15 apps every property investor should know

Over the course of the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that a smartphone and a computer are some of the most powerful tools available for property investors.

3D Visualisation of a property app
The smartphone is more than just a communications device, it can also be the centrepiece of an investment strategy. Image: Shutterstock (Image source: Shutterstock.com)

Over the course of the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that a smartphone and a computer are some of the most powerful tools available for property investors.

With auctions moving online and inspections shifting to virtual, the Australian proptech sector provided the answers for buyers and sellers looking to transact through the challenges of COVID-related lockdowns.

And while anyone interested in buying property is familiar with finding listings on online marketplaces, there is also an ever-evolving range of apps available to optimise just about any stage of a property investment.

In no particular order, here are 15 apps that every property investor should know.

Finding and buying properties

  • Openn Negotiation

Openn Negotiation's software allows buyers to participate in a real-time, online bidding process designed to ensure individuals pay an accurate market value for a property.

The platform was designed to enhance transparency in the private treaty sales process, considered to be one of the biggest problems in real estate.

Openn Negotiation’s solution is a new sales method that marries the flexibility of private treaty sales with the traditional auction process.

Selling and marketing

  • GAVL Live Auctions

As one of the early-movers in live-streamed auctions, GAVL Live Auctions rose to prominence over the course of the pandemic when in-person auctions were prohibited.

In addition to allowing users to watch live auctions and bid on properties in real time, GAVL also provides live-streamed inspections, which allow vendors or agents to answer prospective buyers’ questions and facilitate property viewings to a bigger audience than what is allowed under COVID lockdown conditions.

  • Little Hinges

Little Hinges provides virtual tours in 3D, garnering more exposure for listings and ultimately selling properties faster and for a higher price.

Used by more than 700 real estate agents across Australia, Little Hinges also provides a comprehensive suite of analytics and campaign insights, giving vendors the ability to measure the popularity and engagement of their listings.

Managing a rental

  • Rent Ready

A technology solution launched mid-pandemic, Rent Ready is a pay later solution for landlords developed by ASX-listed fintech company Money Me.

The Rent Ready platform was designed to give landlords a low-touch toolkit to better manage the capital requirements for an investment property, by giving them a line of credit in line with around three months’ of rental income, capped at $15,000.

That line of credit can be used to facilitate routine maintenance or replacement of appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, with repayments spread over 24 months and taken out of the rental income.

  • PropertyMe

Market-leading property management platform PropertyMe gives tenants greater visibility of the status of their accounts, with access to lease expiries, payment histories and maintenance requests all provided through a custom-built app.

For investors, peace of mind is provided through the 24/7 visibility of the status of their asset, with any bills or invoices easily tracked online.

  • Instarent

Instarent connects landlords with tenants via a digital platform that replicates many of the functions a traditional property manager would provide such as online listings, tenancy agreements and getting a tradie for repairs. 

Clients pay around $240 per year through a monthly subscription fee to the app service.

Instarent also helps organise inspections, take applications, screen and verify potential tenants, collect rent, handle maintenance orders and connect tenants directly with landlord-approved tradies.

Finding and optimising a development site

  • Archistar

Archistar leverages artificial intelligence to help investors and developers of any scale find profitable development sites.

A subscription-based platform, Archistar combines data sets from Nearmap, Domain, Commercial Real Estate and Cordell Development to unlock the potential of a portfolio, or to help find an appropriate development-ready site.

Once a site is identified, Archistar can also generate design strategies that comply with local zoning rules instantly, significantly reducing the costs of early-stage feasibility studies.

  • uDrew

Designed for homeowners and builders, uDrew provides users with the ability to create customisable, interactive and zoning-compliant building, extension or renovation plans.

And once those plans are drawn up, uDrew can guide an investor through the planning approvals process, even offering instant approval if the property is located in a council area that has signed up to the platform.

Designing, managing and financing renovations

  • Houzz

Australian-developed interior design platform Houzz provides a connection between the renovator-investor and a range of professionals, from designers to builders and architects.

Houzz not only gives users the ability to find design inspiration from real world examples, it also provides the network to make those renovation dreams a reality.

  • Trabr

Project management app Trabr allows users to monitor the progress of their build and who is working on it in real time on their smartphone.

A subscription-based platform, Trabr integrates cloud-based workflow tools with a network and marketplace, enabling users to manage projects and communicate with tradies, as well as monitor budgeting and make payments.

Designed for SME builders, owner-builders, home renovators and tradespeople, Trabr saves users administration costs, manages timelines and avoids budget blowouts.

  • Securely, the Tradies app

Securely, the Tradies app facilitates the payment process between tradespeople, sub-contractors and consumers.

The recently-launched app was developed to address issues of tradespeople not being paid properly and can help minimise disputes over payments.

Acting as a middle-man between the parties, Securely allows tradespeople to upload quotes and also contacts the customer, records a signed agreement and holds the payment until the job is completed.

Once the job is finished, Securely will release the payment if the customer is satisfied with the work.

  • Futurerent

Futurerent pays residential landlords with tenanted properties up to two years of their rent up front, capped at $100,000.

The initiative even extends to investment property owners who have yet to secure a tenant. 

Landlords complete an online application, gain approval within 48 hours and have no restrictions on what they use the funds for.

Clients are paid rent upfront, then the company gets the funds back, and its fee of 0.5 per cent, from tenant payments – via the property manager – over 1.5 to 3 years.

Finance and mortgages

  • Tic:Toc 

Launched in 2017, Tic:Toc aimed to revolutionise the process of obtaining finance, offering cheaper loans with the ability to deliver a contract to customers in less than an hour.

Backed by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank,Tic:Toc digitised the bank’s credit policy and created a series of models to make lending recommendations for its assessment team.

The automation of the process allows Tic:Toc to offer loans at lower interest rates and with lower fees and charges than many of its traditional lending competitors.

  • Lendhaus

Founders Mark Austin and Greg Bartlett set out to disrupt commercial lending through establishing Lendhaus, making it easier for individual investors to get the best deal on a commercial property loan.

Lendhaus enables investors to choose, negotiate and manage loans for commercial real estate from a global pool of lenders, reducing the complexity of the application and making it easier to obtain the best deal for their investment.

  • Mortgage Mates

Described as a matchmaking service for first-time buyers or investors, Mortgage Mates allows users to pool their capital to take those crucial first steps up the property ladder or into property investment.

Users upload their housing preferences and budget and Mortgage Mates’ algorithm matches them with like-minded individuals to search for, apply for and buy property together.

Mortgage Mates is designed to address affordability issues by giving users the ability to buy a house to live in, land to build on or buy an investment property with lower risk and increased legal protections.

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