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20 iPhone apps all real estate professionals should know about

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Although the iPhone isn’t the best thing since sliced bread (just don’t tell iPhone users that), it is a super useful tool that people are relying more and more upon. Available applications have become more sophisticated over time and there is no way to fit all of those useful apps in one post, but we’d like to show you just a few that you should know about.

Today, we bring to you a variety of apps ranging from brokerage and real estate search apps to apps you can show your buyers or sellers to impress them and even a few that could help your business.

Apps to help your business:

  1. Speak4it: for agents who are in the car a lot, Speak4it is a speech to text app that allows you to keep on working while driving without hitting deer, trucks or innocent children in the road.
  2. ESIGNControl: manage documents and get signatures with this app which is DocuSign’s iPhone app for those of you on the go. Esignatures are more accepted now in the industry than ever, don’t limit yourself to a computer or laptop, use your iPhone! Go ahead and start practicing now by saying, “oh you like this home? Sign here please!”
  3. TourNarrator: manage your listings and clients better with your notes and feedback from clients.
  4. Agent Feedback: the iTunes description is pretty cool for this app, “permits the agent to select only those questions they think relate to the specific property and to have visitor comments, linked with visitor contact details, sent to a file server, for review and emailing to the seller.” Cool!

Apps to help your clients:

  1. Where: this app is super useful to agents who are showing buyers around and need to quickly answer that “where is [insert day care, car wash, obscure religious location, arbitrary retailer, etc]?” when inside a listing. Be prepared!
  2. RulerPhone: while on a show and a client says, “I don’t know if my six foot couch will fit here,” just whip out your iPhone, pull up RulerPhone and a credit card and take a picture of the space with a credit card in the shot and RulerPhone will tell you the measurements based on the credit card. How cool is that?!?
  3. Home Tracker: this consumer facing app allows home buyers to keep track of the homes they see and take notes so they can remember them later. Encourage your buyers to use it because their efficiency is your efficiency… prevent those, “wait, which house did I like, the pink one or the blue one? Are you sure it wasn’t the blue one?”
  4. Mortgage Calculator: if we have to tell you what this app does, you’re fired. But what you should know about it is that it has a cool interface whereas most calculators are SUPER boring.
  5. Dictionary of Real Estate Terms: for clients that like to know everything about everything or frequently have that deer in the headlights look, both can benefit from a dictionary. I haven’t played with it so I don’t know how thorough or accurate it is, but the concept is great!
  6. Houzz: this app has tons of pictures and “ideabooks” that let users browse style and clip them like a design scrapbook. Then, they can check out contractors to implement those very ideas. Agents can use it to get an idea of the style a buyer likes when people are having a tough time describing their dream home (interior design can give you a great insight into their wants).
  7. Offender Locator: when you’re in a listing and someone asks you about safety, Fair Housing prohibits your opining, but you can at least offer their taking a look at where sex offenders live and save them a step. Parents will appreciate this app.
  8. Color Snap: this Sherwin Williams app lets you take a picture from a magazine or real life and select up to three colors from the image, producing the paint code. Real world example: you’re in a model home and the buyer loves the color of the walls and adores the couch. Snap a shot and immediately email them the paint code numbers. That’ll impress ’em!

Brokerage and real estate search apps:

Whether or not you’re affiliated with any of these brokerages or search sites, you should at least be aware of what their offerings are. And who knows, dare I say that you might just like one better than your own?

  1. Realtor.com is one of the top rated real estate apps on many user lists and is one of the most downloaded RE app in iTunes.
  2. New! Century 21: I’ve been talking with the C21 folks and they just released their app that has the ability to geolocate wiki information and users can pull pics, school data, demographics, area history and more based on what zip code they’re in.
  3. Zip Realty: ZipRealty’s iPhone app also has some augmented reality options built in which is pretty cool!
  4. Zillow: love or hate Zillow, their app is well liked by users and you should know what your clients are seeing, so check this one out for sure.
  5. Trulia: this app offers a pretty neat Open House planner, so it’s a great idea to have your Open Houses listed appropriately.
  6. NearBuy real estate search: created by four students, this app is highly acclaimed by industry insiders.
  7. NearBuy apartment search: sometimes when you’re in a pinch and a home isn’t completely built in time or clients arrive early from out of town and their short sale hasn’t been approved yet, you may need to do a quick apartment search when you’re on the go. It’s good to have just in case.
  8. Homes.com: has fully interactive maps which is different than some other apps, so buyers dig this one.

