Getting started as a realtor isn’t easy. Sure, it may seem like the hard part is over after sitting for your licensure exam, but the truth is, your challenges are just beginning. Whether you’re joining an agency or striking out on your own, when the buck stops with you, management duties you might have shrugged off in the past can start to keep you up at night. Taking responsibility for your own income isn’t all peaches and cream, after all.
Luckily, technology is here to help. Being your own boss can be a bit of a shock to the system, but with the right tools literally in your hand, you can outsource some of your daily challenges. Adding these apps to your phone isn’t about “tech-ifying” your life unnecessarily, it’s about minimizing management tasks so you can get back to the reasons you got involved in real estate in the first place.
With that in mind, here are 3 apps that any new realtor would be wise to download:
1) Wave, Your Go-To Accountant
Wave is completely free software for small business accounting, but one of the things that makes it truly special is how this free software is integrated with a receipt scanning app. The app allows you to scan in your receipts when you’re out and about — even when you’re offline — and they’re automatically added into your accounting transactions. When tax time comes around, you’ll be ready.
Wave also includes free invoicing and accounting software, as well as an invoicing app, and allows users to run multiple businesses with one Wave account, which is especially useful to those realtors who wear multiple hats. If all this free software makes you wary (“What’s the catch?”), rest assured. They do collect credit card and bank processing fees on payments and offer payroll services for a monthly subscription charge.
2) Nimble, To Better Know Your Customers
Nimble is the grandmaster of all your social media, communications, and organizational apps. It’s web- and app-based customer relationship management software, but you can think of it as an integration platform for everything digital you use to communicate. It pulls data about the people you’re in touch with from all their public social media accounts (think Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), as well as your email and text messages, then combines and condenses that info so you have all of your electronic interactions with that person available to you in one place.
What does this mean for you? It means when you go to call a client, you can instantly pull up every exchange you’ve had, whether it includes listings they liked or documents they’ve signed. You can also see their most recent posts on social media, which could give you insight into anything from how they’re doing to what they care about, and makes finding conversation starters and touchpoints easy. Nimble can also schedule your own social media posts for you, and even import external email, so you can send and receive messages from your own account without leaving the site.
Other duties Nimble happily takes charge of include its built-in calendar and its “Deals” page, which keeps track of sales as they move from introduction to signature. At $9 a month for individual users, Nimble isn’t free, but if you only add one of these apps to your repertoire, Nimble is best positioned to take your business to the next level. Try Nimble for free here.
3) Waze, To Get You *Exactly* Where You Need To Go
Maybe you’ve already heard of Waze (not to be confused with our first app, Wave with a “v”), but are you using it to its fullest potential? For those new to the app, Waze is a crowdsourced (they call it “community-based”) GPS with maps and traffic data. It helps you get where you’re going and avoid potential pitfalls on the road. It’s not perfect, since it relies on data from Waze users rather than an eye in the sky, but it can keep you running on time and help you avoid traffic disasters when you’re showing new clients around.
That’s not the only way to use Waze, however. If you use Waze all the way to your parking spot, it will mark exactly where you park. It also has great features that sync with your calendar and your contacts, so it can “read” addresses marked in your calendar without you typing them in manually, and seamlessly connect your contacts, their addresses, and your calendar together and input them in Waze’s GPS, all so you can spend less time fumbling for addresses.
And saving time is what using smartphone technology is really about, isn’t it? Now that you’ve got the tools to simplify some of the organizational aspects of the job, you can get back to learning about your clients’ needs and finding the perfect property for each of your clients (or vice versa). Bon courage, new realtor!