With the buying season in full swing, agents are burning more gas (and time) than ever on the road. And, while every listing tour starts with a plan, listing technology and online open house promotion mean you have to be able to adjust your route on the go. Check out these great mobile apps for real-time route planning and enhancing your tours. (All are available for iPhone and Android, some for other mobile devices as well.)
1. Garmin’s GPS App
While most agents have a GPS of some sort (mine is built into my vehicle), there are benefits to being able to program a GPS app for a tour while you’re out or while sitting at your desk. A Web-based GPS, like my favorite Garmin’s GPS app ($39.99), will typically have access to all the latest streets and subdivisions that older in-car or handheld units may not have.
The cool Route4me app takes all of your tour addresses and maps the best possible route like many GPS apps. The major difference is, this one is free. Route4Me let’s you map while you’re out and load the addresses on your computer to send custom links for different tours to your mobile device.
3. Google Maps for driving and walking
Occasionally, you need to find a specific location, school, business, home address, etc. – nothing beats the Google Maps app for locating anything. Type in the item you are looking for (it will frequently auto-fill for you), and click on the “Get Directions” link. In addition to providing directions from your current location, you can also add additional destinations along the way to provide a seamless route.
Showing a number of units in a large condo complex? Occasionally, the developments can be very confusing to navigate. The Google Maps app lets you list all the addresses in the development, click the “Walking” icon, and receive walking instructions for the exact locations of the units you want to see in the development and the suggest the easiest way to walk from one to the other.
4. Where App
Buyer tours aren’t all home showings. If you have buyers who want to take in the lifestyle side of a listing, the Where app gives you the capability to find what is close by, including restaurants, parks, gas stations, stores, and even schools. And, as a bonus you can access available coupons for nearby discounts.
5. CloudCMA App
You can load the properties you’re going to show into CloudCMA using their app ($29.999/month) – or, if available, for free through your MLS – to set up a buyer tour. However, the major benefits of CloudCMA App kick in after your tour is set.
Once set, you can send a custom link to yourself and clients for the tour. Through the link, you can see available pictures, property data, exact distances to local schools and amenities, neighborhood demographics, walkability scores and more statistics on each listing along the way.
CloudCMA is also green. It eliminates the need to print tour sheets, allows you and your clients to write comments in the notes space provided, and even syncs to note taking apps such as NoteTaker HD for easy note storage and sharing.
There are more than a half-million apps out there, but these are my suggestions for getting you started. What other apps are you all using to help you “get there” when it comes to buyer tours?