We are about to launch a service that we believe will change the way investors run their business. This service has been in the development stages for two years and will be ready for launch early 2008. Mods, this is NOT AN AD, I am just looking for feedback.
It could be called a “virtual office”. Let me explain. It is a web based software that is a “just a little more” than a spreadsheet. Sense the sarcasm there? This V.O. can keep track of properties you have looked at, properties you are currenlty making offers on, properties you have purchased that are currently being rehabbed, time schedules of rehabs, etc. It also has mapping, an address book, contact manager, mortgage calculators, document storage, reporting, calendaring, project scheduler, photo upload and on and on…
It will simplify everything that we do because it puts everything right at your fingertips. And since it is “web based” you can get to it from any computer that has internet access and have multiple users, and it doesn’t take up any space on your computer. It also can run comps on properties, evaluate properties, offers rehab tips for new users, and comes with an online tutorial.
It will eliminate clutter and confusion and could eliminate your assistant. It will be a huge time saver also. This service would be a monthly subcription that would grow as your business grew. For instance if you have 2 properties you are working on the monthly charge would be less than somebody with 40 properties going.
So here are my questions.
Would you be interested in something like this?
If so, what do you think a fair monthly charge would be?
I think a lot of people will say “Neat, what a good idea.” I also think 95% of those people will either not buy it and a few will buy but will never implement it. I saw a booth offering something like this at a RE convention and it was a popular booth due to the giveaways they had but I just didn’t see many people that seemed like they were ready to buy. Many were impressed but not pulling out their checkbooks.
As for cost if you are going to go with a monthly fee structure you’re going to need to make it cheap enough that it doesn’t hurt. Something like $10-20/month I think would be reasonable. Of course at that low of a price point you need to have high volume to keep it afloat and keep not only your development paid for but also your webhosting and other overhead.
Sounds like it will be a tough task…good luck with it.
The problem is that this business is not an “in the office” business. It is an “on foot” business. You do this business by going from place to place. Generally it is not that difficult to keep properties straight in your head until you have a deal going, and then the paperwork for each deal kind of keep themselves straight.
I certainly think your plan can work. As you probably know, there have been many posts on the forum asking about software to track their property. I would think that your primary customer would be new investors as they seem to be the people who are most interested in putting things in spreadsheets and analyzing property via computer. That is a good thing, because there is a constant stream of newbies interested in the business.
I agree with Rich that the price point is important. Finding that magic number will be the key.
Trust me I get that this is an “on foot” business, I’ve been doing it for 4 years. In no way am I trying to eliminate that. The part that I don’t like about this business is the paperwork and keeping track of things. Maybe that’s not your weakness Bluemoon, but I know it is with a lot of people (especially me!). Thank you for your feedback.
Mike, thanks for the input. In my head part of my market was established investors that want to make even their spread sheets and the way they do things easier.
Rich, ty too. I get that “good idea” thing. Been there, done that.
I would love to hear from some of the newbies on whether or not this is something they would be interested in. Keep em coming guys, thanks for your time!
I feel that you came up with a product and now you are trying to find a market for it. This is a mistake if thats the case… When developing a product, you must fist find a need that has large demand then come up with a product to fill that demand.
In this industry, majority of newbie investors are broke. They don’t even invest in marketing, and if they do, it is very minimal cost. They want everything free. Not only do they want it, some even demand it! go figure.
The system you are describing assumes newbies have leads and need a way to organize. Majority of them can’t get the phone to ring to need such system with monthly charges.
Our market is real estate investors. Period. New, old, green, blue, rich, poor, doesn’t matter. Your right, to develop this and not know your market would be foolish. I believe that there are going to be more and more people that try to become investors in the next few years and this is something that can help them. I also believe that this is a product that can help some of the “old dogs” learn some new tricks because this is an easy to use system, even for those that are technologically challenged. When I say new tricks I mean in organization, not investing.
This product is not for those newbies who cannot get the phones to ring, but the ones that are making deals.
Thank you fadi for your input, I enjoy reading your posts. Everybody else, keep em comin…
Sorry Rich… (He deleted two posts due to advertising)
I will try and make my point without advertising…
When I went down the road of developing a web based system which came out of my own need to use one to do over 200 deals a year it took us 1 1/2 years and about 1.75 million dollars. What I found out is although the product has every possible management tool one could want most don’t what a tool they want to be shown how to fish…
So if i had to do it all over again I most definitely would not. The cost of the development to do it correctly isn’t covered by membership.
Don’t get me wrong the thing is great, it is just most investors never get to the point of using or needing a system.
With all due respect, NAH…Everything you listed can be done on Excel - spreadsheets, photo placement, calendars, etc…That’s how I do everything…I can sort everything how I want, have multiple tabs for different info, and save everything onto a jump drive that fits in my pocket to take from one computer to another…Seems like the only investors who would be interested in multiple user access would be large offices, but they would most likely have a network anyway, so that takes care of everybody accessing the info…
The only part I don’t understand is how I could pull viable comps…How would you get that info available to me?..That part would interest me if the price were extremely low (would you charge on each comp pulled, or a flat monthly fee?)…
Not trying to squash your banana…Just my feedback for your reference…