DealMachine is a driving for dollars app that helps investors find high-quality investment properties in less time. It offers a wide array of helpful features for sourcing and prospecting potential deals, including driving for dollars tracking, property analytics, skip tracing, and direct mail marketing. And people seem to love it: DealMachine is currently the highest-rated real estate investing app on both Google Play and the Apple App store, with over 3,000 reviews.
Does DealMachine live up to the hype? And how does it compare to top alternatives? I spent the past week on the road, testing out DealMachine vs. similar driving for dollars apps like PropStream and Propelio. Below I’ll break down how DealMachine works, pros and cons, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Bottom line: DealMachine is the best driving for dollars app
Why I think DealMachine is the best: Of all the driving for dollars apps I used, DealMachine was the easiest to use and there was effectively zero learning curve. The app made finding prospective distressed properties and turning them into qualified leads a breeze. And DealMachine’s driving for dollars tracking features were amazing. DealMachine is also the only D4D app that lets you customize the message and image on the direct mail postcards. This type of personalization can really help you stand out and up your response rate.
Where DealMachine falls short: The only shortcoming I found was DealMachine’s data. PropStream generally had more data on properties and more in-depth breakdowns. To be fair, I also found PropStream’s data points a bit excessive for the average investor, as well as overwhelming on their driving for dollars app. DealMachine’s data is more than sufficient for a general overview of the properties — and also keeps you from getting lost in the data weeds.
DealMachine vs. PropStream vs. Propelio
» MORE: Compare the best Driving for Dollars apps in 2022 (coming soon!)
Breaking down the competition
DealMachine vs. PropStream
PropStream is real estate software with a driving for dollars app. The platform is notable for its ability to aggregate immense amounts of property data. PropStream and DealMachine have many of the same features and functionalities. If I had to distill things down to one core difference, it’s this: PropStream offers more property data, DealMachine is a better driving for dollars app.
I’ll also add that I think in some ways, PropStream has too much data. Most of it isn’t actually very useful — and it can undermine other core D4D features: fonts are small, it's easy to fat-finger buttons. Data overload made it difficult to actually use the app in the field. In my opinion, DealMachine offers plenty of data, and presents it in a way that works more seamlessly with the other features in the app.
» MORE: Read the full PropStream review
DealMachine vs. Propelio
Propelio is a driving for dollars app that has many of the same features as DealMachine: You can track your routes, look up properties, create lists, skip trace, and send postcards. The Pro version for both apps cost roughly the same (you’ll save $1 a month with Propelio). But DealMachine’s postcards and skip tracing are a bit pricier.
My take is that DealMachine is a far superior driving for dollars app. Propelio is wonky and hard to use, with awkward features like oversized text, distracting icons, and cluttered information. DealMachine’s postcards also cost more for a reason: They’re simply better. Propelio offers one postcard with a pre-written message. DealMachine offers numerous templates and customizable text and images.
» MORE: Read the full Propelio review
How DealMachine works
DealMachine can run as both software on your computer and as a mobile app.
The DealMachine mobile app allows you to track your driving for dollars routes and save properties in real-time to build lists. You can do a “free drive,” or pre-plan a route in the app. As you pass prospective deals, you click on them in the app to pull up property information. Once you save a property to your list, you can skip trace for phone numbers, emails, and additional mailing addresses. Then all it takes is a phone call or direct postcard to get in touch with your leads.
The desktop version of DealMachine is similar to the app, except you can drive virtually and build lists (if you add “list building” to your membership). You can also see the leads you’ve saved while you were out driving.
Key DealMachine features
DealMachine’s direct mail marketing feature is no cheap party trick: It’s a robust way to get your offer in front of homeowners.
Other flipping and driving for dollars apps allow you to send postcards, but only DealMachine gives you the option of customizing every aspect. You start by choosing a size (4x6, 6x9, or 6x11), then select a design from the list of templates. Once you have a design, you can edit the pre-written messages. You can also add your own picture of the property, which gives your postcard more credibility.
