An Android smart phone can be a real estate agent’s best friend. Rather than having to trudge back to the office or make a phone call when an impromptu inquiry pops up, you can have all the information you need in a jiffy. Real estate agents fulfill so many roles that you probably need more than just five good apps to get the job done. Still, these five apps are useful to any agent. They are available directly on your phone and can provide the information you need in just a few clicks.
1. Suburb Scout
This handy app highlights anything that might affect the property value of a home. It will show you at a glance how far away the nearest airport is, if there is a landfill in the area, or the proximity of the local power plants. Prisons in the area are also highlighted. REALTORS® and home shoppers can use this tool to eliminate any unexpected surprises before they get too far into the home buying process.
2. Smarter Agent
This clean-cut, easy-to-navigate app helps anyone locate the nearest homes or apartments for rent or sale. You can look up the prices for any listed property, as well as recent photos and maps of the location. You can also get a quick average of home values in the neighborhood by researching the prices that area homes have sold for within the last three years. Users can browse by price or location and narrow searches easily. Even REALTOR Magazine likes this app as a tool to share with clients. It’s a freebee you can offer that lets clients search the MLS based on GPS coordinates and other criteria.
3. Google Voice
Google Voice is quickly becoming one of the most useful tools for real estate agents. Once you establish your own Google phone number you can use the native Android app to send voice messages as well as text messages. You can also listen to voicemails or read text transcripts of the voicemails directly from Google. Since it is part of the Google suite of applications, it automatically incorporates all of your contacts and information in one place on your phone. It’s never been easier to stay in contact with prospects, the office and other agents.
4. Google Maps
Google Maps continues to improve its excellent interface. You can follow a GPS signal to make sure you are headed in the right direction, no matter what part of town you need to locate. You can use the app to locate businesses or schools in the area. It will calculate the distance between locations and give you a good estimate of how much time it will take to travel that distance. If you like, you can choose to get driving directions in a simple list form. You can also receive driving directions in a graphical interface that shows exactly where each turn is along the route.
5. Karl’s Mortgage Calculator
Nothing works better than a visual aid when trying to help prospective buyers understand the value of a home and the cost of a mortgage. Karl’s Mortgage Calculator helps you fulfill your role as adviser when buyers are considering a purchase. It offers a sophisticated visual analysis of loans and investments to help buyers feel confident about their purchases. Try different interest rates, early payoffs or extra payments for “what if” scenarios.
Other helpful apps that you might consider include Remember the Milk for a to-do list, iHandy Carpenter to get that last-minute wall hanging up straight, Evernote for capturing and organizing any type of information you need, Dropbox for storing and sharing documents in the cloud, and Safe Neighborhood to help clients with concerns about locating convicted offenders in the area.
What are your favorite Android apps?