Krunching.com, a Web site that launched this week, combines real estate information from multiple listing services with digital tools that allow investors to crunch numbers on properties.
The site, launched by Level 2 Realty, an investment-focused real estate brokerage company with offices in Los Angeles and Elk Grove, Calif., offers map-based displays of comparable properties, investment analyses of properties including cash flow, rental market data and market trends information, and tools to prepare reports for client presentations, among other features.
Brian Fudge, Krunching founder and a real estate investor who formerly worked for a video-compression technology company, said he decided to marry his own interest in technology and real estate investing because good tech tools have been lacking for investors.
"The voice that is really lacking is one of technology," he said. "This could be easier if you supply databases to it and information architecture."
While investment gurus often dive into numbers to get a sense for market conditions and investment opportunities, "I don’t see the guy who is developing products to help that customer base," he said.
After working 12-hour days in the tech industry on an assignment in China, Fudge said he got fed up and stepped out. He spent about six months driving around the country in an RV.
During this period he was researching where to buy real estate and the Krunching concept began to mature. "I was spending more time on my laptop, building and coding," he said.
Krunching, which has some free data tools but requires a subscription (a monthly subscription costs $39.95) to access its more advanced features, taps into about 11 data feeds from MLSs in California, and also has a range of property records that contain details about loans and financing. The property records date back three years.
Because Krunching is affiliated with a brokerage company, the brokerage company has the ability to work on a referral basis to refer investors out to other real estate brokers or to work directly with investor clients, Fudge said.
In addition to pricing trends and other trend information, such as "market heat," "median inventory" and rental comparables, the site provides projections about cash flow on individual properties based on a range of factors.
The site, which focuses on residential properties, provides an annual outlook for the next five years on maximum possible rent, net operating income, and cash flow before taxes, among other factors, and also provides a hypothetical sale price of the property over time.
Comparables include active for-sale properties, recently sold comparables and rental comparables.
While the real estate market is still reeling in many market areas, Fudge said the climate is ripe for an investment-based real estate site.
"It seems like we couldn’t have picked a better time to come into this marketplace. There are properties in Los Angeles where the rents exceed what you need to expend on mortgages," he said.
"When that starts happening, the investor base is supporting prices and now the bottom’s not dropping out anymore."
Fudge said that there are plans to expand the company into other states.
PropertyShark.com, another site that caters to real estate investors, features a range of properties including commercial buildings. And some Web sites, such as Foreclosure.com or ForeclosureRadar.com, cater to real estate investors who focus on foreclosure properties.
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