This past weekend at the Advanced Inner Circle Training session I was discussing with some of my students some of the real estate apps that I find useful and use frequently on my iPad and iPhone.
I read out a list of useful apps from the ones that were installed on my iPad but many of my students asked if I had a list of these apps somewhere for them. I put together this list for them and you and anyone else that is looking for real estate apps. Keep in mind that there are new apps that are being added to the app marketplace every day and so this list is by no means all inclusive. There are many great real estate apps out there and this is simply the list of some of the apps that I currently have installed on my iPad and iPhone which I find to be useful for real estate investors and agents. If you have a great real estate app for the iPad or iPhone that you would like to recommend then please do so in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
Real Estate Apps For Searching For Properties
The best and most used apps in the real estate space are those that are designed to help users search for properties. The big 3 real estate search sites are www.realtor.com www.zillow.com and www.trulia.com. I recommend all 3 of these sites for searching for properties on your computer but as far as their apps go they each have unique features. The key benefit to using these apps is the location services built into your iPhone or iPad which lets your iPad or iPhone know where you are currently located. This enables you to see what is for sale around you when you are out in the field looking at houses. However in order for this to work you must have your location services enabled under “Settings” > ”General ”> Privacy”.
As a real estate investor or real estate agent you are looking for a good deal on a house meaning a house that is priced to sell for you or your client. I find that searching using an online site like www.realtor.com is a great tool to look for potential properties to buy or invest in. When I go out to look at the house, I use the realtor.com app when I am in front of the house which allows me to see everything available for sale in the area around the subject property. You can refine your search to show sold properties, properties for sale, properties for rent and you can also search by number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also sort by price, distance, open houses and how new an MLS listing is. I use this app the most frequently out of all the property search apps when I am out in the field. Here is a link to the Realtor.com app for the iPhone: http://www.realtor.com/mobile/iphone
One very useful tip when using this app is that when you click on a property and you click on the contact info for the real estate agent then with your iPhone or iPad you can click on the “add to contacts” button and add the real estate agent info to your Contacts on your iPhone or Ipad. This is especially useful if you call a lot of real estate agents like I do since the information about the agent as well as the address of the property, a link to the listing, the date and even the MLS ID is stored in your contacts. If you have an iPad and an iPhone or Mac and you backup your contacts using iCloud then this is a very useful feature since it is a great way to keep track of real estate agents that you have called and sync between your iPad and iPhone. When the real estate agent returns your call you will know exactly which property they are calling about. This is a very useful tool for investors and agents.
If you only call real estate agents occasionally then you might not see the huge benefit to that. But if you speak to hundreds of real estate agents like we do then it can be very useful to have this contact info saved in your contacts. And it will save you a lot of time. And as we all know time is money. And using apps effectively is a great way to save time.
Trulia real estate is another great real estate web site which can be found at www.trulia.com. We use the Trulia site and Trulia app very frequently in our office. This app is also using the location services built in to your iPad or iPhone to show you houses for sale around your location. One useful feature that I use often is the “draw” feature which allows you to set the perimeters for your search. This is especially useful if you are limiting your search for houses to an area that is very specific and do not want to search for houses past a certain street, bridge, main road etc. As you utilize the draw feature the app shows you how many homes are listed for sale within the perimeter that you drew.
Another great feature with the Trulia app is the “layers” feature which can be used to show heatmaps for crime, average listing price, average sales price, median sales price and average price per square foot. Another useful tool is the “boundaries” feature which shows the boundaries to neighborhoods and zip codes. You can download the Trulia app for your iPhone at this link: http://www.trulia.com/mobile/iphone/
Zillow is currently the most visited real estate site on the planet recently overtaking the # 2 site Realtor.com in traffic (according to Zillow). Zillow is very user friendly web site for real estate investors and can be found at www.zillow.com. The Zillow app is also very user friendly and what I like most about it is that it uses different colors to show houses for sale, houses that sold and houses that owners want to sell. It also shows houses for rent which can be useful for investors that want to be landlords and know how much cash flow they will get on a property.
One key difference between Zillow and the other sites mentioned above is that Zillow is not the MLS. Many real estate agents do not even know this and are not aware that Zillow shows all properties not just the ones that are listed on the MLS. Zillow does not have any relationship with the MLS and simply gives information on every property (available for sale and not for sale). Zillow even allows users to indicate a price that they would be willing to sell their property for with a feature called “Make Me Move”. Many investors use Zillow as a tool to calculate what a home is worth and Zillow gives what is known as a “Zestimate”. This is a useful tool but keep in mind that users can edit home facts and that the “Zestimate” is just a ballpark estimate and the actual value of the property can sometimes vary substantially to the Zestimate. Another useful feature on Zillow is the “Rent Zestimate” which shows you what your subject property might rent for. Other useful features with the Zillow app are the ability to add notes and photos to any property that you are interested in and save them. You can find the Zillow app and other Zillow Mobile apps at this link: http://www.zillow.com/mobile/
Real Estate Apps For Keeping Track Of Documents And Contacts
There are a lot of useful real estate productivity apps but I am going to tell you specifically about 3 that we use in our office every day.
