Imagine a problem you have in life. There is probably some app or bit of technology that can resolve it all together—or at least make it easier to manage. The same is true for your career in real estate. When you are a busy agent who is strapped for time and maybe feeling a little overwhelmed, technology can simplify your life and help you be more productive. At the same time, it can be incredibly time-consuming to weed through all the options out there and figure out which ones to use. How do you know which technology will actually be useful—and which is just a huge waste of your time? To answer that question, we connected with some seasoned pros and asked them to help us identify the best technology for real estate agents. Here is what they had to say.
“Because we have so many clients, listings, and tasks to handle, my team of agents and I rely on Trello. It helps us stay organized and on track, and it improves communication among team members. It offers us the ability to monitor and understand the full spectrum of each client and listing we are working on,” says Phillia Kim Downs, half of Phillia+Claire, a luxury real estate agency in Williamsburg Brooklynn.
While it is a good problem to have, one of the biggest challenges agents face is managing online requests to view properties. “Agents struggle to keep up with the demand of the requests and often lose potential clients,” says Rina Camhi, who created the on-demand home-showing mobile app that allows you to schedule meetings with potential clients quickly and efficiently. Download the app for free at Google Play or iTunes.
Being an agent can get hectic real quick, as you struggle to remember all the tasks and details of your job. Many agents invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software to stay on top of everything.
“I use Base CRM because it allows me to import all my leads, manage tasks for them and seamlessly integrate with Google Calendar. I can track when emails are opened by leads/clients to see if people are actually reading my messages. One great feature is that the system alerts via push notification if the context of an email may put a deal at risk, such as a client notifying me that financing fell through. I can immediately respond to issues and fix them fast,” says Ivan Ciraj, who owns and operates IVAN Real Estate. Take Base CRM for a free test drive.
You no longer need to rush back to the office to scan important documents. With CamScanner, you can use your phone camera to scan anything and convert the document to a PDF format. Then you can apply smart cropping and auto enhancing to make the documents look ultra-clear. CamScanner is free at Google Play and iTunes.
Easily run quick estimates and closing costs for buyers and sellers using your smartphone. The app comes preloaded with local county-specific title rates, closing costs, lender fees, and city specific property tax rates, too, so the estimates are very accurate. Plus, “The buyer’s estimate app is available sans any title company branding, so I can use it without the hassle of being sold to,” says Scott Parman, a buyer specialist in Kansas City. PalmAgent is available for free for iOS, Android, Windows, desktop PCs, Kindle, and Nook.
Create loops with clients and other stakeholders in an online workplace, allowing them to create to-do lists for clients, create and share documents, start and track conversations, and manage tasks and progress. Most useful, however, is that “buyers or sellers can sign on the run, using their mobile device,” says Bunni Longwell of Keller Williams Realty, St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Of all the apps and software tools I have tried, put aside, and those I continue to use, I rate unroll.me as the absolute most essential tool to keep me organized and sane. Unroll.me gives me a list of my subscription emails, and I can decide to unsubscribe immediately (the best part) or keep them coming to my inbox. Or, second best part, I can combine subscription emails into one beautiful digested email. I can still view my favorite subscriptions but they don’t bog down my time or email space,” says Jo-Ann Sloan, with Coastal Property Group in Florida.
With Docusign, real estate clients can securely sign documents anywhere from any mobile device. No need to overnight, fax, or wait around for documents to arrive.
What do you think is the best technology for real estate agents?
Our experts spoke and gave us this list of the best technology for real estate agents. What real estate apps and technology have you discovered that makes your job easier in today’s hectic market? Share your must-haves in the comments below.