This is a curated list of the tools, apps, and websites I strongly recommend for building and optimizing your real estate business.
I’ve tested every single recommendation on this page and these are the real estate tools that I simply cannot live without. They are crucial to running my business and I recommend them to all of the real estate agents that I work with as well.
Some of these resources are free and some are paid. Always lead with revenue, but when you’re ready to level-up, these should be the top tools on your wishlist!
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Open Home Pro
Get the correct contact information for every person who comes through the door.
Open Home Pro is an essential app for collecting and converting more open house leads. Install it on your iPad and delight visitors as they walk through the door. Everyone will be impressed with your smart use of technology and you’ll never have to decipher someone’s handwriting ever again!
After the open house is over, Open Home Pro will follow up with every single visitor automatically on your behalf. It also segregates which leads are in need of a real estate agent, so you can identify and contact your hottest leads first. Winning!
Keeping Current Matters
Capture leads by using a custom lead magnet that you’ve already designed.
Keeping Current Matters is backed by real estate tycoon, Warren Buffet. It’s a platform that that provides education and personalized content for real estate agents. Every month, you get a full market update in a slick video-based format. You’ll spend 30-40 minutes being briefed on all things that are currently affecting the real estate market, so once it’s over, you can speak to your clients with confidence.
But the real reason why I love Keeping Current Matters… It’s the personalized content. They have loads of interesting infographics, guides, charts, and templates. And many of these materials can be downloaded and customized with your logo, photo, fonts, and colors – For added branding. Also, with the push of a button, all of these materials can be posted to social media, your website, or email newsletter.
Here are the best ways to use the materials…
As a website lead magnet:
Embed the home seller guide and the home buyer guide graphics to your website’s header, sidebar, footer, and blog posts. When the person clicks on the graphic, you send them to a landing page that prompts them to enter an email address. After they enter their info, the guide is automatically sent to them. You can easily lock the guide behind a landing page gate with Leadpages (see below).
As social media content:
I always recommend that you follow a strict social media schedule. (If you don’t already have a Social Media Content Calendar, you can borrow ours for free.) On the specified days, go to the Keeping Current Matters website portal, and post their content on your social platforms. Easy peasy.
As a drip campaign
One of the biggest complaints I hear from agents is that they want nothing more than to send emails that their clients will find valuable – But they either don’t know (or don’t want) to create it. Problem solved! Just take the content from Keeping Current matters, slice and dice it, and you’ve got an instant drip campaign that you can send out in a snap. (See below for the only tool I use to send drip emails).
Triple your prospecting results By calling 3 people at once.
Yes, the Mojo Dialer literally calls 3 people at once automatically – So you never lose time dialing or waiting while the phone rings. It also leaves a pre-recorded message on your behalf as well, so you save time there too!
In addition to cutting your prospecting time up to 66%, the thing that I love the most about the Mojo Dialer is that it stores all of your leads in one database, so you can see who you’ve called and when. You can also leave notes, set reminders, and make appointments as well.
And if calling 3 people at once is too tall of an order, you can start by calling just one person at a time and get all of the same cool features.
Capture leads instantly from your signs, fliers, postcards, and seminars.
Real Bird, does a lot of things, but I only use it for the SMS text message real estate marketing feature – which is absolutely amazing. Once integrated, Real Bird gives you a local phone number and allows you to input up to 100 calls to action.
The way my clients use this is crazy simple. They’ve uploaded links to single property websites, listing presentations, sign riders, home buyer guides, contact information – You name it!
Here’s how it works… Let’s say that you’re at the grocery store, and you meet someone who’s interested in listing their home soon. All you would have to do is say something like this, “Oh my gosh! I’d like to show you something… Can you grab your phone and text the word “marketing” to 555-555-5555?” When they do, they will get a link to your marketing plan, latest drone video, virtual tour, listing presentation, or whatever else you’ve matched to that call to action. Furthermore, you’ve just captured their phone number, without sounding pushy or sleazy – And at the grocery store, no less.
Imagine the possibilities with a tool like this! You could literally be at a seminar speaking and capture leads for everyone in the room. You could capture leads on all of your yard signs. And you can capture leads at open houses by uploading links to your guides, market reports, or listings. It’s genius!
