Graham Wood is senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apps You’re Probably Not Using—But Should
An industry leader presents the top tech tools to simplify your business at an MRED conference in Chicago.
June 26, 2019
Have you ever walked a neighborhood with a buyer and wished the listing details of each home on the market would pop up on your phone as you stroll? There’s an app for that.
A myriad of useful apps and tech tools were highlighted Tuesday at MREDpalooza, a Chicago-based conference hosted by Midwest Real Estate Data, one of the country’s largest MLSs. At one session, Dave Phillips, vice president of industry relations at realtor.com®, ticked off several tools that aim to help real estate professionals simplify communication with clients, add depth to the customer experience, and improve online visibility.
More targeted photo sharing. Cluster lets you set up a private group to share photos with, unlike Facebook, which makes most posts available for public view. “Set up a cluster with your buyers, and they can see the listing photos you post,” Phillips said. Your clients can also comment on photos you share, adding another avenue for you to discover their wants and needs. For example, a buyer may leave a photo comment that says, “I love this kitchen!” That will inform your choices of homes to show that client. “It’s another way to connect to their personal home search,” Phillips added.
Listing info on the go. Two features of the realtor.com® app, Street Peek and Sign Snap, give you instant access to listing info while you’re out on showings. With Sign Snap, users can take a photo of a For Sale sign in a property’s yard, and the home’s details on realtor.com® will automatically be pulled up. Similarly, Street Peek—an augmented reality feature—enables users to access listing info by simply pointing their smartphone’s camera at a home. Phillips cautioned that these features might work better in established neighborhoods, where homes have a history on realtor.com®, than new developments. “Your clients are absolutely going to expect you to use something like this [in the future],” he said.
Get to an offer faster. Phillips suggested that every single listing will soon need to include an online 3D home tour to meet consumers’ demand for more transparency and speed up the transaction process. “Consumers think we’re hiding something from them,” Phillips said. “The more information you give them, the more they’re going to trust you.” Matterport, which partners with realtor.com®, is one company that provides the equipment and technology for 3D photos and videos, but there are others as well. Phillips, who recently sold his own home, said 3D tours can save time for sellers. “It sucks having to keep your house clean and leave at a moment’s notice to accommodate a showing when your house is on the market,” he said. “3D tours can get to the more serious buyers faster. When a buyer comes to visit a home after seeing a 3D tour, it’s the second time they’re inside the house—and they know by then that they’re ready to make an offer.”
Go global without leaving town. If you’re interested in serving international clients, you don’t have to go overseas to get in front of them. Use ListHub to syndicate your listings to international real estate websites, such as Juwai.com in China or RealCommercial.com.au in Australia. Not only are these sites places to post your listings, but they also offer tips on what locations and types of properties foreign buyers are looking for in the U.S. (Realtor.com® can also translate content into 11 different languages.)
Parse out your personal and business communications. You don’t need a separate phone line for your business. The Sideline app enables users to connect one phone to multiple phone numbers—complete with a different ringtone for each number. Knowing whether an incoming call is personal or business-related can help you make smarter decisions about when and where it is appropriate to take a call.