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The best real estate software: 8 apps for real estate agents

By Emily Esposito · July 20, 2020
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Digital innovation within the real estate industry has traditionally been one-sided, with buyers having the ability to find and purchase a new home on their phones in just a few clicks. Sellers, too, can list their property entirely on their smartphone. But on the other end of each transaction, real estate agents have been tied to their desks, digging through files to find the right information or faxing paperwork for signatures.

A new generation of real estate software is working to ease this pain. Real estate apps for agents are specifically designed to help keep you organized whether you're at home, on the go, or at an open house. In this article, we'll dive into the eight best real estate apps that will improve your productivity throughout the entire real estate lifecycle, from generating leads to signing the final paperwork.

The 8 best real estate apps for agents

  • Follow Up Boss for centralizing communication

  • Cloud Attract for building real estate-specific landing pages

  • Wise Agent for real estate marketing automation

  • LionDesk for recording and embedding videos into emails and texts to bring properties to life

  • Spacio for digitizing open house sign-in forms

  • PalmAgent ONE for estimating closing costs

  • Disclosures.io for organizing and sharing disclosures

  • Dotloop for signing offers and closing documents

What makes a great real estate app for agents?

How we evaluate and test apps

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

For this roundup, we focused on software that was specifically created for real estate agents. We also focused on apps that would save agents time and energy when dealing with repetitive, burdensome processes. The real estate apps listed here are primarily companion tools, meaning they can be used together for ultimate efficiency. But some are direct competitors, like Follow Up Boss, Wise Agent, and LionDesk (all real estate CRM tools).

Every real estate app included in our list meets the following criteria:

  • Makes it easy to share important information with agents, buyers, or sellers (or all three).

  • Centralizes information for a specific stage (or stages) of the lifecycle, so agents can act and react faster.

  • Empowers agents to create and manage new programs and activities, with little ramp-up time or without relying on anyone else.

Here is the best real estate software, listed in rough chronological order of the average real estate lifecycle.

Best real estate app for centralizing communication

Follow Up Boss (Web, iOS, Android)

An email sent to a Gmail account (top) also automatically appears in Follow Up Boss (bottom)
An email sent to a Gmail account (top) also automatically appears in Follow Up Boss (bottom).

You'll try a multitude of ways to communicate with buyers and sellers: emails, phone calls, text messages, and video calls. The good news: you'll get hold of them eventually. The bad news: the entire conversation is broken up into pieces across multiple channels. Follow Up Boss, a real estate CRM tool, wants to fix that.

The main selling point of Follow Up Boss is its inbox, the place where all your and your agents' emails, texts, and calls (including missed calls and voicemails) to your contacts live.

When signing up, you and your agents have to link your Gmail or Office 365 accounts so the app can automatically sync and log all email communication in one place. That means that when you read, respond, and archive emails, it happens on both sides (Gmail or Outlook 365 and Follow Up Boss).

The inbox itself is clean and simple, only displaying emails and texts with contacts and leads, and excluding marketing emails, spam, bills, etc., so you can quickly focus on the people you need to respond to.

You can see all your messages in the left-hand column, and if you click on one, it opens the entire message in the middle of the page. You can reply to or archive emails directly in the Follow Up Boss inbox or assign a conversation to a team member, which will send the email to their inbox as an "Assigned" item. You can filter communication in the inbox by emails, texts, or calls, or by assigned, drafted, or closed conversations.

You can also trigger automated emails for new leads or keep in touch with past clients by setting up a drip nurture campaign with the Action Plans feature. However, this feature lives in a completely different place than your email inbox—you have to navigate to the admin page, then click Action Plans to set up any automated email outreach. Considering how centralized all other emails are in Follow Up Boss, this workflow isn't ideal.

While the Follow Up Boss app doesn't have all the features offered by the web app, that's not a bad thing. When you're on the go, you don't want to have to navigate through reports or admin settings to find what you really need. The mobile app only includes the messages in your inbox, new lead activity, your calendar, and your smart lists (lists that you can create based on tags).

