There is no doubt about it. The world is getting smaller and faster. Technology has utterly altered the way we go about our lives. Almost any information is available at the click of a button. People can be accessed on the other side of the world instantaneously. Huge distances are considered a mere hop, skip and a jump. The way we both work and play has been revolutionized. Within a generation, businesses and entire markets have evolved unrecognizably.
However, there has always been a perception that real estate is somewhat immune to this process. How can technology significantly alter the way we look at immovable bricks and mortar? Well, the world of apps might be about to change things. The advent of a number of innovative apps has certainly got the industry talking. In New York, brokers are looking on nervously at the growing popularity of Compass. Using complex analytics, which uniquely weighs numerous factors, it helps agents calculate genuine property value and ROI plans. However, Compass is far from the only app out there designed to help agents, buyers and landlords. Check out the following apps which are helping shape the world of real estate.
- Dwellr: Considering a property, but you really want to get a feel for the neighborhood? Well, Dwellr might just be the answer. This app has been developed by the Census Bureau and can give you instant access to information on neighborhoods in 25 major US cities. In short, whether you want to get a snapshot of schools, crime rates or the religious make up of an area, Dwellr should be your first port of call.
- Homefacts: More information on the local area. However, Homefacts will tell you the things you don’t want to know, enabling you to essentially carry out a risk assessment whether you are buying, selling or brokering. You can take a closer look at the crime rate, find out the number of drug related and sex offences. There is also information on environmental hazards such as sinkholes and the chances of potentially disastrous earthquakes.
- Around Me: Just so that you don’t let all the negative factors put you off a neighborhood entirely, Around Me allows you to explore many of the positives of your surroundings. This app makes it incredibly simple to find out where the nearest coffee shops, bars, movie theatres and a whole lot more are located in relation to any given property.
- RadPad: A real time search for rentals, which is even linked to your current location if you wish. RadPad doesn’t sound all that radical, but in cities where vacancies are filled incredibly quickly, the real time element can be invaluable to this exhaustive listings service. And if you’re renting an apartment yourself, then it’s well worth uploading the details here too.
- Redfin: And here is a similar service if you are looking to buy a property. Considered by many to be the authoritative app of its kind despite competition from the likes of Trulia and Zillow, Redfin has an edge with not only an absolutely up to date service, but the unique agents’ notes. These insights will give you critical and sometimes hard to find information about the property you are interested in.
- Swipefin: And here’s one for the real estate agents. Described by some as the ‘Tinder’ of the independent realtor world, Swipefin is an excellent tool for agents who need to organize their expenses meticulously for tax reporting. Essentially, this is a mobile bookkeeping service built in to your smartphone.
- Zillow Mortgage: A pretty straightforward concept, Zillow Mortgage quite simply helps you to calculate a mortgage at the touch of a few buttons, including property taxes and other expenses. Work out your monthly payments and you can even begin to find out if a lender might be available to help.
- Legal 4 Landlords: And if you are on the other side of the equation, Legal 4 helps landlords find out a bit more about potential tenants. Essentially, this app will carry out a background check on whoever you are considering as a tenant, flagging previous evictions and similar issues which might raise suspicions.
- Homesnap: Ever driven or walked past a property and wondered how much it might cost? With Homesnap, all you need do is take a photo and you can satisfy your curiosity. Whether the home is on the market or not, Homesnap will tell you how much it is worth, plus a range of further information such as past sales prices.
- Starmap: If you are determined to enjoy your slice of Hollywood fame, then this is guide to the homes of the rich and famous is the app for you. Just type in the name of your favorite celeb and the app will give you directions of how to get there. It also includes a guided tour of some of their homes. Want to live near the stars? Starmap is your guide.