Last updated: Summer 2015
I often get asked what tools I use.
I wanted to share the tools that I use.
Instead of a static list, this will be a dynamic living breathing manifest as needs and tools change.
1. The One Thing:
Personalize your long-term goals: Customize this worksheet
2. The One Thing
Executive Summary: 2-page PDF summary)
B) Real Estate
Crime Maps with Trulia Visual- Check the area for crime before you do any extra work analyzing.
Mapping America - Check the demographics on a property using Mapping America visualization tool.
City-Data - Demographics - Can lookup cities for demographics and the forums for a "local feel" of the city.
Multi-Unit Cash Analyzer:
Analyze multi-unit properties with this free calculator.
C) Video Recording & Editing
D) Real Estate
Balloon Mortgage Calculator - For your deals where a bank or seller wants a loan pay-off or "balloon payment" due after a period of time (example 3-10 years). This is a good tool to calculate just that.
Amortization Calc - Simple amortization calculator. lets you estimate your monthly loan repayments. It also determines out how much of your repayments will go towards the principal and how much will go towards interest. Simply input your loan amount, interest rate, loan term and repayment start date then click "Calculate".
Loan Calc + - iPhone app with simple mortgage calculations and balloon payment features.
E) Project Management & Productivity
Asana (Free) - A powerful web based management tool. Currently my favorite and my go-to app to manage tasks and projects for our own company and our clients. The online interface is gorgeous and has a lot of features. My only negative right now is that the iPhone app has some limitations, but it gets the job done.
PathFinder (Mac) - This is a Finder replacement. (I can’t imagine going back to Finder.) It provides multiple windows and tabs. It’s really everything you would want in a file management system. It’s what Apple should have designed to begin with.
Skim - This is a PDF viewer and a replacement for Preview. It makes highlighting and notating PDFs a breeze. Plus, I just like the interface better than Preview.
Evernote - Evernote is a killer note-taking tool, but you can also link notes and it has a massive ecosystem of apps that feed into it and support it.
Evernote Web Clipper - is a free browser extension (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer) that makes it incredibly easy to take any piece of content on the web – maybe an article you’re reading, a picture you see or a blog post or video you came across – and save it into a specific folder within your Evernote account.
SnagIt - I use this program for screen capture needs. I use this daily and has robust sets of effects, like drop shadows, borders, and reflections. It also has annotation tools and video capture if you want screencast.
Typinator - Is what is commonly called a text expander. You type in an abbreviation (Ex. dt expands out the current date) and it responds with whatever text you want. I use it to type commonly used phrases, insert HTML code, and type in boiler-plate templates.
F) Website Management
Squarespace: I've recently switched from Wordpress to Squarespace on the upgraded plan. I have been blogging off and on for awhile now and have worked with a few different content platforms for the past 10+ years. I started with straight HTML static pages from 1997-2002. Xanga was my first blogging platform in 2002, then switched to BlogSpot, then Wordpress from 2008-2013. I am now experimenting with Squarespace after testing Weebly from a reference from a good friend. A few friends were asking if I'd recommend it as a blogging platform and I believe it does the job with a few limitations.
Note: I will write a blog post soon on my experience with Squarespace after I test out a few more advanced features. But so far, I am liking it and my #1 takeaway is being able to rapidly develop content without having to sit behind CSS and PHP code. Less time coding and more time developing content. I've wanted to love Wordpress but found spending too much time coding.
Mailchimp – online mailing list tool to manage contacts, send emails and track results. Offers plug-ins for other programs.
Unroll.me – (Free) You’re going to thank me for this one. Unroll.me is a web app that connects to your email account. It will fetch all of the subscriptions that you have and gives you 2 options:
1. Unsubscribe from the list.
2. Roll them into one single daily email.
When I connected my main email account, I found I was subscribed to over 400 email lists! With one click per list, I was able to unsubscribe from about 95% of them. The rest went into a single rollup email that I get daily.
This is a creative tool and it helps with the daily email load.
Mailbox is an iPhone & iPad application that I use every day for email management. It’s like the client mac mail application, except so much better because when an email comes in, I can easily use various finger swiping gestures to either delete the email, put it in a specific folder, mark as read and archive or delay it so it comes back to me later (like at a later time of the day, or even week or year). It’s from the makers of DropBox.
Please note that it currently only works with Gmail accounts, although they seem to be working on being able to add other email platforms soon.
Meetup - You can setup a meetup or go to meetups in your area. Just do a search on real estate and see what you can find.
Event Brite - This site allows you to create groups like the meetup app and it also has ticketing, so you will find larger weekend conferences on the site.
BiggerPockets - real estate investing forums with discussions on deal analysis, tools, networking, and free education.
"Be stubborn in vision, flexible in details, and be prepared to be misunderstood"
- Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder