SMART Real Estate Investing System

Introduction to SMART Real Estate Investing

SMART Power Features

(click for links)
  1. Filter & Sort on Any Parameter
  2. "What If?" Analysis
  3. Cash Flow Heat Map
  4. Comparative Info:
    1. Median Rents for Area
    2. Average GRM for Area
    3. Cities with Best GRM
  5. Enter Total Investment Amount
  6. Doubling Year
  7. SMART Investor Dashboard
  8. Appreciation Chart
  9. Owner Occupied

Filter & Sort On Any Parameter

Using our SMART Real Estate Residential Income Property Search Engine©, you can sort and filter on the selection parameters that meet your investment criteria, including:
  1. County, City, Area
  2. # Units
  3. Price
  4. Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM)
  5. Down Payment
  6. Cash Flow
  7. Total Investment
  8. Net Equity Gain
  9. Net ROI
  10. Doubling Year

"What If?" Analysis

Our Search Engine starts with a standard set of calculation parameters and automatically calculates all of the important Decision Point factors you need to analyze an income property. Then, we allow you to change any of those parameters, based on your own investment criteria.

* Before: You find a duplex in Long Beach, asking $680,000; current rents: $3,000/month. The GRM is 18.9, and the cash flow is -$435/month. Not a good deal, right?

* After: Your agent runs the comps, and finds the market rents for that type of property in that area are actually $4,400/month. Plugging those numbers into our SMART Opportunity Analyzer©, it shows that the GRM is now 12.9, and the cash flow is +$885/month. Much better investment!

Cash Flow Heat Map

It is very valuable to know where the good income properties are that meet your investment criteria:


  1. Green map pins indicate Positive Cash Flow
  2. Red pins indicate Negative Cash Flow
  3. Orange pins represent "Slightly Negative Cash Flow" (we have set the default threshold to less than $200/month negative cash flow)

Some people are willing to look at slightly negative cash flow. Perhaps they can absorb it on a monthly basis, and still make money in the long run. Or, you might be able to see if the current rents can be improved by adjusting to market rents over time. A great way to legitimately turn a negative cash flow investment to positive.

Clicking on any map pin brings up details for that property, and then to our Analyzer for complete information and ability to perform a "What If?" analysis. Very powerful!

Comparative Info

For each property:
  1. Shows whether the property is above, below or at median rents for the area
  2. Shows average GRM for the area for each property
  3. Find Cities with Best GRM (measure of investment $ leverage; see Glossary)
This comparative info is a very powerful tool for seeing where investment opportunity exists based on market information.

Enter Total Investment Amount

Most people think about the asking price of the property. They've heard that 25% down is standard on a 1-4 investment property, and they think they can afford $X amount. The problem is this approach basically works, but it is limited in the scope of searchable properties. It's very easy to miss great opportunities doing it the old way.

Smart investors look at the total amount they have to invest. Then, they survey the potential properties, and find what fits. Here's an example of what we can come up with using our SMART Residential Income Property Search Engine©:

  1. Area: Long Beach
  2. Amount To Invest: $200,000
  3. # Properties Available: 59
Old Way
  1. "Standard" 25% Down
  2. # Properties With Positive Cash Flow: 27
New Way
  1. Enter $300,000 Total Investment Amount into the Search Engine
  2. # Properties With Positive Cash Flow: 38
As you can see, we found 11 more properties that meet this sample investor's criteria. Many down payments in this selection would be over 25%, but still leveraging a good portion, and opening up the opportunities that you couldn't see before.

We can also factor Up Front Closing Costs and estimated Repairs into the Total Amount To Invest. Your choice. Closing Costs for buyers generally run 1-2% of the purchase price (we use 1.5% in our standard calculations), and a good rule of thumb is about 1% of the purchase price for most investments. This, of course, depends on the condition of the property and desired rental quality.

Doubling Year

"How long will it take this particular investment to double?"

Great question! Our system calculates the doubling year for all surveyed properties. It's amazing what we come up with. Many properties with good cash flow will double your initial investment in 6 to 7 to 8 years, but a few will double in 5 years or less. Once again, we highlight those for you in our Search Engine and Analyzer programs, so you can focus on the better investments. Without the right calculations, it's like finding a needle in a haystack.

SMART Investor Dashboard

Our SMART Investor Dashboard shows a snapshot of the current market conditions for any given area in the system. This is more than just statitics. It is useful information that can help you evaluate the area you are considering investing in.

For example: for selected Counties, Areas or Cities, you can see the following, broken down by number of units (SFR, duplex, triplex, fourplex):
  1. # Available Properties
  2. Average Price
  3. Average Days on Market
  4. Average Price/Sq Ft
  5. Total Available Rents
  6. Average Rents
  7. Average Rents/Sq Ft
  8. Average Gross Rent Multplier (GRM)
  9. # With Positive Cash Flow

Appreciation Chart

We have many sources of useful information that assist your decision-making process. Property valuation data over time is a key element for long-term investing. Our partners at Zillow provide us with timely updates to property appreciation trend data by Zip codes.

These trends are applied to every property in our system, and allow you to see where experts have calculated prices have been going up, going down or are stagnant.

Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future trends, but at least you can get a comparative look at what's been happening in the past, and make your own judgments as to what might happen in your investment marketplace.

Owner Occupied

If you are considering living in one of your units, we automatically calculate several key factors that show you how well your owner occupied property will perform:

  1. Your old monthly mortgage
  2. Your new monthly mortgage
  3. Your $ and % monthly mortgage savings
Many investments may not look good as fully rented properties, but if you live in one unit, you can often get 50% or more of your monthly mortgage paid for by your other tenants! Here's an example:

  1. Nice bungalow in the Rose Park area of Long Beach
  2. Duplex
  3. Asking $630,000
  4. Market Rents: $3,200/mo
Non-Owner Occupied
  1. Cash Flow: -$4/mo (just about break even)
Owner Occupied
  1. Old Monthly Mortgage: $2,256 (*)
  2. New Monthly Mortgage: $656 (*)
  3. Monthly Mortgage Savings: $1,600 (**)
  4. Monthly Mortgage Savings: 71% (**)
(*) 25% down; 4.00% interest rate; 30 years
(**) Assuming all units with equal rent
(***) Does not include Taxes and Insurance