Use Cool Tools to Make Transactions Smoother

Here are ideas for getting deals done better and faster for your customers—and even their kids.

July 16, 2014

Help Them Remember What They Loved


OK, so you had just a few hours to show a couple from out of town all the listings in your area that met their criteria. But then Mrs. Househunter got called away on business at the last minute. How do you help the Mister identify and recall what he likes about each property and make it easier for him to communicate that to his wife when he gets back home? Use the free Speaking Photo app (iOS/Android) to snap shots of each listing and record him talking about the features that he likes about each one. You’ll reinforce the best features of each house in his mind while helping his spouse see (and hear) the evidence for herself. The information you capture can be sent via text message, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, which means you can also use your own notes on the fly to highlight what’s special about your listings. Free. MD Design, Mill Valley, Calif. []


Count the Green

It’s tough to sell a green roof when you don’t have the numbers to back up its energy-savings performance. This free online calculator allows you to compare the costs associated with traditional roofs with those of a green roof. Developed jointly by researchers at Portland State University, the University of Toronto, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the tool takes into account whether you’re looking at new construction or old and commercial versus residential property. Since you’re providing the building’s location, it also calculates average temperature and rainfall to get a more accurate picture. The calculator even allows you to enter your most up-to-date utility rates, in case your bills have changed a significant amount since their 2010 baseline. The results include electrical and gas savings by volume and dollar. Free. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Toronto []

Soothe Little Ones’ Moves


Moving homes can be especially hard on kids. It’s scary and sad to leave friends, school, and a house they have loved. A kids’ gift called the “Moving to a New Home” kit can help you  demonstrate your sensitivity to the stresses families face. This easy-to-carry “transition box” enables kids to keep their most dear possessions close to them. The kit is produced by Ratio Industries Inc., a nonprofit packaging company that employs people with disabilities to create retail packaging from eco-friendly materials. You can make the kit part of your marketing; the boxes have a frame to fit your business card, and they can be double- branded for real estate pros who forge a business relationship with, say, a relocation service or moving company. Kits start at $3.95. Ratio Industries Inc. [


Meg White

Meg White is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.