PropStream offers real estate investing software that aggregates huge amounts of data to help you discover and analyze prospective deals. PropStream recently launched a driving for dollars app that aims to let you tap into this data in real-time as you’re driving around looking for prospective deals. So did they pull it off?
I’ve been testing out PropStream, along with top alternatives like DealMachine and Propelio, to determine which driving for dollars app is the best overall. In this guide, I’ll break down PropStream’s key features, pricing, flaws — and how it stacks up against the competition.
Bottom line: Great data, not so great for driving for dollars
What PropStream does well: Of the three biggest driving for dollars apps, PropStream brings the most data (by far). Its “comps” feature, which helps you compare recently sold properties, is also great. Additionally, PropStream has a built-in rehabbing calculator, and its lead generation feature allows you to combine 120+ property criteria to generate highly targeted lists.
Where PropStream falls short: PropStream’s strength (data) is also the Achilles Heel of its driving for dollars app. There is so much information packed into the map, it’s very hard to use in general — let alone while you’re actually trying to navigate on the road. The font is small, the section tabs run into each other, and it’s easy to fat-finger one over the one you want. The marketing component (sending postcards or text messages) is also clunky and can add too much time to your routes. Its low average user ratings reflect these shortcomings. Of the three big D4D apps, DealMachine is by far the best when it comes to actual driving for dollars.
PropStream vs. DealMachine vs. Propelio
» MORE: Compare the best Driving for Dollars apps in 2022 (coming soon!)
Breaking down the competition
PropStream vs DealMachine
DealMachine is, in my opinion, the best driving for dollars app today. Its navigation and map are best in class. And other core D4D features, like route tracking, property analytics, skip tracing, list building, and direct marketing, are seamlessly integrated. PropStream offers many of the same features, but the execution is clunky. While PropStream offers more property data, the information overload and app’s design can actually get in the way of functionality. And DealMachine offers plenty of property data to get the job done.
The Pro version of both apps are the same price per month, but PropStream includes comps (you have to pay extra with DealMachine). DealMachine’s direct mail pricing is slightly higher, but you get better quality and customization. Overall, PropStream offers more value in desktop form. DealMachine is the far superior app when it comes to actual driving for dollars.
» MORE: Read the full DealMachine review
PropStream vs. Propelio
Propelio’s real estate software includes a driving for dollars app. The app comes with route tracking, property analytics, skip tracing, and direct mail marketing. With higher tiered memberships, you can download MLS comps and build out your own website. I think PropStream is better than Propelio overall, simply because it offers more data and features.
DealMachine has both PopStream and Propelio beat when it comes to straight D4D — but Propelio is particularly lacking on this front. The app simply uses Apple or Google Maps, so retail locations (restaurants, gas stations, etc.) get prioritized over properties, which often hides the very deals you’re hunting. PropStream is a little better, but the data can also obscure the actual map in active use, making it hard to use in the field.
Propelio is roughly the same price ($98/month — so you save $1). But overall, the features and functionality are lacking compared to the other two options. It does offer a cheaper tier (“Driving”) for $29 per month. For that price, you can track your route, add leads to a list, and conduct skip tracing. But you won’t get any of the property analytics of PropStream, nor its superior lists.
» MORE: Read the full Propelio review
How PropStream works
With the driving for dollars app opened, just click “drive” and PropStream will start recording your route. You can drive solo, or set filters, whichever you prefer. Once you spot a property in real time, find it in the app to see details, comps, and its investment opportunity. Save the property to your list (click the heart at the top right), then skip trace to get owner information, or even send a postcard within the app.
Once you’re done driving, you’ll save your list to the platform. You can then head to the PropStream desktop version for a more detailed analysis. All the information on the desktop version can be found within the app, but the desktop software is much more organized and easier to read — plus it has helpful charts. You can also batch skip trace on your desktop, or send multiple postcards.
Key PropStream features
Comprehensive nationwide data
PropStream is a real estate data nerd’s dream. The data is not only comprehensive but — at least on desktop (the app is another story) — also organized in an easy-to-read and skimmable format. PropStream arranges data into six main categories:
- Property details
- Comparables & nearby listings
- Tax information
- Linked properties
- Mortgage & transaction history
- Documents & reports
PropStream gathers property data from numerous private and public sources, including MLS records and county registries. According to PropStream, it has information on over 153 million properties in the U.S.
Targeted leads with 120+ filters
One of PropStream’s strengths is its ability to generate highly targeted lists for direct marketing. You can combine over 120 property filters to dial in a target audience. This gives you more control over your budget and lets you better tailor messaging to (ideally) increase response rates. Filters include:
- On market
- Vacant properties
- Tax liens
- Pre-foreclosure filings and public auctions
- Bank owned
- Cash buyers
- High equity
- Free & clear
- Tax delinquencies
- Failed Listings
Real estate comps
Comps, or comparables, are nearby, recently sold homes similar to the one you’re evaluating. They can help you estimate your property’s future resale value based on how much they actually sold for. While finding comps can be time-consuming, PropStream makes it easy by pulling the comps for you. The software takes similar listings from public records and an MLS, then calculates an average sale price based on its findings.
This is a cool one: PropStream’s rehab calculator (powered by BlueHammer) gives you repair estimates for popular projects, like interior painting and replacing appliances. You can choose the quality of the materials you want (economy, good, excellent), and the calculator will give you the cost of both material and labor.
PropStream’s skip tracing software allows you to find phone numbers, email addresses, and primary mailing addresses while you’re out on the road. If you have multiple contacts, you can batch skip traces and get contact information all at once. Skip tracing costs $0.12 per trace — and you won’t have to pay if the skip trace comes back empty, which is pretty nice.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The data can be overwhelming: Especially in the app. At times I found the information to be very distracting while I was out driving. Toward the end, I was ignoring the information in the app, as I was spending too much time sifting through it.
Rehab calculator isn’t accurate: While it can be helpful, the rehab tool isn’t always accurate, and it shouldn’t replace the expert advice of a general contractor. It can help you get a basic idea, but I wouldn’t rely on it for your repair estimates.
The interface isn’t intuitive: Both the app and the website can be difficult to use at times. The data is so dense in the app, it can easily overwhelm and obscure the map, along with your driving route. And the desktop has so much information, you need a wide screen to read it all. What’s worse—when you minimize your screen, PropStream doesn’t minimize its information with it. This can be super annoying, especially when the sidebar covers up essential data.
Can get expensive: PropStream costs $99 per month plus any add-ons. Unlike other real estate software, it doesn’t have a cheaper plan.
Propstream has one membership tier: $99. Team members will cost you $20 extra per month, and “List Automator,” which monitors your leads and scrubs out old ones, is an extra $27/mo.
Users found PropStream to have powerful data on its desktop version. But most complained about the driving for dollars app. Not only did they find it clunky, but also lacking features, such as the ability to add quick filters to your map. Other users didn’t like that the property data was so small, and some complained about the app crashing or freezing during drives.
Summary: Key things to know about PropStream
- PropStream is real estate investment software. It’s most notable for its immense property database and lead generation tools.
- PropStream has a driving for dollars app, but it lacks simplicity and ease-of-use. You can’t filter properties by pre-set criteria (such as foreclosures and vacancies), and finding routes that you previously drove isn’t easy, nor clear.
- PropStream’s most notable features are its comprehensive data, targeted lead lists, comps, rehabbing calculator, and skip tracing service.
- PropStream costs $99 per month for a professional plan.
- While PropStream offers decent value on desktop, we think DealMachine is the better driving for dollars app overall.