Uncomplicate and the Complicated
There certainly is no shortage of real estate apps and software products that claim to make a real estate agents’ life better, more profitable and less complicated. The paradox is it is very complicated to figure out which apps will uncomplicate things.
For example, there are a mind numbing number of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps on the market today. The problem is sifting through them all to determine which is the best for an individual agent’s needs. By the time you’re finished going through the dozens of CRM apps, you’ll probably be well into retirement and be sporting a massive headache.
To help uncomplicate this process, listed below are some of the best and most popular real estate apps and software out there right now. They may not be the very tip-top in their category possessing every bell and whistle imaginable, but they will do the job. Keep in mind, that a number of these real estate apps and software products have overlapping features which, at times, makes it hard to differentiate them.
Anyway, here we go…
CRM has the potential to revolutionize the real estate business. The problem is, many agents find mastering the countless features – many which hardly anyone will use in the real world – a daunting and time consuming task, to say the least.
However, at their best, CRM apps turn unorganized data into a powerful referral tool with – once you get the hang of it – minimal effort. This leaves more time for agents to build personal relationships with clients and prospects while providing them with better service.
There are so many good CRM apps on the market right now, it would run pages. Here are three:
Real Saavy offers agents an all-in-one consumer facing CRM capability. It helps agents maintain real time communications with buyers and it streamlines many of the mundane tasks agents face every day. Real Suite is Move, Inc’s CRM app that’s tethered to their Realtor.com home listing platform. It provides a single interface which pulls leads from different sources. Moreover, like other CRM apps, it helps eliminate one of the biggest gripes people have about real estate agents – slow response times. Top Producer does all of these things as well and helps track correspondence while automatically keeping buyers informed about upcoming events.
You can’t go wrong with any of these CRM apps.
Today, every agent needs their own website. Creating a website used to be the sole domain of professionals. Not anymore. There are a number of software companies that make developing a website as easy as following the recipe of the back of a box of muffins. They provide strikingly beautiful templates dedicated solely to real estate. All one has to do is follow the instructions where to download photos and copy, and in no time flat, you’ll a personally branded professional looking website.
Webs.com is an easy to use website builder with a number of different real estate templates to choose from. Plaster.com is another real estate focused app that helps agents build their own website. It also provides email marketing, lead management and analytics.
Searching for properties isn’t usually a problem for real estate agents. All they have to do is access the MLS. But there is a novel app that actually makes finding out the details of a property – whether it is – with the click of a smartphone camera. HomeSpan allows a person to drive up to a property, take a picture of it, and in moments see what it sold for, when it last sold, what the taxes are on the property and other important information.
Managing a real estate transaction is one of the less glamorous and time consuming tasks real estate agents face. Anything that makes this process easier is certainly something to look into.
Both Dotloop and DocuSign are good transaction management tools to help ease the pain of managing the details of a transaction. They can send documents, expedite and digitize real the paperwork and, importantly, they both can be seamlessly fit into existing CRM tools. The bottom line is both can help make a complicated process less so.
Listing Acquisition and “Farming”
The popular guessing-game of figuring who is on the verge of listing their home, is a frustrating one. If you could only get a jump on things, pitch the listing before everyone else jumps in, wouldn’t that be great?
By harnessing “big data” and “predictive analytics”, SmartZip can provide an agent with a narrow prospect list of owners who are most likely to sell. And they’ve narrowed it down to zip code areas. Their predictions are based on behavioral information gathered from over 100 million households nationwide. SmartZip’s Checkin app helps agent’s track and pitch these top seller prospects.
Floor Plan Scanner
Room Scan is an app that makes it easy to create a floor plan. All an agent needs to do is walk around a room with their smartphone and video it with the Room Scan app. This will produce a 3-D layout of the floor plan. Pretty cool!
Social Media Management
Social media has dramatically changed the media and marketing landscape. It has become a major marketing tool for agents. Buffer can help agents manage their social media platforms which will rise an agent’s profile and increase lead flow. Agents can plan and publish content for Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram from a single dashboard.
There’s nothing worse than showing a barren house without a stick of furniture in it. These empty interiors just look horrible and turn off buyers. This is particularly true when prospective buyers are browsing the internet looking for homes. They see a bad photo of an empty house and move on.
VRX Staging is a company that can stage a listing with beautiful “virtual” furniture, turning it from an empty, unappealing shell into an appealing modern home. And the cost is low, only $35 per photograph.
Lock boxes, swapping keys and gaining access to a property is one of the hassles real estate professional have to deal with every day. The time spent getting access to a house is a big time waster. However, an app called KeyMe simplifies the process.
All you have to do is take a photo of the key you want duplicated and then upload it to KeyMe’s servers where it will be 3-D printed and either mailed to you or retrieved at one of their kiosks.
It sometimes seems that the real estate business missed the digitation revolution because it remains plagued with endless mounds of paperwork. Many a forest has been stripped clean to provide the paper necessary to close real estate transactions.
An Android app called Tiny Scanner can turn a smartphone into a portable scanner, digitizing dozens of pages while saving our forests from extinction. Once Tiny Scanner has captured a document, it can be directly emailed to a client, uploaded on a computer or post in the Cloud.
More than most, real estate agents spend a lot of time on the road, sitting bumper to bumper in slow moving traffic. While there are a number of mapping and traffic apps on the market today including Google Maps, an app called Waze is the best in telling drivers what’s up ahead. In fact, many Uber and Lyft drivers swear by it.
Waze features real-time community sourced traffic reports. In other words, drivers text the road conditions that they see and share it with everyone. The app also provides rerouting so a driver can avoid traffic jams.
These are only a few of the real estate apps and software products that make life easier – and more profitable – for real estate professionals. They can uncomplicate the complicated.