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Whether you’re running a top producing team or just starting out, having the best real estate software at your disposal will put you well ahead of other agents. Is this finally the year the real estate industry gets the disruptive tools and apps other industries enjoy? Read on to check out our 20 top picks for the best time saving, lead generating, and innovative real estate software:
One of the early movers in the all-in-one real estate lead generation and CRM platforms, Inside Real Estate’s kvCORE platform is finally ready for its close up. Their team focused platform for 2018 boasts lead generation, a robust CRM with AI features like behavioral lead response, text messaging, and even an auto dialer.
While AI chatbots have been threatening (not in a skynet sense, but you get the idea…) to “disrupt” real estate lead nurturing for a long time now. The only problem is that the vast majority of solutions on offer weren’t quite ready for prime time. They were clunky, slow, or too robot-like to be useful. Structurely’s AI chatbot Aisa (Artificial Intelligence Sales Agent) Holmes allows you to qualify your web leads while you’re out showing and pitching. It also talks to a ton of your favorite lead gen/CRM platform’s like Real Geeks, BoomTown, Kunversion, Placester and more.
Amitree’s Folio has always been the well kept secret weapon of many newbie agents. After all, it’s free, sits right on top of Gmail, and offers some pretty amazing transaction management and organization tasks for busy Realtors. Even better, Sand Hill Road has taken notice. Amitree recently closed a $7 million round of funding to build out more functionality into an already fairly robust platform. Get on board while it’s still free!
After interviewing dozens of Real Trends 500 agents over the years, one thing really stands out. As you might imagine, they’re all absolutely amazing communicators in person or over skype. It’s almost like a hypnotists act. You just can’t help but trust whatever it is their saying and leave the conversation wanting to hear more. It’s uncanny. Of course when you get emails or texts from the same agents… well the magic not only fades, it pretty much disappears. This is why almost every single real estate tech pundit from Gary Vaynerchuck to Peter Lorimer agree that video is the future of real estate marketing. That’s why BombBomb is a must have for any serious agent. It let’s you create video at tehe drop of a hat and reach your leads where they’re most likely to pay attention, via email and text. They also offer lead capture, landing pages, analytics and more with your account.
While it may not be free, Contactually helps you automate and manage your most valuable asset as a Realtor. Your relationships. While many CRM’s let you tag leads and send out drip campaigns, Contactually takes it a step further and offers complex automation and lead nurturing features in order to help you build and maintain relationships. It will even use AI to tell you when the best time to reach out to different leads is.
Contactually is one of the best platforms for Realtors who are serious about automating their relationship marketing and reaching the right lead, with the right message, at the right time.
One of the most common complaints I here from newer Realtors is that their MLS interfaces look and feel like they were built in 1994. Tiny fonts, dozens of tiny checkboxes and dropdown menus, and a design aesthetic that screams AOL 95. Blah. Want to know why? Your MLS doesn’t have the time, resources, or expertise to design and build sleek, modern tools to access their treasure trove of data. That’s where companies like W+R Studios come in.
Their Cloud MLX app sits right on top of your mls and gives you a Google-like way to access that data faster, easier, and without the headaches.
During a recent chat with W+R CEO Greg Robertson, he let me in on the mantra that helps them make such innovative software: Make it simple, make it elegant, and make it easy to use. Cloud MLX nails all three and then some. Even better, Cloud MLX is designed to work seamlessly with the other apps in their Cloud Agent Suite; Cloud CMA, Cloud Attract, and Cloud Streams. The whole package together gives agents a formidable arsenal of tools for searching your MLS, buyer and seller lead generation, lead nurturing with gorgeous listing updates, and finally powerful listing presentation software to seal the deal.
Follow Up Boss is a lightweight, laser targeted lead management system designed for Realtors and teams to nail their lead nurturing targets day-to-day quickly and easily. Follow Up Boss sits right on your email and logs emails and texts, manages drip campaigns, sends automatic texts (open rates are WAY higher than email). and generally keeps agents focused on lead nurturing and converting clients instead of getting bogged down by endless listing blast emails, work drama, and everything else that keeps agent’s from their core tasks. It also has great features for team leaders to check in on how their agents are doing at a glance. They also seamlessly integrate with Real Geeks, IDX Broker, Ihomefinder, CINC, and more.
If you’ve already dipped a toe into social media only to get turned off by the constant demand to post, then Buffer is for you. Do you want to reach your twitter followers at 7:30 am even on days you sleep in? Want to send out that infographic to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. AND Instagram with one click?
Buffer let’s you figure out what times and type of content your leads on each platform respond to, then helps you create a posting calendar loaded with content. Once you have your calendar ready to go, you can sit back and let the likes, pins, and retweets comes rolling in.
Did I mention Buffer is free for up to three social accounts and ten scheduled posts?
Let’s face facts. Email is dying. In some tech offices, email has been almost entirely replaced with Slack, IM, or video conferencing. Homesnap lets you give your clients an awesome home search experience and notifies you when they like a property. You can also get deep dive property info and even build free CMA’s for your listing pitches. Since it’s linked directly with the MLS, the information about the house status is in real time. You can invite your clients to join the app and when they like something you are notified immediately. For your clients it gives information about what schools are in the areas and what other homes are for sale in a particular school zone. You can send them any new listings in their chosen area that you’ve come across and reach out to the listing agent with questions that you or your client may have on the spot. Not to mention the ability to create a CMA ,( comparative market analysis ), for your clients right from the app . If all of that weren’t great enough you’re able to book a showing, map how to get there and share the directions.
