for money management, consider adding Level Money to your phone. It’s simple to use and monitors your daily spending, and lets you know how much you could save on any given day.
- Mint.com. Turn to this app if you want to stay on top of your spending on-the-go, and move your money around when you’re on a computer. Mint works on iPhones and Androids.Once set up, it categorizes all your transactions, and gives you immediate information about balances, including bank and credit cards. It doesn’t display full account information, which makes it an ideal financial app for using on mobile devices. Mint also gives you alerts should you exceed your budget in any category.
- Stash Invest. This service makes investment diversity so much simpler by offering three months free, with a very low monthly fee for account holders whose balances are below $5,000. If your cash flow has held you back from getting started or diversifying your holdings, Stash Invest helps you get started with a mere $5 investment.
Real Estate Market Apps
Staying on top of local market conditions is part and parcel of being an active player in the market. Watching home values and pricing trends, volume, and days on market give you valuable insights into local market conditions, especially at a neighborhood level.
- Zillow.com. The Zillow app includes more than the typical MLS (Multiple Listing Service) inventory of homes by zip code. This app also includes pre-foreclosure and foreclosed homes, for sale by owner and a category called “Make Me Move.” The latter are listings by homeowners who would consider selling their homes if the price were right.They also include new home construction from home builders, units that aren’t normally found on most MLS websites. Perhaps the most useful information is at the bottom of the page, where Zillow lists the pricing history by date and the property tax information.
- Trulia. Although owned by Zillow, Trulia adds a dimension when hunting for good real estate investments. It shines in neighborhood discovery by listing what’s local, like schools, parks, shopping, crime rates and affordability.Combining the data that Zillow provides with the insights Trulia offers could help you make more informed decisions about investment properties.
- Realtor.com. The National Association of Realtors owns and operators Realtor.com, and you’ll find average prices by neighborhood, which is useful when scouring areas for investment. The 3-D photos they post of homes and driving directions help you prioritize various properties to follow.Besides their app, Realtor.com’s website provides relevant data associated with housing market conditions in the U.S. and in a long list of metro areas. Collecting and analyzing these data over time gives you insight into local market conditions, which is fundamental to making sound buy, hold and sell decisions.