What apps are you or your clients using frequently? Let us know in comments!

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50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Jason Sandquist

    July 7, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I’ll add Dropbox for iPhone or iPad. One of the best apps ever created!

  2. Bryan Thompson

    July 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

    As an avid iPhone user myself, it frustrates me that so few of our agents in Southwest Missouri use them. This is primarily because our lockboxes and keys are from Supra, and they still haven’t gone live for the iPhone. Is anyone else dealing with this issue?

    • Benn Rosales

      July 7, 2010 at 11:53 am

      The trend of being chained to the lockbox is coming to an end. Big changes on the horizon, and the great thing is, although it may seem as though agents aren’t leaving behind the lockbox chain, they are, and it’s driving demand to new box solutions.

  3. Barbara

    July 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Another really cool one I have used quite a bit with my clients is the “Open Houses by HomeFinder” app. They have partnerships with well over 100 newspapers across the country too. My clients love it too!

  4. Jason Improta

    July 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I have a DROID because Verizon in my area is far superior but we moved to a new office and company where 90% of the agents have iPhones. They say that despite AT&T not being as good or even bad the iPhone compensates plenty. Thoughts or comments??

  5. Jim Herrera

    July 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks, Linda, for the informative article. At MLSListings, we reviewed all the iPhone apps and decided to use the Smarter Agent iPhone app. As a former Apple employee, I can tell you how important the “user experience” is for a successful implementation. Smarter Agent’s app is “iPhone awesome”. And, it also works on other smartphone platforms. So, we can support all of our subscribers from a single source without incurring additional development, integration or support costs.

  6. Nick Nymark

    July 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I have a Motorola Droid with Verizon, AT&T is currently not in the area I am at. Anyone have any great apps they have tried out for the Motorola Droid?

  7. Sam

    July 8, 2010 at 12:04 am

    realestatetools.com -> Property Evaluator app = the sweetness.

    I am not a rep from this company, but seriously if you do a search for real estate on the iphone, this is a top app, I dont know how you missed it. It was the first app I purchased, and a no-brainer. It kills all the other apps you have listed for investors. I personally find zillow, and to be honest, all the real estate type apps, etc. much easier to read online. The mortgage one is nice I guess, but I have a 15 in one app that includes a mortgage calculator + mortgage comparison built in, plus 14 other apps that are helpful.

    The app I use is the “Property Evaluator” one for “commercial” properties, but really this is for anyone who invests in buy and hold multifamilies and bigger properties. I keep a DB of over 30-40 properties, and enter every property I see in it (though I delete ones that arent interesting).

    It allows me to compare the numbers on properties as I look at them & make a decision before I leave.

    I used to have to enter all my info into excel google docs (a home-made excel spreadsheet) that calculated all the numbers.

    This app has saved me weeks of time. I can share info with other investors in a click, it is siiiiiiiiick.

    They have some other apps for flippers (I am not into that so whatever), but every serious investor should own it, even if you have to BUY a itouch or whatever. Even if you are buying a normal property, it is still an investment, and this would help you understand the numbers at least.

    Anyone who doesnt run the numbers on the house they are buying is taking a needless gamble.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic, this one app paid for my iphone many times over, so I agree it is important.

  8. David Crandall

    July 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Looks like a few of us would be interested in a follow up article aimed at Android users. 🙂

    HTC EVO here.

  9. Joe Nim

    March 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you for a great list of real estate apps!

    There is another useful real estate and mortgage app that you might want to check out, iQualify Pro. It is a new mortgage calculator on the App Store. Has a power feature that allows real estate or loan professionals to pre-qualify their clients in seconds based on their income and other factors such as debt ratios. Great app, but need UI improvement.

  10. Don Shurts

    February 19, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you for the information about these great apps. I grabbed several of them from the App store. Does anyone know of an app that a realtor can put their list of address of showings for a day into an app that will allow a friend or two to know when the agent is showing a property? As a safety for the agent, with an app the agent could enter the address of their showings and times. The app would allow a friend or two to know where and when an agent was. Then the agent could check a property on the app after they have shown the house…alerting their friend that they are safely moving to the next property on the list.

