When I was a “corporate suit,” I had multiple teams in place to handle all aspects of running my department and moving the company’s goals forward. But, the operational processes were sometimes slow because of all the bureaucracy and work requirements. It drove me crazy sometimes—I craved business agility and knew that I had the skills to outperform even industry leaders. Now, as a real estate investment business owner and an executive who often shares my expertise with others, one question that comes up often is, “How can I make my real estate investing business more efficient?” And, I always teasingly reply, “Well, there’s an app for investment property management!”
It’s not all in jest, however. The best apps for property investment can help you save time and money by giving you the tools you need to quickly access crucial information or find a service provider to perform tasks, to grow your Chicago-area real estate investment business. The trick is to discover which apps offer the most value.
Choosing the Right Real Estate App for the Job
While home services apps are becoming increasingly popular, it can be frustrating to find one you like online only to discover that they are not yet servicing the Chicago area. To help you sort through the online noise, here’s a list of the top five local home service apps that can you help save time and money by repairing, maintaining, or cleaning your investment rental.
- TaskEasy provides an instant connection to screened and insured landscapers to perform lawn maintenance or snow removal, as the Chicago seasons require. Whether you need a one-time service to spruce up the place before renting it out, or recurring maintenance, the app lets you schedule the contractors at your convenience. And, for owners of more than a handful of properties—even if they are located in different cities or towns across the U.S.—the company offers consolidated billing. The benefit of this app is rooted in its transparency. You get a quote on the work to be done up front and it’s backed by a pretty solid guarantee. This is an easy solution for accessing outdoor maintenance companies that are already vetted and helps take a management task off your plate.
- SERVIZ can have a handyman or professional floor cleaner at your property’s doorstep within an hour. Through this app, you can order installation and repair services for everything from ceiling fans and doors to appliances and plumbing. In addition, they offer tile and grout cleaning as well as carpet cleaning. As with other apps, you get the pricing before you accept the service. While they provide some estimates for free, some of the services are priced by the hour (starting at $49) and others are all-inclusive, per-project. This app can save you time finding and managing several different contractors for all the little things that your rental needs to get in tip-top shape.
- HomeAdvisor lets you receive and compare quotes from up to four comprehensively-screened contractors that specialize in just about any property renovation project you can imagine. They can even connect you with pros for a complete remodel job for your rental. You can use their TrueCost tool to compare the quotes you get to regionalized cost data for over 500 job types so you know you’re picking a fair deal. Interestingly, the app also has a tool to apply for up to $35,000 in no equity-required financing for your project. This app reduces the time spent vetting contractors and analyzing multiple project proposals.
- Wischen is a local house cleaning company with an app to order on-demand services. Through the app, you input some information about the size of your house and which cleaning services you would like to order, then schedule a time for it to be done by bonded and insured cleaners. Their $40 per hour services are available 24/7, which is handy when you are up against a deadline for getting your investment property move-in ready.
- ValueChek™, a proprietary app by HomeVestors®, is designed to deliver regionally accurate cost estimates for numerous house renovation projects. The app’s data is compiled by local franchisees and offers pricing for both labor and materials based on our regional market, so the app takes the prize for accuracy. For complex projects or those with unique needs, like the house has to be renovated in a certain historical style, you can customize the price to get a total. Hands down, this is the best tool for understanding the total cost of a renovation project for a single property.
Working With the Best
While the HomeVestors® franchisees whom I support use a variety of apps to renovate, maintain, and manage their investment rental properties, the one that they use most frequently is ValueCheck®. Simply put, it is the most comprehensive tool for getting some hard numbers on what the total costs will be to get your investment property market-ready. Lawn mowing and house cleaning aside, that’s where your biggest cash outlay will be when owning the rental property. A proprietary solution, ValueChek™ is provided to all HomeVestors® franchisees and has proven its value time and again. If you are interested in this best-in-class tech tool, get in touch today to hear more about what else becoming a franchisee can do for you.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.