To round out our series on free tools for cost segregation, I’m going to focus on two more info-gathering tools. The first is Redfin, another great database for gathering the info you need for your client’s properties. The second is Google Forms, which gives you an easy and standardized way to gather information from your clients.
Like most cost segregation tools, these are all about getting the information you need faster and easier. Once you have this information, you can easily plug it into SegStream Pro for an automated cost segregation study. The trick is simply getting the information. Let’s start with RedFin.
Redfin: The best free tool for residential cost segregation studies
Redfin is my favorite lookup tool for residential properties. There are other tools like Zillow, but I only use them as a backup. That’s because the information in Redfin is laid out in the most efficient way for collecting cost segregation study data.
All of these sites give you the information you need on beds, baths, square footage, etc., but Redfin gives you a lot more in a nicely laid-out format. My favorite section is the ‘property details’ section. This is where they lay out everything they have on the property, and they tend to have deeper information than other sites here.
You’ll notice in the screenshot that Redfin has a treasure trove of information you can use to find components that you can separate out for cost segregation. Beyond the lot size, they’ll list items such as sprinkler systems, roof types, appliances, fireplaces, types of floors, and exterior features—all of which you need to know for cost segregation studies.
Keep in mind that Redfin can get stuff wrong sometimes, so if you’re unsure of something verify it with your client. That brings us to our next tool which helps you get the information you need from your clients.
Google Forms: Create a standardized way to get the client info you need
Getting the information you need for a cost segregation study doesn’t have to be a burden. It also doesn’t have to be difficult to get that information into a usable format, because Google Forms helps solve both of those problems.
Google Forms is the ideal free tool for creating client intake forms. You simply create a new form and add questions for a new client to fill out. This can include client name, entity name, property address, property type, etc.
For a field such as ‘property type’, you can give your clients options to pick from rather than have them type it out. This helps standardize your form and avoids people saying the same thing in two different ways (e.g. hotel/motel or assisted living/hospice).
You can also choose to make fields required so you’re guaranteed to get the info you need. The example below shows how to set up a ‘property type’ field. Note that it’s in alphabetical order so it’s easy for clients to find their property type.
Once you gather the information from your form, you can easily export it to a usable spreadsheet. From that spreadsheet, you have all the data you need ready to be copied and pasted into other tools, such as SegStream Pro. So not only does it solve the data collection problem, but also the data formatting. For example, if you had clients fill out a paper form you’d be stuck typing the info from the form into a spreadsheet or SegStream Pro. This bypasses that.
What’s great is that you can use this form over and over for each new client. You can tweak the form over time to add new fields that you need to collect or subtract fields you don’t need. You can also see reports based on your responses. For example, you could see a pie chart of the different property types your clients selected from the image above.
Google Forms has tons of flexibility. Not only can you generate a spreadsheet, but you can also use integration tools like Zapier to connect it to your customer relationship management (CRM) system or other systems.
Faster cost segregation studies: What these free tools are all about
All of the free tools we’ve laid out in this blog post series, not just Redfin and Google Forms, are all about the same thing: getting you all of the info you need to do cost segregation studies faster and more efficiently.
The reason I’m showing these particular tools is that they are all organized in a way that makes it easy to punch in the data to SegStream Pro. They all fit hand and glove with our software so you can quickly get the information you need, copy and paste it in, and have your cost segregation study done in hours instead of weeks—without sacrificing quality.
Interested in learning more about SegStream Pro? Request a free live demo and we’ll show you how you can use it to grow your business.