Build high-converting landing pages without knowing a single line of code.
Leadpages is the #1 selling landing page builder for a reason. It allows you to build the most modern sales pages and landing pages on earth.
The best part about the platform is that it provides tons of free, professionally-designed templates for you to use, so all you have to do is swap out the photos, fonts, and colors. Leadpages also lets you sort the templates by conversion rate, so you can quickly identify and choose the highest converting landing page for your gated content.
We use Leadpages to gate all of our premium content that we strictly reserve for our subscribers. Likewise, our real estate agent clients use it to gate all of their premium content as well. This could include home buyer guides (see Keeping Current Matters above), market reports, pocket listings, and more.
Here’s one example we use with or clients… We run quite a few “just sold” advertising campaigns on Facebook, and when we do, we target a 1-mile radius around the house that sold. This is because many of the viewers who end up seeing the ad live close by and instantly recognize the house. And of course, that’s when they want to know how much it sold for. So when the viewer clicks on the ad, they are sent to a Leadpages landing page instead, which then prompts them to submit an email address – When we get the contact, they get the info
Design your own marketing materials, like a pro, under 5 minutes.
Canva is an amazingly simple graphic design software. Basically, it’s the easier alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Here, we use both programs, but our default always seems to be Canva, because it’s so darn easy to use!
Here’s how it works… You choose a high-quality, professional template. Then all you have to do is swap out the graphics, fonts, and colors to match your brand. If you don’t have the perfect graphic on hand, you can use one of theirs! Most of their graphics are free, and the premium graphics are only $1. When you’re done, it saves your design automatically in the cloud, and from the cloud, you can share it, print it, or download it.
We have clients that use Canva to create all of their open house fliers, postcards, signs, holiday cards, and more. They even have an entire section dedicated to real estate agents, so you can design and download stunning property fliers like a pro!
The best part about Canva is that it lets you resize your finished designs with a push of a button. The power behind this feature is invaluable when you’re creating a graphic for multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and your website – Which all require different sized graphics. *cries in corner*
Logitech c920 Webcam
Shoot high-definition, widescreen videos for less than $65.
Creating videos before I bought this Logitech Webcam went something a little like this:
- Hold iPhone up
- Keep hand steady
- Remember to look into selfie lens (that I couldn’t see with the naked eye)
- Hold arm out as far as possible (without getting arm in picture)
- Hold hand steady
- Drop iPhone on ground
- Go back to step one
With the advent of Facebook Live Streaming, YouTube videos, Google Hangouts, Periscope, and webinars, your iPhone is coming to the party a little underdressed. And your laptop’s webcam is showing up in sweats.
The Logitech c920 Webcam allows you to shoot high-def, widescreen videos right from your desk. Just plug the USB cable into your computer and start recording. It’s the perfect device to shoot all of your videos and live streams, professionally and beautifully, but also on the cheap. No more dark, grainy, shaky photos.
Blue Yeti Microphone
Sound crystal clear on video calls, Google Hangouts, YouTube videos, tutorials, webinars, and more.
The Blue Yeti is a professional grade microphone at an amateur’s price point. It works seamlessly with the Logitech c920 Webcam (see above) to record high-quality sound bites during your live streams and videos. Because there’s nothing worse than making a video call from your office but sounding like you’ve fallen into a well on your way to a bat cave – Not professional.
One last thing to mention… There’s also a way to sound crystal clear on videos shot from afar. The Lavalier Lapel Mic is the best device for recording sound bites during open house videos, virtual tours, speaking engagements, and neighborhood walkthroughs.
After much official research (and many unofficial tantrums), I’ve discovered and determined that both of these microphones are the best pieces of equipment that money can buy at their price point. Mission accomplished, future disasters avoided!
Transcribe your videos and upcycle them into blog posts
A lot of real estate agents tell me that the know they need to be blogging, but that they refuse due to a lack of time in their schedule or a lack of confidence in their writing skills. If you fall into either of these camps, now you have absolutely no excuse.
With Rev.com, you can literally finish a blog post in traffic, between appointments, or while you’re waiting to pick the kids up from school. All you have to do is hit voice record on your phone and start speaking. Bonus points if you hit record on the camera phone instead, so you can upload the video to Facebook and YouTube as well.
