The Story Behind ProAPOD Real Estate Investment Software
Colleagues often ask how ProAPOD® Real Estate Investment Software came to be developed.
Most of my colleagues, after all, know me as a real estate professional, football fanatic, father, and proud grandparent. They find it amazing that such a good real estate investment software program was developed by (shall we say) just a normal guy.
Bear in mind that after thirty years as a real estate professional I was considered a productive agent with a lot of knowledge about rental income property and real estate investing nuances, but no colleague expected me (including myself) to have the stamina to develop a software program.
Actually, I couldn't have agreed more, and am just as surprised as anybody that knew me by the series of events that followed.
My Discovery of Excel
Just after purchasing my first computer in 1995, I discovered Excel and the tremendous potential this spreadsheet software offered for rental property analysis. It was magical. Of course, I had no thoughts of developing my own real estate investment software, so I set out to purchase a third-party software program.
My first purchase was a real estate software program that cost $350 (a lot of money in 1996). But in time I became somewhat disenchanted with the software because it was difficult to work with and created horrible reports.
My second purchase cost me $500. Though it was head and shoulders above the first, it proved to be overloaded with elements beyond my business objectives and not that practical for my day-to-day use. Quite honestly, it was just too cumbersome to work with.
So I became more familiar with Excel spreadsheets and decided to create my own real estate analysis spreadsheet with a simple objective. To omit the weaknesses of both third-party programs I had spent big bucks on and to include only the benefits they offered.
As a result ProAPOD was conceived, but only for my own rental property business.
What, My Colleagues Want It?
It wasn't long before I started getting requests from other real estate agents asking to buy a copy of my spreadsheet. In time the decision was made to convert it into a program that could be distributed. So I dug into the books and learned how to write it with VBA as an application for Excel.
Six exhausting months later ProAPOD Real Estate Investment Software was born and ready to be distributed. The year was 2000.
Beyond My Wildest Dreams
Of course I couldn't have imagined what a success my software would become. But thanks to the worldwide web real estate professionals learned about it and started purchasing. As a result ProAPOD® Real Estate Investment Software has since become a major player in the real estate software market.
ProAPOD was featured by REALTOR�Magazine as a "Cool Tool" in May 2003; real estate agents and investors nationwide from Florida to Hawaii have become customers; internationally we have customers in Canada, South Africa, China, and Australia. Even our most recently developed program--a real estate calculator-- was selected by Southwestern College in Kansas as a requirement for Corporate Finance studies.
So we are doing something right.
Do We Face Challenges?
Of course we face challenges. But as trite as it may sound the most formidable challenge we face is best stated by a customer who once said, "Your biggest problem will be getting people to know that they can use this software."
That customer was right. It is very difficult getting people to understand how much they can accomplish with our software.
What Comes Next?
Who can say for certain anything about the future? For the present, however, I can assure you that I have committed my energy to keeping my software solutions at a top-notch quality more affordably priced than any competitor you will find anywhere.
Yes, it sounds a bit self-serving, and maybe it is (to some degree). Nonetheless, I can say in all honestly without losing an once of sleep that it is truly my committment to give back to the industry that got me here in the first place.