The Best Real Estate Apps for Agents: 2015 Edition
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Ask 1,000 real estate agents what the best apps for business are and you’ll get 1,000 distinct lists featuring an array of different tools. That’s because no two agents (or brokers, for that matter) are alike in terms of how they approach organizing their work. Each will have a unique set of needs and preferences that dictate what real estate apps they use. Having said that, there are several smartphone, tablet, and desktop apps real estate agents and brokers should try that they may not have heard of yet. We’ve listed dozens of the top-trending ones for 2015 below.
For the sake of providing a list of the best business apps you may not know about already, we’ll leave off the obvious ones, like those for social media accounts, and instead focus on new and trending apps in 2015 that can support your core business activities (real estate marketing and sales). Also, since this is not the end-all, be-all list of the most popular apps for agents and brokers, we’d love to find out what apps you use to enhance your bottom line, keep in touch with leads and clients, and conduct other tasks.
Best Apps for Personal and Business Finances
One of the perks of becoming a real estate agent is occasionally getting to travel to some of the industry’s best conferences, often on your agency’s or brokerage’s dime. With these trips, though, come the hassle of expensing your purchases. With Concur, you can easily share your spending habits on the road with your boss. Just snap photos of your receipts, and like that, you’re covered for food, lodging, and other travel expenses. You can even ensure you stay under budget through the app.
Not every retailer, restaurant, and vendor has adopted this mobile wallet technology yet, but we’re slowly but surely entering the age in which nearly every purchase you make at brick-and-mortar stores can be accomplished by simply tapping your phone. Apple Pay aims to be the premier mobile wallet solution, and though adoption of it has been slow among consumers and stores alike, it’s worth checking out.
No, this isn’t a new app by any means, but it remains the preeminent budgeting and financial goal-setting tool on the market, as it consistently updates to offer new integrations with bank accounts, loans, and other financial records to ensure you stay on top of your personal finances. This is especially handy for beginner real estate agents, including those who are Millennials and, in all likelihood, have a fair share of student loan debt they’ve yet to pay off.
Best Apps for File Scanning, Sharing, and Storage
Closing deals and finalizing paperwork for a variety of tasks is no longer something you need to complete in the office. DocuSign has become a highly trusted name in the real estate sphere, and for good reason. Its app simplifies a once-headache-inducing duty among agents and brokers. Going paperless is a pretty big trend in the real estate community today that can streamline your work.
Going entirely paperless will never really happen, but there are ways to deal with paper via some top-notch apps to hit the iOS and Android marketplaces, including this one from Evernote. Scan receipts, offer sheets, and any other files that are vital to your real estate transactions by using Scannable and save yourself from having to use an actual scanner back at the office to ensure everything is digitally saved.
Apple is well-known for its versatile gadgets: iPhones can sync with iPads, which can sync with Macs, which can sync with Apple TVs. Android users, however, now have a nifty way as well to share their phone’s files and take calls on their desktops and laptops. AirDroid essentially allows Android users to share their screens, photos, videos, and other data straight to their computers and vice versa. Typing to text on your PC has never been easier.
The three cloud storage options listed as “alternatives” are certainly popular options among agents and brokers, but as with any component of your business, experimenting with new tactics, techniques, and tools can help you step up your game. Enter Infinit, which offers limitless-size file sharing at super-fast speeds. The relatively new business app and desktop client makes swapping photos, videos, Word Docs, PDFs, and many more file types between smartphone and PC a cinch.
Best Apps for Increasing Your Productivity
At the turn of the century, the only thing you really needed a password for was your Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. Today … that’s a different story. Keeping track of every single password for every single email client, social network, and website account can make you go mad — unless you use a helpful service like 1Password. Add all of your passwords to the secure app and enter the — you guessed it — one password you or the app creates for you to use the platforms in question.
You may not realize how much time you waste typing on your tiny smartphone keyboard, but those minutes wasted daily add up to hours in the long run. With Swype, your typing errors dwindle down to practically zero, as the app recognizes the intent for which letters, numbers, and characters you want to click, offers auto-correct that actually corrects the right words and phrases, and even creates a custom dictionary to which you can add terms you frequently use in conversations via email, text, and in docs you work in.
Achieving “inbox zero” isn’t a very feasible proposition for most folks, particularly real estate agents who constantly communicate with leads, clients, and colleagues every day. However, organizing your inbox so it works smarter and harder for you is possible through great business apps like Mailbox, which allows you to structure folders for specific types of email you receive, and set reminders and tasks based on messages that land in your inbox.
Acing your online real estate marketing tactics doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it happens with practice and routine. Get into a consistent rhythm with your blogging, social media posting, email marketing, and other promotional tasks and you will reap the benefits of your inbound efforts. One tool that can substantially aid your quest to master digital marketing is RescueTime, which keeps you on target to finish all of the activities you need to on a day-to-day basis. The app tracks the time you spend on your computer to give you data that can fix bad habits and, ultimately, guide you to content marketing success.
It doesn’t matter if you work on a team of two or 20, Slack is one of the best real estate apps for communicating with head brokers, fellow agents, and other colleagues at your firm. Different chat rooms can be created for different facets of your business and the appropriate team members can be invited to join each accordingly. In the office and on the go, Slack can help you and others you work with stay on the same page regarding short- and long-term marketing and sales activities.
Best Apps for Client and Lead Meetings
Want to impress a prospective client by taking them out to dinner but don’t know any great restaurants nearby? Use Localeur to discover the best cafes, bistros, and other great eateries in your area via social recommendations. In a similar vein as Yelp but without all of the peculiar and overly negative reviews that come with it, Localeur can ensure you take leads, clients, and associates to eat and drink at only the best-of-the-best establishments and, in turn, increase your odds of inspiring confidence.
There are dozens of amazing real estate listing presentation software options on the market today, but some are arguably too convoluted for the average agent to master. A minimalist platform that can help with consultations and comparative market analysis (CMA) presentations is FlowVella. Add images, audio and video clips, and text to slick-looking slides, and share your creation with prospects to win them over and prove you’re a modern agent with digital savvy.
Best Apps for Open Houses and Listing Showings
Trust in the built-in weather apps on iPhones or Androids isn’t always high, as they often don’t update to reflect the latest weather reports for certain areas. That’s not the case with Dark Sky, though, which uses intricate technology to predict weather systems emerging for different communities. With the app, you can determine when it will rain or snow down to the minute and get comprehensive weather forecasts for the hours and days ahead — something that can come quite in handy when planning your next open house or private showing.
A digital sign-in sheet, real estate CRM integration with several platforms, and automated follow-up emails: Those are just a few of the top features for AM Open House, which can help make your showings successful through a single real estate agent app. When open houses are over, you can also use the app to share how the event went with your seller clients, including how many prospective buyers showed up and general notes and thoughts on those who walked in.
Early is on time: If that phrase hasn’t been drilled into your head yet, it’s time to do so. Having said that, road conditions won’t always work in your favor, even if you leave for showings and open houses well before they begin. Waze provides a solution to the conundrum of knowing the best route to take wherever you are. You don’t have to worry about ending up in a traffic jam on the highway or stuck behind construction crews for miles, thanks to this innovative app which crowdsources info on traffic situations pretty much everywhere.
Discover 10 of the best real estate apps for agents in our Placester Academy post, which highlights tools that can help you enhance listing showings, connect with other real estate pros, and complete offers digitally.
What real estate agent apps help you with business tasks on a daily basis? Which business apps can you not live without? Share which ones you take advantage of with us in the comments below!
Published on September 17, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.