Here’s the best way to do it… Every time someone asks you a question, write it down. Then, the next moment that you have down time, record a quick sound bite or video shoot that answers that exact question. Send the recording to Rev, have it transcribed, then upload it to your blog. If you’ve recorded a video, upload it to Facebook and YouTube as well!
The internet makes money by providing quality search results and user experiences, so it rewards content creators that provide these elements. I guarantee that if you start a blogging strategy like this, your website ranking will improve and your social shares will be served to more people. Likewise, if you have “F” on the helpfulness score or produce crap for content, then all of your web pages and social shares will be purposely buried. So the formula is simple: give and you will get.
Create stunning animated posts for social media
Ripl allows you to easily create eye-catching posts that help you and your business stand out on social media. You can use this app for a plethora of things – open houses, virtual tours, branding videos, behind the scenes, neighborhood tours, and so much more.
Social media is a place for real estate agents to humanize their brands. Social sharing is crucial for agents, because human nature dictates that people only want to buy from people that they know, like, and trust. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube allow people to connect with you instantly. And apps like Ripl allow you to do this, in a beautiful way, and putting your best foot forward! Win, win.
Post to social media daily with the social media queue that fills itself
There aren’t enough words in the world to express my love for Edgar. He has changed my life, my business, and my clients’ businesses forever.
Edgar isn’t just another social media tool – he’s actually a smart scheduler who fundamentally changes the way your social traffic works. Once you load him up with good quality content, he syndicates it to all of your social platforms. (I use him for everything, except for Facebook Page posts, because Facebook doesn’t favor auto-posting.)
But here’s the best part of all: When he gets to the bottom of your content queue, he starts all over again from the top! So you never have to remember to upload your evergreen content again. You can load Edgar with home buyer guides, seller guides, blog posts, photos around town, home evaluation landing page links, and whatever else you like. Then Edgar will blast them out again, on your schedule, automatically.
If you use our Social Media Content Calendar as a guide to schedule Edgar one time, then you only need to spend a few minutes on social media a week moving forward. There’s no social platform out there that loops like Edgar. He gives your best content new life and never runs out of things to say. Sold.
Keep all of your notes, reminders, tips, and tricks in one place
Evernote lets you capture, nurture, and share your ideas across any device. I use it every single day when I’m taking notes in client meetings, sitting on webinars, or cooking dinner – which is when most of my ideas happen to conveniently pop into my head!
Evernote trumps pen and paper every day of the week. You can share notes easily with your team or your clients, you can search for notes that you’ve written with the click of a button, and you can take them with you everywhere on any device.
Easily send highly-targeted drip campaigns
ConvertKit is email marketing for professional bloggers. Now, let’s just get something out of the way right now… If you’re a real estate agent, you’re a professional blogger. Period. All top producers blog and if you want to be among the best, you better start writing, speaking, or shooting high-quality content and posting it online as soon as possible. It’s no longer an option. Sorry, not sorry.
With that out of the way… Let’s talk about why ConvertKit will be the best thing that’s ever happened to your business. To start, ConvertKit has the power of Infusionsoft, but it’s easier to use than MailChimp. Our favorite part of ConvertKit is the automation rules. You can tag the people on your email list as buyers, sellers, internet leads, sphere of influence, family, friends, and so much more!
Tagging is crucial, so you can send the right emails, to the right people, at the right time. For example, you can tag and drip emails to buyers, sellers, internet leads, sphere of influence, family, friends, or any combination of the above. It also automates your sales funnel, so after a lead becomes a client, you can convert them to a different list with the click of a button.
ConvertKit also lets you design and send email marketing newsletters, notices, blog posts, events, and so much more. It also connects to lots of popular online programs like Leadpages (see above), WordPress, and WebinarJam. The power behind this platform is simply amazing and I couldn’t have reached this level of business without it.
The easiest way for teams to track their work – and get results.
Asana was started by two developers while they were working at Facebook. Eventually, Facebook adopted their program and it was used as their official workflow provider. Now, Asana is available for everyone to use… And what’s good enough for Facebook is good enough for me!
