A comprehensive list of tried-and-tested resources we have used for our growing business, presented in one place for you.
I created this practical list of resources a toolbox you can use for your real estate business. I have personally used all of the websites, services, blogs, forums, products and systems mentioned below. I hope these can be of assistance in your journey as well.
If you have a special situation or still aren’t sure about what tool to use, feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help out!
Note: I have used all the resources listed below and have had great experiences with each, but your experience may vary. Some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase that particular tool or service. I recommend these resources because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend your money on these products unless you feel they will help you achieve your goals.
Facebook is a website that needs no introduction. In addition to being the dominant player in social media today, it has also grown into a very active and effective place to buy and sell real estate. Whether you choose to post properties for sale in the Facebook Marketplace or in one of the local “For Sale” Facebook Groups in your area – this social platform offers a TON of opportunity to get more exposure.
Craigslist is one of the highest-traffic websites in the world for buying and selling real estate. I’ve used Craigslist for almost every single property that I’ve sold over the past 6+ years. If you haven’t tapped into this resource yet, you need to. I would highly recommend it.
Zillow has a For Sale By Owner platform that provides a solid way to create property listings and market them to a GIANT audience of buyers. This site will give you an easy (and free) medium to do reach thousands of people in a matter of minutes. It’s a great way to reach thousands of eyeballs very quickly. I still use Zillow for every property I sell because it’s free, easy-to-use and can get some great results!
Fund & Grow is a company that helps real estate investors and entrepreneurs get access to 0% interest business credit lines. The company has a team of trained staff that negotiates with various banks on your behalf and helps you get access to as much funding as possible.
To enlist their services, you pay them an annual fee of $3,997 (note: if you go through our affiliate link, you’ll get a $500 discount that will bring the price down to $3,497). This annual fee includes four rounds of applications, so if you continue working with them repeatedly, you’ll have to pay them again for each additional year you work with them.
This kind of short-term financing isn’t the right fit for every person and situation, but for an experienced real estate investor who knows what they’re doing and needs access to cash (rather than relying on funding partners or hard money lenders that are far more costly and restrictive) Fund & Grow could be a great option to consider.
For a comprehensive look at how the company works, see our in-depth review in this blog post and be sure to listen in on the conversation we had with Mike Banks, COO of the company in episode 35 of the REtipster Podcast. You can start the prequalification process right here.
DataTree is one of the most convenient (and cost-effective) data services online for download mailing lists. They offer a ton of additional services too that can help with due diligence, property research, title work and a lot more. If you’re looking for a great combination of fast, easy and inexpensive, I’ve found this to be a pretty solid option to work with. Note: If you want access to a substantial discount on their available plans, be sure to sign up through our affiliate link!
AgentPro247 is another convenient way to download a targeted list of property owners in many of the counties around the United States. You’ll find that some counties in this system have more up-to-date information than others (so it’s not always the best fit in every area of the country) but generally speaking, it can be a good way to go if you’re looking for a cheap and easy-to-sort list. Note: If you choose to subscribe to this service, use Partner ID: CFGRSH for a permanent 10% discount.
Click2Mail is an online service that will print, stamp and mail all of your postcards or letters with a fully automated system. I’ve been using their service for several years now and it doesn’t disappoint. I seriously wouldn’t even consider a direct mail campaign without this kind of resource at my fingertips. Give it a try and you’ll save yourself a boatload of time and money – and if you need a quick tutorial on how it works, check out this blog post.
ITI Direct Mail is another awesome option for executing a direct mail campaign (especially when a mail merge is involved with your mail piece). They offer a lot more customization options and personal service to make sure your direct mail campaign is done right and on time. If you’re looking for an alternative to Click2Mail, this is a great one to try out.
DealMachine is a mobile app that can be extremely useful if you’re pursuing specific properties located near your physical proximity. It only does a couple of basic things (finds property owner information and sends them a tailored postcard message about their property), but it does them really well. Not the best fit for every investor, but a VERY good fit for some. To learn more about how it works, see this blog post.
