The new year is well underway, but this is still the prime time to make strategic changes to your business practices. If you have been on the fence about going paperless in your business, you should seriously consider making the switch. Here are my four must-have apps for being a productive and efficient paperless agent.

1. Dropbox. Dropbox is essentially a digital filing cabinet that you can have with you at all times on multiple devices. Contract changes that you and the client made on your desktop are automatically updated on your tablet. Media photos taken on your smartphone are synced with your laptop.

Dropbox was the first application I downloaded in my transition to paperless operation, and it still serves as my foundation. What I love is that it’s free to download, and my storage space increases by adding more devices or referring family and friends. Since getting Dropbox, I have yet to run out of space or needed to buy more.

2. PDF Expert. So far, PDF Expert has been the most useful app I’ve downloaded; it features what seem to be endless possibilities. I can edit, file, sign, send and so much more. There seems to be nothing I cannot do with PDF Expert, and that is what makes it so great. It is on the higher end of apps at $10 to download, but it’s well worth the investment if you intend to go paperless.

3. DocuSign. The entire purpose of going paperless is defeated if people still have to print documents to sign them and then reupload them to send electronically. This is where DocuSign comes in. It works with anyone, anytime and anywhere. So while your clients are on vacation in the Bahamas and you’re on a ski trip in the mountains, you can still get the deal done. DocuSign offers individual agent subscriptions as well as brokerage solutions.

4. Open Home Pro. This is the coolest app in my arsenal. It elevates my clients’ and customers’ perceptions of me as an agent, and it allows for real-time, hands-on interaction. When I first started in real estate and held open houses, I had way too much stuff to manage: food, sign-in sheets, clipboards, pens and more. By the end of those events, while shutting things down and going back through the sheets that prospects filled out, not only would I have to deal with undecipherable handwriting but also the time-suck of uploading that information to my database.

After searching extensively through the app store, I came across Open Home Pro. Every aspect of the user interface, from the front end to the back, is simplistic, intuitive and polished. The uniqueness of each presentation, the ability to customize questions to my liking and the assurance that prospects will receive thank-you emails with additional property stats makes it well worth the cost. Plus, all of that prospect information is automatically uploaded to my database!

These applications will allow you to take your office anywhere and are great strategic business moves. Enjoy more flexibility in your schedule by increasing the productivity and efficiency in your days as a paperless agent.

Anthony West is a real estate agent, founder of The Luxury Life KC at Moffitt Realty, and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.

Email Anthony West.

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