Useful Apps

This month I want to share the mobile phone apps I use to assist me with my everyday tasks to ensure I can achieve my tasks in an efficient and professional manner.

 

Whats App.

I find Whats App the most useful communication tool and I share this app with one billion people who use Whats App daily (Fortune.com). I belong to a number of groups on this app which range from groups with my HMO Management Team, my Power Team (builder, electrician and plumber), the flooring fitting team, etc. – the list goes on and on! The ease to communicate with all the teams makes this app a great source of efficient communication and it allows me to reach out to the teams to ask questions or request tasks to be completed. As you have all the key people in one group you can ensure the message reaches those who can act upon the request and action it. This medium is also a record of conversations and images so that you can refer back to it when needed, such as access codes to properties.

The drawback is that although you can mark a conversation as ‘unread’, you cannot mark a specific message as ‘unread’ so you must be very strict with actioning a request immediately or write the request down to action later.

 

Rightmove and SpareRoom

I operate within these apps to allow me to keep an eye on the current property market. Rightmove on your mobile device syncs with your online account so changes made on both mediums will update the other. You can view the activity of the property prices as they move up and down and you can save properties of interest on the app that you can check out later on your laptop. This allows you to be on the move whilst having one of the most popular property tools at your finger tips so you can reduce the chance of you missing an opportunity. Having the SpareRoom app ensures that you can respond to any messages that are sent from rental prospectives so that you can respond in a timely manner. You can also add to and edit your listing, so again you can make changes on the go regardless of your location.

The negatives of these apps is that you cannot always have access to all the facilities that you can on a lap top.

 

Magic Plan

This app was shown to me by my mentor and it allows you to draw a very specific and detailed floor plan. I have recently updated my investor pack using this app to show the transformation of our residential properties to rental properties with multiple ensuites, loft conversions and new kitchen layouts. The app is very easy to use once you have used it a few times and creates a very professional plan. The app allows you to draw the room layout and add items to the space, plus you can use the phone camera to plot the room dimensions and location in the property (done automatically via the images taken through the camera). It has improved my investors pack and replaced my hand drawn plans and therefore given me a professional pack that will put me in good stead to secure investment.

The only negative implication is you have to take time to get use to the app so you can create a plan in an efficient manner.

 

Stamp Duty Calculator

This simple but affective app allows me to quickly work out stamp duty based on owning more than one property. There are no negatives!

 

Inspire Home Automation

I have set up this app for all my rented properties as it allows me to control the hot water and thermostats whilst being nowhere near the property. This app is synced with the thermostat in the house via WiFi and once set up, it allows me to use a default temperature and timers for all properties. I can override any of the settings from my phone and it immediately reacts to my alteration in the property. I have also set up email alters so I am notified if the temperature is altered manually by a tenant. It is important that tenants have the freedom to make adjustments but I have also set the thermostat to return to the programmed temperature after 1 hour. This ensures that if a tenant increases the temperature and then leaves the property after 30 minutes, I am only paying for an additional 30 minutes of heating, rather than hours or days.

The largest negative of the app is that it is basic. Also, you have to name the hot water and thermostat settings by property so each property has two settings which is time consuming. As my portfolio grows (I have 4 properties now, so 8 different settings) I am not sure this app will ‘grow’ with me.

 

Vontage

This is the latest app I have downloaded and I have not used it much yet but it is linked to my new virtual landline office number. I am about to carry out guerrilla marketing in my gold mine area, and have purchased a landline as I feel it will add to the way my company is seen: professional and legitimate. The app will allow my landline to ring a physical handset in my office and also ring my mobile app, plus if it is not answered it is diverted to my mobile. The app also notifies me and allows me listen to voicemails and I have a set amount of free calls. This is a great advantage where my office has poor mobile signal – a phone that keeps losing signal is very annoying for the caller and receiver.

The negative implication is that unlike the other apps listed above, this service has a cost.

Take Away Points

  • Ease of communication and holding others accountable.
  • Automation at a push of a button can assist with your efficiency and save you money.
  • Apps are here to stay.