Successful investors aren’t likely to stop at one property. One profitable rental quickly turns into two, three, and then dozens. Learning how to manage a real estate portfolio is critical to continue growing your business and generating profits.
Portfolio management doesn’t have to involve dozens of real estate professionals or hired financial advisors, but you will benefit from having the right tools. Tips from experts can guide you to top assets that will prevent you from missing out on huge savings and potential profits.
Stop wasting your precious time on analyzing portfolios and property management tactics that can be streamlined with the right tools—learn more about how to improve your process and portfolio management in today’s guide.
A Table Of Contents On Real Estate Portfolio Management Tools
Portfolio management is more than a task that needs to get done—it’s part of a larger plan. As you grow your business, being a visionary means you need the best management tools. Follow along and see what you may be missing out on:
- What Is A Real Estate Portfolio?
- Top Tools To Manage A Real Estate Portfolio
- FAQs: What Is A Real Estate Portfolio (And More)
- Options Abound With Real Estate Investment And Portfolio Management Tools
Despite its official-sounding nature, “real estate portfolio” is not a legal phrase, nor does it carry any specific legal meaning. Instead, this term is used to describe two different and somewhat overlapping entities:
- Any collection of real estate investment properties and assets and/or
- The official documentation that details all real estate investment assets, past and present
Today’s article focuses on real estate portfolios as defined above.
All rental properties and other real estate investment trusts that are part of your current real estate assets are part of your real estate portfolio. This may include short-term rentals, properties under rent-to-own agreements, home leases, and even commercial properties.
Your portfolio is your collection of investment properties, whatever those assets may be. They can be located in one geographic region or they can be spread out across the nation.
Portfolios in real estate can vary drastically. Some portfolios consist of just a few rental properties, while others contain hundreds of apartment units. Across the board, however, there are a few categories of tools that have helped investment experts become the best in the field.
Learn more about those tools and how they may benefit your portfolio.
Auction sites like Auction.com are online marketplaces specializing in foreclosure, short-sale, and bank-owned properties. Auctions are happening daily, and you could find the next investment property for your portfolio using auction sites.
Learning how to buy a house at auction takes time and courage as it can be a risky operation. Still, investors wanting to expand and diversify their portfolio without as much cash down may find auctions an appealing opportunity.
Rent collection apps have become very popular in recent years. Some rent collection services only have standard websites. In contrast, others allow landlords to create custom portals where all tenants can quickly and easily submit outstanding rent payments and other required fees.
Avail and TurboTenant are popular options, but they have many competitors. Reviewing a few different rent collection tools to determine which has the right features for your portfolio will be necessary. Once you invest time into this choice, you’ll find that cash flow and occupancy levels may be improved by adding a rent collection tool.
More than 60 percent of tenants are comfortable paying bills online, and that percentage is continually growing. Update your real estate portfolio to move forward with the times and you’ll also see your profits grow.
DocuSign is one of the most popular e-signature platforms, which enables landlords and investors to streamline one of the most frustrating parts of working in real estate: documentation. Every transaction, sale, and lease agreement comes with dozens of pages of paperwork.
DocuSign’s features make it easier to sign, track, and send documents for electronic signatures. Signatures can even be notarized through the portal, and the turnaround time for agreements can significantly decrease.
An essential tool for every investor wanting to keep their real estate portfolio in check is a financial management tool. These solutions provide you with a way to run financial reports, keep track of income and expenses, compare properties, and otherwise manage the large-scale operations of your portfolio.
The features vary between services, and you’ll want to find one that aligns with your portfolio’s focus. Stessa, for example, provides dashboards for individual properties and specific portfolios and can also be a massive asset for payroll and taxes.
Another service, RealPage, enables portfolio managers and investors to process financial reports in a visually appealing way while connecting with other real estate professionals for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Often, succeeding with your real estate portfolio means having access to the right resources. Experts highly recommend various templates that can be used when processing rentals. From rental applications to lease agreements, generating templates that can be easily edited and reused is vital for streamlining your business.
RentPrep offers a landlord form bundle that can be used to build up your database of templates.
Experts recommend creating a bank of resources that you can use to analyze potential properties and search for the right financing option for your next purchase. Let’s look at two examples of these tools:
- DealCheck gives property analysis results through manual data entry or public data. The results help investors determine potential cash flow, profits, rehab costs, and more.
- HouseCanary provides valuations for residential real estate, which are invaluable for buying and financing properties.