As an added bonus, Follow Up Boss integrates with Zapier, so you can do things like consolidating new leads in one place or sending a handwritten card to new contacts.

Create or update contacts in Follow Up Boss from new Facebook Lead Ad leads

Create or update contacts in Follow Up Boss from new Facebook Lead Ad leads
  • Facebook Lead Ads logo
  • Follow Up Boss logo
Facebook Lead Ads + Follow Up Boss

See more ways to automate Follow Up Boss with Follow Up Boss's Zapier integrations on out blog: Popular ways to automate Follow Up Boss

Follow Up Boss Price: Free 14-day trial; $69/month per user for the most popular plan, which includes texting and advanced lead distribution tools. The calling feature is an extra $39/month per user.

Best real estate app for building landing pages

Cloud Attract (Web)

Generate leads and create beautiful landing pages with Cloud Attract.
An example of a landing page created from a Cloud Attract template.

Cloud Attract helps you manage real estate lead generation and create beautiful landing pages in five steps. First, choose what kind of leads you want to attract: sellers or buyers. Then, select one of more than 15 professionally-designed landing page templates, complete with a high-quality, full-bleed background image.

Then, you indicate what kind of information you want to collect from a list of eight different criteria—anything from name to phone number to when leads are looking to buy (Cloud Attract does require that you collect address and email).

Cloud Attract will auto-generate your desktop and mobile-friendly landing page, allowing you to customize font, copy, and imagery. You can even add your Google Analytics ID or Facebook Pixel ID for advanced tracking, and add a meta title and meta description for SEO. The whole process took me less than five minutes to set up.

All your leads will appear in a designated tab, and you'll receive an email notification when new leads come in. The best part? You can even track partial leads, those potential buyers or sellers who start to fill some information in your form, but then abandon the page.

And because Cloud Attract integrates with Zapier, you can make sure everyone on your team knows when you acquire new leads by posting a message to a Slack channel or sending a text message.

See more ways to automate Cloud Attract with Cloud Attract's Zapier integrations.

Cloud Attract Price: Free 30-day trial; $99/month for the entire Cloud Agent bundle, including Cloud Attract. Note: You must have an MLS association in order to purchase.

If Cloud Attract doesn't appeal to you, you can create a landing page with a landing page builder that's not specific to real estate. Check out our roundup of the best landing page builders for other options.

Best real estate app for email automation

Wise Agent (Web)

Create your own drip campaigns to nurture leads with Wise Agent.
Create your own drip campaigns to nurture leads with Wise Agent.

Between listing new properties, scheduling open houses, and closing deals, the last thing you want on your list is remembering to email new leads. Wise Agent offers a simple solution for email automation with its real estate CRM software, so you can set everything up once and then let it run by itself.

Create your own drip campaigns by choosing the number of "events" (emails), and days between those events, or fixed dates that each email should send.

You can also use one of Wise Agent's 19 pre-made email programs that are customized for buyers or sellers and include campaigns like "10 Day Conversion Plan" and "6 Touch Past Client." If you choose one of the templated programs, you have the chance to change the subject line, message body, image, and branding. You can also customize the cadence and the order of emails in the series. Take advantage of these templates if it's your first time creating nurture campaigns—it's much easier to edit content than draft emails from scratch.

While Wise Agent's interface is a bit clunky and dated, it isn't hard to learn. It breaks up the nurture email workflow into different steps, so you don't feel overwhelmed by all the details. It also has a handy calendar view that you can toggle to, which is helpful for determining when to send emails.

As an added benefit, Wise Agent integrates with Zapier, so you can automate tasks like importing leads from different tools.

See more ways to automate Wise Agent with Wise Agent's Zapier integrations.

Wise Agent Price: Free 14-day trial (which requires a credit card during signup); From $29/month (billed annually) for up to five team members.

