UPDATED: August, 2020
Here are 7 real estate apps that I use on a weekly basis that will help you make smart real estate decisions.
Do you work in property? The list below is written for buyers and sellers. If you work in real estate and are after tools to grow your business, check out Agent Monday.
On to the apps!
Simply the best thing to happen to NZ real estate in a long time. Find value estimates for nearly every property in every part of New Zealand, along with sun ratings, rental estimates, property info, past sale history and more.
2. Trademe Property
Anyone reading this article has likely already downloaded this app. But it’s worth mentioning just in case. Be sure to check out the ‘insights’ area which has value estimates for most properties and be sure to save your regular searches as well to save you entering filters every time you open the app.
Note: You can also share multiple properties from your watchlist by using the ‘select’ button in the top right corner.
Wondering how I search on Trademe? Check out my article on how to buy your first investment property.
3. Level, Flashlight and Compass (Built in applications)
When looking at the compass on your iPhone, swipe to the left to uncover a hidden tool not many people know about – the built in ‘level’ application. Use this to check how flat a surface is. This may prove to be a lot better than the old “roll the marble down the hallway trick!”
Note: Andriod phones may not have a level app built in but you can download one here.
You can use your built in flashlight to light up dark spaces like under houses and in the roof. I use this all the time to help people check out insulation and storage space under houses.
The compass is an under-rated tool as well. It’s worth pulling this out at every property you visit so you can check the sun aspect.
4. Evernote (Search for this in the app store)
Go paperless! I use this wonderful app every single day, mainly as a to-do list / journal. I keep everything in there from present ideas for my partner (hopefully she doesn’t see this) to notes from every house I visit, along with personal and business to-do-lists. You can even merge photographs with your notes.
Tip: Take photos of flyers from each house and combine them with your own notes.
You can also use evernote to keep photographs of bills and receipts (no need to keep those stacks of shoeboxes full of your old receipts anymore) . Evernote will even let you search on the text contained in each bill or receipt later on. The best part is this app easily syncs with your IPAD and PC or MAC as well so any notes I write on my IPAD or Tablet are accessible later on my phone or computer.
5. Realestate.co.nz (Search ‘realestate’ in the app store)
This is the way to make sure that you have the best chance of seeing every property marketed by a real estate firm in your area.
This might sound crazy, but in some locations, not every property for sale gets uploaded onto Trademe. This is usually due the fact that salespeople will ask owners to pay for a Trademe listing and some just don’t want to fork out a few hundred dollars to make it happen.
As a result, Realestate.co.nz features more houses than any other website. I really like the search feature and the way it displays listings on a map showing their proximity to your current location.
6. Google Maps
Most properties are viewed via an open home on a Sunday afternoon, which doesn’t provide you with an accurate understanding of travel times during peak hours.
Using Google Maps you can check how long your commute is going to take by looking up directions from the house you are looking at to your office, then set the depart time for Monday morning to see how long that morning drive is going to take.
7. Calculator (Built in)
I like to know the potential yield when I’m looking at a property. Here is a quick way to calculate the rough yield for any property you are looking at:
Weekly rent multiplied by 52, then divide this number by the purchase price, and times by 100 = Yield.
$350 rent per week x 52 weeks in the year = $18,200 rent per year.
Divided by potential purchase price of $300,000 = 0.0606
Multiplied by 100 = 6.06% yield.
Even if you plan on living in the property yourself initially this is still useful information. For many buyers in our market their first home becomes their first investment property 3-5 years down the track.
Do you have another app you would like to suggest? Let us know in the comments below…