02/08/2012

Apps: More With Less



Nowadays, no matter what life throws your way, you can usually say, "There's an app for that."

"App" is the term for a software application that runs on your smartphone or tablet computer. Who wouldn't welcome some new apps that can help you stay on top of your game and juggle the demands of running an office, selling properties, and advising sales associates? Associates will also appreciate any tips you can offer on which apps will allow them to get more done in less time. "When I'm out in the field, I don't have to go back to the office or hope my laptop has enough battery in it," says Bryan Robertson, a sales associate with the Sereno Group in Los Altos, Calif. "You get a real-time interaction with your ­clients."

Try to find apps that multitask, suggests Robertson. "If you're downloading five apps to do five different things, you're most likely going to be spending more time on a task than if you had no technology at all."

Finally, buyer beware. Be sure the app is coming from a valid source by checking the reviews from users on your phone's app store, since some may not actually do what they advertise or, even worse, could be spyware, which collects information from your phone. Also, don't clutter a phone with unused apps, as they take up memory that can slow your device.

Here are some of the newest multifunctional apps for the iPhone, and, even better, they're all free.

AroundMe

After viewing properties, a client asks, "What's there to do around here?" That's where AroundMe comes in. This lifestyle app quickly determines what theaters, restaurants, supermarkets, and other points of interest are nearby and allows you to quickly make a reservation, leave a review, or get directions.

Patrick Woods, team leader with Keller Williams in Roseville, Calif., says he enjoyed testing out AroundMe's capabilities when it first debuted. "It comes in handy since many of us in the industry are widening our net and working in geographic areas we may not be familiar with," Woods says.

Dermandar Panorama

Dermander Panorama allows users to create panoramic photos without additional equipment. Several photos are taken and matched together nearly instantaneously. The app allows you to also take simple stills, eliminating the need for several photo apps. It's ideal for getting a 360-degree view of a room, property, or landscape. The tool is also available online without the need for a smartphone. And Dermandar's creators are now hoping to add enhancements such as higher resolution photos.

Evernote

This application allows users to store notes, photos, and voice memos and organize them on Evernote's servers; your documents can later be searched by keywords, titles, and tags.

Self-proclaimed "tech geek" Nancy Murray, a broker-associate with Keller Williams in Colorado Springs, Colo., says Evernote has quickly become one of her favorite apps. "I can apply it to every facet of my life," Murray says, "my business, my personal life, everything."

Mocha VNC

Mocha VNC allows users to connect to their computers from mobile devices to access remote files, programs, and resources. No more carrying around a hard copy, e-mailing yourself a file, or driving to pick up a forgotten document.

NAR Express

This app was designed to meet the information needs of Realtors®. It features hot topics, latest headlines, calls for action, special offers for National Association of Realtors® members, marketing resources, and more, all in one easy-to-navigate application.

Do not forget to use us for your Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Real Estate Continuing education classes. You can sign up easily at www.rempower.com/classes