If you want to grow your real estate business more quickly, these must-have realtor apps and tools are literally right at your fingertips.
Homes stay on the market an average of 65 days, but in hot housing markets that time might be just a few days – or even hours. Speed and efficiency are of the essence for realtors who work with sellers and buyers in fast-moving markets, but that doesn’t mean that quality doesn’t count. Real estate agents who successfully attract and engage more buyers stand a better chance of bringing in higher offers for their clients, which is a win both for the home sellers and the realtors.
Many of the realtor apps and tools you need to compete at a high level as a realtor are right at your fingertips – in your smartphone, tablet and laptop. There’s more computing power in mobile devices than ever before, and their usefulness extends far beyond the basics. The realtor apps and digital resources listed below can help you run your real estate business more effectively and efficiently.
8 Realtor Apps to Use to Grow a Real Estate Business
1. Mortgage Calculator App
There’s no getting around the fact that homes are a big-ticket purchase for most home buyers. Having a mortgage calculator among the realtor apps on your smartphone, tablet and laptop puts the numbers buyers need right at your fingertips.
Not only is it useful in helping home buyers determine if they can afford the home of their dreams, it can also be helpful in working with buyers who have not locked down financing and mortgage pre-approval yet. You can also use this to help buyers decide what amount of down payment they need to put down for various types of loans or to avoid PMI (mortgage insurance) which can significantly increase the amount of their monthly mortgage payment.
Financept’s Mortgage Calculator (available in the Google Play store, compatible with all devices) has a 4.6 overall rating from over 1800 users, and its features include:
- Calculate mortgage and loan payments based on principle, interest and term (length of loan)
- Yearly and monthly breakdowns
- Ability to save and print results
- Mortgage amortization schedule (shows totals paid toward principal and interest over the length of the loan)
- Mortgage amount with / without PMI (mortgage insurance)
- Mortgage amount with taxes
- Impact on the mortgage amortization schedule of making extra payments
2. Virtual Conferencing – Video and Screenshare
Eliminate email and phone tag by setting meetings with multiple participants using StartMeeting.com’s low-priced platform. At a monthly cost equivalent to the price of one lunch, you’ll have a virtual business meeting conference room that enables participants to call in or view from a smartphone or computer. This versatile tool provides you the ability to:
- Share your screen to give a presentation, review documents or use your camera for a virtual “face to face” with prospects, buyers and sellers
- Show property photos and videos, explain documents, put offers together, review counter-offers – great tool especially when working with remote buyers such as military home buyers
- Review offers with sellers, review inspection reports, craft responses, etc.
- Invite multiple parties to eliminate conflict schedules, the need to meet at a brick-and-mortar location and increase communication efficiency
- Hold educational webinars for home buyers or home sellers (up to 1,000) in lieu of (or in addition to) local workshops for client attraction
- Capture all meetings via recording for later playback, reference or documentation
3. Expense Tracking
Sure you can simply take a photo of receipts with your smartphone, but ReceiptBank goes a step further in automating scanning of receipts, bills and invoices on the go, storing them on the cloud so you can access them when you’re doing your office accounting or to send to your bookkeeper. It’s AI (artificial intelligence) reads your receipts, eliminating the need for data entry.
You can track profit and expenses and find tax deductions you might otherwise have missed starting for free using hurdlr. The free level includes:
- unlimited mileage tracking
- add income and expenses
- tax calculations summary
- ability to export / email reports
From there, for less than $10 a month (currently $7.99 month to month or $60 billed annually) you can expand hurdlr’s abilities with automated expense and income tracking, speed tagging, get real time calculations for state and federal self-employment taxes, and organize your office by setting work ours and creating rules. And don’t forget – the cost of apps and programs like these may all be tax deductible as well.
JotNot Pro turns any iOS or android smartphone or tablet into a scanner, and features additional applications including Fax (send any Word or PDF document by fax), Invoice and Signature. Each of the apps currently cost $4.99 US.
Easy Inc.’s Simple Scan is a free app that turns your mobile phone into a scanner. It’s got a user rating of nearly 5 stars and has been reviewed by more than 73,000 users.
5. Selfie and Property Videos
Video. It’s everywhere! From selfie videos that let you introduce yourself to prospects on social media, your website and in email marketing, to videos you shoot at a home or property, video can take your real estate marketing to a higher level. However, a lot of self-produced video ends up looking very amateur and the still-shots aren’t always flattering.
Problem solved! Load Adobe Premiere Clip onto your phone, tablet and/or laptop along with your other realtor apps and get the extra editing tools you need to improve your videos, add effects, music, transitions, text, voice-over, set beginning and end slides – and more. Once complete, share easily onto your website, social media, YouTube channel, email marketing and more.
6. Cash Flow Tools
While Corsa Finance’s realtor commission advance doesn’t technically fall under the category of “realtor apps,” it is a must-have realtor tool for expediting cash flow. As soon as a purchase and sale agreement or lease agreement has been signed around, the clock starts ticking, and you start waiting to receive the money you earned on the deal. The clock might tick on for weeks – or even months. Meanwhile, the expenses you incurred to do the work of the deal have already been billed to you, and maybe even paid.
Waiting on a commission for weeks or months could result in a cash flow shortage for your real estate agency. A real estate commission advance resolves this cash flow shortage by giving you access to working capital that would otherwise be tied up in commissions payable to you at a later date, but without impacting the transaction’s closing date, buyers or sellers.
You might also like: 4 Ways to Use a Commission Advance for Realtors
7. Lead Management
If you need more relationship management than Outlook alone can provide, Zillow’s Premier Agent offers the ability to manage leads, set meetings, track interactions and keep track of your lead generation pipeline, alone or as part of a team. The program can connect leads from more than 35 sources so you can manage them all in one place. You can also record your phone calls and have them sent to your inbox in case you need to review them again later.
- Robust lead management
- Lead distribution and monitoring
- Task management
- Listings management – although some tools are not available to Android users
8. Prospecting – Demographics
If you want to know the general demographics of a city or zip code, check out the wealth of free data available to real estate professionals on claritas360 (formerly claritas Prizm). Enter in any zip code and find out about its demographics by lifestyle, social group, income, household composition, age and ethnicity.
Another great resource for realtors to discover information about specific cities or zip codes is City-Data.com. Instantly find historical statistics about:
- number of homes, condos and apartments
- real estate property taxes
- profiles of local businesses
- median home pricing – and more
Demographic data can be of great use to you when looking for trends, identifying prospect-rich neighborhoods or even tracking which are likely to be the next up-and-coming areas where buyers will want to live.