We were only able to assess BoomTown (Web, iOS, Android; custom pricing available) from a recorded video demo, but its predictive CRM is worth mentioning. It tracks user activity and behavior to organize real estate leads most likely to convert, so no one falls through the cracks. The New Opportunities Wall displays a prioritized list of the best opportunities at any given moment, and you can filter all these leads by things like price range, whether an agent has made contact, or whether they recently went back to your site. Then, you can nurture those leads toward conversion with automated emails, texts, and scheduled to-dos for follow-up. You can also create targeted lists based on location, price point, haven't yet called, etc. to help you organize your database.

Best real estate app for recording and embedding videos into emails and texts

LionDesk (Web, iOS, Android)

Add videos to your emails and text messages with LionDesk CRM.
Add videos to your emails and text messages with LionDesk CRM.

Sometimes words can't describe the flow of a hallway, the cozy vibe of a kitchen nook, or how the light fills a room. So when a potential buyer can't visit a house in-person, your next best option is to send a video.

LionDesk lets you seamlessly add videos to your emails and text messages, bringing your properties to life. You can upload your own videos or record directly in the web or mobile app.

If you choose to record your own videos, you need to follow three steps. First, select a video type: up to a five-minute video for email or a 20-second video for texts. Then, you click the microphone icon on the video player to start your computer's camera and microphone, and once you allow LionDesk to use your camera and microphone, simply click the record icon to begin. Once the recording is complete, you can add a title, description, and tags to the video.

Then, if you want to embed that video (or a video you previously uploaded) into an email, click on the Communication tab and either use one of LionDesk's email templates (there are more than 100 to choose from) or create your own. Once you're in the email editor, click the Insert LionDesk video prompt to select and insert a recording.

If you're interested in creating videos for emails, but don't want to switch your entire CRM, try BombBomb.

You can also send your videos via individual or bulk text messaging, but you need to purchase the Pro Plus plan to receive a custom number for texting and calling.

Recording and embedding videos are just two of LionDesk's features. It also offers real estate CRM features, like email automation, task management, power dialing, and contact management (among other things). While all the possible features can be overwhelming, it's well organized and easy to navigate.

You can also extend LionDesk's capabilities with a number of Zapier integrations, giving you the ability to do things like add new Calendly appointments to LionDesk or create new contacts from Google Sheets.

See more ways to automate LionDesk with LionDesk's Zapier integrations.

LionDesk Price: Free 30-day trial; $49/month for a custom phone number, 5,000 emails (including video emails), and 100 video texts.

Best real estate app for digitizing open house sign-in forms

Spacio (Web, iOS, Android)

Create paperless open house forms with Spacio.

With Spacio, you can create paperless open house forms to accurately collect visitor information and automatically send follow-up emails after the open house ends. That means you don't need to keep track of loose pieces of paper with unreadable handwriting after each open house.

Add your properties to the web app, and automatically launch sign-in forms on your computer, iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or tablet. You can use the default form, which asks for visitor name, email, address, and phone number, or customize your own fields (up to six questions). You can also enable automated follow-up emails based on how a visitor responds to a question. For example, if you add the question, "Are you working with an agent?" and the visitor responds Yes, a follow-up email will be sent to the registered agent after the viewing.

For each person who fills out your form, Spacio creates a profile with links to each visitor's social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gravatar, Klout, Pinterest, Twitter, and WordPress, to help you gain unique insights.

Spacio Price: Free 30-day trial; From $25/month for individual plans.

Best real estate app for estimating closing costs

PalmAgent ONE (Web, iOS, Android)

Calculate buyer estimates and seller net sheets with PalmAgent One.
Calculate buyer estimates and seller net sheets with PalmAgent ONE.

Whether you're working with buyers or sellers, there's one question that everyone wants answered: How will this affect my bank account?

PalmAgent ONE calculates buyer estimates and seller net sheets in seconds based on your state and county. You enter sales price, down payment, interest rate, broker fee, and up to seven other pieces of information (depending on the report) to automatically generate colorful, detailed graphs and tables. For example, you might want to run a Net at Close report for the seller. By entering sales price, broker fee, repairs, property taxes, loan balance, interest rate, and closing date, you'll get a circular graph that shows you the total closing cost and the amount of money the seller will keep.

