As a real estate professional, there are certain tech tools I rely on to help me run my business. While there are actually more than three, the following trio have really been put to the test during the recent summer selling season:
1) Realtyzam – Accounting Software for Real Estate Agents
My absolute favorite app for tracking my real estate biz is Realtyzam. It’s a financial tracker that allows you to enter listings, buyers, expenses, and income. It’s easy and fun to use—not overly complicated like some apps—and it has a one-click P&L statement that you can print and hand over to your accountant. It costs $8 per month if you pay annually, or $10 if you pay month-to-month. Overall, it’s a tiny investment for a great reward.
2) Google Maps – Directions To and From Anywhere
Another essential tool is Google Maps. I was using Apple Maps on an outdated iPhone 4 for long time. Then, while vacationing in the northern woods of Minnesota this summer, Siri sent me on an extended wild goose chase, and I realized it was time to switch. I ditched my outdated iPhone and got a Samsung Galaxy Edge 7. Since then, I’ve been getting from point A to B and back again like a champ. There’s nothing more assuring than a friendly voice chirping directions as you zig-zag through unfamiliar territory while showing property.
3) Ixact Contact – CRM and Marketing Solutions
As a Realtor, your client database IS your business, so you gotta have a reliable CRM. I use IxactContact, and overall I’m pretty pleased. At $35 a month it’s affordable and has far more features than I will ever use, such as email marketing (I use MailChimp) and Realtor websites (I maintain my own). Ixact Contact’s interface is a bit dated, and it’s not as intuitive as I would like, but it’s a solid starter model. Down the line, I may upgrade to the pricier, more modern Top Producer, but for now Ixact Contact gets the job done.
2017 Update: I’ve experimented with two additional CRMs recently, Realvolve and Active Campaign. Realvolve is a modern CRM geared specifically at real estate agents, but its learning curves is a bit daunting. Active Campaign also takes some time to maneuver efficiently, and it’s geared towards sales professionals in general. However, after taking Active Campaign for a 3-week trial, I’m convinced it will serve me well as an all-in-one CRM, lead generation tool, and email marketing platform. Therefore, I’ll soon be moving away from Ixact Contact.
Honorable Mentions: Realtor.com and Zillow.com are really where Buyers and Sellers are educating themselves about the market, so it’s wise for Realtors to use these tools as well. Realtor.com in particular offers an excellent at-a-glance snapshot of the local market, which is quite helpful when you don’t have time to deep-dive into the MLS.
Nikolas Allen is a Realtor® in Mt. Shasta, California. He helps people through the complex process of buying and selling their homes.