Dropbox for me personally is hands down probably the most useful app out there for real estate agents and real estate investors. You can visit their web site at www.dropbox.com and you can download it for free. What do you do with all of your scanned purchase and sale contracts that are in pdf format? You can save them to Dropbox and then when you need to access them you can retrieve them from your computer, your iPad or your Iphone.
Dropbox works seamlessly on your computer and shows up as a directory just like your “my documents” folder. Every time you put a document in that folder it automatically “syncs” and saves that document online virtually in the “cloud”. This is very useful for a number of reasons. If your computer crashes you will not lose your document. Ask me how I know this.
You can have Dropbox installed on multiple computer devices and you can allow other users access to your Dropbox folders. You can even choose which folders to keep private and which folders you would like to share. Our staff uses Dropbox in our office for all documents and all members of our staff have access to our shared folders. Once you download the Dropbox App then you will be able to access your documents from anywhere on your iPhone or iPad or any computer anywhere. We use this tool every single day multiple times a day. This is an awesome app and I highly recommend it. To download the app for your iPhone visit this link: https://www.dropbox.com/iphoneapp .
Docusign is another useful web site and app combination that we use every day. You can visit their website at www.Docusign.com. This app is not free and costs $15 per month but if you are completing a lot of purchase and sale contracts or signing a lot of documents then you will instantly see the benefit of using Docusign. If you are a real estate agent or a real estate investor who is making many offers on properties then having Docusign can be a real time saver. And saving time means making money.
Instead of having to print out and then sign and then scan and save to pdf you are able to simply log in to your Docusign account and sign the document electronically. No paper, no ink, no paper jams etc. Docusign will save you a lot of paper and ink and is very environmentally friendly.
If I am on the road looking at properties and a real estate agent lets me know that one of my offers has been accepted and that I need to sign the purchase and sales contract immediately then I use Docusign. Using my Ipad I retrieve the email with the purchase contract and then using Docusign I sign the document and send it back to the realtor. Docusign saves a copy of the signed document in my account and also sends me an email with the signed pdf. Compare the above to having to go back to the office, print a contract, sign it, scan it and email it. Time is money and Docusign will save you time and money.
Zoho CRM is a great tool for keeping track of all of your contacts. You can visit their website at www.zoho.com/crm. If you want to sync your contact using their app you can get the free version of Zoho CRM and for only $3 per month you can connect and sync your iPhone and iPad with your Zoho account using the app.
If you are ever out of the office and need to call someone and don’t remember their number you will really like using Zoho CRM. One really nice feature is that when you access Zoho CRM from your iPhone or Ipad you can add the contact information to your contacts with the click of a button. If you are out and about looking at properties and you want to have one place to keep all your contact information then Zoho CRM is hard to beat. You can download their iPhone app at http://www.zoho.com/crm/mobile/
If you are on the go and you need to sign a document that was not emailed to you but you are holding in your hands (like a listing agreement, signed contract or lease) then a very useful tool to use in a pinch is Jot Not Scanner Pro. This app turns your iPhone or iPad camera into a scanner and can take a picture and convert it automatically into a pdf document.
We recently used this with a client who needed to submit a copy of their driver’s license to the title company. Instead of heading back to the office to make a copy we simply took a picture with Jot Not and saved it as a pdf. Then we emailed that document to our Ttitle Company. Here is a link to Jot Not Scanner Pro in the iTunes Store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jotnot-scanner-pro-scan-multipage/id307868751?mt=8
While we are on the topic of Title Companies if you are in Florida you should check out the Independence Title Closing Cost Calculator. This is a great way to estimate closing costs if you are a real estate agent talking to a buyer or a seller or if you are an investor and want an approximate idea of your closing costs. This app only works for Florida but you can download the Closing Cost Calculator for the iPhone at this link: http://www.appato.com/independence-title-inc/florida-closing-cost-calculator/
If you are a real estate investor looking for properties at wholesale prices to buy, fix, flip or rent then you may be interested in downloading the Distressed Real Estate Mobile App. We recently had this new app updated and it displays all of our properties that we have for sale. These properties are only in Florida and is ideal for investors and landlords looking for properties to buy, fix and rent or buy, fix and flip. You can download the app at this link: http://www.lexmobileapp.com
This is just a small list of some of the apps that we use in our office on a daily basis. There are literally hundreds of great real estate apps out there and almost every day new ones are being developed so this list is by no means inclusive. If you want to share a real estate app for the iPhone or iPad please do so in the comments section below.