Here’s how it works… Asana let’s you track progress from start to finish. It makes responsibilities clear, so you don’t have to ask (or keep asking) for things to get done. We use Asana to communicate with our virtual assistants, clients, and team members. And you can do the same.
If you have a team, even if it’s a small one, you can benefit from Asana. All you have to do is enter your teammates and start building projects. Each project will have a set of tasks and subtasks. Then start assigning these projects, tasks, and subtasks to members on your team. Send Jill to meet an inspector, Tom on a showing, and Susie on a listing appointment, without ever having to ask. With Asana, everyone knows exactly what they should be doing at all times.
Finally, even if you’re a solo agent, you can still benefit from Asana, because it tasks out all of your workflows. And when you get to the point where you need to hire an assistant, she can jump in seamlessly without ever skipping a beat!
Edit documents as a team in real time and keep them safe in the cloud
Okay, so you’ve probably already heard of Google Drive, but what you haven’t heard is how it is an absolute game changer for real estate agent productivity.
Here’s how I, and all of my clients, use Google Drive. First, we use the Docs to create important documents (i.e. blog posts, email newsletter drafts, marketing materials, social media posts, etc.). The reason why we love it so much is because we can share the documents with each other and work on it at the same time. Yes, at the same time! This means that a real estate agent can have a virtual assistant to start the product and edit the product with the assistant in real time. No more sending Word Docs back and forth. #GameOver
Second, we also use the same functionality with Google Sheets – which is Google’s version of Excel. So likewise, real estate teams can have one master spreadsheet for expenses, invoices, leads, closings, etc. and everyone can update the data as a team. And if someone makes a mistake, no problem, Google records all of the changes so you can see where the change was made, who made it, and reverse it back. Bingo!
We also have teams that use Google Slides (similar to PowerPoint) to conduct presentations for listing appointments via iPad. They use Google Photos to share and store photos of listings. And we have teams that use the mapping feature to map showings, open house sign placements, etc. And if you want, you can even share these documents with your clients, so they can make changes as well.
Send and receive photography, then store it in the cloud
Every real estate photographer I know uses DropBox to share photos, so you may already be familiar with this platform. It’s absolutely amazing for sending high-resolution photo files without clogging up your email inbox. But the reason why we love it so much is because DropBox allows you to store photos in the cloud, while accessing them from your computer or cell phone in a snap!
A real estate agent’s second job is sending photos – constantly. To make your life easier, here’s the best way to use DropBox for real estate… Download the DropBox App onto your computer, then select which DropBox files you would like to sync. Once you do, DropBox will act like a regular file on your computer, so when a website asks you to choose photos to upload, you can upload them directly from DropBox!
Now you may be asking yourself, so what? Why would I use DropBox, when I can just store them on my computer? Well, there are two reasons: 1) Your computer will eventually run out of storage, 2) Your computer will eventually die. When either of these events occur, you will be up a creek without a paddle. Eek!
So save yourself the trouble and integrate a dropbox account ASAP. We have a terabyte of storage on DropBox and use it every day.
Social Warfare Plugin
Triple The Amount Of Likes & Shares With One Little Plugin
Social Warfare does one thing, and it does it well. It’s a WordPress plugin that adds beautiful, lightning-fast social share buttons to your website or blog. Most social sharing plugins are either ugly or slow – and some are both. But Social Warfare buttons are aesthetically pleasing and polite with their data share.
Social warfare also includes pinnable images, custom tweets, shareable quotes, share counts for social proof, and analytics integrations for tracking. Social Warfare has increased our social shares significantly since we started using it and we’re never going back.
Get a constant stream of buyer leads from Google
As a real estate agent, you’re probably very familiar with IDX. There are lots of companies that can provide IDX Feeds for you, but there is only one that we recommend: IDX Broker. The reason why we recommend it to our clients is three-fold: 1) It indexes well in Google, 2) It captures IP Addresses, so you can track where your online lead originated from, and 3) It looks fairly attractive on desktop and mobile devices.
Item number one is the most important, so let’s talk about it. If you set IDX Broker up correctly, it will syndicate every single listing in your MLS out to Google with a link back to your website. Let me break this down for you if you didn’t catch that.
