By Patty McNease, Director of Marketing, Homes.com
As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to nail down our plans for the new year. By now, real estate leaders have been in the throes of budget planning, evaluating expenses and trends, and strategizing to the hilt. During this process, we reflect on the successes and failures of the past year and determine tactics to operate more efficiently and economically to improve our bottom line. It’s also time to develop personal and business resolutions for 2015 that aim to streamline business processes and increase productivity. With that, there are a myriad of widgets and apps that can truly help real estate agents and brokers meet those resolutions.
During the 2014 National Association of Realtors Expo in New Orleans, Homes.com researched a number of apps and presented the top 15 that are sure to help agents and brokers optimize their marketing and productivity efforts. Below we have broken them down so that you can work smarter, not harder in 2015.
1. Pro HDR (iPhone/iPad | Android) – Listing photos are a significant component of marketing your properties. Snap pictures like a professional with the Pro HDR app that can turn property photos into high resolution masterpieces (up to 12 megapixels).
2. Storehouse (iPhone/iPad) – This free, award-winning app allows you to combine photos, videos and text into a beautiful story that you can share with your Storehouse community. A quick, easy and illustrious way to share a home’s story with potential buyers.
3. Phramed (iPhone/iPad) – A new photo collage app, Phramed allows users to arrange up to five photos, create a custom frame and share to your social networks. Another great app to showcase a property’s amenities!
4. GoPro App (iPhone/iPad | Android) – Get instant access to the GoPro channel and remote capabilities to all camera functions like previewing shots and sharing via social channels, text or email. For you DIY video aficionados, this one’s for you!
5. Nest Learning Thermostat (iPhone/iPad | Android) – This app is great for tech-savvy homeowners who can control their thermostat and receive notifications about emergencies like smoke, fire or carbon-monoxide risks right from their mobile device.
6. Pebble (iPhone/iPad | Android) – If you’re into wearable devices, the Pebble smartwatch app is a must-have. Customize your Pebble smartwatch with over 1,000 apps covering a wide-range of categories like notifications, fitness, daily use, tools and utilities, remotes, games and more!
7. IFTTT (iPhone/iPad | Android) – Rhymes with “gift,” this app, which stands for ‘If This Then That,’ automates services for small tasks between apps, or services. For example, if you make a status update on one social channel (a trigger), IFTTT will make sure that the action takes place on another app like reposting that update.
8. Carrot (iPhone/iPad) – Your virtual (and snarky) assistant has arrived! Carrot is a “to-do list with personality.” This talking app rewards you for completing tasks and berates you being a slacker. Real estate pros with resolutions to get things done next year will certainly appreciate this unique app!
9. Genius Scan (iPhone/iPad | Android) – Need a portable scanner? Look no further than the Genius Scan app that can scan your documents and export them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files right from your mobile device. This is perfect for agents and brokers who need to send time sensitive contracts, sales agreements or even hand-written notes on the go.
10. Waze (iPhone/iPad | Android) – Save precious driving time with the Waze app that gives you real-time traffic updates from drivers in your area. Get reports from your community about road closures, accidents, police traps and more from your mobile device and desktop computer.
11. Commute Time widget – Add value to your web site by embedding this commute time widget from Homes.com that allows your visitors to calculate a property’s distance from their office, school and other important locales.
12. Mailtracker (iPhone/iPad) – This app is like your secret agent for monitoring when and if people read your email messages. This tracking application monitors your email analytics so you can see when someone has opened your message, how many times the email was viewed, how long they viewed it, the recipient’s location information, and their device details.
13. Cloze (iPhone/iPad | Android) – Organize your social feeds and mail according to who matters most to you. This free app consolidates your relationships from social networks and email contacts, and tracks them by message, tweet, social post and job change so that you won’t miss an opportunity to connect with them and strengthen that relationship.
14. Dashlane (iPhone/iPad | Android) – This top-rated password manager is a must-have for improving your productivity. More than just a place to store your passwords, Dashlane offers additional room to save multiple logins, credit cards and other payment methods, receipts, and notes. It even includes an auto-fill feature for online forms so you don’t have to type in your personal information repeatedly. It’s sleek design, cloud syncing capability and alerts for potential security breaches also set it apart from the other players.
15. Slide Bureau (iPad) – Bring your content to life in eye-catching multi-media formats. Create listing presentations, property flyers, CMA reports and other marketing materials and share online as a slideshow, web page, PDF, JPEG or video from this easy-to-use iPad app.
BONUS: With all this talk about top-rated apps and the fact that buyers are using real estate apps during their property search, it’s only fitting that real estate professionals generate more exposure for themselves here as well. Make sure you have a new year’s resolution to beef up your mobile marketing strategy including a responsive design web site and mobile ads that target local buyers. Partner with Homes.com to enhance your mobile presence with a comprehensive suite of mobile marketing solutions!