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8 iPad Apps REALTORS® Love!

May 02 2011

barcamp

I was in the Phoenix/Mesa area this month and was fortunate enough to learn about the local RE Barcamp. I’ve attended others before but must commend the organizers, volunteers and attendees on making it one of the best networking and knowledge-sharing events ever.

The BarCamp Pre Party was held the night before at a collaborative workspace that is sponsored by Chicago Title and featured amazing barbecue from Smokin’ Aces and the pitmaster, Kevin, who’s been featured on the Food Network. We were dazzled with impromptu magic by my new buddy, Gene, who is the marketing manager for his brother’s Realty Executives team.

The BarCamp was held at the Scottsdale Stadium, and we kicked things off on a gorgeous day sitting in the bleachers. We then broke into separate sessions held in locker rooms, suites, etc., and a variety of topics on mobile, iPads, QR codes, social networking, blogging, Droid, short sales, property management and more. Given my areas of expertise, I focused on the mobile tracks to learn what issues and tips were discussed in Northern Arizona and was pleasantly surprised with the tech-savvy agents and tools they found to solve their everyday problems. I was particularly impressed with the tools used on iPads to virtualize their businesses.

In this spirit of knowledge sharing, I felt compelled to spread the love. Below is a list of the top recommended tools for iPads that helps agents mobilize their business.

 

These are just the apps that came up most often, recommended by agents who attended the sessions at BarCamp. Note the agents who recommended these apps often recommend the pay version versus the free version. Don’t hesitate to spend a few bucks to get quality software that will be supported, especially if you count on the tools to do business.

dropbox

Drop Box (file sharing application)

Drop Box was revered as one of the most important tools the agents used. It allowed them a simple way to synchronize files from their office, team, and even clients so they have access to documents from anywhere. It seemed that most agents were familiar with Drop Box and used this tool for document sharing and collaboration.


evernote

Evernote (notetaking, voice recording, organization tool)

Evernote was another popular app for the iPad. Many agents reported they use the tool to record meetings with clients and even lenders which has “covered their butt” when certain matters were disputed later on. The tool will be even more functional with the iPad 2 because, like the phone-based version, you will be able to take photos of your handwritten notes and it even tries to recognize the text to make it searchable.

3rd

LogMeIn (remote desktop management)

LogMeIn and another app called PocketCloud were revered as must-have tools that allow agents to access their desktop computers remotely from their iPad. This allowed access to documents and even the ability to run search applications on the computer.

pdfexpert

PDF Expert (PDF document creator/editor)

One of the challenges with trying to mobilize an agent’s business is dealing with contracts. Unfortunately most regulations prevent overlays as signatures, and this tool is no exception. That said, this was the most frequently recommended tool for reading, editing, creating PDF documents on the iPad. One suggestion I made was to edit a Word document and add the signature there, then generate a PDF document to get around the overlay issue. Some agents said this was possible and the Apple office apps, Pages and Numbers, were highly recommended.  Some stated that in Notes you could save a document as PDF, so this is worth trying out. A tool called Prezi was also recommended for presentations and touted better than PowerPoint and Keynote, so check that out.


printnshare

Print n Share (network printer application for iPad)

Print n Share was a top recommended app for accessing networked printers (not just the HP Printers accessible by Air Print). A couple agents claimed they could choose to print a document or page and then print it as a PDF instead of to a printer, so that too could solve the overlay issue with the PDF documents.

teamviewer

TeamViewer Pro HD (collaborative remote desktop management and presentation tool)

TeamViewer was another recommended tool for collaborating with others and sharing documents, presentations and remotely controlling computers. Think of this like GoToMeeting for iPads. I haven’t checked it out but was praised by many as a must-have tool.


youragent

Open Home Pro (visitor registration and survey tool for open houses and events)

Many agents have recommended this application and they set up their iPad at the entrance of a home asking for visitors to “sign in.” This application acts as their virtual guestbook, and agents claim people are more likely to sign in with their iPad than pen/paper simply due to the coolness factor. The app will also email a Thank You and follow-up to the visitors, saving time from follow-ups. There may be other showing solutions that do this from the lock boxes, but those typically poll agents and not the guests. So this could be another way to build up your rolodex for current and future business.

mortgagecalc

Mortgage Calc Pro (mortgage and ammortization calculator)

The agents that used this tool said this was within dollars of the standard tools and very useful when out in the field.


Other Tools of note:

  • Stylus pointer devices recommended were the Pogo stylus and the Acase stylus. The Acase is reported to last longer and is cheaper and can be found on Amazon for about $5, compared to the $14 for the Pogo. My aunt is an artist and swears by her Pogo after trying many others, but many agents and techies swear by the Acase, so it may be a matter of preference and budget.
  • Springpad was another notetaking and organization tool mentioned. So it may be worth looking into when looking at Evernote.
  • Prezi and Keynote were the top recommended apps for presentations (like PowerPoint for Windows).
  • PocketCloud was another remote desktop management app discussed. So check that out when looking at LogMeIn.

I hope this list is useful, and if you have recommendations or feedback on the apps mentioned, please don’t hesitate to share.

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