Real estate is a great area of passive income, but it hedges against entrepreneurial risks. More and more people continue to invest in real estate, so it’s becoming increasingly challenging to find a profitable deal before the next investor pounces on it. The most successful investors are taking advantage of technology to help find the best new opportunities.

Bidding against other investors will always drive up the price of a property. Dealmachine is an app that helps you buy properties nobody else knows are for sale, which is a priceless advantage. The app shows properties that are off market but still might be a good deal. Similar to a visual Shazam, once you take a picture of a house, it instantly provides you with the owner’s information. It will then send the picture to the owner with your offer to buy. The app also follows up automatically until they respond.

Real estate is based on relationships, and nowadays it is essential to leverage technology to build a real estate brand. Using online tools will help complete tasks easier, get things done more quickly and get better results. Carrot is an app that provides website building for real estate investors and agents. A person can pay to have a website optimized and formatted for their specific seller and buyer leads. All the work is done for them.

The number one concern for any investor is whether something is a good deal. Money isn’t just made because you bought property at a good price. There are other costs to consider, such as renovations. If your construction project runs over budget, you’ll lose your profits quickly. Working hand-in-hand with contractors and estimating a property’s repair costs can be just as critical as the purchase price itself. DealCheck makes it easy to estimate repair costs and can quickly forecast profits. It’s also great for analyzing rentals and commercial buildings. You can type in factors such as loan terms, purchase price or rental income to see your return on investment (ROI) or monthly cash flow.

In order to save time and money, it also helps to have investment data right at your fingertips. HouseCanary is like Zillow for investors. It shows all the properties currently on the market, but adds data relevant to view a property as an investor. You can filter properties to quickly see which would make the most profitable rental. There’s also an off-market search function.

Investors are responsible for building and nurturing relationships with people. A common mistake a lot of investors make is not following up enough with leads, which puts them in the back of someone’s mind when that person is ready to sell. Staying in the front of someone’s mind by nurturing a relationship and building trust is key. CRM systems exist to help set reminders and automate outreach, and REIPro is specifically built for investors.

It’s important to answer your phone whenever a customer calls, but sometimes it isn’t possible. That’s why there are tools like Call Porter, trained to serve investors and set up appointments. Their software recognizes who is calling, so your leads get a personalized experience on the phone. You can then log in and hear a recording of all the calls.

If you want to invest in rental properties, but don’t necessarily want to worry about tenants, Roofstock is a marketplace for buying cash-flowing properties without affecting tenant occupancy. This can be helpful for people who want to invest out of state or if they just can’t manage properties themselves.