2023 is setting itself up to be a year of more competition among realtors. Those that are the most aggressive marketers and embrace technological efficiency will prevail and be prepared for the housing rebound that will inevitably come.
Today’s software and tools can streamline and automate many real estate tasks that once stole precious time and caused ample frustration. These tools can improve the quantity and quality of leads, reducing dead-end follow-up, misaligned objectives, and wasted time. They’ve become ubiquitous and indispensable in the industry.
These tools lead to higher profits, more robust real estate teams, and greater personal and professional satisfaction.
You can find endless real estate tools online. To help you find the ones that fit your style and needs, we scoured the internet, looked at functions and benefits, and read all of the reviews. The list below shows the tools you shouldn’t live without.
The Best Tools for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Price: Packages depend on the total user base, annual production, and features; use the website’s online tool to determine the cost
What It Does: BoomTown refers to itself as “real estate software that acts as a team.” Don’t have a fully staffed crew to scour industry reports and follow up on leads? BoomTown is a full real estate solution that generates leads for new clients, manages existing client relationships, automated lead nurturing, makes phone calls, and moves prospects through the pipeline to promote website visits. It offers integration with Google Drive, Facebook, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and many other marketing tools and services, allowing you to use several tools in conjunction with BoomTown. Accountability dashboards and a virtual assistant to ensure your success with managing business. For client-facing matters, this app offers customer support to help ensure client satisfaction.
Why You’ll Love It: BoomTown shows which properties your leads have looked at and whether or not they’ve shown an interest. You’ll see who’s visited your website and your marketing channel performance and be able to automate your team lead distribution. Artificial intelligence (AI) is predictive and tailored to the real estate lifecycle. It will notify you when a different action should be taken to enhance the chances of closing the deal. With a real estate-specialized AI, you’ll see tailored, actionable insights to improve your time management. Focus your marketing efforts around prospective buyers and property owners more strategically. Bonus feature: this real estate CRM is a communication platform with great features that can be managed right from your cell phone, so you can focus on business growth while you're out in the field.
Price: Ranges from $33 to $139 a month, depending on an annual or monthly subscription
What It Does: This CRM software helps organize contacts, automate and improve communication flow, generate quality leads, and integrate with other top technologies to present your brokerage with a holistic view of prospects and agent activity. Important features of this app include, agent reporting, automated workflows, contact management, Facebook marketing, landing pages, texting manager, video email and video texting. For acquiring business, AI lead management, lead follow-up, lead generation data reports can be utilized.
Why You’ll Love It: Think of this as a document management system for your leads and team. LionDesk is a marketer's dream tool with pre-built campaigns, campaign analysis, automated lead recording and automated workflows, bulk texting, and transaction management. It’s a full-service tool saving you from a world of lost paperwork. As an open-source API, LionDesk will integrate with other tools, such as Outlook, Google Workspace, Mailchimp, and Broker Mint.
3. HubSpot Sales Hub™
Price: Ranges from $45 to $1,200 per month
What It Does: HubSpot’s cloud-based CRM platform allows you to track leads, marketing initiatives, and customer communications using a timeline format. It provides email templates to connect with clients and analysis tools to determine how well assets perform. Sales Hub’s Sequences Workflow Action automatically enrolls contacts in a sales or service sequence based on triggering events like status changes or field updates.
Why You’ll Love It: Sales Hub keeps on top of leads and customer interactions in real time. Its communication alerts and reminders help indicate which leads are growing cold or falling silent for too long. HubSpot consistently improves the tool’s functionality; for example, it updated the repeated tasks feature late in 2021. HubSpot has set the standard for all CRMs and has the most integrations by far, and the email marketing campaigns feature is excellent. Two drawbacks: it’s not real estate specific, meaning you’ll need to tailor it to your business, and the marketing application is a separate subscription.
The Best Tool for Human Resources Management
Price: Packages are priced only after a consultation; they start at $199/month
What It Does: Brokerkit is a relationship management tool you can use to recruit, onboard, and retain agents. You can send emails, set up calls, update notes on recruits, and make appointments in one place. Brokerkit automates the onboarding process with prebuilt checklists, onboarding email, and text drip campaigns. It gives you a task to follow up with a retention touch with each agent every 30 days – plus it sends a blast email and text messages to all of your agents as needed. It also prompts you to track tasks for the internal office team.
Why You’ll Love It: Brokerkit is an award-winning tool that helps to organize interviews, follow-ups, and candidate background checks from any device. For fast-growing agencies, managing agent acquisition and retention can be overwhelming. Once much of it is automated, you’ll have more time to focus on recruiting the highest quality agents to take your brokerage to its next level. It works across all of your IT tools and integrates with Microsoft Office.
The Best Tool for Lead Generation
5. Redfin Partner Program
Available for download on: The Redfin Website
Price: Referral fee when the deal is closed
What It Does: Redfin brings you new and different clients through its referral service, which only includes a few local realtors.