Every single listing in your MLS, whether it’s yours or not, will be submitted to Google. And if people see that link in their Google search results, they are directed to your website when they click the link. This is the exact formula that Zillow uses. They syndicate all of their listings to the search engines, people click the links, and get sent to Zillow. Using a program like this puts you on the same playing field as Zillow.
We set up an IDX Broker feed for a client, and because that client had a strong blog, they were getting an additional 150+ viewers a day just by adding IDX. We were then able to capture lead information via the website lead magnets (see Leadpages above). And anyone who didn’t opt in to the list was retargeted with a Facebook Ad. This is literally the exact blueprint that Zillow uses to get leads and then sell them back to you. So why not just cut out the middle man altogether?
The only caveat with IDX Broker is that you have to know how to set it up properly. You can’t just use it out of the box and expect it to work for you. There are a few small changes that you need to make in order for it to integrate with Google. We’ll do a video tutorial on this soon!
Grammarly Grammar Checker
Instantly check spelling & grammar so you can blog like a pro
Grammarly is a fantastic Chrome extension that checks all of your spelling and grammar as you type. It picks up on errors that other programs miss. It also provides synonyms, so you always use the right word at the right time. It even tells you why your grammar (or spelling) mistake was incorrect, which has allowed me to improve my writing skills over time.
But there’s one secret weapon that we use Grammarly for daily – And recommend that our agents do as well… It has a plagiarism checker. So we can easily identify when people have ripped off our work! Now, you may think that it isn’t a big deal – after all, copying is the sincerest form of flattery. But Google doesn’t think so.
Google actually penalizes plagiarism as “duplicate content.” And we don’t want Google to decipher who copied who, so we identify plagiarists immediately on their behalf. There’s no way that we are going to risk hurting our hard-earned SEO, because someone else decided to steal our stuff. So if someone duplicates our content, we want to know immediately, and Grammarly comes to the rescue!
Analyze website traffic, identify your website’s leads, and get real-time statistics
We recommend Clicky for two reasons: 1) It’s easier to understand than Google Analytics, 2) It capture’s IP addresses, so you can tag and identify your leads, and 3) It’s more accurate than Google Analytics.
I’ll be the first to admit, website analytics aren’t sexy. In fact, they are super boring. I hate looking at it, I hate teaching it, and I hate dealing with it. But truth be told, you can’t measure what you can’t track. And since analytics are a way to track your process, we have to dive in.
First, Clicky is easy on the eyes. It’s not as fancy as Google Analytics, but it also doesn’t overwhelm you either. It just tells you what you need to know in a very easy format. I’ve set it up so that my clients get a daily, weekly, and/or monthly email automatically so that they can see their numbers. I’m not wild about Clicky’s user interface, but it gets the job done.
Second, Clicky captures IP Addresses. That may have flew over some people’s heads, so let me bring it back down to earth… Every device that accesses content on the internet has an IP Address. It’s how they can identify the device, identify spammers, and identify hackers. Clicky captures the IP Address of every person who comes to your website, which enables you to identify that visitor. Once you have the IP Address, you can track the visitors’ actions. Clicky is a powerful tool for telling you how the person find your website, where they are located, what actions they took on your website, how long they stuck around, and why they left. Once you start to see user patterns, you can replicate your most successful processes to increase your lead conversion rates. Make sense?
Okay, finally, reason number three. I’m going to say something that’s a dirty little secret… Google Analytic’s data isn’t always accurate because it captures and includes spam. Believe it or not, there are people in this world that make a living by attaching spam bots on your bandwidth. Unfortunately, Google includes these fake hits in their analytic data, which skews every single metric on the list. For whatever reason, they refuse to rectify this problem, so I started using Clicky instead.
One last thing…
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission – at no additional cost to you. Please note that I’ve tested all of these tools in my own business and use them with all of my clients as well. I recommend them because they’re both helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you do decide to buy. Finally, don’t spend any money on these products unless you absolutely feel that they will help you reach your goals. Again, always lead with revenue, until you’re ready to level up! #YouGotThis
Alright, which of these tools have you used? And which one(s) are you the most excited about, now that you know they exist? We want to know! Tell us in the comments at the end of this post.