Hi BP, I know how important it is to have the right tools to get the job done so I wanted to share a few with the community, and please feel free to add to this list so we can all be more affective. Here they are:
Biggerpockets (Networking), Things (Organize your life), Fantastical (Great calendar), Google Earth, Homesnap, Whitepages or BeenVerified (skip tracing), DocuSign, Home Depot, Fudget (Budget), Google Voice, Zillow (use MLS for true comps), Meetup, Dropbox, Office 360 Apps, YouTube (free education), and lots more.
@Jose Castillo Good list of tools/apps. I love Dropbox and save everything there. I couldn't live without!
Yeah! Technology is great!!
Dropbox, for all files and backups of important papers
Zillow Rental Manager, for posting all my available rentals
Buildium, for everything property management related
Google, for virtual tours of houses and neighborhoods
@Andrew I can agree. Thanks @kyle for your feedback and app suggestions.
Great list! I'd add Google Keep & Calendar, GeniusScan, Evernote
@Jeremy M. Awesome, thanks. Great add-ons
I have heard about, downloaded, and even used some of these apps. The issue I run into is I know these apps are all powerful and then many can be used in conjunction with others of these and those combos are even more powerful. But, I don't really know where to start to really utilize this power. Does that make sense?
I have DocuSign, DropBox, Office360, Google Keep, Google Calendar, Evernote.... but learning the real uses that make these apps SO powerful seems overwhelming... and I'm a tech guy! Do you guys have some time to kind of explain the ways in which you use these apps that you find to be to must useful? Especially when using them together?
Apps in the “Cloud” like Dropbox, iCloud or any app that gives you access to your personal files from anywhere are great tools and being an out of state investor it has been extremely helpful..
Just keep in mind any of these apps can get hacked and it’s important you do everything possible to set up all security that is available for those apps. Like required text notification w pin every time you open one of these apps from new device. I’m amaze how many people are not using all the security tools that are available, same goes for email accounts.
Im not discouraging to utilized these apps, they are needed in our line of work just remember do your due diligence to setup all security that’s available on these apps, emails and your bank accounts. Getting hacked would be a nightmare, let’s not mAke it easy for someone..
@Brian H. It's hard to describe exactly what works best for someone when individual needs vary so much. I'm still pretty small time so my needs might be pretty simple and completely different from someone running a large operation. I currently use Google's platform a lot. What I'm doing is just the tip of the iceberg but I'll put it down for the sake of an example.
Calendar - about twice a week I put all my reminders on their respective calendars with notifications. Billpay Calendar, Appointment Calendar, Travel Calendar. As simple or as complicated as you want. I can sync calendars or keep them separate. I share them with my wife (who is my partner) and it notifies both of us if I want. No more trying to remember stuff.
Keep - Rehab specific To-do lists, Shopping Lists, Lowes list, ect ect. These get shared with my wife as well. Oh, she was at Lowes today. Did she remember to get XYZ? I open Keep, the box is checked and we're good to go. Yes, I could have texted her but I like this better. I see what she sees, she sees what I see. You can set notifications on this too.
Evernote - I'm just off the ground with this one. It looks good so far and looks like it has a ton of potential. Especially for a "paperless freak" like me. Take snapshots or scans of receipts, business cards and other "stuff" and store it online for easy access from anywhere. Organize, print and share right out of the mobile app or the online login.
Dropbox - haven't used this a lot yet. Just for some basic storage.
GeniusScan - Snap photos of documents and convert to pdf. I use this in conjunction with documents I do want to file paper copies of. I email them to my printers email address and my docs will be printed when I get home or I save to Google Drive.
1Password - password manager. Using this for the past 5 yrs and love it.
I also use a lot of Google Sheets/Docs with a folder system. My wife and I both have access to my spreadsheets from anywhere. You can use this with your team to whatever extent you want. It does take some effort to keep everything updated but it's been worth it in our experience. I'm looking forward to improving on our system as we move forward. I'm a big fan of mobile banking, autopay features, set-it-and-forget-it-type of things that I only have to check on periodically.
sorry for the long epistle...
I use Notability to hand sign any PDFs on my phone or iPad. Can set the color to blue so it looks just like using pen.
Thanks everyone for giving everyone on BP some insight on what tools are highly used or recommend. The more tools we have the more productive we will be.
@Jeremy M. I am kind of stuck between Google Keep and Evernote. Do you think you will use both now? You can do all the todo stuff and lists like you described doing in Google Keep in Evernote as well. Do you think you will consolidate just into Evernote or keep them separate?
@Brian H. right now, with the small size of my systems, Keep works great for what we do with it. It was easy to start with, no extra logins, accts ect. I do anticipate probably moving to Evernote as we grow. Evernote has so much more to offer. I'm also starting to feel pretty invested in Google's ecosystem. I'll probably try to lessen my dependency on that where it seems practical.
Thanks for sharing these tools with us.
The problem many have is they want the cool tools before they even have a need. People with two rentals want to know what the best property management software is. Really? How can anyone answer what is best for you without knowing what your needs are? And what needs could you possibly have with two rentals?
I started out using Buildium to manage 115 rentals. By the time I reached 175, certain tasks were taking too long to complete and there were many things I couldn't track in their software which required me to maintain separate spreadsheets or documents. I researched other software and asked other professionals for help by telling them specifically what I needed. That led me to Propertyware which did exactly what I was looking for.
Identify your need. Find the right tool.
If you are tired of knocking on doors to collect rent each month, find a way for tenants to pay directly into your account. Is it too time-consuming to market your rentals, handle showings, and accept/process applications? Is your schedule too loose? Do you lose track of your to-do list? Need a better way to organize and share files?
Don't waste your time chasing shiny objects. Just because Evernote does cool things for Joe doesn't mean it's going to fill any of your needs, despite all the cool capabilities.
My top business-related apps : Landlordy (rental income/expenses management on iPhone), Mail2Self (quickly email to yourself any web page you have visited and want to follow up later), MileIQ (automatic mileage tracking), Dropbox (obviously), WhatsApp (communication with tenants/vendors), Scanbot (digitizing paper into pdf files), 1Password (keeping my passwords safe and unique), Soulver (smart mix of calculator and Excel-like capabilities).
I don't use any of those aside from Home Depot and networking. I do use brokers, lenders, intellect, and persistence though. Deal flow and capital are what really matters for investing, especially when getting started.