The Broker's 2021 Toolbox
Outfit your real estate company with this baker’s dozen of tech products and services.
April 13, 2021
Are you looking to upgrade some tech in your office or discover new tools that could help run your brokerage more efficiently? From website add-ons that help capture customer leads to productivity apps to manage a remote team, the number of tech tools geared to real estate brokerages is rapidly growing. Peruse this collection of products to discover what’s new on the market.
NOTE: Products are ranked in no particular order. Prices are subject to change. REALTOR® Magazine does not evaluate or endorse the following products.
1. Project Your Voice Through a Mask
In the era of a pandemic, it’s crucial to keep your distance to stay safe as you tour homes for-sale with your clients. But that can make hearing one another challenging, especially voices can be muffled through a mask. Chicago area real estate pro Robert Reed, with Charles Rutenberg Realty, created the Coacher real estate edition social distancing device—a portable, wireless microphone headset that can project your voice up to 500 square feet. The wireless headset and accompanying amplifier are lightweight and compact, allowing you to tour homes comfortably while talking. It can also be used while teaching a class, training, or coaching.
2. Produce a 3D Home Scan 15 Minutes
Get a 3D scan of a property fast with Planitar’s iGuide Planix camera that can scan an average-sized property in less than 15 minutes. Then, use the scans to produce a walkthrough 3D tour or an interactive floor plan, or use them to get room measurements. The camera uses a time-of-flight laser scanner and a 360-camera to capture the images.
3. Keep Your Grammar in Check
Emails riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors can reflect poorly on your brokerage. Help your agents craft professional emails even while they’re in a rush with Grammarly Business writing software. It can scan messages crafted on a computer or phone for common grammatical mistakes, such as misused commas or misplaced modifiers. Grammarly Business also flags wordiness to make sure you’re avoiding jargon and saying things succinctly. It can be set to follow any company style guides, such as ensuring your company name is always properly spelled and capitalized.
Cost: Business plans start at $12.50 per member per month
4. Digital Contracts With Video Chat
Offer clients the opportunity to talk via video on the same platform where you send them digital documents. GetAccept combines video and live chat when sending contracts or sales documents, for an added personal touch. Use it to connect when sending over an offer, to review a home inspection report, or for any proposals your clients may need to discuss. You’ll be notified when a customer receives a digital document and if they want to talk. Use this as an alternative to faxing, scanning documents, or endless email exchanges. You’ll also be able to see when your recipient viewed or opened the digital document. Also, GetAccept can help you create branded templates for sales documents you send digitally.
Cost: Plans starting at $25 per month per user
5. A Professional Sign Off
Wisestamp’s email signature generator helps you create a polished look for your brand at the bottom of every email sent. An email signature manager can help you manage and sync your company’s email signatures. At the bottom of each email, you can have it set to include your name, position, company, as well as include a photo, social media buttons, and your company’s logo. Choose from 100 email signature templates. It’s compatible with all email platforms.
Cost: Free (paid plans available)
6. The Heavyweight Champ of Real Estate Databases
Recently revamped, the Realtors Property Resource® offers access to detailed information on 159 million residential and commercial properties in the U.S. RPR’s makeover features an upgraded interface for easier and faster searches on property and neighborhood information, historical facts, and local economic data—all of which can be used to create customized reports to share with clients. The new RPR® interface also includes a customizable “My Market” area with quick access to property hot sheets. It also touts improved search results, allowing you to choose among a list, map, or photo view of properties.
Cost: Free to NAR members
7. Real-Time Organization, Collaboration Tool
Help your brokerage stay better connected no matter where everyone’s day takes them. Taskade is a collaboration tool for remote teams that includes task lists, integrated video chat, and more. Share projects, chat with peers, and see changes as they happen in real-time across all your devices. Plan, organize, and prioritize upcoming tasks with a team roadmap feature.
Cost: Free basic plan or $5 per user per month for unlimited plans
8. Create a Professional Form in a Snap
Want to survey clients post-transaction about their experience or survey your agents about their satisfaction? Typeform offers a tool for creating professional forms that will help you generate more responses. Choose from dozens of templates, such as forms for evaluations, donations, contacts, event registrations, job applications, polls for your website, and more. Or drag and drop questions to create your own form from scratch. Customize any template or form to include your company branding. You can also embed forms into your website or launch them from an email.
Cost: Plans starting at $35 per month
9. This Chatbot Will Rank Your Leads
Structurely uses an artificial intelligence chatbot to nurture and qualify your online leads. When a lead contacts you through your website, live chat, or Facebook, Structurely’s chatbot goes to work, engaging in an online conversation with the person. Whether day or night, it will begin asking qualifying questions to rank how serious of a real estate client they are. It has scripts for buyers, sellers, investors, new leads, or old leads, or you can build your own script for the chatbot to use. For a serious lead, the chatbot will try to schedule an appointment so the client can meet with one of your agents. A mobile app allows your agents to keep tabs on leads coming in and they can opt to pause the chatbot at any time to take over the conversation if they want to. Lead conversations are sent back to your CRM in real-time and can be routed to team members.
Cost: Contact for pricing
10. Become the Neighborhood Expert
Parkbench wants to help real estate professionals become neighborhood experts by allowing them to leverage hyper-local online content. Each neighborhood website is sponsored by one real estate professional per area. The site will promote your brokerage, contact information, and listings, along with information on local news, events, and deals. Also, Parkbench offers several tools to help build your brand on your site, such as in creating video interviews with local businesspeople in your area.
Cost: Between $3,500 and $6,500 a year (A flat rate fee is determined by size of market. Contact for pricing.)
11. A Productivity Tool to Keep You Laser-Focused
Keep yourself and your agents on track, particularly as people spend less time in the office and more time working remotely. PomoDoneApp seeks to limit workday distraction by setting timed work concentration periods. You can adjust how long each work session is and your accompanying break (e.g., set a 25-minute power work time followed by a five-minute break). It can manage your to-do list by helping you set up a workday power focus schedule. The tool relies on research—known as the Pomodoro Technique—that shows short bursts of focused work followed by a short break can help limit overall workday distractions and increase productivity. Use it to accomplish job tasks you might dread, like cold calling clients. It also features reporting options so your team can send in work logs of how they’re spending their day.
Cost: Free; paid plans starting at $2.29 per month
12. Cloud-Based Brokerage Management Tool
A solution for smaller brokerages, Brokermint is a web-based, back-office platform with transaction and team management functions, commission tracking, and MLS integration. It can also integrate with QuickBooks and Realogy Dash. The platform aims to make managing multiple transactions easier by offering one central place to track documents as well as view status and progress and make any needed approvals. Use it to assign checklists as soon as listings are entered or when transactions go under contract. The tool also can help calculate commissions and offers commission templates and recordkeeping.
Cost: Starts at $99 per month
13. Access Exclusive Savings for REALTORS®
Looking for more tools to add to your business? Check out the REALTOR Benefits® Program products for members of the National Association of REALTORS® that offer exclusive savings and discounts. Peruse technology, education, marketing, travel, and transaction management tools and services, as well as office supplies and more.