From calculating repair costs to creating floor plans, we’ve rounded up the top apps that can make life simpler for REO agents.
In a world where technology seems to be changing and developing at lightning speed, it can be difficult to sift through the new innovations to find the ones that can truly make a difference in our lives. Will a new app make it easier to track our projects, or is it simply a clunky replacement for something we already do? Will new software save us time or create extra tasks? At the end of the day, it is important to remember that no matter how great new technologies are, they will never be a substitute for human interaction.
“I am a firm believer in technology as long as it is used as a tool and not as a replacement to personal interaction with our clients,” says Don Orsini of Stone Tower Realty.
Orsini relies on Mircosoft Office, Adobe, and his local MLS for market information, marketing, and customer relationship management. In the world of REO, he and his team use “most of the proprietary systems that asset management companies require us to use.”
While a few go-to software systems can manage most of the workload of an REO agent, we sought out a few innovative apps that can aid REO agents in their unique set of tasks.
Selling an REO property comes with a unique set of challenges. These properties are often vacant and sometimes have been for quite some time, meaning they are empty, lack the personal feel of a loving home, and sometimes need repair. Of course, agents are not afforded an endless budget to repair and stage these homes and it can be difficult for potential homebuyers to envision the potential some of these homes have.
Enter BoxBrownie.com, an app that helps everyone envision these homes for what they could be with a little love. This app offers a range of services, all at flat rates. For just $1.40 you can get a quick image enhancement. Virtual staging starts at $28 for an image of one room. Fill an empty, dull room with beautiful furniture and complementary artwork. A 360 degree staged view is available for $56. BoxBrownie can also help with copywriting and floor plans.
MagicPlan is a great app for any agent, especially those who might have to work with contractors or obtain repair estimates. Snap a photo and get a floorplan. No measuring required. Use your floorplans for repair bids or for marketing. You can even add furniture to your floorplan to create images that resonate with potential buyers.
You can also produce professional-looking 3-D floorplans with companion app Floorplanner. Floorplans are available in several formats, including PDF, JPEG, and HTML. The cost for “on demand” services is $3.49 per project. Agents can create an unlimited number of projects for $19.99 per month.
Designed for real estate investors who flip houses, Property Fixer is also a great resource for agents working with REO properties in less than perfect condition. The app can help them analyze the return on investment for various repairs and can estimate holding costs. This information can help agents themselves and can be valuable information to pass on to asset managers, investors, and potential homebuyers. Three versions of the app are available, starting at free and reaching up to $39.99 for the professional version.
The online marketplace for bank-owned and foreclosed properties is now conveniently packaged in a mobile app. Not only can real estate professionals and investors search for foreclosed and bank-owned properties on this extensive app, but they can also buy and sell residential properties online through the app itself. The app includes more than 30,000 properties across the nation. Users can search by keywords or location, save properties of interest and share them with others, bid on properties, or sell their own REO. The Auction.com app is available for free.
A go-to source for homebuyers and many real estate agents, Zillow has created a comprehensive app with property information on both for-sale and rental properties across the nation. The Zillow app is great for finding comps quickly. Agents can view information on properties available through the MLS as well as more than 1 million properties that aren’t listed on any MLS. The information is generally reliable and up-to-date. You can save searches and sync with your existing Zillow account. Also, the Zillow app is free.