This real estate management software also lets you go one step further and run calculations like monthly affordability, rent vs. buy, and sell to net, as well as compare multiple offers.

PalmAgent ONE definitely saves you from manual calculations and presents information in easy-to-understand graphs. But you do need to have every bit of information at your disposal in order to run these reports. For example, to run the Net at Close report accurately, you need to know how much each repair will cost—and that information is dependent on third-party contractors providing a quote on time. However, if you're looking for a quick way to give buyers and sellers a rough idea of financials, PalmAgent ONE does the trick.

PalmAgent ONE Price: Free 30-day trial; $0.99/month.

Best real estate app for organizing and sharing disclosures

Disclosures.io (Web, iOS)

Organize and share disclosures with Disclosures.io.
Organize and share disclosures with Disclosures.io.

More agents are beginning to share property disclosures upfront, before offers, to make sure deals don't fall through at the very last minute. With Disclosures.io, sharing information, from pre-sale inspections to natural hazards reports, is a cinch. The free tool lets you assemble all disclosures in one online location, share them with interested parties, and track activity.

The web app has a simple interface that walks you through how to create a package for either the seller or the buyer. Enter the property address, property information (like property type, asking price, and square footage), upload property photos or add a video tour, and the package is created. From there, you can upload documents, order a Natural Hazards Disclosures report, or log into DocuSign (if you have an existing account) to sign documents electronically.

Once you download the iOS app and log in, all the packages you created on the web app will automatically appear in the Properties tab. You can create and edit packages in the app, as well as record 30-second video clips of each room. You'll also receive push notifications (if enabled) when someone views the package or makes an offer.

On both the web and iOS app, you can share packages with agents by adding their name and email address and customizing the invitation in the pop-up share screen. By upgrading to the Pro plan, you can also see who has requested disclosures and who has actually reviewed them, as well as send messages directly from the package.

Disclosures.io is a simple, no-frills app that makes sharing disclosures easier to track and more professional than an email with attachments. All your packages are displayed on the first screen you see once you log in, so you can see everything at a glance.

Disclosures.io Price: Free for the Basic plan; $39/month for the Pro plan, which includes the ability to scan documents, save custom document templates, create offer dashboards for sellers, and more.

Best real estate app for signing offers and closing documents

Dotloop (Web, iOS, Android)

Prepare closing documents for eSignature with Dotloop.
Prepare closing documents for eSignature with Dotloop.

Real estate deals don't always happen in an office, with pen and paper readily available. With Dotloop, created by the industry giant Zillow Group, you can go paperless and get electronic signatures on disclosures, forms, and closing paperwork, regardless of where you—and the buyers and sellers—are.

To get started, create a "Loop," an online workspace to manage your real estate transaction and share documents. Once you add the property address and add a photo, you can then upload documents directly to your Loop. For each document, you can add a note or "prepare" for signature by indicating the fields that need to be completed on the form (you need to manually insert fields for initials, signature, date, name, etc. and assign each field to someone).

Once the document is ready to be signed, send it directly to the necessary parties and customize the message. The recipient simply clicks the link in the email, clicks the fields assigned to them, and inserts their signature.

In addition to eSignatures, Dotloop also offers features like reporting (so you can track things like total sales and Loops), task management, and the ability to create templates from documents that you often need signed, so you don't have to prepare the same forms over and over again.

Dotloop Price: Free to sign up and complete 10 transactions with unlimited eSignatures; $29/month for the Premium plan which includes unlimited transactions, a robust document editor, secured backup, and real-time notifications.

Finding the apps for real estate agents

There's no one app that will take care of all your real estate needs. But by carefully selecting the apps that will get you through the process—marketing, lead gen, client management and communication, disclosures, closing docs, and anything in between—you'll create a better experience for your clients. Plus, you'll carve out more time for you to spend where it matters: closing deals.

Title image by Coffee Bean from Pexels

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