Investing in real estate can be a great way to flesh out your portfolio, generate cash flow, and capitalize on long-term gains. But to newcomers, real estate can be intimidating. Finding the right deals, managing properties, and taking financial risks all require confidence and experience—two things most novices don’t have and can’t get easily.

However, thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to get started in real estate investing (and ultimately get better results).

How Tech Can Help You Invest in Real Estate

These are some of the best ways technology can help you invest in real estate:

  1. Property research. One of the most prominent changes in real estate investing has been the accessibility of online property research. These days, more than 44 percent of all property searches start online, and for good reason. There are dozens of platforms dedicated to helping property sellers list and market their properties, and it’s easy to peruse these looking for good deals. You can refine your search criteria to look for properties of certain types, in certain areas, and in certain price ranges so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
  2. Knowledge and secondary experience. You can also use technology to gain knowledge and glean secondary experience from other, more seasoned real estate investors. Read articles, whitepapers, and ebooks covering the latest about real estate investing. Follow real estate investing gurus on social media and learn from what they post. Engage in debates and discussions in public forums. The more you engage and the more you learn, the better you’ll be able to invest.
  3. Remote property management. Online interactions also open the door to remote property management—the practice of managing a rental property even though you live in a completely different area. Typically, the best approach here is to work with a property management company; this institution will help you find tenants, collect rent, conduct repairs, and manage tenant turnover. You can also use online platforms to better interact with your tenants (if you choose to manage the property on your own), automatically collecting rent, exchanging messages, and managing things like repairs and maintenance.
  4. Virtual tours. Finding a property can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to find homes in another city. That’s where virtual tours come into play; thanks to things like 360 videos and drone photography, you can get a much closer look at properties than you ever could before. In some cases, you can even tour properties using virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
  5. Professional networking. Many newcomers to real estate investing underestimate the importance of professional networking. Expanding your professional network will help you learn more about your local neighborhoods, grant you access to more deals, and help you build a community of like-minded investors. And thanks to social media platforms, forums, and other forms of modern tech, it’s easier than ever to find those like-minded people. Search for groups and individuals associated with real estate, and try to reach out to new people regularly.
  6. Calculators and estimates. Estimating costs is vital if you want to find profitable investing opportunities. That’s why it’s so important to make use of calculators and spreadsheets. Online, you can find a variety of different web-hosted calculators to help you determine the viability of your investments—and you can also download spreadsheets that you can use offline whenever you want.
  7. Databases and filing. Finally, you can make use of dedicated software designed to help you keep track of all your finances and legal work. For example, you can keep track of your leads and deals, organize your paperwork related to rental properties, and prepare for taxes using these platforms.

Why Real Estate?

If you’ve never considered real estate investing before, you might be unsure whether it’s the best investing approach. There are many different types of assets and strategies to consider as part of your portfolio, so why is real estate so highly recommended?

Part of its advantage is its flexibility; you can invest in commercial properties, residential properties, rental properties, long-term properties, or a blend of many different assets. You can also use it to generate cash flow on a recurring basis, collect long-term gains due to property investment, or some combination of the two. Additionally, the real estate market is more resilient to economic volatility than, say, the stock market.

No matter what your goals are, it’s important to diversify your portfolio. That means investing in a mix of different types of properties in different areas, but it also means investing in different types of assets. Use technology to your advantage as you learn more about real estate investing and gradually perfect your strategy.