Best Smart Phone Apps for Real Estate Agents
Our smart phones and the Apps we use have become essential to our daily lives. According to The Statistics Portal, in 2016 the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 207.2 million, with the number of smartphone users worldwide forecast to exceed 2 billion users by that time. With all of this technology literally at our fingertips, choosing the right Apps can be overwhelming. Some of these Apps introduce services we never thought we would use on our phones, while others basically streamline an existing process or simplify a task. The following list is far from complete, and I have chosen to list only Apps that are available on both Apple and Android. With that said, as a real estate agent, here are the top ten Apps that I have found to be helpful:
RPR (REALTORS® Property Resource) is 100% owned and operated by the National Association of Realtors® as a member benefit for all REALTORS®. Only REALTORS® can access RPR. Using RPR Mobile, REALTORS® can use their location to search both on and off market properties, while also uncovering mortgage, historical and distressed data, flood zones, school info and more. Then easily create one of five different property and neighborhood reports, each branded with your photo, logo and contact information. As a REALTOR®, there is no cost to use RPR, the system is 100% covered by your NAR member dues.
CamScanner – Phone PDF Creator is an intelligent solution for document management on all devices, starting from capturing information precisely to storing, sharing, annotating and managing documents for different purposes. It makes the contents easily-accessed, organized and the collaboration efficient. Any documents you see in real world can be digitized and saved right away with your mobile phone. Just take a photo, and CamScanner takes care of the rest. This app has the ability to scan any kind of document in seconds, texts or graphics, multi-page documents, batch scanned documents, auto-crop scanned photos, enhance the scan results with several Enhance Modes available, save scan results to system album, create PDF files for scans, and customize PDF page size: 10 page size options (Letter, A4, B5 and etc.). Then you can easily share document scans in PDF or JPG to collaborators via email. Free.
MileIQ is a must have for anyone who needs mileage tracking for business. The IRS deduction rate is 54 cents per qualifying mile in 2016! Don't miss out on miles you could be claiming for business, charity or medical drives. MileIQ lets you download a mileage tracking spreadsheet or printable mileage log so you can confidently submit your tax return or expense reports. By using smart drive-detection technology, MileIQ automatically logs your drives and calculates their value - automatically creating a mileage log that’s compliant with IRS guidelines. After a drive, simply swipe right to classify a drive for business. No more manual mileage logs! You get the reimbursement or deduction you deserve with a minimum amount of effort. Free.
EmergenSee is the only Professionally Monitored, Live-Video and GPS Transmitting Personal Safety App on the market today. As a daily routine, Realtors are put in vulnerable and dangerous situations, like meeting new clients at remote or vacant houses and more. EmergenSee's Personal Safety App with Professional Monitoring Subscription acts as a personal guardian, always by your side. If you're uncomfortable, just tap the app to stream live video and gps data directly to Security Operators 24/7. Security Operators receive your live video and gps data, communicate with you in real-time, while dispatching the nearby first responder, directly to your location. EmergenSee even offers non-emergency and precautionary features like SafeWalk. When meeting a new client, tap SafeWalk for a Security Operator Live Video Escort into the appointment and stay with you until you are comfortable with the situation. There is no cost for the basic version; 24/7 Professional Monitoring is at an additional cost.
DocuSign enables you to easily sign PDF & Word documents, fill out forms, and collect signatures from others. This app eliminates the costs, hassle, and lack of security in paper-based transactions. With just a few clicks, you can sign or send any document for signature right from your phone. No printing, faxing, scanning, or overnighting required. DocuSign is the most widely used eSignature and Digital Transaction Management platform in the world, and is trusted by millions who have DocuSigned in 188 countries. It is used in hundreds of ways in nearly every industry and department, including finance, legal, human resources, sales, real estate, healthcare, and many others. After a 30-day free trial, there is a fee ranging from $10 to $125 per month depending on the level of services desired.
Remembering all of your passwords can be a hassle. The free LastPass 4.0 has a bold new online interface, and its new features include a Sharing Center to manage shared passwords and Emergency Access to hand down your passwords to your heirs. These new features put the free LastPass ahead of many of its for-pay competitors. This app saves time by allowing you to access and manage passwords wherever you are, and syncs those passwords between your devices. If you access password-protected sites regularly, you might want to check out their premium, service for $12.00 annually.
Think about the last time you measured a room. You likely had to move furniture and get on your hands and knees to measure each wall before mapping it out on graph paper with the proper dimensions. MagicPlan does all the hard work for you. Once you have gone through the calibration process for accuracy, all you have to do is stand in the middle of the room, point at a corner, and rotate along the length of the wall. As you go from corner to corner, eventually returning to your starting point, you’ll capture the area dimensions with the app in order to create a floor plan of the room. Then you can go from one room to the next, adding dimensions until you have a complete, interconnected floor plan of your home. Furniture can stay right where it is and there is even a tool to automatically fit closets. There are several Apps exclusively for Apple or Android, but this is the highest rated app that is available for both.
Even though you had a great relationship when you put them in a house, there’s only a 25% chance your client will call you when it comes time to sell. According to NAR, about 25% of sellers use their buying agent to sell their house. The killer is, about 88% of homebuyers say, at closing, they would reuse their agent. Designed for real estate agents, HomeKeepr is the only mobile app out there that keeps you valuable and relevant to your client long AFTER closing. HomeKeepr auto generates custom, branded home maintenance reminders once or twice per month for homeowners and helps your clients manage their biggest asset. Each app reminder is associated with a vendor from the directory that you create. The way it works this that you purchase credits. Each credit entitles you to invite one client. If you buy credits one at a time, they cost $4.99 each, and if you buy over 100, they are $2.99 each. Then you invite your clients. The app is free for your clients and the really good part is that your clients only see your content as clients can only have 1 branded version of the App.
Dropbox is an easy way to store and share photos, documents, spreadsheets, and other types of computer files, using a PC, tablet, or mobile device. Much like the introduction of email, digital photography, and low-rise athletic socks, once you get the hang of Dropbox, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. Dropbox is a great collaboration tool. It’s easy to share links to folders or files, or give permission to other people to modify files — useful if a team scattered across many offices or cities is collaborating on a report. Free.
The smartphone-specific abilities require use of the rebranded IF for iPhone app or IF for Android. If This Then That (or IFTTT—rhymes with "gift") has become the ultimate automation service for small tasks between Internet-connected services. Whether on the Web or with select Apps on iOS and Android, IFTTT—one of the rare 5-star Editors' Choice picks by PCMag.com—can handle anything its member service "channels" support. When you have an IFTTT account, you activate any of the 211 available channels—that's almost exactly double the channels IFTTT had last year. Each has its own set of triggers (the "if this" part) or actions (the "then that" side) or both. For example, make a status update on one service (a trigger), IFTTT will ensure an action takes place on another channel, like reposting that update. Combine them just right and you can create a daisy chain of triggers and actions across a number of services, where just one post could hit almost every corner of your Web presence. And it’s free.
While these are just 10 apps to help you start planning for 2016, real estate is a business centered around movement and momentum, and smartphones and their apps make it possible to keep your business running even while on the go. With millions of apps available, it can be hard to pinpoint the ones that can be of the most value to you. These are simply suggestions to get you started.