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Four Technology Tools Every Realtor Should Consider

In modern real estate, understanding and using technology is no longer a choice. Below are 5 tools Alfie and I have personally used and found indispensable in my real estate practice:

In modern real estate, understanding and using technology is no longer a choice.  Below are 5 tools Alfie and I have personally used and found indispensable in my real estate practice:

iphone-3gs-real-estate

For those who already have one, it’s no surprise that this is at the top of my list.  If you don’t have one, then the first time your client whips his iPhone out and starts looking up listings on Redfin, you’ll likely start to reconsider.  The main ways I use the iPhone:

  • Directions to listings (I have a terrible sense of direction!)
  • Looking Up Listings On Redfin while on the go (because our mls is too busy making us use key code fobs to actually upgrade the MLS to work on anything but IE).
  • Using the mortgage calculator app (buy the app from the app store) with clients
  • Taking photos (and now potentially video) of listings while I’m out touring

real-estate-scanner2

If you’ve ever dealt with a fussy scanner when you’re trying to send out an urgent offer, you know that a bad scanner can nearly hobble your business.  After dealing with several, including a few HP all-in-ones and one of the original Neat scanners, I can say the ScanSnap is head and shoulders above the rest.  It’s extremely portable (though you need an outlet, it can’t run off USB alone), it’s fast at 10 pages a minute, and even more importantly it’s drop-dead simple and so far mine has worked every time.

realtor-tool-docusign

While still a very new technology, electronic signatures make a huge difference.  They’re not yet fully accepted everywhere, but when they are it’s fantastic.


  • They save a lot of time: I’d say about 20-30 minutes for each offer
  • They keep the contract legible, unlike faxing which can make it unreadable by the time everybody signs.
  • It’s easy for buyers to know where they should sign, and they can’t accidentally miss any signatures (unless you forgot to mark them in the first place)

The one big caveat to electronic signatures is that because they are so new, different areas and companies treat them differently, and if you’re the first in your area to start you may spend more time explaining them than you save in the first place!  In San Francisco they are fairly common, but a while ago I had a situation where another brokerage would not accept them on the purchase contract.

realtor-tool-myfax

After comparing plans, I found MyFax to be one of the best priced and most reliable electronic fax services out there.  The $10 a month plan should work for most agents (especially if you are using docusign so you’re faxing even less), it includes 100 sent and 200 received pages per month.

Even when I was working at a larger brokerage that provided a fax number for me, I preferred to have my own for two reasons: first, it gave me more control and I found was actually more reliable than some of the larger “corporate” fax solutions. Second, just as with my cell phone it lets me keep my number no matter which company I’m working for.

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    [...] we write our offers online and email them over to the listing agent.  Although there are some electronic signature options, many people still want to see live signatures on paper.  Enter the portable [...]

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