Online real estate brokerage ZipRealty has teamed up with property analysis company eRealInvestor to offer a tool that allows investors to estimate a property’s short- and long-term potential.

An "Investor Info" tab embedded into each ZipRealty listing allows registered users to use eRealAnalyzer to compare estimated monthly cash flow and potential return on investment for homes and rental properties.

The tool takes into account various expenses associated with owning an investment property, such as annual insurance and monthly maintenance, and allows users to plug in different loan options such as downpayments and interest rates so that they can figure out what strategy is best for them.

"A new breed of buyers has emerged over the past 24 months," said Mike Genstil, founder and CEO of eRealInvestor, in a press release. "Today’s homebuyers and investors have unique cash situations, financing requirements, and short- and long-term outlooks. In certain neighborhoods, the level of competition for homes is extremely high, as is the demand for real-time information."

Investors make up a substantial percentage of homebuyers in many major metropolitan areas. In December, absentee buyers (mainly investors, but also second-home buyers and others) bought 38.5 percent of all homes sold in Phoenix, 29.3 percent of homes sold in Miami, 40.3 percent in Las Vegas, 17.9 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area, and 19.2 percent in Southern California, according to real estate information company DataQuick.

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