Happy Apps: Real Estate Apps to Make Selling Productive and Fun

Decades after Art Carney asked this question in 1965, introducing the uptight fussbudget Felix Ungar* to Broadway audiences, the line still gets quoted at dinner parties.  If the role were reprised, an actor might rewrite Neil Simon’s script to ask:  “Is everybody appy?”

The answer, at least among real estate agents, brokers and marketers, is “Yes!”

There are dozens of apps available to real estate professionals and, if your New Year’s resolutions include getting better organized, you might want to start with the apps on your mobile phones and tablets.  Whether you have more apps than you need or not enough (or any), this round-up of apps can help you choose which ones to keep, add or delete.

Home Finding Apps

Zillow and Trulia may be the most downloaded apps for MLS listings, but real estate marketer Bill Petrie prefers the Realtor app offered by the National Association of Realtors because he finds its MLS listings to be more accurate and current than ones he finds elsewhere.

Home Snap is another app that agents and their clients can use.  If you have the Home Snap app on your iPhone, you take a picture of a home, and the app pulls up MLS and public record data about the house.  Even if the house isn’t on the market, you can learn about its selling history.  A new version of Home Snap, released in December, allows iPad users to collect data about houses from anywhere.  You don’t need to take a photo of a house, just its address.

The new version of Home Snap also includes a feature that helps agents connect with clients — if you share the app with your client, your profile and contact info show up every time a person uses the app, according to a review of the app by Tech Crunch.

Document Handling Apps

Karl Detlefsen, of KW Desert Homes in California, is among many agents who like DocuSign for its ease in handling contracts and other agreements.  When a co-purchaser is across the country or busy in another part of the city, Docusign makes it easy for all parties to sign contracts online.

Steve Jolly, a real estate broker and owner of Fast Real Estate Marketing, also likes DocuSign because it saves time and boosts productivity.  He warns, however, that electronic signatures may not be acceptable to all customers so it’s important to get consent ahead of time.

PDF Expert makes it easy to work with contracts, according to Jay Thompson, founder of  Thompson’s Realty.

To-Do Apps

Thompson, who is also director of Industry Outreach & Social Media at Zillow, is a fan of Evernote  a to-do list app, but also recommends Wunderlist to agents and brokers such as Tim Moore and Rachel Neal, of Joe Lamb Realty,  who find Evernote clunky.

Navigation Apps

Petrey, CEO and founder of a real estate finder service called Agent Harvest, likes Google Maps best of all because, in addition to helping you locate a house the app lets you “look around the neighborhood using the street view mode to see if it’s next to a busy street, electrical power station or anything else that would discourage you from buying it.  Best of all, you can find this out before you drive there.”

Mortgage Calculator Apps 

The mortgage calculator app by Home.com gets a four out of five-star rating by ITunes customers.

Geoff Lee, a Vancouver mortgage broker, prefers Loan Calc “for its simplicity and ease.”

Investor Apps

Although not available in all markets, Revestor provides detailed property search information as well as ways to estimate rent and cash flow, according to an October article in the Los Angeles Times.  Check market availability at revestor.com before ordering.  Some markets covered by the Revestor app include Los Angele, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix.

Time-to-Kill Apps

Realtors spend a lot of time waiting for clients to show up for appointments, for potential buyers to attend an open house, for agents to deliver keys, for brokers to deliver paperwork and…the list is long.

If you don’t feel like being productive in your downtime, entertain yourself by watching sitcoms via the Netflix app, find out what you’d sound like if you were a turtle (and other odd things) with the Voice Changer Plus app or test your throwing aim with the Paper Toss app.

*The character played by Tony Randall on the TV version of The Odd Couple spelled his last name Unger.  But Felix’s last name was Ungar in the original Broadway play.

To find homes:

Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Homefinder.com, Realtor.com

Jay Thompson, founder of Thompson’s Realty and director of Industry Outreach & Social Media at Zillow, is a fan of Evernote , a to-do list app, but also recommends Wunderlist to agents and brokers who find Evernote clunky.  He also likes PDF Expert for working with contracts.

Karl Detlefsen, of KW Desert Homes in California, is among many agents who like DocuSign for its ease in handling contracts and other agreements.  When a co-purchaser is across the country or busy in another part of the city, Docusign makes it easy for all parties to sign contracts online.

Steve Jolly, a real estate broker and owner of Fast Real Estate Marketing,

  •     Docusign – Send, Sign and Save Contracts and other Documents on the go with any device. Docusign is a huge timesaver and may be the most productivity boosting app in this page. Warning, eSignatures may not be acceptable for all customers, please check with the cooperating agent first.
  •     Diverse Solutions Mobile IDX – Allow Easy Searching of the MLS from anywhere. This is mobile responsive website that looks like an app. Mobile IDX makes it easy to contact the agent and find homes in the neighborhood.
  •     Evernote – Store and Remember Everything. Evernote is the #2 productivity boosting app in this list. It can be used to save inspection reports, client notes, photos, articles and just about anything else. You can store the info in the cloud for easy access. It also includes a powerful search function to find documents later.
  •     Haiku Deck – Used to create listing and business presentations for you client to review on the Ipad. This app is very impressive to clients and is generating more listings for its users.
  •     HomeSnap – Uses your camera and the GPS built into your phone to get instant public information and data on properties just by taking a picture.
  •     Magicplan – Creates Floor plans and Room Sizes by taking interior pictures of the home.

The Best Real Estate Photo and Video Apps include:

  •     360Panorama – Creates Panoramic Photos of any subject in Real Time.
  •     Camera+ – Adds additional controls to the built-in camera to help you take better photos, especially in low light.
  •     Diptic – Makes over 52 types of photo combinations and collages by combining photos and layouts.
  •     Tout – Creates 15 Second Videos that are instantly shared instantly on social media and email.

The Best Social Media Apps for Real Estate include:

  •     HootSuite – The ultimate dashboard to manage multiple social media accounts from anywhere.
  •     Yelp – Get Reviews and Find Great, Local Businesses. The app has a monocle feature that makes it easy to find a location while walking.

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