10 Online Tools Every Real Estate Agent Needs

Experts gave ESTATENVY the scoop on their favorite tools.

There are many, many online tools out there to help real estate professionals perform a variety of tasks, whether those are related to managing contacts, contacting clients or creating marketing materials.

ESTATENVY spoke with real estate professionals and got their thoughts on the online tools they simply cannot live without.

Adwerx

Rafael Murillo, a Chicago-based real estate broker with Compass, is a huge fan of this tool.

“Adwerx is a digital advertising tool that I use to market all of my listings across the web and social media,” he said in an email. “One of my favorite features about Adwerx is retargeting which pretty much follows the consumer across the web and social media after they have clicked on your ad.”

Canva

Murillo values this particular tool as well.

“Canva is an online graphic design tool that makes creating marketing collateral very simple,” he said in an email. “I use Canva on a weekly basis to create social media graphics. This allows for my Marketing Department to focus on bigger projects rather than having them waste time on social media graphics.”

Contactually

Zane Burnett, the vice president of digital innovation and technology at Alain Pinel Realtors, praised this customer relationship management tool (CRM) that is aimed at real estate professionals. His company recently rolled out Contactually to all their agents.

“I think CRM, for any form of salesperson, is essential,” he said. “It’s also the least popular tool amongst salespeople. I like to say it’s kind of like asking your salespeople to eat their vegetables. They have to put in their contacts and they have to maintain their database. And so the question always is how much of that can be automated on a very intelligent level to reduce the amount of manual workload that an agent has to put in to be able to keep up with their contacts.”

Contactually, he said, also helps agents stay top-of-mind for their clients.

“Staying top of mind through a CRM like Contactually, and being able to communicate in the voice of the agent, we found to be very, very valuable. We’re still sort of monitoring the stats in terms of baselining, what an agent’s business and productivity was prior to Contactually and what it is six months to a year after, but we’re already seeing a lot of the benefits involved with an automated intelligent CRM, and that’s what we’ve decided to go with,” Burnett said.

Email

Email may seem like ancient history in 2019, but it’s still a staple tool for those in the real estate industry.

“I cannot live without email,” RE/MAX Synergy agent Tyler Burlison said in an email. “Email has been around as long as I have been alive, but it is still the most effective way to communicate in business. Texting does not cut it.”

E-signature software

This is a crucial tool for many a real estate agent, as it saves many a client a trip into an office.

“Second on the list would be the e-signature software,” Burlison said in an email, describing it as one of the pillars in his business.

Murillo echoes the sentiment.

“DocuSign is an electronic signature service that reduces paperwork and allows for documents to be signed from any device and anywhere,” Murillo said in an email. “No more printing, faxing, or scanning. Every real estate agent should be using this online tool.”

Evernote

Chicago Homes Realty Group business development officer Courtney Jones is a huge fan of this particular tool. He describes it as a tool that helps him navigate his clients, events and more.

“I can put notes in Evernote, so if I’m at a meeting I can record the notes from the meeting in Evernote and I can share that,” he said. He added that it’s important to be able to communicate with different brokers, vendors and clients and give updates in real time.

Google Voice

Burnett noted that Google Voice is not real estate-specific, but real estate agents still find it valuable.

“A lot of agents like to use Google Voice because it’s free and it gives them a second phone number that isn’t necessarily their personal phone number or their desk phone number at a brokerage that they may or may not be with next year, so Google Voice allows them to sign up for a free number,” Burnett said. “For those who do like to text they can text from their browser and they can easily separate business calls from personal ones.” 

Matterport

Murillo is a champion of this 3D service.

“Matterport gives you the opportunity to do a 3D virtual reality walk-through of a property,” he said in an email. “About 80% of buyers start their home search online. This gives buyers a real sense of how a home really looks and feels. Photography is not enough anymore to attract buyers to your listings.”

WealthEngine

Diane Hartley, the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, which focuses on training real estate agents who want to break into the luxury market, is a fan of this tool.

“The most prolific and profound tool that we offer our agents as members—they have to be a member of the Institute to have access to that - it’s called Online Wealth Lookup, or OWL,” she said. “Online Wealth Lookup is an API that plugs directly into the database of a company called WealthEngine, and WealthEngine compiles data on wealthy people.” Hartley added that most people who look for data on wealthy people are trying to, for example, get them to be more philanthropic.

WealthEngine, she said, is a good way for real estate agents to vet potential buyers.

“What Online Wealth Lookup does is if you have someone’s name and address, it will pull their financial position, and how we train people to use the tool is when you get a call and you have a million-dollar listing,” she said. “How do you know that the person that’s coming is actually financially capable of paying for that home? So we teach them to take two minutes from their mobile phone as members to get the person’s name and address and just take a look at who they are and what assets they have.”

Virtual staging

“Virtual Staging is an affordable option compared to actual home staging,” Murillo said in an email. “Virtual Staging sells homes faster and is a great way to get your buyers’ attention online. Vacant properties are boring and most buyers don’t have the imagination to picture furniture in the space.”

Real estate professionals have a variety of tools at their fingertips to sell any kind of home. From note-taking services to retargeting tools, there are many ways in which real estate agents can keep up with their clients and their listings—and make sure everyone’s time is respected and managed well.