LifestyleTechnology

4 best (free) apps for keeping your real estate business organized

E-file important documents for safe storage and peace of mind

Staying organized is one of the easiest ways to streamline your business. As the busy summer season approaches, keeping track of your clients and listings is highly important.

Start off on the right foot with these four free apps.

Genius Scan

Genius is marketed as a “scanner in your pocket.” The app conveniently scans contracts, purchase agreements, applications, listing photos — pretty much any real estate document you can think of that would be more accessible (by all parties) as an electronic file.

After Genius scans and downloads images using your phone’s camera, it translates the photos into PDF files to share with partners and clients alike. You can also save photos as JPEGs, which is a more traditional file type for snapshots and is optimized for sharing and editing.

While there are a lot of scanning apps on the market, Genius consistently delivers high-quality images. When you’re dealing with fine print, visibility is a must.

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Dropbox

You probably switch between your smartphone, laptop and tablet regularly. Even if you designate each for a certain purpose (for example, tablet for photos), it’s incredibly convenient to have multidevice access.

Say you forget your tablet the next time you go take listing photos and you use your smartphone instead. You can easily drop the newest JPEGs into a cloud-based folder and file them neatly, just as you would have had you not forgotten your tablet.

Aside from personal organization, Dropbox allows you to share your files with multiple people. If you work in real estate development and do a lot of team projects, you know how important it is for everyone to access paperwork and pamphlets.

Giving clients access to your Dropbox is a slippery slope. When you’re dealing with consumers, email attachments are the best option. They don’t need to see all of your information, especially since these files tend to hold a degree of confidentiality. Plus, you risk accidentally giving them access to the wrong folder.

Google Contacts

A real estate agent usually has a significant number of contacts compared to someone who works with a set group of people every day. Think about it — everyone who needs housing has the potential to become a client.

It’s highly important to stay organized and keep diligent notes about each one of your contacts, even if you haven’t worked together yet. That way, you won’t risk confusing two people, and you can remind yourself of your relationship and rapport (very friendly, a little on the cold side, and so on).

As opposed to the apps built in on your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone, Google Contacts syncs with your Gmail account to make the transition easier. You’ll probably want to cross-reference each of your accounts to make sure all information translated seamlessly.

Evernote

From brokers to students, Evernote makes jotting down information easy. The app creates folders, which is great for filing active listings. You can also sync your listing photos to each of these folders to keep everything in one location.

When organizing listings with Evernote, you should also include descriptions since you can search by a term and filter by folders matching that description. While Postlets allows you to filter by terms, it’s reflective of the public listing description.

Therefore, information you want to keep concealed (for example, 100 percent commission split on first month’s rent), should not be kept on Postlets. Evernote allows you to flag must-know, yet private, details without automatically advertising them to potential applicants.

If you’re lucky to have many active accounts, you can stay clear-minded by prioritizing organization at all times. Otherwise, you may end up sending the wrong documents to the wrong people, which could end up detrimental depending on their degree of sensitivity.

Email Jennifer Riner.