Top Agent Tools & Resources
Real estate agents have a lot to remember, and they need to stay organized to help their clients with the buying and selling of property. Among the best ways to keep that organization is to use the right tools and resources. Fortunately, there are many good tools for real estate agents to use.
By making full use of all the options for organization and information, agents can better help clients and keep their stress levels lower. That's beneficial to everyone involved in the transaction. Here are some of the best tools for agents to consider.
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Canva is a free-to-use software for image creation. It lets users choose between resolutions and canvas shapes so they can pick the one that is best for their intended use, whether it's a Facebook ad or a paper flyer. Canva designs can be downloaded and printed out later if desired, or they can be uploaded as-is.
There's very little learning curve with this software, which makes it among the best choices for agents who are already busy. Canva has hundreds of pre-made layouts to choose from, so agents can have something that looks sleek and professional without designing it themselves or even knowing anything about graphic design. Canva also has thousands of free stock images to choose from, or agents can upload their own images. Most of the resources on Canva are free, but there are some optional premium features that agents can choose to purchase if they desire.
Slack is the ultimate in virtual office space. It provides real estate agents with collaborative tools to communicate, share files, search through collected information, and collaborate more easily, even when they aren't in the office. It used to be mostly a chatroom that was based in the cloud. Now, Slack has become much more than that. It boasts an impressive number of apps, and agents can pull things in from Google Drive, Trello, and more.
There are also public and private channels in the workspace to discuss specific topics with those who need to know. Direct messages are also an option, making it faster and more convenient to speak directly with one person when an agent has a question. People can be all over the area and work together just like they would if they were sharing an office.
Google is among the best in offering everything an agent needs, all in one space. Because Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, offers numerous options for collaboration, it's a great choice for real estate agents who want and need to get more done. It's like an entire office, right in the cloud. Google Workspace offers various software options, including Calendar, Drive, Gmail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets — everything an agent needs to stay organized while working.
Not all brokerages use Google Workspace, but the ones that do find that their agents can accomplish a lot for their clients. When agents work together in a virtual office with everything they need, more gets done for buyers and sellers. It's also easier for agents to work with title companies, inspectors, lenders, and others who are a part of the buying and selling process.
Among the offerings that many agents send out to clients and prospective clients is the newsletter. By doing this, sellers can see what the market's doing, and buyers can take a look at what's available in their price range. It benefits both sides of the real estate transaction. MailChimp makes newsletters easy. It's also free, which makes it even better for a real estate agent who's trying to accomplish a lot without breaking the bank.
Even if the brokerage doesn't send out a newsletter, there's no reason why an individual agent can't put one together and offer it to people interested in learning more about real estate in the local area. With so many options across real estate markets, one of the best ways for agents to reach out to others is by getting directly into their email inboxes regularly with the information they want or need.
For a real estate transaction to be valid, everything has to be properly signed and delivered. With DocuSign, that can be easier than ever before. It's especially valuable for transactions where the buyer or the seller aren't in the local area since there's no need to mail paperwork back and forth. Instead, it can be sent electronically and signed securely, without risk of loss or other problems.
Many real estate brokerages use DocuSign for this reason, but they also often use it with local clients. The more securely a transaction can be completed, the better it is for everyone involved. Sellers can feel confident that the buyer is serious, and buyers can feel confident that the transaction will move forward. In the middle of it all, the real estate agent will be more organized and better able to keep the transaction headed toward the closing table.
HelloSign is one of the best options to help parties to a real estate transaction sign forms securely. Much like DocuSign, it's set up to make it easy and convenient for buyers and sellers to add their signatures to real estate documents. Because these kinds of services are simple and effective, more brokerages are switching over to using them instead of having physical paperwork that has to be completed.
Most of these services cost very little, and they're free to the buyers and sellers who are signing the documents. That reduces any resistance to electronic signatures and can provide everyone who's a party to the transaction with an electronic copy for their records. That copy can be downloaded to their computer and printed or stored in the cloud to provide plenty of options for people who want to keep track of their transactions and sensitive data.
