WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — As a real estate agent, you’re constantly juggling what seems like a million priorities, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of THINGS that you need to take care of in your business. But luckily, it’s 2017, and as the saying goes, these days there’s an app for everything – and that includes everything that you need to be successful as a real estate agent.
Here are 15 must-have apps for real estate agents that will keep you organized, productive, and take your business to the next level:
As a real estate agent, you’re constantly on the go, bouncing from the office to house showing to appointment and back again – and in the meantime, racking up mileage on your car. It can be easy to lose track of how many miles you’ve driven, where you were going and what you were driving to, which are all essential for submitting your expenses or filing your taxes.
Enter MileIQ. MileIQ logs your miles automatically (no need to remember to hit start or stop), allows you to classify each trip in a single swipe and keeps track of total mileage, which makes getting your reimbursement or tax write-off a breeze.
Dropbox, Free and Premium Plans
As a real estate agents, there’s a lot of documents involved in your business – typically documents that live on your computer. But your office isn’t the only place you’ll need access to those files, which is what makes Dropbox essential for agents.
Dropbox allows you to save files on your computer, then access them on the go and share them with others, like potential buyers or sellers. Dropbox automatically syncs to all of your devices, so you can pull up a contract on your iPad or a rental agreement on your Android phone with the click of a button. Dropbox also makes it easy to share large files, like video tours of your properties, quickly and easily.
DocuSign, $10 – $30 per month per user
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in closing a real estate deal. Save a huge amount of paper (and do the right thing for the environment) by moving your document processing to DocuSign.
DocuSign gives you the ability to send, sign and approve documents digitally and has product lines specifically catered to real estate professionals. DocuSign Realtor makes it incredibly simple to organize your transactions in the cloud, while DocuSign Broker gives you “the ability to define and optimize the way transactions are managed across your business while providing agents with true mobility to get work done on the go”. Both allow you to do get your documents signed anywhere – no printer necessary.
Trello, Free and Premium Plans
Being a successful agent means at any given moment, you’re working on approximately 10,000 projects. In order to stay on top of all the details, you’ll need a solid project management tool.
In terms of project management tools, Trello is one of the easiest to get the hang of, and you can get up and running pretty immediately. Trello organizes every aspect of your business into projects, so you can track what’s being done, who’s responsible for making sure it’s done and when you can expect it to be done, all in one easy-to-navigate interface. You can easily invite other team members of your team to relevant projects, assign tasks, set up timelines and notifications, create to-do lists, set up timelines, goals, and notifications and a host of other features to make sure you’re on track.
Part of being a successful real estate agent is staying on top of what’s going on the real estate world. And, since everything these days is happening in the digital space, your source for that news is going to be your favorite websites and blogs (like The Lighter Side of Real Estate!). But visiting every site individually can be time-consuming.
Newsify is a Blog, News, and RSS Feeder that allows you to read and share all of the content from your favorite blog and websites in one app. Newsify compiles all of the content from your chosen sites and assembles them in a newspaper-like layout, making it easier for you to consume on the go.
Buffer, Free and Premium Plans
Social media is an absolute must in the real estate world, but many agents find they get sucked into the world of social media and lose hours every day logging in and posting to different platforms.
Instead of posting in real time, Buffer allows you to schedule your social media posts and choose when they’ll be published. That way, you can choose to publish your important updates at the best possible times throughout the day (which maximizes your reach to potential clients) without the need for constant manual posting. So, for example, let’s say you get a new listing on Sunday, and you want to make that it gets in front of as much of your audience as possible before week’s end. Instead of logging in to post it multiple times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, you can schedule all of your posts for the week on Sunday evening.
Buffer also allows you to schedule posts for all of your social media accounts from one platform, eliminating the need to sign in and monitor Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and all of your other accounts separately.
HootSuite, Free and Premium Plans
Just as important as posting on social media is monitoring the conversations that happen there. As a real estate agent, you want to monitor what your community is saying about your brand, your properties and the market in general.
HootSuite is a social media management and monitoring tool that allows you to track the conversations that are happening within your community, respond to comments and track how often your followers are engaging with you and your content.
HootSuite is also great for making sure that nothing important falls through the social media tracks; by constantly monitoring your social media presence, you’re able to make sure that all of your audience members get your attention when they ask for it.
