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The Best Real Estate Apps for Homebuyers, Renters, Investors, Agents, and More


May 07, 2020 by Aly J. Yale

Tech has made just about everything easier -- buying and selling real estate included.

There is a real estate app for just about everything--finding the perfect property, calculating your mortgage payment, estimating your flipping costs, and even e-signing your closing documents, among dozens of other tasks.

And each one makes a traditionally very labor-intensive, manual process infinitely easier.

Are you considering buying, selling, or investing in real estate in the near future? These are the apps that can help you do it.

For buying a house (and choosing a neighborhood)

If you're looking to buy a house, the selection of house hunting apps is pretty endless. You have the gold standards like Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) (NASDAQ: ZG) and Trulia, Realtor.com, and Homes.com, and there are brokerage-specific ones like Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), Century 21, and Compass.

A personal favorite is Homesnap. This one allows you to take a photo of any home you see, and then instantly pull up details about it -- things like its value, school ratings, square footage, and more.

AroundMe is another cool app, but not for actually finding a property. Instead, this one helps you get to know the neighborhood around a home -- including the businesses and amenities that surround it. There's even a corresponding Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Watch app to make on-the-go research that much easier.

For finding a rental property

Not ready to buy just yet? There are loads of apps for rental properties, too. HotPads, Rent.com, Zillow, and Trulia all have mobile apps that can help you find an apartment or rental house.

Zumper's a great app if you want an all-in-one experience. You can apply for a property, make a deposit, and more, right from the app. And if you're on the hunt for student housing, the ABODO app has tons of school-specific categories you can browse.

For running your real estate business or Airbnb

If you're on the business side of the real estate industry -- with rental properties, Airbnbs, multifamily buildings, or commercial units -- there are loads of apps up your alley, too.

Here are just a few:

  • Guesty: Guesty's app makes it easy to run an Airbnb investment property or other type of vacation rental. You can manage bookings, message guests, track checkouts and cleanings, and more. You can also use Guesty for hotel-like properties.
  • LoopNet: LoopNet is the go-to resource if you're looking to buy or sell commercial real estate. You'll find bank-owned properties and businesses for sale there, too.
  • Ten-X: Ten-X is another CRE app that can help you purchase commercial properties. This one, though, includes an end-to-end transaction platform as well.
  • Xome: Looking for bargain-priced properties you can fix and flip? The Xome app can help. Xome offers auction listings, HUD homes, pre-foreclosures, and more.
  • Auction.com: The Auction.com app is another tool you can use to find foreclosures, property auctions, and REOs. You can even place remote bids right within the app.
  • Property Fixer: If you're a home flipper, Property Fixer is a big help. Use the app's "flip analysis" feature to calculate your costs and potential ROI, and check out the Property Report section to get all the details on any home you're considering. You can even keep notes and photos within the app to refer back to.
  • Thumbtack: Need help finding contractors or getting some of those renovations done? Thumbtack is a great resource to tap. It even lets you chat and coordinate details with contractors directly.
  • Homestyler: Flipping a property? Homestyler can help you plan for the final look of the home. Use its 3D design tools to map out your floor plan, add in amenities and furniture, change out upgrades, and more.

If you're an investor who likes to drive neighborhoods scouting for potential flips, Homesnap is another good one to have on your radar. Just snap a photo of a property you see, and the app will give you all the details you need to evaluate its potential.

For the nitty-gritty details of real estate

It's fun to use apps for house hunting, designing a property, or finding that next bargain, but apps can handle the boring stuff, too -- including signing your closing documents, determining your budget, or even just scanning in financial paperwork.

Here are just a few you might want on hand:

  • For determining your mortgage costs and budget: Zillow Mortgage and the Mortgage Calculator App by Quicken Loans are both good options here. You can even get real-time, personalized rate quotes.
  • For signing paperwork: DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU) and Hello Sign are popular apps that can help with this one. SignEasy is commonly used as well.
  • For scanning in documents: Don't have a fax machine? Just scan and send your documents with an app like ScannerPro or Scanbot.
  • For understanding your financials: Credit Karma and the LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) app can both help you get a good handle on your credit score and financials before applying for your mortgage loan.

Your chosen mortgage lender may also have an app that you can utilize for uploading documents, communicating with your loan officer, or signing paperwork. Make sure to ask your loan officer if something like this is available for your transaction.

For real estate professionals and Realtors

Tech is there to help real estate agents and brokers, too. Magic Plan and Floor Plan Creator let you create interactive, 3D floor plans for your listings, while BoxBrownie allows you to stage a home virtually (at a fraction of the cost, too).

Dotloop and DocuSign are handy for the paperwork portion of the job and Freshchat is good for interacting with leads, while Contactually helps you store those leads and stay in touch.

Finally, Waze is a must for getting around town and viewing new properties, and ShowingTime can help you schedule, track, and provide feedback on showings. FaceTime and Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) can also be helpful if you're doing virtual showings.

The bottom line

Want to make buying, selling, or real estate investing easier or more convenient? There's probably an app that can make it happen. And if there's not, we're here to help. Check out our real estate investing and financing articles now.

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Aly Yale has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, DocuSign, Redfin, Zillow Group (A shares), Zillow Group (C shares), and Zoom Video Communications and recommends the following options: short May 2020 $120 calls on Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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