Why You’ll Love It: You receive buyer and seller referrals with no obligation to Redfin unless you close the deal. Redfin provides reviews of agents in their app; potential customers read the reviews and then connect with the agent of their choice for their home search. Typically, the company allows only 3-5 agents per operating area, but when demand is high, they might add more. You can work for Redfin while still with your current brokerage. Apps like this can definitely help when it comes to your real estate marketing strategies.
The Best Lead Generation Tools for Marketing Your Brokerage
Price: Choose from $119.99/year for one person and $149.90 for up to five people. For more than five people, contact Canva.
What It Does: This powerful marketing tool can allow small realtors to create their own diy marketing collateral. Canva gives you access to thousands of visual templates you can edit, brand, and share on social media, essentially making you your own graphic designer. The service offers templates for websites, brochures, business cards, memes, greeting cards, infographics, teaching materials, video editing, and more. Additionally, Canva has a content planner, branding kits, photo editing, a drag-and-drop editor, and numerous free plugins.
Why You’ll Love It: Canva makes creating visually stunning marketing content easy for anyone. In real estate today, visual content is necessary for attracting attention and connecting. Once you try Canva, you won’t be able to stop trying out the tremendous selection of incredible tools. Honestly, it’s one of the most fun and awesome marketing tools, making it essential for companies nationwide.
Price: Starting at $33/month
What It Does: Agents can record and email video messages to current and prospective clients, thus personalizing tours by virtually walking clients through properties while sharing your insights via audio. The videos don’t even need to be downloaded to be viewed; they play right in the email, which increases your view rate. BombBomb also provides tracking and scheduling tools for emails, social sharing, and screen recordings.
Why You’ll Love It: The use of video turns leads into clients, and BombBomb is explicitly made for that purpose. Greet new leads with a video message, mass send to new listings, and reach out with video over the BombBomb email marketing platform. You can also access animated previews and virtual backgrounds to make your videos more fun.
8. CORE Listing Machine
Price: Pricing depends on project size and client needs; use the website’s free demo to determine a rate
What It Does: This real estate digital marketing tool offers lead generation, automated social media posts, email drip campaigns, and a design suite. It automates most of your marketing by creating an entire campaign across all listing stages, saving agents tremendous time and money and helping them reach their full potential. The CORE Listing Machine has 15 integrated built-in lead generation tools, which will boost your lead generation rate and expand your pipeline.
Why you’ll love it: Agents can connect via chat with potential buyers and sellers on multiple devices, plus marketing automation generates each listing’s marketing campaign across every social networking platform. Though CORE Listing Machine doesn’t offer the specific focus, targeted functions, and comprehensive solutions that some of the other tools on this list offer, it’s quite comprehensive and effective for a single, “all in one” tool. It’s simple, easy to use, and it handles the basics.
Price: Ranges from $49 to $739 per month
What It Does: Going far beyond a simple multichannel scheduling system, Hootsuite offers a range of powerful and customizable reporting features. It excels at social media management, allowing you to populate all of your social media from a convenient place and engage in social listening across platforms to enhance your social media strategy.
Why You’ll Love It: This powerful tool's specific focus on social media communications makes Hootsuite particularly indispensable to real estate professionals who use Facebook and other prominent social media sites to network and communicate with existing and potential clients. It’s a great tool for anyone who wants to make social media interactions more manageable, more sophisticated, and more effective by tracking sources.
The Best Tool for Mortgage Calculation
10. Mortgage by Zillow®
What It Does: This tool calculates mortgage amounts, affordability, amortization, refinancing, and early payoff rates. It also provides mortgage comparisons to help you and your buyers find the best mortgage for a new property.
Why You’ll Love It: If you need an easy way to calculate monthly mortgage payments, many agents feel Zillow offers the best mortgage calculator. Specifically, it enables agents to input all the variables, including home price, taxes, etc., to see how the home price works with their budget. It’s especially helpful for providing clients with realistic payment calculations that also include useful information like cost estimates for PMI, closing costs, and property tax.
The Best Tools for Open Houses & Virtual Tours
Price: Ranges from free to $39/month for up to three users when billed annually (note that the price doubles when paid monthly)
What It Does: Despite the continuing importance of photographs, more and more people are demanding videos as an essential part of the property vetting process. An extremely easy-to-use video-making tool with a user-friendly interface, Animoto employs “drag and drop” functionality to help you make professional-looking videos. It allows you to customize color and add elements such as soundtracks, logos, and text.
Why You’ll Love It: Animoto gives you the ability to create incredible virtual tours. It isn’t only extremely user-friendly, but it enables you to produce videos quickly. Add your logo to everything, utilize 3,000 licensed music tracks, 1 million+ licensed stock photos and videos, and add voiceovers in one intuitive tool. It also has a free app so you can produce videos outside the office.
Price: Pricing depends on the type and number of services on this subscription-free service
What It Does: BoxBrownie is a digital web hub that provides photo enhancement services at a per-photo cost. With this service, you can virtually stage digital photos, take an exterior scene from daylight to dusk, remove items, add virtual furniture, and even enhance images like floor plans. Just send BoxBrownie a photo, identify how you want a virtual room staged and in what style, and the tool will work its magic.
