Technology Solves 2 Biggest Problems of Real Estate Investors
"I started investing in real estate in the early aughts, and clearly a lot has changed since then. In my infancy as an investor, I was frustrated by the lack of tech available for networking and finding investment-quality properties. On the heels of that was the need to connect so I could secure capital for investments. In my desperation, I tried to use MySpace to find the resources needed to launch my investment career. It’s not hard to imagine how ineffective that little experiment worked out."
Since that time, I’ve seen up markets, down markets, feast or famine in funding, and inventory levels that can make or break the average real estate investor’s deal flow. I’ve also seen institutional buyers enter the single-family residential investment property market. While that alone had a massive impact on the local buyer of investment properties, nothing has changed the face of real estate investing like technology and the ability to move money and properties faster than ever. What I was looking for back then has come to fruition through my company and others as well. Tech and big data have joined forces, and it’s changed the way real estate investors find and fund investment properties.
Tech Solutions For Finding Investment Properties
In the not-too-distant past, it was only larger institutions that had the power of big data to satisfy their appetites for investment properties to turn for profit. Clearly technology had already come to the aid of institutions and the average homebuyer. Institutions have been using tech to buy properties in bulk for years and have had unprecedented access to critical data needed for sound investment decisions. Then there are sites like Zillow, OpenDoor and, more recently, Zillow Instant Offers to serve the typical homebuyer.
But real estate investors as a whole have an entirely different subset of needs in the real estate technology space. Finally, the combination of advancing technologies and big data has handed local real estate investors access to two major components of every real estate deal: properties and funding.
Online tools for locating distressed properties and contacting motivated sellers are available to any wholesaler or flipper with the wherewithal to access them. As it was put in Attom Data's April 2018 Housing News Report, "Data, being what it is today, is able to simplify the job of the investor looking for properties. Using the latest technology and advanced algorithms, smart data filters and overlays, real estate investors can access big data that provides more than names and addresses. Smart tech and big data combined also puts phone numbers, email addresses, social profiles into the hands of investors making direct mail an alternative rather than the norm. With the wealth of data now out there, it’s a fact that the aggregation of the right data for the job can empower progress in any industry."
Tech Solutions For Funding Investment Properties
In the funding arena, Lending Tree and Rocket Mortgage, among others, have put technology to work to close more loans faster for the owner-occupant homebuyer. For the larger institutional investor, along came The JOBS Act of 2012. It changed the ways institutions fund properties and projects when it opened the doors to crowdfunding — and the entire process is handled through technology and crowdfunding portals.
So where does all of this leave the real estate investor who is looking for funding to purchase investment properties?
As we experienced after the crash, investor funding dried up. As a result, distressed properties weren’t purchased, and the market suffered. It took some time, but lenders finally recognized the missed opportunities. Capital started pouring into the investment property loan market, and lenders sought ways to bring that money to the market.
Technology now plays a major role in the way investors access the cash needed. Money follows opportunity, and accessing funding via online portals is the rule, rather than the exception. The Lending Tree model has been applied to investor funding, and the result is faster, easier access to capital for investment.
Tech and big data are no longer reserved only for the average homebuyer and big institutions. The savvy real estate investor uses both to advance his or her real estate investing objectives. I’d call it a win for the industry as a whole when MySpace isn’t a go-to source for finding and funding investment properties.
Article Resource: Forbes