If you're a realtor or a broker, your iPhone and iPad can be invaluable tools that can not only help keep you organized, but help you do your job better. Everything from apps that help you market yourself to productivity apps that make client management and communication easier than ever are available in the App Store.
photo credit: Jan Persiel via photopin cc
Here are the ones we think are the best choices for active real estate agents and brokers.
Dropbox is a useful tool for pretty much every profession and real estate is absolutely no exception. More people use it than you think which means getting files and documents to clients just became simpler. Whether you choose to utilize Dropbox just for storing files for access from any device or want to create shared folders with clients, it's a must have.
Not only do you have immediate access to your files from anywhere on your iPhone and iPad, Dropbox has Mac and Windows clients to keep your desktop and laptop computers in sync. And for the times you're away from home or don't have access to your iPhone or iPad, logging into the Dropbox website gives you access to your files wherever else you may need them from.
Dropbox gives you 2GB of space for free or you can purchase more on a monthly or yearly basis for a pretty small fee.
One thing realtors and brokers do quite often is scan documents with signatures. This is where an app like Scanner Pro is dead useful. Simply take photos of the pages on your phone in order to create a document. It's great for when you aren't near a scanner or computer and need to get something to a client right away.
Not only does it make work that used to only be possible inside the office manageable from the outside, your clients will be impressed when they receive documents you promised in only a matter of minutes. Scanner Pro is a great place to keep copies of common documents such as purchase agreements, inspection reports, and more. From here, they're ready to be sent off the minute you need them. Clients also tend to like an option outside of having a home scanner. They may not have those laying around anymore but the odds of them having an iPhone is much higher.
Every realtor is familiar with lockboxes and uses them on a regular basis to unlock and show houses or to put one on their own listings. Regardless where you are, you can't avoid lockboxes and the issues they can bring with them at times. Updating keys before you leave the office or your home can be irritating. What if you didn't have to remember those steps anymore?
Supra actually offers an eKey that comes as an attachment that plugs into your charge port equipped with an IR sensor. Simply download the free eKey app to your iPhone and log in with your agent ID. You'll need to purchase the equipment and attachments from Supra before using the eKey app. Most realtor associations have them for you to walk in and buy as well. Once you're all set up, just log in with your agent ID and you're ready to go. Anywhere you have service, you'll have the ability to unlock homes to show your clients at a moment's notice.
While the default Calendar app for iPhone and iPad does what it needs to, entering appointments and showings can still be a daunting task. The thing about Fantastical is that is supports natural language input. Realtors spend a lot of time on the phone and need to enter appointments, showings, and closings into their calendars quickly. Fantastical can do just that. Instead of having to fill out all the nitty gritty details line by line, just tell Fantastical by voice or by typing what you want. For example, just say "Showing with Bob at noon tomorrow." and Fantastical will do the rest for you.
If you have separate calendars set up, you can even take it one step further and tell Fantastical something like "Showing with Bob at noon tomorrow. Calendar Century 21." It'll automatically put events where they should be.
Already use the default Calendar app? No worries. Fantastical shares them same core files so anything you place in the default calendar with appear in Fantastical automatically and vice versa. There's literally no setup required.
Trulia is just as good of a resource for realtors as it is for buyers and sellers. When on appointments with clients, logging into an MLS and having to search for other properties they may inquire about can be time consuming. While the MLS contains more information, Trulia gives a nice overview of properties and is map based which makes it easy to pinpoint and target the properties someone is asking about.
While it isn't as detailed as the MLS, it does provide good information in a quicker manner. It's also a good place to advertise in your area. Lots of folks out there are browsing for homes on their iPhones and iPads nowadays and there's no better way to gain clients than your credentials showing up on the homes they're looking at.
Any realtor knows that are are tons of passwords that come with the job. MLS logins, zip form passwords, and so many more. Forgetting a password is a headache and can set you back or worse, cause an inconvenience for your clients when you can't access information they want to know. We all know that it is never a good idea to have the same password for multiple accounts.
This is where 1Password comes in handy. It can remember all your passwords and logins as well as generate strong passwords for you. Every type of account you can think of is supported with the ability to create any custom ones you'd like. You can also use 1Password to generate strong passwords when you can't think of one. 1Password has support for not only iOS but Mac and PC as well.
One thing realtors do more than anything is drive. Whether it's to showings, closings, open houses, or any other place you need to go, gas mileage is tax deductible for self employed realtors. That's why it's especially important to keep track of how many miles you're driving and to where. Trip Cubby is a fantastic way to do just that. Along with tracking general mileage, you can also make notes as to what you're traveling for and why you're logging it.u
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