The internet is filled with sites that you can use to make yourself a better real estate investor. In fact, there’s so many of them out there that it can be hard to sort through the ones that are worthwhile.
This guide can help. It will introduce you to some of the most helpful sites in three different categories.
First, you’ll view some educational sites that can help you learn the ropes. Then, you’ll learn about some online tools and resources that make investing easier. Finally, you’ll discover real estate investment communities where you can ask direct questions or just blow off some steam.
- Housing Wire
- This Old House
Tools & Resources
- Real Estate Investing Subreddit
The following sites are some of the best if you want to learn about real estate investing. These sites were chosen because they’re stocked with some of the latest news, as well as guides about how to get started or navigate through the thorniest controversies.
HousingWire bills itself as one of the most influential news and information sites for the U.S. housing market. There may be some truth to that claim. Every month, tt receives nearly 10 million visitors who come for the latest news on a number of real estate topics.
The news sections cover some of the most significant trends in investing, including:
- The real estate market
- The moves of the market’s biggest players
- Real estate law
- Credit & mortgage rates
- Lending & servicing
Beyond news, the site also hosts some white papers written by experts, and some video guides and tutorials. Subscribers to the HW+ service get exclusive news and commentary, along with access to a Slack channel that’s just for members.
Landlordology is devoted to the needs of landlords. It offers a wide range of resources to make it easier for you to acquire and monetize your investment properties through renting.
You can learn from the deep archive of articles that cover topics such as how to prepare a property for rent, how to advertise your units, and how to screen tenants.
There’s also a “Landlord Toolbox” that includes full-size guides and links that cover:
- State laws & regulations
- The property lifecycle
- A directory of important services
- Training classes and industry events
- Associations you can join
In addition to all the guides you can find on the site, there’s a podcast with episodes that go back for years.
This Old House is a nearly-essential site for the do-it-yourself property investor.
Most early property investors don’t have the funds to hire professionals to fix up the houses that they’re flipping. Instead, they need to rely on their own expertise—and they can get that expertise here.
The site covers renovation articles, guides, and videos organized by every room of the house. It also covers special skills like:
- Solar & alternative energy installing
- And more
Anyone who wants to learn more can also find TV listings, or subscribe to either the podcast or magazine.
Tools & Resources
Property investing involves a lot of complex work. Processes such as searching for properties, estimating value, and exchanging payments can eat up entire days if you aren’t using the right tools.
However, the right tools are out there to make processes like these simple, and convenient. The sites below—and the tools that you can find on them—can make property investing fast and fluid.
Roofstock is a real estate investment marketplace. Using their platform, you can search through millions of different residential properties that are for sale. You can see them organized by a number of different statistics, including:
- Current rent
- Property taxes
- Estimated gross yield
- Neighborhood ratings
- Historical appreciation rate
However, the site is far more than a property search engine. You can also purchase properties outright, or buy ownership shares of them from the same platform.
Small investors are welcome on the platform, but a slew of extra features are available for large-scale investors who are attempting to build out a serious portfolio.
NeighborhoodScout is a property search tool that is laser-focused on what it can tell you about neighborhoods. While not designed specifically for real estate investors, it provides an in-depth look at property statistics that may not be available elsewhere.
Data from public records, street layout, geography, and other sources are used to build develop proprietary profiles for a range of different measurements including:
- Local school scores
- Local entertainment scores
- Crime rates
The profiles that NeighborhoodScout creates are used by many of the top property search platforms.
Mashvisor is one of the most data-dedicated property search platforms online. It caters to residential property investors, including those who are looking to use their properties as Airbnb rentals.
Over 450,000 property listings are currently available, and for each of them, you can get analytics that you won’t find anywhere else.
Users can perform enhanced property searches based on different types of data, and partially automates some of the most important analysis that you’ll need to perform. The proprietary stats that you can find here include:
- Traditional rental and Airbnb rates
- Occupancy history and percentages
- Seasonal trends
- Neighborhood insights
The platform also includes some calculators that you can use to estimate costs, cash flow potential, and other investment considerations.
Sparkrental is a platform that is dedicated to helping you automate nearly all the work of managing your real estate investment properties.
The site is built around an app that has features to cover most landlord functions. You can use it to:
- Generate rental applications
- Generate leases
- Calculate rent
- Build advertisements for vacancies
- Build relationship files for your tenants
- Manage maintenance schedules
In addition to these features, the site also hosts a frequently-updated blog on handling rentals and a podcast with a small library of back episodes.
Property investing can be lonely work. Most investors don’t have partners or co-workers and manage most of their properties using the internet. However, some sites have formed and become popular because of
Communities offer you the chance to make connections with other real estate investors rather than just the experts. These communities can be a relief when you want to share your frustrations or understand parts of the investing process that aren’t often discussed.
BiggerPockets is a massive investment community with many features. Like some of the other sites already covered, it has a large blog and a library of text and video resources. It also has some simple calculators to estimate rental rants and rehab costs.
However, the main attraction of the site is the well-populated user forum, where hundreds of investor conversations take place every day. You can expect to find conversations that cover topics like:
- What the latest news might mean for the market
- What process you use to evaluate cities/properties
- Where the best money is to be made
- How to solve common landlord problems
- Your best/worst flip ever
The community is known for being friendly and helpful, but more than that—huge. No matter what topic you want to discuss, you’ll find a few people who know exactly what you’re experiencing.
ActiveRain bills itself as one of the largest social networks for real estate professionals. There are thousands of property investors here, and they share the network with agents, brokers, lenders, and even property inspectors.
Like the last site, this one has it’s own education section called ActiveRain University. Here, you can find a long-running series of Webinars from verified professionals. However, user-submitted content is the main attraction.
The site acts as a community blogging network where anyone is free to make their own posts or interact with others. Altogether, there are more than 4 million of these posts archived on the website.
ActiveRain is as active as ever, with hundreds of fresh community blogs being published every day.
There are many niche real estate investing forums online, but few of them are as busy as the real estate investing sub-forum on Reddit. This investing-focused subreddit has more than 140,000 active members who share thoughts, experience, and advice every day.
The topics that are covered include:
- Structured deals
New and experienced users are encouraged to ask whatever questions they like. While that accounts for a lot of the discussion, there are also plenty of submissions from experts working at the higher levels.