A real estate agent is on the road a lot, and tracking mileage and expenses makes everything a little easier. With Everlance, it's easy to track both of those things. That can help at tax time when an agent wants to write off their mileage or some of the other expenses they've incurred during their work that year. It's not always easy to know what can be written off, so keeping track of everything that might count toward that deduction amount is important.
As a real estate agent travels around, buys clients lunch, needs supplies for work, and puts miles on their vehicle with showings and listing appointments, saving everything in one place, categorized and easy to locate, can make a big difference in stress levels. It's also easier to get things done more quickly when everything is organized in one location. Finding information, and using that information, is so much faster.
Zoom is one of the best ways to have conference calls through video, no matter where an agent is. By collaborating through video calls, everyone can see one another and interact in ways that can help advance the transaction more efficiently. It's also great for agents who want to talk with their broker, the title company, or anyone else who's a party to the transaction. It's a convenient option, especially when talking to someone who isn't local or traveling and can't attend in-person meetings.
It doesn't cost anything to use Zoom, either, so brokerages can set it up and enjoy its basic features without asking their agents to take on additional expenses. Clients will find that they can get the information they need from their agents, and being able to share screens in real-time also helps explain any concepts or concerns that need addressing.
Seeing homes online and taking virtual tours can be one of the best ways for a real estate agent to get buyers interested in a property. With Matterport, agents can capture all the spatial data they need for a 3D rendering of the property they're listing. Not only does that give buyers a better idea of what they would be purchasing, but it also helps anyone involved in the transaction get more information.
Matterport is free to get started, and there's a charge for some of the more premium features. Whichever option a real estate agent chooses, though, they can give buyers a great tour of a home without the buyer ever setting foot in the door. For example, when buyers aren't from the area, that gives them a way to see a lot of properties and narrow down their choices quickly.
Much like Matterport, Padstyler allows real estate agents to create 3D tours of the space. It's also a great choice for staging. For agents who want to provide a 3D tour of a fully staged home online, Padstyler is the right tool for the job. Unfurnished spaces look small and unappealing, but hiring a stager can be outside a homeowner's budget. With Padstyler, even if the actual space is empty, agents can drag and drop furnishings and decor touches into the space to make it easier for buyers to see what it might look and feel like in the property.
Agents who use this software can find that it's intuitive to use. It's not free, but the pricing is reasonable for higher-end properties that need to be showcased as much as possible. With all the virtual shopping and tours in real estate today, Padstyler helps agents get more done faster.
Trello is an online collaboration tool that makes it easy and convenient for real estate agents to interact with colleagues and others who are part of the transaction process. By doing that, everyone who's involved in the transaction can get together in a shared workspace. Agents can work with each other on listings and purchases, and it's possible to bring in others from places like the lender, the title company, and more.
With Trello, it's easy to interact in a virtual world, no matter where people are located. Agents who want to get more done and keep things organized in one place often use Trello and software options similar to it to keep on top of everything and ensure that their real estate transactions reach their logical conclusion. If a brokerage isn't using Trello, it may be missing out on helping its agents to succeed.
For any real estate agent who wants to make sure they're keeping all their files in one location, Dropbox is one of the best choices. This software is a reliable way to keep files organized in a cloud where they can be downloaded onto any computer or shared with anyone. It's free for all the basic features, which is all most people need. With Dropbox, a real estate agent can make sure they're keeping all their transactions where they can easily access them.
When files need to be sent from one agent to another or anyone else who uses Dropbox, it's easy and convenient to pass those files along and make sure they can be accessed by those who need them. Not only does that help the real estate agent stay organized, but it can also provide more peace of mind for other parties to the transaction.
What's the bottom line? The most important thing to remember about the tools and resources for real estate agents is that there are many to choose from. If a particular tool isn't working for an agent, there are other options to consider. Maybe they don't like some of the features of one of the tools, or they find that there aren't enough opportunities with a specific resource. But changing what they're using and working with something else can be easy and convenient when there are so many great options.