Foreclosure.com is a great one-stop-shop for finding MANY different types of motivated sellers and real estate deals. You’ll find everything from preforeclosures to short sales to sheriff sales to bankruptcies, and the list goes on. There are actually a lot of things to know about each of these listing types before you dive into the site, so be sure to get educated before you dive in (note: this blog post is a great starting point). If you want to sign up, be sure to do it through this link and you’ll get a nice discount on your subscription!
REI Conversion has two of the best WordPress themes for real estate investors in the land business. REI Landlist is designed for creating a selling website and REI Landleads is designed for creating a buying website. Since I started using these themes, I’ve been amazed at how good they look and how remarkably easy they are to work with. I’m actually an advisor to the company (they’ve incorporated some of my ideas into the copy and design elements you’ll see in these themes) so obviously, it’s easy for me to recommend these to other land investors. 🙂
Investor Carrot is another solid, all-in-one solution that can make it much easier for real estate investors to build one or more websites. This service offers several different layouts and design options that will give you a great deal of flexibility, whether you’re trying to get properties sold, build a buyers list, attract new motivated sellers or simply establish your brand identity online. For a more detailed overview of how the system works, check out my video review in this blog post.
For general purpose real estate (whether buying or selling), AgentPress Pro is one of the best WordPress themes on the market today. While it’s not the most user-friendly option for web design novices, this theme can be used to build out just about any type of real estate website.
If you need a great company logo, product design, artwork or other visual elements for your business, 99designs is a great service to work with. You’ll get A LOT of different options to review and tons of flexibility in choosing your final design (note: all of the REtipster logos have come from 99designs)! Check out this review and you’ll see what I mean, it’s a great way to get the job done.
RingCentral is probably the most robust and well-known cloud-based phone and fax solution. Having a dedicated phone number for your business is very important. I’ve been using RingCentral since day one and it hasn’t let me down. This is the service I use to screen calls, take messages, send & receive faxes and set up all of my toll-free 888 numbers. All said, this can easily be your all-in-one solution. See this blog post for an overview on how to get started.
Traveling Mailbox is an incredibly convenient way to set up a physical mailing address and receive your mail digitally. That’s right! This service will not only receive physical mail at a dedicated, unique business address, but they’ll even scan the mail and send it to you digitally, so you can check it from your computer or phone and decide which items (if any) you want to have forwarded to you. It’s pretty great! Be sure to check out this blog post for more details on how it works.
BombBomb is a service that allows you to send video emails to your clients and prospects – which can be instrumental in helping you build trust and influence with your current and potential customers. Working your real estate business over the internet has its challenges… many people won’t trust a faceless name in an email or property listing, but that’s where BombBomb comes in. Most people respond very well to video emails, and this is the service I use to build instant credibility with my new prospects. Be sure to check out this blog post to learn more.
Cozy is a very simple, easy-to-use online software for “mom and pop” landlords. This cloud-based property management system is 100% free for landlords to use, and it can do everything from tenant screening to rental applications to property listings to payment processing. If you’re managing your own rental properties and you’re not already using this, you’re probably working a lot harder than you need to! Check out this blog post for a detailed overview of how it works.
TenantCloud is the most feature-rich property management software I’ve seen to date. In addition to the basic tasks of tenant screening, payment processing and managing applications, it also has a messaging platform (similar to Facebook Messenger), a task management section for maintenance requests (similar to Trello), accounting integration with QuickBooks (save yourself a ton of headache at tax time) and it even has a dedicated mobile app. It can also be used by the property owners, property managers, tenants and maintenance technicians alike. It’s a great all-around option for anyone in the rental property business.
Avail is another online cloud-based property management system that makes it easy for landlords to run screen tenants, collect monthly rent payments, use editable lease templates, create beautiful online property listings and a lot more. This is another solid option for those in need of better organization for their rental properties.
DealCheck is a deal calculator that can be used for more than just rental properties. It’s also a web-based mobile app, so you can run the numbers on your phone, when you’re on the road or away from your computer. It’s a similar concept to most of the deal calculators I’ve seen, but designed to be much more intuitive and user-friendly, with a cleaner look to it. If you spend a lot of time analyzing potential deals, this is a great tool to have at your disposal! Note: Use promo code “RETIPSTER” at checkout and you’ll get a 25% discount for the life of your subscription. For a full review on how the DealCheck app works, be sure to check out this blog post.
