In the fast-paced San Diego real estate game, successful agents are harnessing mobile data to stay two steps ahead while house hopping.
Luckily, in the age of smartphones, specialized apps put market information at your fingertips. Plus, they give you the ability to win over clients and streamline the paperwork with a few taps.
While some companies such as Zillow and Trulia have built online empires by providing always-up-to-date listings, there are lots of useful smartphone tools that can help agents work faster and more efficiently in the field.
Whether you’re searching for a home in Mission Hills or selling a four-bedroom in East Village, here are nine apps that will help you close the deal fast.
Find the house
The best-laid plans often go awry, and even if you came prepared with a list of prime properties in the bay area, your buyers could decide their budget or taste in neighborhoods have changed. With the right apps, you can adapt on the fly.
There are two big dogs on the mobile house-hunting scene: Zillow and Trulia. And while they mostly focus on buyers, both of their pocket guides guarantee you will have the most current listings and pricing info.
Zillow Real Estate (free on Android and iOS) puts 100 million searchable properties on your smartphone, plus helpful features such as notifications for favorite properties, search within an area that you draw on the map, and price estimates based on surrounding homes and market trends.
Real Estate by Trulia (free on Android and iOS) also uses built-in GPS to find nearby houses on the fly, and adds essential components such as crime maps, school locations, and filtering by criteria like number of bedrooms and total square footage.
Show it off
Once you’re in the ballpark of price and location, it’s time to exhibit the interior features. Even if the buyer isn’t with you on the initial visit, your smartphone’s camera can help you communicate some of a spot’s key characteristics.
For that in-the-room-with-you vibe, try 360 Panorama (99 cents on iOS). This app lets you stitch multiple photos together into a sharable, interactive picture that shows all 360 degrees of a space.
If you need to point out specific details, Skitch (free on Android and iOS) lets users quickly mark up photos and PDFs with highlights, boxes, arrows and overlaid text. It’s perfect for focusing in on oak cabinets or a cobblestone-framed fireplace.
If the prospective buyers want to update the space with their own DIY touches, Zillow Digs(free, iPad only) will help you estimate and factor in those costs. The app provides a database of searchable home-improvement ideas along with tools for projecting project pricing based on location.
Seal the deal
Once your clients are ready to pull the trigger on the home of their dreams, don’t let the paperwork hold up the process.
First, make sure payments are within reason by using Zillow Mortgage Marketplace (free on Android and iOS). This app will help your buyers budget monthly payments and shop around for loan quotes with its dead-simple interface.
Once you agree on terms and have the contract written up, Docusign Ink (free for Android and iOS, $15/month basic plan) will help you get the necessary signatures to make the sale official. All you need is a smartphone and your finger, so it’s perfect for endorsing documents while you’re out and about.
And if you’re completely committed to going paperless, there are a bunch of cloud-based services that keep your documents organized and accessible. The two best options for real estate purposes are Cartavi (free on Android and iOS, $10/month basic plan), Docusign’s sister service that was built specifically for realtors and emphasizes collaborative document sharing, and Dropbox (free on Anderoid and iOS), which links up directly with Docusign and makes it simple to distribute contracts via any online medium.