Finally, we’d be remiss not to tell you about another great tool for your portfolio management that ensures you (or your property managers) use the best screening.
Keeping dozens or even hundreds of applications for rental properties in order can be one of the most challenging parts of management for some landlords. Rather than relying on slow processes to screen each tenant, upgrading to an enterprise screening service just makes sense.
Our enterprise clients receive high-volume screening results quickly and at affordable prices. Contact us today to learn more about these services and what we can offer for easier portfolio management.
Your real estate portfolio is made up of the investment properties and assets that you own in order to grow your wealth. This may include rental properties, home leases, rent-to-own situations, commercial leases, raw land management, and other types of trusts. For example, landlords who own multiple apartment buildings can consider these buildings their real estate portfolio.
As you conceptualize your rental properties in a new framework, you may wonder what the difference between a property manager and a portfolio manager really is.
A property manager is an individual who handles specific tasks, such as collecting rent and inspecting apartments, that would otherwise be the responsibility of the landlord. Property managers are typically on-site individuals who handle rental properties’ day-to-day needs.
The goals of a property manager are focused on tenant experience, property upkeep, and rental activities happening at each investment unit.
On the other hand, portfolio managers focus on the financial picture of your investment properties. They are often focused more on the big picture and growth strategy as well as the portfolio’s financial performance. While both managers may do some financial analyses, the focus of their data tends to differ.
A portfolio manager’s goals are property performance, future growth analysis, goal planning, and other large financial and risk planning details.
There are many ways to grow your portfolio, but it’s never as simple as just buying more properties. Instead, you’ll want to think about where you’re spending the most time and how you can streamline those tasks. By devoting less time to small tasks, you can instead focus on the big picture and long-term growth.
Often, self-guided landlords find that they spend too much on repairs, cleaning up properties, and handling other work that could easily be outsourced to general contractors. It might seem like an expense, but money is often saved by improving the maintenance process.
Additionally, you can use various tools (including those mentioned here) to make your workflow more functional and profitable. Saving time as you collect rent and process payroll with financial tools, for example, enables you to devote extra time to researching new properties, screening tenants, or taking other profitable actions.
Ultimately, you’ll realize that the way to expand your portfolio and grow your rental business is to outsource instead of doing everything by hand or on your own. Enlisting help with automated online tools and new hires such as property managers ensures long-term growth.
Investors entering real estate for the first time may be unfamiliar with how to blend a real estate portfolio into their overall investment plan. As with all investments, advisors typically recommend that you diversify among different investment types. Stocks, mutual funds, and bonds may all be options considered alongside real estate.
A diverse real estate portfolio will contain different properties such as flippers and commercial land rentals to standard rental units.
Determining the exact percentage of your investment portfolio devoted to real estate requires additional thought about your long-term goals. Most portfolio advisors will recommend between 5-10 percent as a target range. However, investors wanting to take more significant risks or create a more extensive real estate portfolio may choose to extend their investments.
If you’re already working as a landlord, you’re already directly managing your portfolio. Even if the terminology is something you’re newly adopting, you’ve already been in control of your portfolio for as long as you’ve managed income-producing properties.
Investors considering diversifying their investments by adding a real estate portfolio will want to consider if you are ready to take on the complete list of responsibilities that come with being a landlord. Landlords have many tasks that must be handled, including showings, scheduling maintenance, screening tenants, solving neighbor problems, and more. It’s an extensive job.
If this isn’t something that interests you as you explore real estate investment options, it is possible to take a more passive approach by hiring a property management company. These services cost money but can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend on your portfolio. While it will still be essential to monitor your management company and review their work, you can avoid taking on the total responsibility of a landlord.
There is no clear answer, but you can determine the best solution based on your current job roles, responsibilities, and available time.
Your investment projects, goals, and strategies determine the best tools for your real estate portfolio. Investors working with dozens of multi-unit buildings will benefit from high-volume property management tools. At the same time, portfolios consisting of a few expensive rentals may be better managed with finance-focused tools.
Assess what will fit your portfolio and its future:
- Do you need additional financiers? Seek tools that connect investors with financing options.
- Are you rapidly expanding the number of units in a portfolio? Utilize tools with high-volume functions and simple management options for streamlined business.
- Do you have many rentals in your current real estate portfolio? Try the fastest online rent collection tools to decrease the time spent chasing down payments.
Every real estate portfolio is built differently—the best tools for each portfolio will also vary. Just as you analyze the status of your portfolio and any potential property additions, consider business goals and plans, to determine the right resources for your portfolio.