Americans spend more time than ever on their smartphones browsing, texting, checking email and heck, maybe even making a phone call here and there too. But did you know that 82% of mobile phone time is spent on apps? We can’t get enough of these useful tools to find, research, buy, and do many other tasks on the go.
Real estate apps market is on fire… Did you know eight out of 10 home buyers access new home information on their smartphones and tablets?
When it comes to home searches, there are three areas that co-mingle: finding the home you want, figuring out how you will design it, and doing the paperwork. Thanks to the variety of real estate apps out there, you can accomplish a diverse range of tasks—from the smallest ones, like investigating the best burrito spot near your new house—to monumental undertakings, like signing your home loan paperwork.
Most real estate apps are free or inexpensive (~$5), and some offer upgraded versions with more features and functionality. The majority are available on the iPhone and Google Android, and also come in tablet versions (mainly iPad). Some apps are standalone, while others are an extension of web site products and services.
Here’s a tour of real estate apps you’ll need to have. This list is by no means comprehensive, but will give you a good place to start.
Finding a New Home
Apps to help you find a new home are plentiful. The most well-known brand names that go head to head are Trulia and Zillow, which have similar features and functions, but different interfaces. Lesser known but highly touted is Redfin (not available everywhere in U.S.) Lovely is a newcomer, and Homesnap does what it says-you can take a photo of a house and it will pull all its available data. (Bonus app: If you happen to see a house you love but it’s above your price range, whip out the handy mortgage calculator app (including tax savings) for a reality check.)
What better place than your new home to dream up room designs, colors, and other ideas? With these design apps, you can: MagicPlan takes a photo of a room’s measurement and you design it. Houzz helps you designs rooms by pulling inspiration from its vast collection (even a wine cellar). Branded app, Mark on Call, was created by interior designer Mark Lewison for that personal touch. (Bonus app: Want to make sure your new home gets set up with the right vibes? Try Feng Shui Bagua Map.)
Documents & Signatures
For those never-ending contracts and documents to sign when on the go, a number of apps will help you get through the administrative process less painfully (though you won’t be able to read the contracts very well). DocuSign lets you to sign, distribute, and track the signature process on the go. JotNot turns your iPhone into a portable scanner so you can share documents. (Bonus app: Use Evernote to organize all you digital assets when you need them).
Editor’s note: Stay tuned for Inzopa’s free, secure mobile app in the near future.