It’s been nearly a year since Eight11 launched, and in the past 12 months I’ve seen all sorts of cool apps that do everything from preventing you from losing your keys to writing offers on your iPad.
One of the great benefits of being a blogger is that you get personal introductions to new apps, often from the app’s creator(s). What I’ve noticed is this: When the app is built to solve a creator’s personal pain point, the app pretty much knocks it out of the park.
That’s why apps like GoConnect and NuOffer are two of my favorite mobile apps, among the many listed here. Each of these apps were built by real estate agents who wanted to solve a problem for themselves … and ended up solving a problem for the industry.
A Labor of Love Launches
GoConnect, developed by Raleigh, NC Realtor Zach Schabot, is deceptively simple yet extraordinarily powerful mobile to-do list. Schabot developed the app because he needed a better to-do list built for his business.
The app is a perfect reflection of Schabot’s expertise in real estate — and his enthusiastic and generous personality. Every aspect of the app is extraordinarily easy to use (great for busy agents). But it’s when things go wrong that Schabot shines as the app’s developer.
Schabot is the first to respond when there is a problem, update or question. He even runs his technical support in public on GoConnect’s Facebook page, and has incorporated dozens of feature requests from his beta users.
The result: GoConnect is an elegant, easy to use app that can help any agent get and stay organized. And it’s officially in production and out of beta.
Poised to Revolutionize the Industry
NuOffer, developed by Los Angeles Realtor Imraan Ali and developer Kevin Hincker, allows you to write a complete offer in about five minutes on your iPad. It extracts the terms of the offer from the contract, so you can enter them by tabbing through a series of logical fields on your iPad.
The benefits of the app are immediately apparent. Because Ali is an agent, he understands what’s needed to produce a complete, binding offer — but even more, he knows how agents think. That’s why it’s so easy to get through the offer process with NuOffer. Ali made certain that the fields and all the forms you need are presented logically, so there’s no opportunity to make a mistake.
If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it almost is. NuOffer is only available in Texas at the moment, but as it incorporates the forms of more states it will slowly roll out on a national basis. (Side note: If you ARE in Texas, try NuOffer right now. You’ll love it.)
It’s testament to the ethics and principles of Ali and Hinker that they are working the existing real estate ecosystem to get state-by-state approval to ingest the appropriate forms. That, unfortunately, is not a speedy process. However, when NuOffer has all the forms, it will be a huge win for real estate agents everywhere.
NuOffer’s app works on an iPad, although an Android version is in the works.
[Full disclosure: I’m a strategic advisor to NuOffer. But the more I learn about the company, the app and Ali’s vision, the more I like it.]
So without further ado, here’s my list of super cool apps from Eight11’s first year:
A super simple yet powerful to-do list for agents. Out of beta and with new features including lead plans and regional customizations that were added as a result of user feedback. Gloriously easy, yet deep enough to handle even the most complex transactions. And Android version of the app is in the works now.
GoConnect App | Free
A secure, mobile offer-writing platform that makes it easy to write a complete offer or about 15 minutes. Integrated MLS feed. New in version 2.0: Now you can take a listing on your iPad as you meet with the client. The future of offer writing; No more disparate PDF forms — just a seamless, secure offer flow between buyer and listing agents.
NuOffer | $15/month; Unlimited $99/month broker plan available for a limited time
Real Estate Search Apps
A 360 degree view into the features and history of a home — accessed when you take a picture of the exterior on your smartphone. New features coming for agents to permit deeper search collaboration with home buyers. Available on iPad, iPhone and Android.
HomeSnap | Branded Agent and Broker applications available; pricing TBD
Swipe by Doorsteps
A collaborative, hot-or-not app that allows you to instantly rate homes. Swipe saves the homes you like into Doorsteps, building a preference log about the types of homes you like for future reference. Gorgeous, intuitive interface. As you save more houses, your preferences are revealed in intriguing patterns, informing the home purchase process.
Swipe by Doorsteps | Free
A micro- social network for neighborhoods — and an enormous opportunity for agents to interact with their neighbors. Everyone on the network is vetted and uses their real names, so you can build rapport and contribute valuable content to the people who live right down the street from you. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, and build your sphere, all at the same time.
Next Door | Free
The place for your friends and everyone else to share secrets in public. Some secrets are … icky. But some are intriguing— Check out this string about Keith Rabois’ new real estate startup, Homerun. A favorite among the Silicon Valley set.
Secret | Free
The anti-social app — allows you to see where people you know on Instagram and Foursquare are right now, so you can avoid them. Cloak pulls in the geodata from these accounts and presents you with a map of everyone you’re connected to, everywhere in the country. Scary, but potentially very useful — like on a rare Sunday morning off when you’d like to enjoy a cup of coffee in your cut-offs (alone). Seems like lots of people love Cloak.
Cloak | Free
Home Depot’s entry into the on-demand world of connecting chores to service professionals. Enter your task (fix a faucet? Mend some drywall?), take a picture, describe the project, and send to Red Beacon in selected markets. In 10 minutes, a licensed, insured professional will get back to you with a quote. Guaranteed by Home Depot. In selected markets.
Red Beacon | Free app, pay for services rendered
A digital backup for physical keys. Take a picture of a key with your phone, upload it, name it and start feeling secure. Keyme digitizes the key pattern, stores it and can make and send you a key within 48 hours when you need it. Or you can have the pattern sent to a locksmith to be made locally. A must for anyone who carries lots of keys.
Keyme | Free, but pay for keys made (starting at $9.99 plus shipping)