4 Must Have Tools for the Modern Realtor

As a modern real estate agent, you need to respond quickly be able to work anywhere, and your tools must meet the same high bar.  Below are 5 tools I’ve personally used and found indispensable in my real estate practice: Realtor Tool #1: The iPhone For those who already have one, it’s no surprise that […]

As a modern real estate agent, you need to respond quickly be able to work anywhere, and your tools must meet the same high bar.  Below are 5 tools I’ve personally used and found indispensable in my real estate practice:

Realtor Tool #1: The iPhone

For those who already have one, it’s no surprise that this is at the top of my list.  Visual voicemails alone make this phone worth the investment. With their new video capability, it’s become even more of a must have items for Realtors.  The main ways I use the iPhone:

Directions to listings (I have a terrible sense of direction!)

Keeping track of my messages with visual voicemail

Using the mortgage calculator app (buy the app from the app store) with clients

Taking photos and video of listings while I’m out touring

Realtor Tool #2: The ScanSnap

If you’ve ever dealt with a fussy scanner when you’re trying to send out an urgent offer, you know that a bad scanner can nearly hobble your business.  After dealing with several, including a few HP all-in-ones and one of the original Neat scanners, I can say the ScanSnap is head and shoulders above the rest.  It’s extremely portable (though you need an outlet, it can’t run off USB alone), it’s fast at 10 pages a minute, and even more importantly it’s drop-dead simple and so far mine has worked every time.

Realtor Tool #3: DocuSign Electronic Signatures

While still a very new technology, electronic signatures make a huge difference:

They save a lot of time: I’d say about 20-30 minutes for each offer

They keep the contract legible, unlike faxing which can make it unreadable by the time everybody signs.

It’s easy for buyers to know where they should sign, and they can’t accidentally miss any signatures (unless you forgot to mark them in the first place)

The one big caveat to electronic signatures is that because they are so new, different areas and companies treat them differently, and if you’re the first in your area to start you may spend more time explaining them than you save in the first place!  In San Francisco they are fairly common, but aI’ve previously had a situation where another brokerage would not accept them on the purchase contract. I recommend checking with all parties to a transaction first, before having your clients get started with it.

Realtor Tool #4: MyFax

After comparing plans, I found MyFax to be one of the best priced and most reliable electronic fax services out there.  The $10 a month plan should work for most agents (especially if you are using docusign so you’re faxing even less), it includes 100 sent and 200 received pages per month.

Even when I was working at a larger brokerage that provided a fax number for me, I preferred to have my own for two reasons: first, it gave me more control and I found was actually more reliable than some of the larger “corporate” fax solutions. Second, just as with my cell phone it lets me keep my number no matter which company I’m working for.