  11. Vic Anand

    March 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I think this is a great list, but nothing specifically addresses client management. I found a great app called RealProspects, which I have been using to store all my prospect’s information on my iPhone. It is very simple to use with a clean layout.

  12. mlee3680

    July 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Perfect post. Here’s another post which shows a tool that helps you create any type of real estate app with calculations for web or mobile. Just point and click. Templates are available to use or create your app from scratch https://blog.caspio.com/case_studies/homazoomas-suite-of-real-estate-apps-offer-home-buyers-a-unique-advantage/

  13. kellyj481

    July 3, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Fantastic post. Here’s another post which shows a tool that helps you create any type of real estate app with calculations for web or mobile. Just point and click. Templates are available to use or create your app from scratch                 https://blog.caspio.com/case_studies/homazoomas-suite-of-real-estate-apps-offer-home-buyers-a-unique-advantage/
     

  14. JoeNim

    August 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you for the great list of useful apps for Realtors.
     
    There is another new iPhone app, iTransaction, I started using to help coordinate my real estate transactions on the go. A very useful app for real estate agents, brokers, and coordinator. I highly recommend this app for real estate professionals.

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BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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Team of deaf engineers at Snap create feature to help users learn ASL

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of ASL.

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Snap ASL feature

A team of Deaf and hard-of-hearing Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” at the company have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of American Sign Language.

Using AR Technology, the Lens teaches users to fingerspell their names, practice the ASL Alphabet and play games to “put their new skills to the test.”

The Lens, launched last month, is the first of its kind and encourages users to learn American Sign Language.

In a press release Snapchat said, “For native signers, in a world where linguistic inequity is prevalent, we believe AR can help evolve the way we communicate. We look forward to learning more from our community as we strive to continuously improve experiences for everyone on Snapchat.”

Austin Vaday, one of the deaf engineers who helped develop the Lens said helping the world understand sign language is important. He shared his story with NBC correspondent Erin McLaughlin on TODAY after the Lens was released.

Vaday didn’t learn American Sign Language until he was 12. Before then he relied mostly on lip-reading to communicate. ASL changed his life. That life-changing moment helped inspire the ASL Alphabet Lens.

The ASL Alphabet Lens was designed and developed over six months in partnership with SignAll.

There are approximately 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States, according to the National Association of the Deaf.

Vaday said the ASL Alphabet Lens came from the desire to find a way to appropriately and properly educate people so they can communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Vaday said the team focused on the core values of intelligence, creativity, and empathy while working on the project and it’s a step to opening communication for all Snap users with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The ASL Alphabet Lens is available to all Snapchat users.

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Easily spot if your social media marketing service provider is a con artist

(BUSINESS) When hiring a professional marketing service, did you know there are actual questions you can ask to spot a con artist?

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con-artist

In this day and age the cult of positive thinking and “the law of attraction” are still very much alive and well in the business services industry. Here are a few simple questions that you can ask prospective business service providers to help you gauge if they are the real deal or just caught up in the fad of “say yes to everything,” or “outsource everything” being populated online by countless “thought leaders” and cult gurus. Classic con artist.

Lots of people will ask, “What’s the harm of people trying to make something of themselves?”

Well, I’m here to tell you there is huge harm in taking risks with a client’s money and manipulating people into trusting their “expertise” when they have none.

Business owners: Due diligence is more important than ever these days.

There are whole communities of people helping to prop each other up as experts in fields they know nothing about while outsourcing their tasks with little or no oversight into the actual work being done on your behalf.

It is nearly impossible for you to tell if this is even going on. Don’t worry. I am here to help you avoid a con artist.

How? By showing you how to weed out the bad actors by asking really simple questions.

This set of questions is perfect for people who need to distinguish if the expert they are talking to is really just an expert in bullshit with a likable personality.

Why do these questions work? Because people who are into this kind of stuff are rarely hesitant to talk about it when you ask them direct questions. They believe that what they are doing is a good thing and so they are more open to sharing this information with you because they think by you asking that you are also into similar things.

It is a fun little trick I picked up while learning to do consumer polling and political surveying.

The Questions:

    • Who influences you professionally?

 

    • Do you follow any “thought leaders” “gurus” or coaches? If so, who?

 

    • What “school” of thought do you ascribe to in your profession, and where do you learn what you know?

 

    • Are there any industry standards you do not agree with?

 

    • How do you apply the services you offer to your own company?

