20 Apps to Look for in 2015

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Mobile apps, as swiftly as they are introduced, are seizing control of the overall mobile market, steering users away from traditional Web surfing. A report from Flurry found that while consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 42 minutes on their mobile devices each day, only 22 minutes of that is online — the rest is apps.
For real estate professionals who already value the boons of mobile technology, hopping on this trend while it’s still burgeoning is a surefire way to help increase business in the future.
Moving into 2015, here are 20 apps we think you should be looking out for:
Phramed – Another great photo sharing app, Phramed compiles up to five photos into a collage, which can then be shared via your favorite social media channels. It’s a great tool for branding, as well as showcasing a new property.
GoPro App – Pictures have always been the crux of marketing listings online, but with the popularizing of YouTube, video sharing is quickly becoming the new go-to medium. GoPro App, compatible only with the multi-functional GoPro camera, affords users the unique ability to not only control cameras remotely with their mobile device, but also effortlessly share the HD quality clips on social media channels.
Pro HDR – High-quality photos are often the difference between an online listing garnering interest and landing flat. Pro HDR allows amateurs to snap multiple shots and convert them into high quality, high definition photos on par with the pros, saving both time and money.
Storehouse – You are your brand. Storehouse is a new way for agents to cultivate their brand, allowing them to seamlessly blend photos and videos into a unique storytelling experience. Don’t just tell your clients who you are and what your business is about – show them.
Nest Learning Thermostat – For agents who want to show their clients how tech-savvy they are, bring their attention to the Nest Learning Thermostat. Through the app, users can take one more step towards total home automation, remotely scheduling when they want their home to be heated or cooled throughout the day. Your clients will also appreciate the alerts Nest sends in the event of smoke or carbon monoxide detection.
Pebble – If you have a smartwatch, an increasingly popular technology, this is definitely the app for you…or your client. Pebble is essentially an aggregator for your mobile apps, allowing you to download and organize literally 1,000 apps right on your wrist, effectively turning you into the James Bond of real estate.
Evernote – Being an agent can be exciting – exploring the city, meeting new people, closing the tough deal – but it’s easy to get lost in the sometimes messy minutiae of the industry. Too many things are happening to keep track with simple pen and paper. Evernote promotes easy organization. Whether it’s a photo, PDF file, little notes, an audio clip, whatever, Evernote allows users to store and collect information all in one intuitive digital notebook.
IFTTT – An acronym for “if this then that,” IFTTT is an app all about streamlining. Through IFTTT – pronounced like “gift” without the “g” – users can link apps to work simultaneously. So, say you have a really clever status update; IFTTT helps to make sure that same status is posted through all your relevant social media channels.
Carrot – It’s never easier to get something done than when you have someone berating you the whole time. Carrot works to simulate that experience, providing users with an interactive to-do list that gets on your case when you’re taking too much time to complete a task and, on the flip side, showers you with congratulations upon successful completion. For agents who need that extra push, it’s a must.
Genius Scan – Genius Scan lets users scan documents using their smartphone camera before seamlessly and effortlessly exporting them as JPEG or PDF files. While electronic documents are playing a bigger role in real estate, time sensitive, hard copy documents are still the standard.
Waze – Think of Waze as your “eye in the sky,” pooling communal updates on real time road conditions, including traffic, to help you find the best route to get you to your destination on time.
Commute Time Widget – Not so much a mobile app as it is one for your personal website, the Commute Time Widget is still a must for agents hoping to improve their online presence. By including the widget on your website, clients can easily calculate how far a particular property is from their workplace, schools, etc.
Mailtracker – Sick of worrying about whether your emails were ever opened? Well, worry no longer, because with Mailtracker, agents and clients can monitor the status of emails in real time. The app will notify users when emails are opened, what device they were opened on, how many times a particular email has been viewed, how long it was viewed and more.
Cloze – Facebook isn’t as exclusive as it once was, nor is it as under the radar – and the same can be said of most social media channels. More people are online than ever before, and what Cloze does is organize and consolidate the relationships people have made so online that users are seeing updates from their most important contacts.
Mailbox – Right now, I have upwards of 250 emails in my inbox. A few thousand shy of some people I know, but still enough to feel unnecessarily cluttered, which is something a lot of agents are struggling with. Mailbox is a minimalistic approach at managing emails, helping and even encouraging users to read through old emails and then delete them. Don’t want to read or delete an old email right now? No problem. Mailbox includes a unique snooze feature that sends messages to the top of your inbox at a designated time later in the day.
Dashlane – If you’re truly tech-savvy, it’s a safe bet that you’re juggling a laundry list of unique logins and passwords, which can sometimes be overwhelming. Dashlane effectively streamlines the storage of passwords, logins and financial information, like credit and debit card numbers, so that logging into websites and conducting online transactions are as easy as a tap and a swipe.
Slide Bureau – Don’t be the by-the-book agent who does their due diligence, working up marketing literature and reading through reports, and then wastes the effort by conveying it to clients as dully and dryly as it was original written. Slide Bureau can take valuable information and morph it into something digestible and attractive. Users will have the ability to easily share materials over a variety of platforms in a multitude of formats, including slideshows, web pages, PDFs, JPEGs or video.
KeyMe – KeyMe is either incredibly genius, or incredibly creepy. For the habitual misplacers or forgetters, like myself, KeyMe is perfect for when you’ve lock yourself out and don’t have a spare – or left the keys to a listing back at the office. It keeps digital copies of keys so that getting a replacement means either having one mailed to you via KeyMe, instantly cut at a KeyMe kiosk or freshly made by a locksmith who needs only follow instructions embedded in the app.
Humin – When you’re meeting so many new faces, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who and how you met. Not with Humin, an app that stores the little details surrounding where and how you met a person and organizes these details by facial recognition technology to help jar your memory.
Timeful – We all have our routines; sometimes, even though they feel comfortable, they’re actually a detriment to our business and, possibly, life. Using a sophisticated algorithm, Timeful, a mixed calendar/to-do app, monitors how the user gets things done and then offers advice on how to better complete the same task. Agents with a lot on their plate will appreciate the new perspective and might even build some more effective, long-term habits in the process.

By: James McClister, www.chicagoagentmagazine.com

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