Have you ever been on your way to a showing, only to find yourself in an unexpected traffic jam?
With Waze, that’ll never happen again. Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, leverages real-time user reported data on traffic-causing issues, like accidents and road closures, to deliver the fastest route to your destination at any given moment.
Waze also has a handy feature that shows you where to find the cheapest gas in your area, which can add up for agents that are on the road often… and let’s be honest, that’s just about everyone.
Slack, Free and Premium Plans
When it comes to communicating with your team, group emails just don’t work. They flood your team’s inboxes with messages and things get lost in the shuffle.
Slack is a tool that will streamline your team communication through “channels”. You can set up channels for different teams, different projects or properties or different topics within your business. You can add relevant team members to each channel, where you’ll all be able to communicate in real time. All channel members are able to access the communication stream and keep track of conversations, but there is a direct message option to send private information to specific team members.
Slack also allows you to share files on each channel, keeping your documents, photos, and contracts organized and readily accessible to your team.
Evernote, Free and Premium Plans
Whether you’re reading through your local real estate report or browsing your favorite website, there’s plenty of occasions where you run into a bit of information that you don’t want to forget. With Evernote, you can save those bits of information, organize them, and pull them up when you need them.
Think of Evernote like a virtual notebook – it allows you to “capture, nurture, and share your ideas across any device.” You can scan in a relevant real estate article, highlight the important information and then stick in a folder to pull up later. Evernote also lets you easily search for past notes and share them with anyone on your team, making it super easy to keep track of your ideas.
IFTTT, which stands for “If This, Then That”, is an incredibly web-based service to help keep agents organized. IFTTT allows you to create Applets, which are basically a sequence of conditional statements (which is where the app’s title comes from) that automate just about everything under the sun for you. Currently, IFTTT supports over 110 services or, in IFTTT terms, “channels”.
With IFTTT, you can automate things like sharing photos across social media sites, clipping notes for your Evernote board and sending Gmail responses to potential clients based on specific conditions that you set, called “recipes”.
So, for example, you can set up a recipe that says “IF I post a listing to Instagram, THEN it should also post to Twitter with the following hashtags: X, Y, Z”. IFTTT saves you time and energy and makes sure that none of the digital functions you do on a regular basis get lost in the shuffle of your busy day.
LastPass, Free and Premium Plans
As an agent, there’s going to be times that you need other people to access your various accounts. Maybe you need your assistant to log into your social media and grab the name of a potential client you want to reach out to, or maybe you need a web developer to log into the back end of your listings site and fix a potential bug. But sharing your passwords puts you and your hard work at risk.
Not with LastPass. LastPass allows you to grant access to your various accounts securely, without sharing your passwords with anyone on your team. It also allows you to remove access and/or change passwords with one simple click.
Notability is an app for your iPad that allows you to type, take handwritten notes AND a voice recording, all at the same time. This multifunctional note taking and recording ability comes in handy in tons of situations for agents, like property walk-throughs: you can write down a list of repairs needed and record yourself elaborating on each point to send to your contractors.
Mortgage Calculator, Free
A must for any real estate agent, the Mortgage Calculator app allows you to enter in different loan amounts, interest rates and lending terms to give your clients accurate information about potential mortgages and what their payments might be. This is an invaluable tool to have handy when your clients are on the fence about whether they can afford one of your properties or if it’s the right fit for their long-term financial goals.
Expensify, Free and Premium Plans
Between supplying food for your open house to staging a space to printing out flyers, real estate agents rack up a ton of expenses each month. Expensify makes it easy to keep track of your expenses, create real-time expense reports and submit for reimbursement. The app even integrates into your bank account, so you can get your reimbursements through direct deposit.
Bonus: Expensify also has a travel feature which organizes all of your travel related expenses for you, which is perfect agents who work in multiple locales.
With these 15 apps, you’ll have the right tools in your arsenal to take your real estate market by storm in 2017. Happy downloading agents!
Jason Falcon is the owner of LEAP DFW, a full-service property management company in Dallas-Fort Worth. LEAP manages over 100 million dollars in real estate, and their transparent process helps clients boost their revenue, lower operating expenses, and ensure high-quality tenants. You can follow Jason’s property management blog here.