Thinking of property investing? There's an app for that
API Magazine's newest columnist introduces readers to seven apps that every property investor or buyer should consider to maximise their prospects of making financially successful decisions.
Understanding which suburb or town to invest in and identifying the right properties that will achieve good returns has traditionally required access to expensive data subscriptions, spreadsheets, a lot of time and commitment and a good dose of local knowledge or extensive experience.
But new proptech is making it significantly easier for property investors to find opportunities, budget and plan, invest with confidence and even manage their own properties quickly and easily.
At the heart of the innovation are big data sets, cloud-based technology, and automation that are removing the stress and risk of finding the perfect investment property and helping investors get a better understanding of how much they should pay, and even what improvements could be made to drive up value.
Far from replacing buyers agents or investment advisors, many also offer the opportunity to connect with a consultant, offering the best of both worlds. And the cost of subscribing can usually be written off as a tax deduction.
Here are a few apps to take a look at:
This is a multiple award winner at the Proptech Awards and promises investors the opportunity to buy in the top 1 per cent of investment properties in Australia.
The startup delivers a dedicated property advisor to help newbies set their investment goals. It then steps investors through the process backed up with big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics, to find, buy, and manage high-return and low-risk investment properties in a slick and easy-to-understand package.
One of the benefits of being big data-enabled is their ability to analyse their own performance.
They claim average capital gains of each PropHero client in 2022 was $49,400 with PropHero-purchased properties outperforming the market by 170 per cent last year. The PropHero mobile app means you can track your investment property performance at any time.
This is another Proptech Award winner, targeted at those property investors who like to dive into the data and crunch the numbers.
It pulls together powerful data insights, high-quality research and market activity reports and digital bookkeeping, plus a forecasting tool to help you assess how your portfolio can be expected to perform.
While not as prettily designed as PropHero, it supports investors with multiple properties and helps them visualise their existing portfolio in detail, get a helicopter view, as well as identify future opportunities and manage the paperwork all in one system.
BuyCloud is for those interested in investing in new property, and is a newcomer that promises to help investors find the best builders and developers, in the best locations and make your purchasing journey simple with innovative technology and a patent pending platform that also works on mobile.
BuyCloud states it can help buyers find suitable investments in just four minutes, based on a profile you set up by answering a few simple questions and was also a winner of the Proptech Awards in 2023.
It then recommends properties that match and connects you to BuyCloud mortgage brokers and conveyancers to make the experience seamless from start to finish.
The weird name for a property investment platform was chosen deliberately by founders who have a background in marketing but got the property bug helping expats relocate or invest back home.
Part tech, part buyers agency, and part property and facilities management, Milk Chocolate is the most heavyweight of all the proptechs outlined in this guide, with a property team made up of economists, data scientists, real estate, construction and property management professionals.
It offers a complete service encompassing planning, buying, building and management, and offers to untangle the mess around property decisions and give users the confidence to make the big decisions in life with minimal effort, regardless of whether they’re looking for an investment or a forever home.
Most of the proptechs outlined so far assume investors know their finances and are across the impact of buying a property on their day-to-day financial position.
Gameplans approaches investing slightly differently, working to help investors understand their current position, review existing property portfolio performance and assess their money management to provide clarity around their actual position.
It then walks through a set of questions to assess goals and risk profile before formulating an investment game plan and showing how it will play out across 30 years.
At this point, it hands off to one of 139 property professionals across Australia and New Zealand who can assist with identifying and purchasing suitable properties.
Another investment platform for the data geeks, HtAG - or Higher Than Average Growth - helps investors master property investment decisions with more than a billion data points and promises investment decisions that are lower risk, with better cashflow and, like it says on the tin, higher than average growth.
HtAG gives users the ability to search by specific suburb or local government area, meaning they can assess areas that interest them rather than relying on the algorithm to select a location. The proptech has a solid history, having been established in 2017.
Real Estate Investar
This is one of the oldest proptechs in the property investor space, having been launched in 2006 and now owned by MRI Software, a leading player in the property management space.
Rather than a single offer, it is a conglomeration of third-party technology for investors, bringing in CoreLogic’s RP Data and investment calculators with its proprietary tools and with the additional advanced options of subdivision and development technology for investors ready to take it to the next level.
Users sign up to a membership based on their goals and investment experience and there is a range of free resources to help educate newcomers.