Help close the deal with these apps

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - SPECIAL REPORT: MORTGAGES - Marc Saltz­man

There are three things that many real es­tate agents have in com­mon: they spend a good part of their day on the run; most work alone, as op­posed to on teams; and they rely on their smart­phones to re­main or­ga­nized and pro­duc­tive.

For­tu­nately, there are many mo­bile apps that can give a leg up to a busy real es­tate agent or bro­ker. But with more than two mil­lion of them avail­able at the App Store (for iPhone) and Google Play (for An­droid de­vices), where does one start?

The fol­low­ing are a hand­ful of rec­om­mended down­loads to help close the deal.

Cre­ate one cen­tral and se­cure place to hold all your im­por­tant files, and ac­cess them from any­where, any­time, and on vir­tu­ally any In­ter­net-con­nected de­vice. That’s pre­cisely what free “cloud” ser­vices let you do. Whether you pre­fer Drop­box, OneDrive, Google Drive or iCloud, you’re pro­tect­ing your im­por­tant work docs from lo­cal threats — a lost, stolen or bro­ken de­vice, for ex­am­ple — and you can not only log in with a pass­word but also type in a one-time code to prove it’s re­ally you (“two-step au­then­ti­ca­tion”). Load up your drive with files, agree­ments, sur­veys, list­ings, pho­tos, and more.

Mi­crosoft’s free Of­fice Lens turns your smart­phone into a flatbed scan­ner. Real es­tate agents can snap a pic of a doc­u­ment, white­board, re­ceipt or busi­ness card, and it will be im­me­di­ately dig­i­tized onto your de­vice. Printed and hand­writ­ten text is au­to­mat­i­cally and ac­cu­rately rec­og­nized us­ing OCR (Op­ti­cal Char­ac­ter Recog­ni­tion) tech­nol­ogy, so you can then search for text by key­word, as well as copy, edit and share dig­i­tized text. If de­sired, you can also im­port what you’ve scanned into Of­fice apps, save to OneDrive or con­vert into a PDF.

Real es­tate and agents and bro­kers need a sim­ple yet se­cure way to sign doc­u­ments, and with more than 50 mil­lion users, Adobe’s DocuSign is one of the most trusted so­lu­tions avail­able. As you might ex­pect, the DocuSign app lets you fill out and sign legally-bind­ing doc­u­ments with your fin­ger­tip, send docs to oth­ers to sign (via email, Drop­box, Google Drive, Ever­note, and oth­ers), and re­ceive re­al­time no­ti­fi­ca­tions when they have been signed. Store, man­age, and ac­cess your en­crypted doc­u­ments from any­where, and on mul­ti­ple de­vices.

Avail­able for mul­ti­ple mo­bile and desk­top plat­forms, Splash­top Re­mote 2 lets you log into an­other com­puter wire­lessly from your smart­phone, tablet or com­puter to see and con­trol the re­mote Win­dows PC or Mac as if you were sit­ting in front of it. That’s right, you could be at a cof­fee shop on your iPhone or An­droid de­vice but tap and flick through your of­fice or home of­fice com­puter. It’s not the first so­lu­tion to do this, mind you, but this en­crypted so­lu­tion is free and lets you also stream full-mo­tion video and au­dio from your com­puter to your mo­bile de­vice (not just files you left be­hind).


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