First.io is another real estate software platform to take advantage of predictive analytics.
Have you ever sat down to write ad copy or put together a CMA and looked up to see that it’s 4 hours later and you’ve got nothing done? It doesn’t matter how much time you devote to a project, but how much time you spend FOCUSED on that project… If you constantly find yourself putting in login hours but not getting good results, you might be a candidate for the Pomodoro Technique. Here’s how it works: Instead of giving yourself a few hours or (eve worse) an unlimited amount of time to work, Pomodoro makes you limit your work to just 25 minutes. After that 25 minutes, no matter what you have cooking, you turn off the computer and take a five minute break. When you complete 4 Pomodoro cycles of 25 minutes of work split by 5 minute breaks, you take a real, 15-20 minute break to eat lunch, chat with coworkers, or head out for coffee. Thousands of creative workers and software engineers swear by Pomodoro, (including me) and the short bursts of focused work seem to limit distractions and increase productivity. You can even try it when cold calling. While all you really need to use the Pomodoro technique is a timer (preferably shaped like a tomato, hence the name) apps like Pomodoro timer give you a timer and even analytics to track your progress.
Like AI, predictive analytics has been an unavoidable buzzword for real estate software lately. While there are a ton of fakers out there (we won’t name names) who claim to use predictive analytics to parse real estate data, HouseCanary actually does. And it’s a game changer. HouseCanary’s home valuations are based on dozens of data points both public and private, and instead of going back a year or two, actually consider trends from the past few decades when coming up with their valuations. Think if it as Zestimates with a brain transplant…on steroids. While HouseCanary’s valuations are the most accurate many in the industry have seen, they’re not out to replace agents anytime soon. In fact, they offer affordable valuations that you can use to supplement your own hard work.
Now on to a tool that our office uses daily. Trello. Trello is one of those dead simple apps that will transform the way you work with your team. Trello lets you create and keep track of long term projects and todos with your entire team. It’s also super easy and intuitive to use. Even better, Trello is FREE for small teams. For just $10 a month, you can add a whole bunch of time saving features. There. Now you have no excuse to stay disorganized!
Here’s another real estate software platform you’ll kick yourself for not inventing… No, it doesn’t do transaction management or or build IDX pages and butter your toast in the morning like so many swiss army knife platforms these days. It only does ONE thing. It turns your Ipad or Android tablet into a fast, powerful open house sign in sheet. Now instead of squinting at a list of unintelligible names as you hunt and peck them into your CRM, you can leave your open house with your leads already in your CRM. In fact, Open Home Pro offered such an elegant solution to a common pain point for Realtors, they got bought out by Placester.
Let’s eat Grandma!…. Let’s eat, Grandma! Two sentences, only one will get you disinvited from next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. The Grandma safe version uses what’s called the oxford comma, something a grammar app like Grammarly will spot and fix for you.
Yuo cna aslo porbalby raed tihs esaliy desptie teh msispeillgns rhigt? Your leads probably can too, but are they going to call you back? Better not risk it in that pitch email. Grammarly checks your grammar, spelling, and even sentence structure and style for free.
Since some people spend their entire careers following and writing about real estate news, catching up with the latest can be a full time job. Since you don’t have time to read the Wall Street Journal, The Real Deal, The New York Times, and your local paper every morning, Feedly can help. Enter in a few websites or news categories you want to follow and Feedly sends you a nice curated list of the top stories every day. Combine this with Buffer and your leads will think you have a full time editorial staff finding them the best articles. Feedly is also FREE.
Although the competition was fierce, it looks like Dotloop has come out on top for the best real estate transaction management software for another year. If your office doesn’t offer real estate software like Dotloop along with your other perks, then it might make sense to jump in and track your deals with Dotloop. Did we mention the industry leading transaction management platform is now FREE for individual agents?
Instead of a shoebox, I had a manila folder stuffed with receipts for yellow cabs, lunches, printing, and printouts of my (enormous) Uber bills. Needless to say come tax time I’m ankle deep in paper and miserable. Smarter agents use expense tracking software like Expensify. Expensify automatically scans and tags your receipts so you don’t have to. This way in April you have everything organized and ready for your accountant to scrutinize.
Good old RPR! If you’re unfamiliar or have the app moldering away in your app tray unused, you owe it to yourself to fire it up soon. Offered exclusively for Realtors, RPR parses a massive trove of data to bring you quick answers to your client’s pressing questions right at your fingertips. It’s also a great way to build up a CMA on the fly to impress your tire kickers.
Last but certainly not least, Chime has been quietly building the killer real estate CRM while flashier competitors focused on bells and whistles. Instead of just a CRM, Chime is building out a full fledged real estate software platform to handle almost everything from lead generation, to lead nurturing, to transaction management, to analytics. If you need further proof of Chime’s strategic place in the real estate industry, San Francisco tech thought leaders Climb Real Estate use Chime.
There you have 2018/2019 tech leaders for our industry. Please comment below any of your favorites you would like other agents to know about, appreciate you sharing with us all!
Strength and courage,