Working in real estate is very particular: agents are mostly on the road, their schedule is irregular, and they are requested to know a lot more than just housing prices, whether it is mortgages, laws and regulations, construction and renovation, the services and quality of life a given community offers…
But your smartphone is a great ally to stay organized. According to a 2011 survey from the National Association of Realtors, 72% of realtors use their smartphone every day for work, especially for the email and Internet functionalities. This number keeps on getting higher: in 2007, for instance, it was only 28%.
Potential clients today are very demanding, and expect an extremely quick response when they contact an agent, within 30 or so minutes. In fact, according to a recent study from PCMS Consulting anf One Cavo, 75% of requests made online will not render results, because agents did not respond or did not do so quickly enough.
Here are a few of the best smart phone applications for real estate professionals, which can help you respond (almost) immediately, wherever you are, armed with all necessary tools and information. These applications are all available on Google Play, and best of all, are all free!
Realtor.ca: Absolutely indispensable, this app can help you find listings for all properties on the market within Canada, according to different search criteria such as the property type, the price range, or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also use it to find all open houses within a certain area. Just make sure that you download the version with the .ca, since Realtor also exists for the US.
Google Maps, and Street View: A portable GPS, with which you will never get lost again, and will always arrive at appointments on time, even in an unknown neighborhood. If you also download the Street View add-on, you will be able to explore an area virtually, which will give you an excellent idea of its feel.
DocuSign Ink: This electronic signature tool will prevent the printing, scanning, faxing and shipping of countless important document. This app allows you to simply sign and return them, directly from your phone. Also, all the documents sent are stored on the cloud for free.
Camscanner (a deluxe version is also available for $4.99): Did you ever have to scan and send a document, but couldn’t right away because you were on the road? You can now do it from your phone, and easily optimize your document (crop it or enhance it automatically). Then, simply send the PDF version.
Shoeboxed: Never lose your receipts or the business cards you receive, and simplify your life. With this app, just take a picture of them; they will then be scanned to extract all the information they contain, then organized in a secure account with the company. You need to create this account from your computer; the basic but fully functional plan is free. Some premiums plans are also available.
Evernote: This app is a must-have for all busy professionals. You can enter your ideas or tasks as written notes, pictures, audio text, or attachments. You can then add a title and tags, in order to find your entries easily later on. Data from this app will be synchronized with your computer or tablet.