So Much Technology, So Little Time – Real Estate App Edition
Real estate at its core is a contact sport. The more people you contact and are able to make relationships with, the more deals you will close. It really is that simple. Using apps can drastically increase your productivity and help you stay better organized.
Last week I wrote a post about the top CRM’s (http://www.amopenhouse.com/customer-relationship-management-crm) on the market. It’s important to note that a CRM is only as good as the person who uses it. But what about the day to day things we do as agents? What about the appointments, the meetings, the lunches, the dinners, the marketing? How on earth can one person keep track of so many things and keep their head on straight?
Luckily we are in a world where technology has really changed the game of real estate and formed a brand new way of doing business. I have family and friends who have been in this business for many years, and they tell me all the time that today is the best time to be in real estate. Why? Simply, because the technology available on the market is plentiful and most of it is really relevant.
In this post I am going to discuss 6 apps that I think you absolutely must have to be successful in this business. All of these apps are for your mobile device and will make your life much easier.
Dropbox App – Free
Dropbox has single handedly allowed me to cut about half of my busy work down. They have apps for every major platform and they are all synced. Imagine Dropbox as your very own server in the cloud, that you can put anything and everything on. Once its there, you can literally access it from any device or computer. Let’s drill down on this for a second.
Most of my business is selling REO and Commercial properties. Every time I go to a property, I take pictures of the condition. In the past, I would then email each and every one of those pictures to myself, go to my computer, download each picture, put it in a folder, and then organize those pictures inside the property folder.
With Dropbox, now when I take pictures, they are automatically uploaded to a Dropbox folder called “camera uploads.” I simply go in to the app or my computer and drag the photos to the property folder that is already on Dropbox. Imagine taking 25 pictures and having to email them to yourself, download them, and organize them! With Dropbox, I cut that time down from about 15 minutes to less than 3 minutes.
Mileage Log+ App – $9.99 Download Fee
While I am not a huge fan of pay before you play apps, this is one that is absolutely necessary to your business. As you know, being in real estate means tax deductions for many things. One of those things is mileage to showings and listing appointments. Keeping track of this the old fashion way with a pen and paper is daunting and annoying. Enter, Mileage Log+. It’s extremely easy to use and work with.
Evernote App – Free or $5.00/Month Upgrade
I am a huge fan of Evernote. I have been a user for many years for multiple reasons, the main one being that any notes can be easily searched. It allows me to keep jotting things down as they come to me and when I have the time to deal with them, I can easily find and do what I need to. Its like a notepad on steroids.
Let’s say you are driving and see a FSBO sign. You can now do one of two things. You can stop, write down the information, and call immediately. Or if you are like me, you are probably on your way to an appointment. So what I do is snap a shot of the sign and input “FSBO” on it. Later, when I am back in the office I can search “FSBO” in Evernote, and all the notes with this tag will come up. You can imagine the endless possibilities of use here. Since it’s mobile and cross platform, you can use it on your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ device without having to sync anything. When you’re done with a note, just delete it. If it’s important, star it for later.
Google Chrome – Free
You are probably wondering why I put a web browser on here. As a busy Realtor®, being constantly on the go, it is extremely important to me to be able to move from device to device without first having to reopen every single window.
For instance, if I am on Google Maps because I planned a route for 5 showings and I want to transfer that information to my phone, it’s a real pain. Instead, by having Google Chrome on my computer and my phone, I can open my Chrome browser on my phone and click the other devices button. Now I can find any page that is open on any of my other devices and open it instantly. This saves a ton of time in so many ways.
Hootsuite App – Free
Oh how we all love social media! This amazing app is an add-on to their website. In short, imagine only having to type a status update one time and have it go to every social media channel you have. Only want it on Facebook and Google+, but not Linked in or Twitter, you can do that too. Its unbelievably simple to use and will make your social media life much easier.
This app alone has cut down the time on some of the updates I used to make. On the weekends, if you want to advertise an Open House or new listing, you can now do it once and it will drop to all of your social media channels. Use it!
AM Open House App – Free or $4.99/Month Upgrade
AM Open House is the most efficient Open House iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ app for agents, buyers, investors and sellers. This app uses a simple interface that keeps track of your properties, consumer and broker Open Houses while allowing customers to easily sign in and sign out.
Want to share your Open House on Facebook, Twitter or Google+? AM Open House does that too.
This app eliminates the need for you to follow up after your Open House as it sends a customized email from you personally to your customers. This e-mail thanks your customers for coming to your Open House and gives them your information in case they have any other questions or want to place an offer. This email also includes neighborhood, school information and walk score. Talk about giving your clients needed information on demand!