The iPad has been out for awhile and like every other earthling, I am drooling over the possibilities of the next generation of iPad and hang on every rumor involving the next iPhone. Besides being a gateway drug to buy all things Apple, my iPad and iPhone have freed me greatly from my PC (sorry, I mean Mac Pro) and made my Windows notebook computer a very expensive paperweight. The new iPads and iPhones were made for road warriors of all types, but especially for real estate agents. The Apps Store is filled with lots of great real estate apps however only a few rise to the top as my favorite real estate applications. These are the must-have apps for those who crave the best real estate agent tech toys.
The Top 10 must have iPhone and iPad Apps for Real Estate Agents and Realtors
10. Zillow App
Sure, Zillows app, Trulia’s app and Realtor.com’s apps pretty much do the same thing and since everyone knows what those apps do, I won’t go into details. Since their so similar, they all rank as #10. However there are some differences that make them distinguishable from one another. Zillow is on the bottom of the pile in my criteria because of the lack of accuracy on their listing data, especially the Zestimate. However, my biggest gripe with this app, and the website in general, is that the agents it gives you to contact are not the listing agent, but paid advertisers instead. The listing agent is hidden away at the bottom of the info. This is my biggest gripe regarding Zillow, but hey, everyone needs to earn a buck and Zillow is an advertising forum after all.
10. Trulia App
I like Trulia’s app better than Zillow because there’s less clutter and there’s no hint of a Zestimate. The Trulia app also doesn’t flood you with subtle agent advertising by actually giving you the name of the selling agent and no one else. I like that. Besides, who’d hire an agent based solely off the fact the agent paid a few bucks to advertise on Zillow? Okay, probably lots of people with unsold homes, but I digress.
10. Realtor App
What does this app offer that Zillow and Trulia do not? Accuracy! Because it’s from the National Association of Realtors, it offers limited access to all of the MLS databases. Not only is MLS data the most accurate data possible, it’s also updated regularly so it’s probably the most current.
9. LoopNet Commercial Real Estate Search
LoopNet is like the Zillow or Trulia of commercial real estate and if you do any commercial real estate business, this app is handy to have around.
Lots of FSBO sales can be found in the classifieds and this app is a convenient way to search classifieds while on the go.
7. Real Estate Calc: Mortgage & Home Loan Qualification Calculator
I believe the name says it all. It’s certainly long enough to. What I like about this app is that it’s just a calculator. No house searches, no maps, just calculations, just loan qualification calculations, how much you can afford calculations, etc. You can also email the results to your client. This app also calculates agent commissions. That makes this app a keeper in my book.
6. Open House Manager
Keep track of open house attendees by entering them into a database that can be imported into your contact management system. Now you have no excuses not to follow up with potential buyers. Also, it’s easier to lug an iPad around than keep track of sheets of paper or a clipboard. Plus, it just looks cool.
Docusign’s app is a great way to electronically sign and distribute contracts and keep track of the signature process. Another great aspect of this program is that you’ll have the current copy of every contract with you at all times.
4. Agent Reports NTREIS MLS Sheets
This application gives you access to the Tempo version of the listings in the NTREIS (Dallas /Ft Worth) MLS, including notes, Agent Reports and attached media and documents. Just think of all the paper you’ll save. The only drawback is you can only access each listing by MLS number only. There’s no browsing or searching for houses in general, however you can use Realtor’s app to lookup the MLS number on an active listing. Of course, you would have done your homework beforehand so you should already have the MLS numbers anyway.
3. Supra eKey (iphone only)
The Supra eKey app replaces the need for lugging that little Supra Keypad around. Now you can access Supra keyboxes with your iPhone.
Apple’s Keynote app is a great presentation program. I like to use this app for giving a listing presentation. However, make sure you have handouts. The more tech you can show a client, the more leading edge you look. Homeowners like up-to-date agents. Just saying.
1. Apple Maps
It’s already on the iPhone and iPad, but it’s still very useful in finding the house’s location and you can also 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. Also, when you’re out in the field and need to find a hardware store or other type of store to get something you forgot before your open house you can search for store locations near you.
Bonus Apps Realtors may also Appreciate
Find My iPhone
This app is handy for tracking down which house you left your iPad or iPhone in and disabling it until you can reunite with your beloved Apple product. You can remotely erase the device should it’s departure become permanent. There are also some sneaky parental uses for it too.
You’re stuck at an Open House and it’s completely dead. What are you going to do? Paperwork? Stare at the fireplace? Heck no! Watch reruns of Arrested Development on Netflix or some HGTV home show that makes selling a home look easy. That will help pass the time.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
Most agents swear to the value of social media. I just swear at it. Now you can have it with you everywhere you go. Your friends and followers will love having a record of your every thought and whim. With these apps you’ll be able to tweet and post about all your successful open houses and listings every minute of every day until your friends and followers flee. Just think, you’ll never miss a stupid cat picture ever again and you’ll be in the know about all the time-wasting activities your circle of friends are doing in real time while sharing yours with them.
With all the distractions of paper shuffling, talking with clients and pointing out houses to your clients, who can concentrate on driving? I’ve been in many a near-death experience as a passenger in a Realtor’s car. Seems like an app that points out all the speed traps and camera lights would be a good companion for the distracted agent.
Most of these apps are available for both iPhones and iPads. Most are free and the highest priced app is $5.00 so download them all.
Do you have any favorite apps that you use for real estate and how did they help you become a successful real estate agent? Please share them with us and let us know how you use them.