Why You’ll Love It: BoxBrownie makes good spaces look great, and great spaces look amazing, giving your selling materials a significant upgrade. Staging for the purposes of photos is expensive, but virtual staging a photo for $24 is a bargain. Image enhancement or item removal services are far less expensive than using a local graphic designer. You simply upload your image, specify the changes, and see the results in under 24 hours.
Price: Pricing is dependent on the number of users and modules chosen
What It Does: ShowingTime provides a key link between the virtual and real worlds. It automates and streamlines scheduling showings, MLS, live phone support 24/7/365, reporting, and communications all in one place. ShowingTime is customizable based on the needs at the time, able to act as an appointment center, front desk, and an MLS resource.
Why You’ll Love It: ShowingTime’s à la carte pricing option lets brokers choose how they want to use the tools, so if you prefer another tool for certain tasks, keep it. ShowingTime provides you with the tools you need to make the best use of your time, save money, and still be there any time for your clients. You can sleep easier knowing someone is always on the other end of the line when a potential buyer or seller calls.
The Best Tools for Streamlining Your Team’s Workflows
Price: Free to $17.50/user/month for the paid version
What i Does: Trello is among the essential tools to track the progress of deals in the sales pipeline by agent as well as the team's general progress.
Why You’ll Love It: Trello is an inexpensive and easy project management app solution. The program enables project tracking by creating task management “cards'' that can be moved and updated as a team hits its goals. If you're a team lead, you can add your entire office (or certain members) to specific Trello boards and assign various tasks to individual agents. Once tasks are completed, the team members can mark each item as done, allowing the organizer to keep tabs on a team’s progress. Real estate professionals also like Trello’s scheduling tool, which enables participants to organize, RSVP, and reschedule meetings.
Price: $30/month for four users on the Standard plan
What It Does: Monday.com organizes all of your projects plus your team and client management in one easy, comprehensive tool.
Why You’ll Love It: This program takes Trello up a notch and is a complete game changer for agent management. The Monday app helps you organize all the marketing projects, recruiting, client management, and team management you need to do to keep your business running. It also lets you track all agents’ sales, relationships, and a comprehensive list of leads and provides a visual way to see who’s working on what and where they are in their real estate transactions or new project. The smartphone app is outstanding and will keep things running very smoothly wherever you find yourself.
Price: $20/month for the Professional version; Teams packages start at $18/month per user
What It Does: Dropbox is the foremost collaborative tool for saving and sharing files and documents in the cloud. Access to shared files can be offered to others as needed, and you determine what others may or may not see.
Why You’ll Love It: This app provides a way to keep the photos, videos, documents, and other important files that agents and brokers need in one easy-to-access and secure cloud location. You can assign a file to each client and share links to the individual files and important documents as required. Busy agents can access their Dropbox needs on any computer or smartphone device and share files in the field from your mobile platform. While the free version will suffice, the Dropbox Advanced plans offer many features that can make a big difference, including unlimited storage and having multiple administrators with different permissions for each folder. Brokers might find it useful to provide Dropbox Advanced, which offers unlimited storage for their entire team.
The Best Tools for Transaction Management
Price: Ranges from $10 to $40 a month
What iI Does: DocuSign automates the entire contract and agreement process, including preparing, signing, and managing various documents. It also handles payment requests via cloud, mobile, and web platforms.
Why You’ll Love It: Forget the days of printing, signing, and scanning contracts. DocuSign is ideal for quickly sending documents that require an e-signature service, like the buyer’s agent contract. Real estate brokers and agents can solidify purchase agreements virtually anywhere and anytime. The NAR (National Association of Realtors) version of this tool includes a comment section and reminders/notifications section, as well as REALTOR®-logo branding and the ability to include signer attachments.
Price: Plans for individual agents start at $31.99/month. Teams and broker pricing plans are customized based on needs
What It Does: Dotloop is an end-to-end real estate transaction management software. It consolidates storage, compliance, digital signatures, and form editing onto one intuitive platform.
Why You’ll Love It: Over half a million realtors and 10,000 brokers and teams rely on Dotloop for a comprehensive transaction management solution. It’s an incredibly valuable tool in that it’s made specifically for real estate transactions. Simplified compliance workflows accelerate and ensure compliance and ensure. Your paperwork is digitized, and the program syncs with your existing management tools like your CRM.
How to Choose the Right Real Estate Tool for Your Needs
There are a tremendous number of tools available for realtors, teams, and brokers, many of which are very specific to the industry. So which of these tools is the absolute best? The answer to that question depends entirely on your unique wants and needs.
Do you need to improve in overall client or property management, or can you most benefit from honing your specific lead generation, home-showing, document production, or firm administration capabilities? By cherry-picking the incredibly useful tech tools best for you, you can turn your weaknesses into strengths and make your strengths even more robust. Finding the right tools on this list is a great place to start down the road to success.
Originally published on August 22, 2019.
Updated March 25th, 2022 by Leigh Clayborne
Image courtesy of iStock.com/Andrey Popov