Mashvisor is a website that helps investors and landlords find some of the best publicly listed deals on the MLS. If you’re looking for good opportunities on a traditional or short-term rental property, this service can probably be a major help to you. See this blog post for my full review on the website. Note: If you use promo code RETIP25 at checkout, you’ll get a 25% discount on your first payment.
Roofstock is a website that makes it extremely easy to find turnkey rental properties in several markets around the United States. They can also help connect investors with local property managers and lending partners in these markets as well. If you’re looking for one of the easiest ways to find pre-analyzed deals on fully-leased, cash flowing rentals, this is a website you should check out. Be sure to see this blog post for a closer look at how it works.
Rentometer is a free service I’ve been using for years to find quick rental estimates for the properties I’m researching. Simply plug-in the basic information and you can find some very helpful market data that will indicate whether you’re asking a reasonable rent price for your residential income property. This kind of data is hugely important in the decision-making process for any rental property investment.
RocketLawyer has put together a pretty remarkable website for people who need to draft their own legal documents. Of all the “do-it-yourself” legal websites I’ve encountered online, none of them have made my life easier than this one. RocketLawyer has opened up a lot of doors for people in need of basic legal documents (like wills, deeds, trusts, promissory notes, operating agreements and more). They have demystified the process by offering users easy-to-follow, interview-style documents that don’t include confusing legalese. This website is also one of the fastest, easiest, least-expensive ways to equip your business with the legal protection of a corporation or LLC (as I explain in this blog post). I use this site regularly and it has become an extremely valuable resource to my operation.
DocuSign is an incredibly convenient and useful service that can be used to sign documents electronically. I use DocuSign all the time when I’m making offers and sending out purchase agreements to buy new properties. It’s a great way to speed up one of the slowest aspects of getting a deal closed. The service is pretty easy to use, but if you need a quick tutorial on how it works, be sure to check out this video.
USLegal is a website that has just about every form and contract imaginable for the real estate trade. If you’re starting out on a shoestring budget and you can’t afford to pay $400/hour for a real estate attorney, the forms on this website can accomplish many of the same tasks at a fraction of the price. I’ve bought several of my forms from USLegal and continue to use them to this day.
DataTree is a service that will give you instant access to property information in the vast majority of counties around the U.S. This is an excellent resource for researching properties before you go through the trouble of visiting them in person. Note: If you decide to subscribe to this service, be sure to use use the REtipster affiliate link and you’ll get a substantial discount for the life of your subscription
Google Earth has long been one of the most useful tools I know about when it comes to finding accurate and reliable data on the topography, surroundings, elevations, street views and much more of the properties I’m researching. When you’re making a buying decision on any property (especially when its vacant land), this kind of perspective can be extremely useful – and the fact that it’s FREE doesn’t hurt either! For a quick overview on how I use Google Earth, be sure to check out this blog post.
Zillow is a surprisingly helpful tool that can be used for property research – especially when it comes to land valuation and finding local realtors who can help get pictures, find comparable properties and even get your properties sold for you. Zillow is one of those priceless resources that I use all the time (and it doesn’t cost me a dime).
Dropbox is an amazing tool that you ought to be using if you aren’t already. This is pretty much the ultimate organization tool, because it allows me to sync files between multiple computers and even my iPhone. Check out this blog post for an in-depth look at you can put Dropbox to work in your business today (and at a price tag of FREE, it’s kind of hard to pass up).
TextExpander is a tool I’ve been using for a while now and I love it. This app allows you to type out “snippets” and generate pre-written lines of text of any length and complexity. Think about it… if there are ANY common strings of text you always find yourself typing out every day (e.g. – signatures, greetings, website URLs, repetitive sentences or full-length emails), this will save you GOBS of time. Once you’ve figured out which common phrases you type out again and again, this can be a truly a life-changing tool. You can learn more about how it works in this blog post.
