There are millions of tech tools out there that were designed to make our lives and our work easier, more productive, more enjoyable—just somehow better.
A lot of these tools, you already know—Evernote, Facebook Ads Manager, and, of course, Realvolve. But with new software and apps being developed all the time, there’s no way you can keep up with all of the amazing tools that are available.
To put together this blog post, we scoured the web, dug through the app stores, and even asked our community of Realvolvers...and we unearthed some really cool tech tools for real estate agents. Check out the list—you’re bound to find something that will make your work (or life) better. (Update: Check out our new post 9 Lesser-Known Tech Tools for Real Estate Agents for even more tech tools).
For continuous learning: Blinkist
Being a successful entrepreneur means being a lifelong learner. To keep up with the ever-evolving real estate industry—and the business world in general—you need to read. A lot.
Blinkist is an app that allows you to digest content faster. With a library of 2000+ nonfiction books to choose from, it condenses a single book into a summary that you can read or listen to in 15 minutes.
With the free version, you get access to one pre-selected “book blink” each day. The Premium plan gives you access to any of the titles.
For visual content creation: Canva
You no longer have to be a trained graphic designer to create stunning images for your Facebook page, blog posts, or enewsletter. Canva provides beautiful templates for everything from email headers and Facebook ads to business cards and gift tags. You can have as much creative freedom as you’d like—upload your own photos, change fonts and colors, etc.—or stick with one of Canva’s pre-designed images.
For a healthy, productive mindset: Calm
Here at Realvolve, we’re big on meditation and mindfulness, so I couldn’t resist including this app. The Calm app provides a lot of great free features, such as a “breathing bubble” for breathing exercises, the 7 Days of Calm guided meditation program, relaxing Sleep Stories (soothing fiction read by the likes of Stephen Fry), music for meditation, and your choice of calming scenes to display. Additional sounds, scenes, and meditations can be unlocked with a paid subscription of $4.99 per month.
For video emails: BombBomb
If you haven’t heard of BombBomb yet, it’s time to become acquainted. This tool allows you to record and send videos via email. When the recipient receives your email, they’ll see a muted, animated preview of your video (way more engaging than text or a static image!) and a link to view the full video with audio. This is a great tool for real estate agents because it allows you to be more face-to-face with your contacts—through what was once a fairly impersonal communication channel, email recipients can now see your smile and hear the warmth in your voice.
(Psst...just FYI, there’s a BombBomb integration with Realvolve!)
For ultra-convenient communication: Voxer
Voxer does so many things, it’s hard to define it as anything more specific than a really incredible communication tool. One of the coolest features allows you to transmit live voice messages to other users, essentially turning your phone into a walkie talkie. But people can also choose to listen to your voice messages later (and they can even listen to them at 2x, 3x, or 4x the normal speed). Other features include group messaging (great for communicating with your entire real estate team) and setting up broadcast groups (where you talk but others can’t reply).
For creating PDFs: Smallpdf
Everyone could use this handy little tool. Smallpdf.com is a free tool for creating and manipulating PDFs—you can compress PDFs, convert different file types to PDF, edit PDFs, merge or split PDFs, and eSign PDFs. It’s super simple to use!
For file backup & sharing: Sync.com
This tool might replace Dropbox as your favorite cloud storage service. Not only is it more secure than Dropbox, it also makes sharing files with clients way easier because they don’t have to create a Sync account to open the file.
For note-taking: OneNote
For years, Evernote has been the collaborative note-taking tool of choice. But I’ve recently started to hear things about OneNote—things like, “It’s Evernote on steroids.”
OneNote allows you to be ultra-organized about taking notes. You create notebooks, and within each notebook, you can create section groups. Within each section, you can create individual pages of notes. Your notes can consist of text, images, video, and audio. The one area where Evernote still comes out stronger is in clipping from the Web (in OneNote, it only clips a screenshot of a web page, so you don’t get the URLs or the ability to copy/paste text).
Other features of OneNote: You and your team can collaborate on notes and view each other’s revisions in the History tab. Notes can by synced across all of your devices and accessed on the Web.
To learn more about the differences between OneNote and Evernote, check out this review on Computerworld.
For adopting a new habit: Coach.me
Coach.me is a favorite of Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Work Week). To use this app, just choose a habit to adopt, set a weekly target, get reminded to do it, and check in every time you do the habit. Each goal has a forum for you to get support from a community of other users working on the same habit, plus you can receive step-by-step plans from coaches (1 week free, additional weeks must be purchased).
For avoiding distracting websites: StayFocusd
It happens to all of us...you sit down at the computer, and you swear you'll be productive. Next thing you know, it's twelve hours later. You've checked your email, updated your Facebook status, read every article in your Twitter feed, and vanity googled yourself.
Enter StayFocusd! This productivity extension for Google Chrome helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
What’s your favorite tech tool for real estate?
If there’s something really cool out there that we missed, please share in a comment! It can be anything—an app that helps you be more productive, a tool that allows you to better communicate with your clients, or something else. If it has made a big difference in your life or work, we’d love to know about it!