You can even send a handwritten postcard. You type up your message, then someone at DealMachine will write it with a ballpoint pen. Handwritten notes are a great way to add that personal touch (and appear less spammy or scammy) to increase the chances of getting a response.
Postcards arrive quickly, as they’re sent with USPS first class mail (you can track them, too). Prices vary by membership tier. Here’s what the cost breakdown looks like:
Size / Style
Starter / Pro
Batch skip tracing
For driving campaigns that yield hundreds of properties, you don’t have to skip trace them one at a time. DealMachine lets you batch leads and get owner information for up to 500 properties at once.
The skip tracing service is highly accurate. When I skip traced myself, I found it knew my phone number, email addresses (even those I don’t give out often), and my mailing address. It also knew which phone numbers had caller ID registered, as well as which could receive text messages.
Like postcards, the price you pay for skip traces depends on your membership:
Price per skip trace
Starter / Pro
For $20 extra per month, you can add “comps” to your plan. This allows you to find properties that are comparable to yours, which can help you calculate your property’s after-repair value (ARV).
DealMachine shows you the route you’re currently driving, as well as previous routes you’ve already completed. Each route has its own color code, too, making it easy to distinguish them on your map.
DealMachine is super intuitive. While this isn’t a feature per se, it definitely separates DealMachine from other driving for dollars apps and real estate softwares.
And when I say “super simple,” I mean every part of the process is simple. From setting up a driving for dollars route to building lists to skip tracing to sending direct mail, DealMachine creates a seamless experience. No clunky steps. No confusing processes. You don’t even need a tutorial to use the app: it’s that intuitive to figure out on your own.
DealMachine also allows you to customize your map — something the other two apps haven’t quite figured out. You can label properties by useful data points like the owner’s name, equity percentage, sale price, total assessed value, among others. You can filter properties by your own criteria (like auctions and pre-foreclosures), and you can also superimpose previously driven routes on your map, each with a color that tells you how long it’s been since you drove it.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Sometimes the app is slow: Occasionally, it would take some time to pull up information on properties, or even add them to my list. Some reviewers say the app crashes on older Android devices.
Can get expensive: DealMachine isn’t the cheapest driving for dollars app on the market. After you factor in skip tracing and postcards, you could spend around $150 to $200 per month for a Professional membership. And if you buy additional features — like comps ($20/mo), list builder ($99/mo), or mail tracking ($20/mo), you could easily spend $300 to $400 on one subscription.
DealMachine pricing tiers
Which membership is the best value? Professional is the best value for solopreneurs or investors with small teams. While “Basic” might seem like the most affordable option, many features are lacking (most notably route tracking, which is one of its standout functions). But if that’s not a feature you’re interested in, the Basic membership will still let you look up property information on your map, skip trace on the spot, and send postcards.
Elite and Professional are more or less the same — but Elite offers more seats, making it better for larger teams and operations. You can add up to 30 team members on an Elite account vs. two per Professional subscription. So if you’ve got more than four people on your team, Elite is the way to go.
Users love DealMachine’s simplicity, organization, clean interface, and customer service. They often applauded the app’s ability to turn a potential property deal into a highly qualified lead with built-in skip tracing and direct mail campaigns. Some users did find that the app crashes during high-volume drives (when you’re saving multiple properties), and others noted that DealMachine occasionally freezes mid-drive.
Summary: Key things to know about DealMachine
- DealMachine is the best driving for dollars app on the market. It’s the simplest to use, and it presents investors with the least technological resistance.
- DealMachine’s map is easy to navigate and doesn’t glitch often. Not only can you customize how you see properties, you can also color code previously driven routes.
- DealMachine allows you to customize every aspect of your postcards, including the design and message. You can even add your own picture of the property.
- DealMachine’s professional plan costs $99/mo (with a yearly membership).