Trello is a hugely helpful (and mostly free) online resource that can be used by teams and individuals to manage tasks, jobs and projects – among other things. Trello also has a very nice mobile app that can be used to add, update, move and delete tasks on-the-fly. I use Trello every single day, because it’s a great way to visualize what I’ve accomplished and what still needs to be done. If you need a good primer on how Trello works, check out this helpful review as well.
LandSpeed is a CRM system designed specifically for land investors. If you’re in the land investing business and you’re doing more than a few deals per month, there’s a good chance this system can offer you a TON of helpful ways to streamline and automate your business. LandSpeed currently runs on Podio, so it’s not the most user-friendly interface (plan on spending a few days learning how to use it), but if you’re willing to put in the effort to learn the system, it can save you untold hours of time in the months to come. Note: Be sure to mention the “REtipster discount” at checkout and you’ll get an instant $100 off the setup fee.
Heartland Payment Systems is the first credit card processing company to support vacant land transactions. If you want to accept credit card payments for land (whether it’s for a cash sale or a seller-financed sale), Heartland is pretty much the only credit card processor that will allow you to do without breaking a lot of rules and putting your merchant account at risk of being shut down.
Accepting credit card payments is a HUGE convenience for your land buyers and it can also result in you selling your properties a lot faster. For more details on how it all works, check out this blog post. To sign up for an account with Heartland, you can get started here.
GeekPay is a fully automated payment processing service that can be used to collect monthly payments for seller financed deals and/or any other type of loan or lease agreement. If you’re managing dozens of ongoing monthly payments, this is probably a platform you should be aware of. You can also see a video walkthrough of the system in this blog post.
Fiverr is a HUGE online marketplace that allows entrepreneurs to find freelance services that will fit within their budget and timeline. I’ve found varying levels of quality on Fiverr, but in terms of price, they’re pretty hard to beat. Whether you need help with web design, sorting through your lists, managing your social media profiles or fill-in-the-blank, pretty much any feasible service is available here. Be sure to check out my overview on how Fiverr works in this blog post.
Upwork is another awesome place to find expert help for just about anything. I’ve also found it’s also a great place to find a long-term Virtual Assistant, because you can hire someone for a small, one-time project (just to test them out) before bringing them onboard as a more permanent member of your team. The communication and payment platform of Upwork is also very easy to use. I’ve found the freelancers on Upwork tend to be a bit higher priced than Fiverr, but the overall quality of work is directly in line with what you pay for. Be sure to check out my overview on how to use Upwork in this blog post.
Whether you need help getting your first deal done or scaling your already thriving business, Jaren Barnes is making room in his schedule to put together a tailored plan to help a select few individuals master the land business.
The program runs for a 90-day duration for each client. Jaren will help create a game plan that fits your specific needs and unique situation. By the time you’re done, our aim is for you to have reached success on the individual goals you and Jaren set together at the beginning of the program.
If you’re interested, you can apply at the bottom of this page.
The following is a list of paid educational materials that I have either created myself or reviewed in-depth – and I think each of them brings some very important lessons to the table (the kind of information that can legitimately change your life). If you’re interested in some of the best premium real estate education, this is where you can find it!
After running the REtipster Blog for a few years, a lot of readers had been asking me to put together my own version of a land investing course, so I finally did. The Land Investing Masterclass is a paid membership website that offers access to a full-blown, 12-week course on how my land investing business works (with all-inclusive access to all of my tools, videos, calculators and more as part of the price of admission). If you’re looking for an in-depth, step-by-step guide on how I managed to skyrocket my income on a part-time basis and quit my job through the power of land investing, this will show you how it’s done.
If you want to make money as a real estate investor, nothing is more important than your ability to find an endless supply of insanely profitable real estate deals. When you’ve got the right acquisition strategy, everything else in your business will get a lot easier.
In this course, you’ll get a detailed overview of all the most well-known (and some of the lesser-known) ways that successful real estate investors find their deals. If you’ve ever wanted to peek behind the curtain to get a glimpse of how the money is really made, the information in this course will help you tap into a limitless supply of free real estate equity.
Bonus: Get a FREE copy of the INVESTOR HACKS e-book when you subscribe!
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