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We recently shared a comprehensive comparison between two leading investment management platforms, AppFolio Investment Manager and Juniper Square. Juniper Square isn’t the only challenger to the AppFolio giant, though. InvestNext is another prominent real estate investment management platform. In this article we’ll inventory the features of both platforms, explore the ideal use case for each, and identify the best aspects of both so that real estate firms can make informed decisions when it comes to their tech stack.

AppFolio overview

As one half of the Appfolio property software suite alongside Appfolio Property Manager, Appfolio Investment Manager is a comprehensive investment management toolset. It offers an investor portal where deal participants can manage documents and view performance data, payment handling, automated calculations for some of the more complex real estate metrics, such as waterfall distributions, and a CRM aimed at helping investor relations professionals communicate with their prospective and current deal participants. AppFolio Investment Manager also offers several add-on features, discussed more below.

InvestNext overview

InvestNext is a purpose-built investment management platform, not part of a larger PropTech suite. It offers much the same functionality as AppFolio but has more of an emphasis on syndicators and users growing their firms from small to large. Consequently, it emphasizes mass communication features such as email management and update posting on the platform itself.

AppFolio vs InvestNext: Pros and cons

Platform Pros Cons
Appfolio Investment Manager Integrations/familiar design for AppFolio Property Manager users Higher price point
Offers a mobile app for the investor portal Custom CRM fields require a higher subscription tier
More of an established, known quantity than InvestNext
Higher user confidence in roadmap and trajectory
InvestNext Lower price point No mobile app
Streamlined design Newer technology; some users report bugs
Emphasis on communication and scaling
Sole emphasis on investment management software

AppFolio vs InvestNext: Key differences

In this section, we will compare and contrast the key differentiators between these two tools.

Top features

There are some differences between the two platforms despite their similarities. AppFolio offers a variety of add-on services such as the asset management visualization-focused AppFolio Alpha, options for custom web design, and more advanced tools relating to payments and investor accreditation verification. AppFolio also stands out for its integration with AppFolio Property Manager, which reduces manual double entry of information and eliminates the risk of inconsistent information between the two platforms.

InvestNext stands out for several unique features of its own. It offers additional functionality for deal co-sponsors, including the ability to white-label the investor portal (of particular use for investment relations firms servicing multiple accounts), debt management features, and advanced marketing tools such as investor list segmentation.

Pricing

AppFolio Investment Manager offers two product tiers. Core includes the mainline features for handling real estate investments, and starts at $650/month. Premier offers additional features for advanced users, such as custom fields, API access, and additional integrations, and is priced on a custom basis.

InvestNext presents three feature tiers: Fundraising at $99/month, which offers primarily CRM, fundraising, and marketing tools; All-In-One from $399/month, which adds numerous investor portal, back office operations, co-sponsor, customer success, and related features; and Fund Admin, which adds fund administration features at a custom pricing level.

Best for

Both tools could fulfill the needs of organizations large or small. However, InvestNext offers more resources for small enterprises, and businesses aggressively acquiring multiple properties. Some reviewers suggest that InvestNext shows cracks when users scale to particularly large portfolios. Conversely, AppFolio Investment Manager emphasizes large enterprises that have the resources to afford its higher price tag, and that may well already be bought into the AppFolio ecosystem.

Support & training

Both platforms offer a multitude of support options via a range of methods: email support, phone/video call, and continuous education resources. While a deep dive into the verified user reviews for both platforms reveals occasional detractors, most users seem very satisfied with the support options offered by both AppFolio Investment Manager and InvestNext. Note, however, that a dedicated deployment resource is not available with InvextNext’s cheapest price tier.

Ease of use

Both tools have relatively simple user interfaces and a variety of automation tools. As a disruptive option without the connection to a larger tech product, InvestNext takes the lead when it comes to simplicity of use.

Platforms supported

Both platforms are primarily used via website app. AppFolio offers a mobile app portal for investors while InvestNext is lacking any sort of mobile application.

Ratings

InvestNext and AppFolio Investment Manager both have over 100 G2 reviews, while AppFolio has many more reviews (100 total) than Investnext’s 19.

Review site AppFolio Investment Manager InvestNext
Capterra 4.8 4.9
G2 4.6 4.5

Recognitions

Both platforms have received various accolades. AppFolio Investment Manager clocks in as G2’s #2 easiest to use tool in the Real Estate Investment Management software category, while InvestNext takes the third place spot. For comparison, our own platform, Agora, takes first place in this G2 category.

Alternatives

There are several similar products to these tools to consider. In our previous comparison article, we highlighted Juniper Square, one of the most established investment management platforms. We also recommend our own investment management software, Agora, which includes the core feature set GPs need such as a CRM, management for distributions, and investor portal, has a comparatively attractive price point, and provides unique features such as tools to help launch a debt fund.

Which platform is right for your real estate investment firm?

Both Appfolio and InvestNext offer the ability to turbocharge your real estate investor relations effort. These platforms have similar feature sets, but it’s still possible to suggest ideal users for each of them. If you’re already a user of AppFolio Property Manager, you’ll likely be familiar with AppFolio Investment Manager’s UI and will probably benefit from its integrations with the property management software. Meanwhile, if money is a major sticking point, particularly if you don’t use AppFolio’s other software, InvestNext could be an ideal answer.

Conclusion

Having the right tools sets the stage for investment success, and the right execution makes all the difference. Check out our list of three top friction points between GPs and LPs when investing in real estate, and continue to sharpen your investment saw.

Publish Date & Time : 01 Mar 2024, 11:06 am

Author

Real estate development and PropTech analyst, journalist and business developer. Commercial Observer journalist; Ex-Propmodo; drawing on a background in multifamily investment and brokerage. Passionate about biodiversity, better urban planning, and spaces with soul. Catch me in the PNW.

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