 

    • Can you please tell me the background of your support staff and can I see their CVs?

 

    • Do you outsource or white label any of the work your company does?

 

    • May we audit your process before buying your services?

 

    • May we discuss your proposed strategies with others in your industry to ensure quality?

 

    • Would you be open to speaking with an independent consultant that is knowledgeable about your industry about your proposals?

 

    • Can you show me examples of your past successful jobs?

 

    • Do you have any industry-accepted certifications and how many hours of study do you do in a year to keep your knowledge up-to-date and current?

 

    • How many clients have you had in the past?

 

    • How many clients do you have currently?

 

    • How many clients are you able to handle at one time?

 

    • How many other clients do you have that are in the same industry as my company?

 

    • How long is your onboarding process before we start getting down to actually making changes to help solve the issues my company is facing?

 

    • Can you explain to me the steps you will take to identify my company’s needs?

 

    • Have you ever taken a course in NLP or any other similar course of study?

 

    • Have you ever been a part of a Multi-Level Marketing company?

Fun. Right? Well, we aren’t done.

It is not just enough to ask these questions… you have to pay attention to the answers, as well as the WAY they are answering questions.

And you also have to RESEARCH the company after you get your answers to make sure they ring true.

You cannot keep accepting people at face value, not when the risk is to your business, employees, and clients. There is little to no risk for a person who is being dishonest about their capabilities and skillsets. They will walk away with your money, ready to go find another target for a chance meeting that seems amazingly perfect.

Do not leave your business decisions to chance encounters at networking events. Research before saying yes.

No matter how likable or appealing the person you are speaking with is.

How do you research? Easy. THE INTERNET. Look at the website of the company you are considering working with.

    • Does it look professional? (do not use your website as a standard for professionals unless you have had it done by a professional)

 

    • Can you see a list of their past clients?

 

    • Do they effectively tell their story as a company or are they just selling?

 

    • What do their social media profiles look like? Do they have many followers? Are they updated regularly?

 

    • Do they have any positive reviews on social sites? (Yelp, Facebook, Linkedin, etc)

 

You can also do some simple things like running SEO Website Checkers on their websites. There are tons of these online for free and they will give you a pretty good indicator of if they are using best practices on their websites – you can even do this research on their clients’ websites.

Also, if you know anything about SpyFu, you can run their website through that to see how they are doing their own online marketing (the same can be said for their clients if they are selling this service).

Facebook also has a cool section that shows you ads that a Page is running. You can find this info connected to their business Page as well as the Pages they manage for their clients as well. None of these things automatically disqualify a potential service provider, but their answers to the question of “why” things are the way there are might be very illuminating to you as a business owner.

This may seem like a lot of work, and it can be if you do not do these things regularly and have them down to a system, but the cost of not doing these things is way too high. A con artist is born every day, thanks to the internet.

You have a right as a business owner considering services from a vendor to ask these questions.

They also have the responsibility as a service provider to answer these questions in a professional manner. Sometimes the way in which they answer the questions is far more important than the actual answer.

If all of this seems too overwhelming for you to handle, that is okay.

    • You can ask one of your staff in your company to take on this role and responsibility.

 

    • You can hire someone to come in and help you with these decisions (and you can ask them all the same questions as above before taking their services).

 

    • You can reach out to other business owners in your network to see if they have recommendations for someone who could help you with things.

 

    • Heck, you can even call up companies that look like they are doing as well as you want to be doing online and ask them who they are using for their services. Try successful companies in other industries as your competitor won’t likely be interested in sharing their secrets with you…

 

What is important is that you are asking questions, researching, and ultimately making sure that you are doing as much as possible to ensure making the best decision for your company.

Final thoughts:

“But, Jay, what’s wrong with taking a risk on an up-and-comer?”

The answer to that is NOTHING. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance on someone. Someone being green doesn’t make them a con artist.

The issue I am raising is in the honest portrayal of businesses and their capabilities. It is about honesty.

I am a huge fan of working with people who are new and passionate about an industry. But I only work with people who are honest with me about who they are, what they can do, and how their processes work.

I have worked with tons of people who are still learning on the job. It can be quite educational for a business owner as well.

Just make sure they are being honest about everything upfront. You are not obligated to give anyone a chance when it comes to your business’s success, and it’s not right that someone might manipulate you into doing so.

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